September 14, 2016

Berger talks Wells Fargo, CU difference in Bloomberg

NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger, in Bloomberg this week, touted the credit union difference in a discussion of the recent Wells Fargo scandal, citing issues with the bank's corporate culture and the benefits of doing business with credit unions.

Wells Fargo has been hit with $185 million in fines and restitution related to its employees' reported opening of more than 1.5 million likely unauthorized consumer deposit accounts and more than 500,000 credit cards. "The frustration the American consumer has is: Here we are, we're just out of the financial crisis, and here we go again," Berger told Bloomberg. The fact that 5,300 employees lost their jobs in connection with this scandal points to a problem with the bank's corporate culture, he added.

The article explained the benefits of credit unions membership, such as lower and/or fewer fees, lower interest rates on loans and higher rates on savings accounts because all earnings from credit unions are returned to their member-owners.

Bloomberg also noted in the influx of millennials joining credit unions. The article cited TransUnion data, which revealed that a quarter of credit unions' new members in the first quarter of this year were millennials – up from 20 percent in 2013.

Berger added that credit unions appeal to millennials "because they like a cause and being part of something bigger than themselves. They like the individuality, like the credit union movement."

Last week, Berger also wrote a special blog post with his views on the scandal and explained why credit unions need to make their differences known.