October 25, 2011

CUs score on ABC World News

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Oct. 25, 2011 – The bank-fee backlash made national news last night during ABC World News, which included NAFCU, credit unions and a credit union member in its report on the shift of consumer sentiment and dollars from banks to member-owned credit unions.

The report, introduced by anchor Diane Sawyer, included an interview with Scott Arney, CEO of Chicago Patrolmen's FCU, a NAFCU member, on the increase in accounts at his credit union since Bank of America's announcement of the $5 debit card fee it plans to assess monthly next year. "In October, we're on pace to go about 40 percent above … in new checking account and debit card activity," Arney said.

Karen Jackson tells the news team that switching from a bank to nearby, NAFCU-member Dade County FCU in Miami, Fla., will save $250 a year. The report also notes Navy FCU's growth in new accounts – three times the increase at this time last year – and shows a member at Charlotte Metro FCU (Charlotte, N.C.) completing an easy "switch" from the bank to the credit union., the NAFCU credit union locator site maintained by NAFCU Services, is also displayed. The report notes the site's 350 percent increase in traffic over recent weeks.

The movement of consumers from banks to credit unions is being promoted by Bank Transfer Day, which has Nov. 5 as a target date for people to move their funds. That and other activities surrounding consumers' reaction to yet more bank fees is a new experience, Karen Tyson, NAFCU's senior vice president of marketing and communications, said in an interview with ABC News.

"This is a different phenomenon," she said in remarks covered in a sidebar to the story. "There seems to be quite a bit of distrust, quite a bit of apprehension, quite a bit of frustration among the average Americans out there with the larger institutions and the Wall Street institutions."

She said she's hoping people will get past the notion that it's difficult to move from a bank to a credit union. "It's not hard to change," she said.

NAFCU has resources on this site to help credit unions market the advantage they offer consumers, including convenience, safety, great service, low fees and ease in becoming a member; information on videos and listings is provided as well.

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