September 24, 2019

NAFCU shows how credit unions differ from banks

NAFCU shows off why credit unions matterCredit unions play a critical role in the lives of 118 million Americans and the nation's economy as a whole. As the industry faces unwarranted attacks from bank trade groups, NAFCU fights to ensure lawmakers and the public see the real credit union difference.

See credit unions' benefits for yourself.

According to satisfaction surveys among financial institutions, consumers rank credit unions higher than banks, and, notably, national banks rank the lowest. Credit unions' commitment to serving their members is further demonstrated by 82 percent of large credit unions providing free checking, compared to 38 percent of banks.

Credit unions are also leading the charge as the NCUA and lawmakers work toward greater diversity in the financial services industry. Currently, there are three times as many minority-designated credit unions as banks, and there are 10 times as many female CEOs at credit unions than at banks.

In addition to their work in communities, credit unions support the entire national economy. Contrary to bankers' claims, the credit union federal income tax exemption benefits the economy to the tune of $16 billion per year. Not only does the tax status put more money into the economy, it also helps credit unions create 90,000 jobs.

Banks, on the other hand, have paid more than $243 billion in fines and settlements as a result of their role in the 2008 financial crisis. In the aftermath of the crisis, banks pulled back on lending to small businesses while credit unions stepped up to support the recovery.

NAFCU consistently works to set the record straight on the differences between credit unions and banks as the banking industry continues to lobby to have their requirements relaxed while trying to put those same requirements on credit unions. Of note, the association has actively opposed extending Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations to credit unions as they do not engage in the illegal and discriminatory practices of banks.

Join NAFCU's award-winning advocacy efforts to ensure lawmakers and regulators see the credit union difference, too.