November 10, 2011
Nationally, credit unions report millions more in new savings—and millions in new loans
According to a survey by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), more than 2,000 Northwest consumers switched to a credit union on Bank Transfer Day last Saturday—a day when most credit union branches are usually closed.
Oregon’s 660 new members and Washington’s 1,430 new members account for 5.3 percent of CUNA’s national estimate of 40,000 consumers making the switch to credit unions on Nov. 5 alone. Oregon credit unions were No. 20 on the list, with 660 consumers switching and more than $1.3 million moved into credit unions. Washington credit unions were behind only eight other states in both number of new credit union members (1,430) and amount of dollars moved ($2.9 million).
In comparing these early estimates to 2010 data, Bank Transfer Day in Oregon saw more than 5.4 times the number of new members that joined on an average weekday in 2010, while Washington credit unions drew three times as many new members an average weekday from the previous year.
About $80 million was recorded in new savings, according to CUNA’s survey of approximately 1,100 credit unions nationwide. The credit unions surveyed also reported $90 million in new loans taken out on Bank Transfer Day by both new and existing members.
“Credit unions around the nation are experiencing well-deserved fourth quarter growth following what bankers have done to themselves in the marketplace, and Oregon and Washington are no exception,” said Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) CEO John Annaloro. “Credit unions have long believed that if we can get consumers to better understand the role of credit unions in the financial system that they would naturally make the move. Escalating bank fees forced their hand, and it seems like as more people switch, the more people want a better alternative.”
In the weeks leading up to Bank Transfer Day, between Sept. 29 and Oct. 31, Northwest credit unions saw 34,000 new members join their ranks (10,700 in Oregon, 23,300 in Washington)—more than 30 percent of 2010’s total member growth of 73,707. CUNA estimates that a national total of 650,000 consumers joined a credit union during the same 33-day period.
“Bank Transfer Day was a great day to join a credit union. And so was yesterday and so is tomorrow,” said NWCUA President Troy Stang. “American consumers are smart. Their rising awareness of not-for-profit credit unions’ convenience and commitment to the members and communities they serve will continue indefinitely.”
A recent report on the benefits of being a credit union member show a savings of $92 per year for each of Washington’s 2,711,781 credit union members. In Oregon, each of its 1,496,907 members save an average of $106 per member per year.
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