Credit unions holding ŽBank Transfer DayŪ on Saturday
Salisbury-based LionŪs Share Federal Credit Union will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday as part of žBank Transfer Day.Ó
The credit union, which serves employees and family members of Food Lion and the Delhaize America Group, notes that new checking account openings have risen in October.
Consumers have responded to fees large banks had tried to put in place. Campaigns on Facebook led some to move deposits to community-based financial institutions. The consumer shift has many credit unions changing their operating hours and ramping up efforts to draw in customers.
žNo one can remember new account activity and consumer interest at this level,Ó said N.C. Credit Union League President/CEO John Radebaugh. žAnd credit unions are ready, willing and able to meet the needs of consumers.Ó
Charlotte Metro FCUŪs new account openings online were 350 percent higher than normal, with in-branch account openings nearly double the normal pace. Coastal FCU in Raleigh reports similar numbers of new accounts.
Other credit unions ramped up marketing and advertising efforts, highlighting online žswitch kitsÓ that make it easier for consumers to move their money.
žIf consumers are angry at big banks,Ó Radebaugh said, žwe invite them to look at credit unions. We think theyŪll like what they see.Ó
As not-for-profit cooperative financial institutions, credit unions return earnings to members in the form of higher deposit rates, lower loan rates and lower fees. Economists at the Credit Union National Association estimate that state credit unions saved members a combined $170 million in the past year compared to what they would have paid at a banking institution.
The North Carolina Credit Union League is a trade association for 95 state credit unions. More than 3 million people in North Carolina are members of a credit union.Visit www.asmarterchoice.org for more information.