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Wisconsin CU League News Release - 08/10/09

Wisconsin credit unions see membership, savings phenomenon described by Kiplinger’s

Better pricing and service fuels consumers’ move to not-for-profit credit unions for financial services



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Chris Henzig
Director of Communications
(262)549-0200, Ext. 6019


Chad Helminak
Web Producer and Media Relations Manager
(262) 549-0200, Ext. 6012


Pewaukee, Wis.Wisconsin credit unions are seeing consumers flocking to them for some of the same reasons cited by the August issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine – better rates and personal service.


“Big banks want your money, too, but they’re turning customers off with higher fees and tighter lending – not to mention stress tests and troubled assets,” Kiplinger’s said. “They continue to raise fees, even as the grab for business intensifies and consumers are more cost-conscious.”


The magazine touts credit unions' lower fees by citing statistics from the Credit Union National Association that reveal the difference between what credit unions and banks charge for services. On average, for example, credit unions charge $25 for overdrafts while banks charge $30. Credit unions charge $20 for a late credit card payment while banks’ fee is $35. The publication also cited credit unions’ typically lower rates for auto loans.

In Wisconsin, for example, interest payments on a $25,000 car loan for 60 months from a credit union would be $830 less than from a bank, according to CUNA economists.


“Consumers are fed up,” says Brett Thompson, President & CEO of The Wisconsin Credit Union League. “Even people with good credit feel they’re being punished by banks looking to boost profits, especially prior to new federal credit card rules being implemented. They’re not waiting. They’re seeking refuge now.”


Wisconsin credit unions have benefited from the trend, he says. As of the end of last year Wisconsin credit unions saw some of the largest membership growth among the member-owned financial institutions nationwide. And as of the first quarter of 2009, 250 Wisconsin credit unions saw their assets grow 15.74% and savings grow by 26.11%. Regulators have cited this performance as a good sign in a still-unstable economy.


“Because credit unions are owned by the members who do business with them, not shareholders, consumers are realizing they’re going to get a better deal because of that. We think as more consumers discover the financial benefits of this difference in institutions the trend will only intensify,” Thompson adds.

Visit to compare credit union and bank rates and to find a credit union you can join.


Video clips for media

(Clips are available for download. Follow links below each embedded video.)


Clip #1 - Chris Henzig, Director of Communications at the Wisconsin Credit Union League, cites Kiplinger's article on why more people are flocking to credit unions.

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Clip #2 - Henzig discusses the difference in fees at banks and credit unions.

News release sound bite 02


Clip #3 - Henzig notes recent trends in the credit union movement.

News release sound bite 03


Clip #4 - Henzig on why credit unions consistently offer members better deals.


News release sound bite 04


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