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Almost 80 percent of global banking customers are dissatisfied with their banks, according to a survey by FIS Global. So, if you’re fed up with your bank and ready to make a change, you’re not alone. Recent reports indicate the banking industry as a whole suffers from a profit-hungry culture that often overlooks the needs of the customer. Instead of moving from one bank to another, consider switching to a credit union.
Here are five reasons why you’ll be glad you did.
- Credit unions are not-for-profit
Rather than answering to outside shareholders seeking increasingly higher returns on their investments, credit unions answer to their member owners, referred to as customers in the banking world. That means net earnings aren’t paid to shareholders as dividends; they are reinvested in the credit union and often applied in the form of lower loan rates, higher savings rates, and reduced fees. Since profits are not the driving ambition of credit unions, staff members aren’t expected to sell products consumers don’t want or need. Instead, credit union staff are asked to match products and services to member needs and adhere to the highest ethical standards.
- Your money is safe
Many people don’t realize the money they deposit at a credit union receives the same federal protections as the funds deposited at a bank. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) provides insurance for bank deposits, while the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) provides insurance for credit union deposits. The NCUA is an independent federal agency instituted by the U.S. Congress to regulate, supervise, and charter credit unions. In addition, just like banks, credit unions are regularly evaluated and rated by private agencies. We operate well above regulatory requirements and have received Bauer Financial’s highest 5-star rating for the past 26 years, indicating that we are safe and financially sound.
- Thousands of free ATMs
Although most credit unions operate locally or regionally, the spirit of cooperation is a common theme among credit unions. Unlike banks, many credit unions share ATMs and branches. For instance, if you have an account at Pacific Service Credit Union, you have access to nearly 30,000 free ATMs operated by credit unions across the country. You also have access to more than 5,000 shared credit union branches nationwide where you can conduct most transactions with no fees or hassles. The spirit of cooperation creates the convenience of a big bank while retaining the personalized service of a local credit union – truly the best of both worlds in one relationship.
- Better rates
Overall, credit unions offer higher savings rates, lower loan rates, and have fewer and lower fees when compared to banks. According to a study by Informa Research Services, credit unions have lower average rates on credit cards, auto loans, personal loans, and home equity lines of credit. In addition, credit unions have higher average return rates on personal savings, checking, money market, and 1-year certificate accounts. This can be attributed to credit unions being not-for-profit and investing their profits into providing market-leading rates and exceptional service experiences.
- Neighborly service
Unlike big banks with locations in many cities and states, most credit unions operate in a specific geographic area with close ties to their community. Credit unions are invested in the neighborhoods they serve. World-class, friendly service helps build trust and confidence with consumers. A recent study by Financial Trust Index measuring the percentage of consumers who trust their financial institution ranks credit unions at the very top, versus big banks, which were ranked at the bottom. In addition to friendly service, Pacific Service Credit Union is a good corporate citizen. Over the years, the credit union has ranked for corporate philanthropy by the San Francisco Business Times, joining a handful of companies that donate more than 2% of their net earnings to charities located in the communities they serve. If you’ve been thinking about an alternative to costly big banks, now is the time to try something better. We offer the ethical, customer-focused service you’re looking for. Learn more about how we can help you today.