CUNA estimates 1 million new members in first quarter
05/09/2012 03:43 pm
According to CUNA monthly estimates, credit unions gained 500,000 new members in March. The growth is another positive indicator of the momentum credit unions gained by November's Bank Transfer Day.
The new monthly figure also represents a gain of 1.6 million members since Nov. 1, just before Bank Transfer Day, a date targeted by a viral social networking campaign for consumers fed up with big banks' debit card fees to switch accounts from big banks to credit unions and community banks. March's growth spurt is nearly a record for a single month. CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel says the estimates likely will be revised downward a little, but even so, the March growth would still stand out. The 500,000 gain in March comes on the heels of very strong increases in membership of 400,000 in February, 300,000 in January and 200,000 each in November and December.
"Clearly, Bank Transfer Day has a tail to it," Hampel told consumeraffairs.com (May 4). "Net membership growth at credit unions during the first three months of 2012 is greater than growth for the whole of 2010. People are discovering it is easier to join a credit union than they think, and they get a great deal both in terms of pricing and service," he said.