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Credit unions receiving press coverage after banks announce new fees

Joe Newberry Screenshot

Last week people could barely turn on the television in Alabama without seeing a credit union story. Two TV stations in Huntsville looked at banks hiking debit card fees and then spoke with credit unions.

On WAAY-TV, Redstone FCU President/CEO Joe Newberry explained that his credit union is seeing many more accounts opened. He also said that many of the new members want to make sure Redstone won't charge for use of a debit card. North Alabama Educators CU President/CEO Greg Olmstead was also interviewed by a local Huntsville TV station about credit unions and how they aren't adding fees to debit cards.

The Fox affiliate in Birmingham ran a story on the new fees instituted by banks. While a credit union was not interviewed, the reporter stated that his credit union did not charge him fees to use its services so he suggested consumers look to a credit union.

On Friday, WTSP in Tampa interviewed Florida West Coast CU President/CEO Mary Wood about credit unions and the new bank fees. A member of Florida West Coast was also interviewed. The member, who's also a bank customer, had not heard of the new fees but said she was covered because at Florida West Coast "it's cheaper. It's faster. It's easier. And it's a phone call. The personal service...I can pick up the phone and say, 'Hi' and they know who I am, and I know who they are." Wood added that her credit union offers just as many services that a bank does because "we also have a very full service ATM network."

Good Morning America ran a segment Monday Oct. 3 that looked at ways to avoid rising bank fees. ABC News Correspondent Elisabeth Leamy looked at the recent B of A news and showed how credit unions were not charging the fees. Fox Business Channel had CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney as a guest on the Gerri Willis Report. Cheney was asked about the new fees Bank of America is putting on customers. Willis actually cut up her B of A card on the air. Cheney said that credit unions are meeting members' needs and how their motivation as not-for-profit co-ops differs from for-profit, investor-driven banks like B of A.

Read or view these stories by visiting the LSCU Press Room. The Press Room also has stories from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal highlighting that credit unions are a great alternative.