Credit unions have been getting great press over the summer. Over the past few days, the Wall Street Journal and the South Florida Business Journal each wrote stories about credit unions. The Wall Street Journal article, "
Credit Unions: a Cheaper Banking Option," gets right to the point by writing that since banks are charging fees on checking accounts, consumers can "more bang for your buck" with a credit union.The article brings up that more than 1,700 credit unions participate in shared branching giving members access to over 4,300 branches nationwide. CUNA's Pat Keefe provides information on how consumers can join a credit union and the author brings up two examples. The article also has a sidebox that shows the sort of loans that credit unions make.
The South Florida Business Journal wrote an article, "
Credit Unions and Banks spar over federal tax-exempt status," that quotes Rich Helber, CEO of Tropical Financial Credit Union based in Miramar, and Allan Prindle, CEO of Power Financial Credit Union based in Pembroke Pines. Helber tells the Journal that the logic banks use to condemn credit unions doesn't make sense. Helber says "they're (credit unions) limited in the loans they can make, the geographic areas they can serve and their ability to raise capital." The article quotes Florida Bankers Association CEO Alex Sanchez as once again saying credit unions enjoy a "tax loophole." Helber and Prindle do a good job of redirecting the conversation back to the fact that banks have 94 percent of the banking business and that credit unions' threat to the banking industry is minimal.