2011 was a tumultuous time for the banking industry. Many big banks ended free checking and raised service fees as a response to increased regulations. In November, outrage towards Bank of America’s proposed $5 monthly debit card fee prompted the creation of Bank Transfer Day, promoting credit unions as consumer-friendly alternatives to the big banks.
Since then, credit unions have been embracing the role as financial institution of the average consumer. Some have initiated “Every Day is Bank Transfer Day” slogans for t-shirts and other marketing materials. Even so, many bank customers are hesitant to switch to a credit union because of the perceived complications involved in that process (changing direct deposits, closing old accounts, etc.). Has this pro-credit union buzz actually resulted in significant member growth over the past year?
Almost half of federally insured credit unions experienced growth since last year
NerdWallet analyzed data published by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and found that overall membership is up nationwide and in most states. On an individual basis, 49% of federally insured credit unions experienced an increase from June 2011 to June 2012 (most recently available data).
With the increases coming from less than half of the credit unions, we wondered which states have seen the largest bump. (full table available at the end of the post)
90% of states experienced overall gains in CU membership since June 2011. The top 9 saw gains of 100,000+ new members.
|State||Membership Growth||% Increase|
|4. New York||189,401||4.1%|
|7. North Carolina||125,085||3.8%|
In some states, the overall number of credit union members actually declined. Thankfully for CU’s in these states, the average loss was small – just 6,124 members.
|State||Membership Loss||% Decrease|
|1. West Virginia||-13,618||-3.4%|
42 states accelerated credit union membership growth over the past year (June 2011 to June 2012), compared with membership growth from the prior year (June 2010 to June 2011). The top states were:
|State||Growth 6/2010 – 6/2011||Growth 6/2011 – 6/2012||Difference|
Past year membership growth: state-by-state
|State||Growth 6/2011 – 6/2012|