Consumers are being driven in higher numbers to credit union web sites as a result of the recent media and government focus on big bank practices, according to the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). In the last few weeks consumers are pushing the movement even further through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Since The Huffington Post first touted credit unions as part of its Move Your Money Campaign in early January, NAFCU.org and CULookUp.com have seen increased Web traffic. A Jan. 6 blog on the site by NAFCU President Fred Becker, titled “Moving Your Money? Then Try A Credit Union,” tripled the traffic for CULookup.com.
The Move Your Money campaign has received coverage from news outlets large and small, from CBS Sunday Morning and the New York Times to the Naperville Sun in suburban Chicago, Ill. The movement is having an impact from all perspectives.
Credit Union National Association President and CEO Daniel Mica has come out with a new YouTube video urging people to move their money from banks into credit unions as well as an article in the Huffington Post, as millions have already done.
“The data collected by my organization, (the Credit Union National Association — the industry’s trade group) shows that credit unions are on pace to post 2% membership growth in 2009. This is the fastest rate we have seen since 2001 and double the rate of U.S. population growth, bringing total credit union membership to nearly 93 million Americans,” said Mica.
Federal government officials are also jumping on board. Politico’s Mike Allen spoke with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner about the Move Your Money campaign (Video link). He said he agreed with “the basic principle,” which is that “people are right to expect more from their financial institution.”
Members of congress on both sides of the aisle are also supporting the movement. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) kissed Bank of America goodbye over the weekend and moved her money to a local community financial institution in the neighborhood she grew up in.
The Huffington Post analyzed financial documents for most members of Congress to find out where they bank. At least 53 senators and 104 representatives use the nation’s six biggest banks. Curious where your elected representatives are keeping their money? Check out spreadsheets for the the Senate and House to find out.
The Huffington Post continues to tout credit unions, with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom contributing a blog posting Friday about a new payday loan alternative program that several local credit unions, including a NAFCU member, are offering.
The Move Your Money grassroots campaign has caught on, and people are using social networking tools to find solvent financial institutions nearby and make the switch. They’re documenting their stories on social media outlets such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter .
Despite all the hype and hoopla, we at Avtec Media were dismayed to learn that the “Find a bank or a credit union” locator search on the MoveYourMoney.com website mostly brings up bank listings, not credit unions. Credit unions are listed as “Option 2” on the website. We’re grateful for advocates like Daniel Mica and others who aren’t afraid to stand up against banks, to speak the plain truth, and help educate the masses about the real difference between credit unions and banks.