CUs See Explosive Growth Ahead of Bank Transfer Day (Misc News: November 4, 2011)
Given the data that’s now coming in, October will go down as one of the more remarkable months for credit union growth in recent history, and the message is hitting the airwaves at an equally remarkable pace.
CUNA estimates that 650,000 people nationwide joined credit unions last month, more than all of 2010 combined. They brought with them $4.5 billion in assets. In Michigan, the growth is no less phenomenal: 27,900 new members with an estimated $193 million in new deposits. Since the numbers were released, numerous national media outlets have picked up the story.
CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney was quoted in Friday’s New York Times, calling the decision on the part of the banks to charge extra fees the “last straw” for consumers and predicting the reversal of those fees won’t do anything to stem the tide of new members turning to credit unions.
In less than 24 hours, similar pieces have appeared in:
In Michigan, we’ve seen a tremendous media response as well. In addition to the front page piece in The Detroit News on Halloween, stories about the growth of Michigan credit unions have appeared in:
Friday morning, University of Michigan CU CEO Tiffany Ford took time out of her schedule to be a guest on the Lucy Ann Lance Business Insider radio program www.lucyannlance.com on WLBY-AM 1290. During the 15-minute discussion, Ford highlighted the benefits of credit union membership and gave a critical local perspective on the industry.
“It’s impossible to overstate the value of these opportunities to connect local credit unions with local media outlets, and we are so grateful to Tiffany Ford for her willingness to speak out on behalf of Michigan’s credit union community,” MCUL & Affiliates CEO David Adams said.
Look for this coverage to grow over the coming days and weeks. Even though the movement known as “Bank Transfer Day,” encouraging consumers to move their money out of banks and into credit unions is set for Saturday, Nov. 5, Adams says the events of the past month show this is not about an arbitrary date or any one bank’s fees. “Consumers are turning to credit unions because now more than ever they need the good value that our institutions provide. When so many people raise their voices and take action, as 650,000 people did in October, it raises our visibility as an industry and it’s our duty to now seize the momentum the media hype has generated.”
CUNA, MCUL and leagues across the country have launched aggressive media campaigns and outreach efforts to drive the message home: “Every day is a good day to join a credit union.” These efforts, along with the individual credit unions that have provided data and given a voice to the story, have greatly contributed to the result that’s now appearing every day on TV, in the papers and online.
MCUL will continue its efforts to get more earned media placements on this issue in local markets across the state. Additionally, MCUL is in the process of planning the 2012 CU Difference campaign and the stories that we have heard from credit unions regarding new members will work nicely into the campaign strategy.
"Our 2012 campaign is going to be bigger and better than ever," said Lee Ann Mares, vice president of corporate marketing and communications. "There has never been a better time to tell our story both through earned placements and advertising, so we hope all Michigan credit unions will support next year's campaign so that we can keep the momentum going.”
MCUL has a media kit available for credit unions to use in promoting their own success stories which you can access by clicking here. For assistance with any media inquiries, contact Mona Shand, MCUL public relations manager, at (800) 262-6285, ext. 246, or Mona.Shand@mcul.org.