CUs Add Nearly Three-quarters of a Million Checking Accounts in 4th Quarter (Misc News: March 5, 2012)
While adding 400,000 members during the fourth quarter of 2011 – with the help of Bank Transfer Day – was surprising, CUNA’s chief economist said that the increase in credit union checking accounts may be more impressive.
Credit unions had a net increase of 737,000 new checking accounts for the fourth quarter of 2011, according to CUNA News Now.
"Perhaps a better indication of the transfer of activity to credit unions during the fourth quarter is the change in the number of credit union checking accounts during the period, because Bank Transfer Day was spurred in part by debit fee increases by a number of large banks," said Bill Hampel, CUNA’s chief economist.
CUNA’s Call Report data for all U.S. credit unions as of December showed that credit union membership increased by 399,721 to 93,052,509 in the fourth quarter. The total increase in membership for the year was about 1.3 million.
The increase in checking accounts represents both new members opening accounts and existing members who added checking accounts to the credit union services they already use. That would indicate that not only did credit unions attract new members, many existing members broadened their relationships with credit unions where they were already members.
In a typical quarter, credit unions add about 259,000 new checking accounts, so the number of accounts added in the fourth quarter of 2011 was nearly triple the normal pace.