MADISON, Wis. (12/31/14)--In 2014, one couldn't have flipped through too many pages of The Wall Street Journal or even The New York Times without coming across news related to credit unions.
Perhaps it was the year of the credit union--at least for those avid readers of financial services news.
In August, the Credit Union National Association reported that the credit union industry had surpassed the 100 million memberships milestone--a number equating to one-third of the U.S. population--and news traveled fast.
Among many others, The Washington Post picked up the story, and The Fiscal Times and Daily Finance ran the news on their websites. Numerous business journals nationwide amplified word of the milestone, and even several radio outlets interviewed CUNA representatives to talk about the accomplishment.
But a membership milestone was only the tip of the iceberg in 2014.
Earlier in the year, just after Target revealed that it had been hit with a massive data breach that exposed tens of millions of pieces of consumer credit and debit card information, CUNA produced a survey that illustrated just how large of an impact the incident had on credit unions.
The survey, which found that credit unions were forced to reissue 4.6 million credit and debit cards and that it cost credit unions more than $30.6 million to grapple with, was covered by media outlets including 24/7 Wall St., Bankrate.com, Yahoo! Finance and a number of business journals nationwide.
CUNA also put together a survey related to the massive breach that hit Home Depot this year, which cost credit unions and their members nearly double that of the Target breach. Housingwire.com, PYMNTS.com, The Hill, Politico and an assortment of business journals all either ran the results of the survey or the backlash to the survey by merchant associations.
Credit unions and their trade associations continue to make waves in the media on the data breach front, with The Hill regularly writing about the work CUNA and others have done to put pressure on merchants and to raise awareness about the issue in Washington.
Meanwhile, when the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, released in November, found that credit unions trumped banks in just about every category related to financial services, especially in customer satisfaction, news outlets such as The Washington Post, MONEY magazine, Daily Finance and The Fiscal Times all picked up the story.
Further, articles such as the one recently posted by WallStCheatSheet.com that compare banks to credit unions--and pick credit unions as the better option every time--ran on a regular basis this year.
In large part, however, when credit unions graced the pages and the websites of major media outlets in 2014, the articles focused on the great work credit unions do in their communities and for their members.
Those highlights included: