The credit union philosophy sets them apart from banks, particularly in a crisis, CUNA Chief Economic Mike Schenk told Money in a recent interview. Schenk’s remarks are part of an article highlighting the credit union difference in today’s pandemic all the way back to the signing of the Federal Credit Union Act in 1934.
“We don’t have shareholders demanding a market rate of return on investments, so we take the profits that would go to shareholders and we pass that through to member-owners,” Schenk said. “We’re just as good, and actually better than, the other guys.”
Schenk added that the benefits that include lower fees, higher savings yields, and favorable interest rates lead to good relations between credit unions and their members. He shared a recent CUNA survey result that found consumers are two times more likely to agree strongly that credit unions “act in consumers’ best interests and are good corporate citizens” than banks.
Credit union assistance to members in hard times does not go unnoticed either, the article points out, highlighting how credit union membership increased 31% in the decade following the 2008 financial crisis.