What’s the difference between a traditional bank and a credit union? Well, think of it this way; banks are businesses owned by shareholders, credit unions are not-for-profit money cooperatives owned by those who belong to the credit union.
You’re part of a credit union–wonderful! But what, exactly, does that mean? How will it affect your day-to-day life? What does credit union membership mean for your checking account, your auto loan, and your financial future?
A new analysis by the independent economic research firm ECONorthwest found that Oregon’s credit unions generated $1.9 billion in economic impact in 2014.
The realities behind this top-line figure show that not-for-profit cooperative credit unions are foundational to the state’s economy.
The opinion expressed by the president and CEO of the American Bankers Association, in the June 23, 2014, edition of The Hill, is worthy of comment, despite it being a stretch to yet find another way for a trade association to criticize the efforts of a cooperative system that in the view of many Americans provides better financial services than the banks Mr. Keating represents.
For decades, many banks have considered credit unions to be a threat to their survival. Each year, these banks have urged Congress to place greater restrictions on credit unions to lessen the ability of credit unions to compete.
Iowa’s credit unions are in the midst of a growth spurt. And banks are crying foul.
Data provided by the Iowa Credit Union League shows that although the number of credit unions has dropped from 126 in 2012 to 113 this year, total assets and members have grown substantially.
Total assets grew 16 percent from $10.5 billion in the first quarter of 2012 to $12.2 billion in the first quarter of 2014 while membership grew 3.9 percent from 983,183 to 1,021,449 during that same time period.