GoBankingRates.com launched an informal survey this summer regarding which direction consumers are leaning in terms of the financial institutions they prefer to bank with – national banks, community banks or credit unions.
The month-long survey showed, although some sections of the population prefer big banks and some prefer community banks, credit unions are overwhelmingly favored among the financially savvy. In fact, 74 percent of financially savvy respondents choose credit unions as their preferred institutions, with community banks coming in second and preferred by 14 percent.
GoBankingRates.com quotes Andrew Schrage, personal financial journalist and co-owner of Money Crashers Personal Finance blog as saying, “I used to have a bank account at a national financial institution, but I closed it a few years ago due to poor customer service. The branch I used most often had cut staffing tremendously, so each time I went there, I had to stand in line for quite awhile, and the tellers were rather rude and just didn’t seem to have my best interests in mind. Whenever I had a question, I would have to wait in the lobby until another bank staff member finally found the time to take care of me.”
This lack of service prompted Schrage to move his money to a credit union, where he said tellers are helpful, friendly and efficient. “It’s no surprise to me that credit unions rank higher than national banks.”
Paul Gentile, Executive Vice President – Strategic Communications and Engagement for CUNA.org said these results are welcome, but no surprise to him either. “For users of financial services, it’s all about trust — and the credit union model, as a cooperative operating on a not-for-profit basis with no shareholders — engenders the trust among consumers and small business owners,” he explained.