All Articles Tagged "credit union"
We got word today that 2012 is going to be a record-breaking year for gas prices. With that in mind, a number of credit unions and community banks in 20 cities are giving away gas and information about how you can dump your big bank and take your business to a smaller alternative.
Among the banks participating are Money One Federal Credit Union, based in College Park, MD with operations across the D.C. region; Pioneer Bank, with branches across upstate New York; Hope Credit Union, which has locations in New Orleans, across Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas; and Incommons Bank with locations across Texas. Get a full list of participating banks on The Great Gas Giveaway Facebook page. And The Huffington Post has a list of the gas stations and sellers that are participating. The freebie caps at $20 worth of gas and is available to the first 200 drivers.
Now’s the time to take a closer look at your bank and determine whether another financial institution, even a smaller one, can better fill your needs. As HuffPo says, most people have turned to larger banks because they’re accessible and offer digital services. But big banks have come under fire for raising fees on many basic services, lowering the value of doing business with them. And in some cases, due to the economy, bank consolidation or other factors, they’re actually closing down branches. And some small banks can offer better deals (free checking, for example) for those looking for them.
So you could walk away with a new bank account and a full tank of gas.
(Daily Finance) — Last Friday, after Bank of America’s (BAC)announcement of new fees on debit cards, retired postal worker Victoria Lee took her adult daughters to her local USPS Credit Union. “[My daughters opened] free checking accounts with no charges for the use of debit cards,” Lee said. Like many Americans who are carefully watching every dollar, the Florida resident said she was grateful to have an alternative to retail Wall Street banks. Meanwhile, a record-breaking 3,200 new checking accounts were opened over the weekend at the Navy Federal Credit Union, the world’s largest credit union with 3.7 million members and nearly $48 billion in assets. The weekend surge — which crushed the previous high of 2,500 — fits into a larger trend for the credit union, which serves the Department of Defense and active duty military. It has had annual growth between 6.3% and 6.7% since 2007, and is on track to record a 14% uptick in membership this year, said Tisa Head, the senior vice president of savings products. In addition to its fee-free debit cards and accounts, another driver for the year’s projected double-digit membership increase has been the credit union’s willingness to post pay early for active duty members who use the Active Duty Checking account.
(Daily Finance) — 1. Find the right bank or credit union for you.The financial institution that works best for your brother may not be the best one for you, so do your own research. It comes down to a matrix of three things for each customer, says Barrington: services, fees and locations. Ask yourself: How do I use my bank? Do I use a debit card and ATMs? Do I prefer mobile banking and online transactions, or do I prefer paper checks and statements? Is international access important to me? If you’re moving a checking and savings account together, compare the interest rate earned on the savings account with the service charges on the checking account.
(Wall Street Journal) — Federal regulators are blaming Wall Street’s biggest firms for the collapse of five institutions at the heart of the nation’s credit-union industry and are seeking to recoup tens of billions of dollars in losses on securities that doomed the five. In one of the broadest accusations that Wall Street helped cripple financial institutions during the crisis, the National Credit Union Administration, or NCUA, has threatened to sue several investment banks unless they refund over $50 billion of mortgage-backed securities sold to the five institutions, called wholesale credit unions.
The NCUA is accusing Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit, Citigroup Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. of misrepresenting the risks of the bonds to wholesale credit unions, which loaded up on the bonds in their role of investing on behalf of retail credit unions, according to people familiar with the situation. Regulators seized the five wholesale credit unions in 2009 and 2010, inheriting a pile of battered bonds now worth only about $25 billion, or half of their face value. The wholesale credit unions, also known as corporate credit unions, are at the heart of the nation’s credit-union system. They not only invest customer deposits but also provide services such as check clearing for nearly 8,000 “retail” credit unions—member-owned cooperatives that act somewhat like banks for firefighters, teachers and other workers who have something in common.
(Atlanta Journal Constitution) — A couple years back, C. Lin Hodges, president of Associated Credit Union, was deflecting questions about credit unions’ relevance. His traditional banking peers raked in huge profits, betting big on construction loans and ever-rising home values.
(NYT) — Brian Franklin grew up poor in Long Island City, Queens, in the Queensbridge Houses, New York’s largest public-housing complex, but he had enough success as a hair stylist that he was able to cross the river and cut hair in Manhattan.
But too much partying led to financial problems, and he lost his business and savings. It has been 15 years since Mr. Franklin, 42, has had a bank account.