EAST WINDSOR, N.J., Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union (McGraw-Hill FCU), an industry leader in helping consumers achieve financial wellness, is raising awareness of credit unions, as well as the pitfalls of unnecessary fees in the financial marketplace, in its newly-launched "We Hear You" initiative. The effort provides a voice for consumers to capture their financial experiences on home videos via their smartphones and digital devices.
"The goal of this campaign is to promote the impact of financial wellness on consumers, many of whom continue to face challenges in today's economy," said Shawn Gilfedder, President and CEO of McGraw-Hill FCU. "Consumers can no longer afford to be apathetic to their financial relationships."
The "We Hear You" initiative aims to provide a platform for consumers to share financial experiences and ultimately bolster awareness of financial wellness options. In today's rapid-pace financial landscape, where consumers are increasingly exposed to unnecessarily high loan rates and unexpected fees, financial wellness through enhanced literacy and education has never been more critical.
Consumers have been experiencing heightened challenges of late. The Consumer Federation of America (CFA), in its June 2012 survey, cited the overdraft policies of U.S. Bank and Fifth Third Bank as an indication that fees are again on the rise after a two-year period of stagnancy. Also, in July 2012, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau imposed a $210 million fine on Capital One Financial Corp to settle a regulatory probe alleging improper monitoring of third-party sales of consumer protection products. Those examples align with the most recent JD Power and Associates Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, which pointed to "unexplained and overly high fees" as top drivers for continued precedent-setting consumer dissatisfaction with their financial institution.
In response, many consumers have switched to a caring and trusted financial partner, such as credit unions. In fact, within the first quarter of 2012, credit unions added an additional 710,000 members (equaling the growth of the previous three quarters), and total credit union assets surpassed $1 trillion for the first time. These statistics reflect consumers' growing recognition of the value they receive from credit unions.
The McGraw-Hill FCU "We Hear You" initiative, which runs through September 14, has already received an influx of compelling video submissions. The credit union looks forward to garnering a broader, national response as consumer submissions grow and the sharing of financial experiences via video continues to strike an emotional cord.
"We are proud to offer products, services, and educational resources designed to help consumers achieve financial goals, rather than steadily impose unfair fees and interest rates that can cause financial and emotional strain," added Gilfedder.
In addition to the "We Hear You" initiative, McGraw-Hill FCU urges consumers to visit www.asmarterchoice.org. There they can review their financial wellness options and evaluate their eligibility for credit union membership.
About McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union
McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union, a member-owned cooperative, is a leading and progressive financial institution committed to members and the community at large through financial technology, financial education and literacy, and a consultative approach to ing. The credit union offers a full range of banking, investing and insurance services to more than 19,295 members worldwide and serves more than 120 companies as a valued financial wellness benefit. For more information, visit www.McGrawHillFCU.org, www.facebook.com/mcgrawhillfcu, or view videos about McGraw-Hill FCU at www.youtube.com/McGrawHillFCU.
SOURCE McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union