U.S. Credit Union Membership Soars in 2011

Jan 20, 2012, 15:00 ET from Texas Credit Union League

Consumers join cooperative financial institutions in droves, as International Year of Cooperatives gets underway

FARMERS BRANCH, Texas, Jan. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the United Nations' "International Year of Cooperatives" gets underway, not-for-profit credit unions across the United States are starting the year with a surge of interest from consumers in financial cooperatives – i.e., credit unions.

"It's exciting to see so many Americans experiencing the benefits of credit union membership for the first time," said Dick Ensweiler, president and CEO of the Texas Credit Union League (League).  "The last few months have provided credit unions with an unprecedented opportunity to talk about why our cooperative structure matters and give us a great platform to continue spreading the word during this special 'International Year of Cooperatives.'"

Ensweiler pointed to Bank Transfer Day and overall consumer discontent with big banks in the persistent down economy as key reasons that credit union membership soared in 2011.

"More people are coming to realize that credit unions are the better choice," said Ensweiler.

From September to November 2011, credit union membership in the United States grew by nearly 900,000 people, according to the CUNA Mutual Group.  In fact, membership during those months grew at some five times the average monthly gain and November provided the largest one-month membership gain since early 2003.  The surge brought total credit union membership up to an estimated 94.2 million, reflecting a gain of 1.6 million or 2.7 times the total gain in 2010, according to the CUNA Mutual Group.

"I believe these membership gains are just the beginning," said Ensweiler.  "Together we'll keep the momentum going in 2012 to educate and introduce even more Americans to the advantages of saving their money, getting their loans and building a better financial future at their local not-for-profit credit union."

About Texas Credit Union League

The Texas Credit Union League is the official trade association for credit unions within the State of Texas. The League represents, on a state and federal level, more than 500 credit unions state-wide, which are owned by over 7 million members (about one-third of the state's population). Organized in 1934, the Texas Credit Union League protects credit unions and promotes their growth, strength and unity. It accomplishes the mission through advocacy services, regulatory and compliance advice, training and event activities, marketing and public relations actions, and by delivering innovative, high value and profitable business solutions to the members.

Credit unions are not-for-profit, member-owned, volunteer-directed cooperatives that promote the financial and economic well being of all people, including those of modest means.  The National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund federally insures credit unions.  For more information, visit www.tcul.coop and www.asmarterchoice.org.   

Where you can find us:
Look for the Texas Credit Union League online at www.tcul.coop
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Look for the Texas Credit Union League on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TX_CU_League 
Look for the Texas Credit Union League on Blog Talk Radio at www.blogtalkradio.com/tcul

SOURCE Texas Credit Union League