Credit union membership growth in region mixed

Credit unions have surpassed 100 million memberships nationwide, according to data collected by the Credit Union National Association and released Tuesday by the Mountain West Credit Union Association.

The national association estimates that credit union memberships expanded by 2.9 percent during the 12-month period from June 2013 to June 2014, and the 100 million mark was eclipsed in June.

But membership growth of credit unions is mixed in the four counties that make up the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado, according to the most recent statistics maintained by the Mountain West association that represent the period from March 2013 to March 2014.

Membership at credit unions in Boulder and Broomfield counties increased, while it decreased slightly at credit unions in Larimer and Weld counties. Boulder – 166,483 to 173,805; Broomfield – 11,447 to 11,906; Larimer – 1,822 to 1,815; and Weld – 9,895 to 9,667.

Credit unions added 2.85 million memberships over the past year – the largest reported increase in more than a quarter century. And, in percentage terms, the 2.5 percent increase was the fastest since 2000, according to the national association’s analysis.

“Surpassing the 100 million member mark is a significant milestone for credit unions across the nation,” said Scott Earl, president and chief executive of the Mountain West Credit Union Association.

Bill Hampel, president and CEO of the national association, asserted that as cooperatives, credit unions are owned by their members and exist to provide financial services to those members. Banks, Hampel said, are owned by shareholders and exist to return profits to those shareholders.

At year-end 2013, the American Customer Satisfaction Index found, for the fifth straight year, which is every year that credit unions have appeared on the index, that credit unions lead banks in customer satisfaction, scoring 85 out of 100, compared to 78 for all banks, according to the report.

The report said that in 2013, the Chicago Booth Kellogg School Financial Trust Index showed that consumers trust credit unions more than banks. The index, which is sponsored jointly by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, showed trust in credit unions is 62 percent while trust in big banks is 28 percent.


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