Bank vs. credit union marketing: Is there a difference?

Ask any credit union customer service rep why you should do business with their institution and not with the local community bank, and they’ll give you several compelling reasons.

For one thing, they’ll say, their owners are the people who do business with them. Thus, their customers are “members” who enjoy basic banking deposit services and loans at more competitive rates. As owners, their members enjoy greater rewards than community bank customers do.

They’ll point out that credit unions are not-for-profit, unlike community banks, which exist (like any business) to maximize profits for shareholders. Banks earn profits made by charging higher fees and paying less interest on deposit accounts.

A community bank customer service rep will counter by mentioning the community bank’s broader range of deposit and loan products, including loans to support local businesses. “Convenience” is a big word: more branches, more ATMs, more services.

Banks and credit unions have been sniping at and competing with one another since the days I watched the “Mickey Mouse Club” (on a black and white TV) from my playpen. They don’t like each other, credit unions and community banks. Period.

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