Costly account leads to big change

Free checking is in the “coffin,” according to one new report, which has found a rapid acceleration in the number of credit unions eliminating their free checking offerings.

A new report from Moebs $ervices indicates there has been a 59.2% decline in free checking offered by credit unions so far in 2019 (see chart). As a result, the percentage of credit unions offers free checking—a long-time point of pride by the CU community–is now almost exactly the same as banks, with the study finding just 20% of CUs now offer free checking, compared to 19.4% of banks.

“At the end of 2018, 49% of all credit unions still offered free checking, and 74.9% did in 2017,” shared Michael Moebs, economist and CEO of Moebs $ervices. “Now, only 20% of credit unions nationwide offer this once-dominant service. Credit unions led the free checking surge starting in 2001, and now CUs are dramatically dropping the service.”


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