Credit Union Membership Growth: Nearly Half Have Seen Gains Over Past Year


2011 was a tumultuous time for the banking industry. Many big banks ended free checking and raised service fees as a response to increased regulations. In November, outrage towards Bank of America’s proposed $5 monthly debit card fee prompted the creation of Bank Transfer Day, promoting credit unions as consumer-friendly alternatives to the big banks.

Since then, credit unions have been embracing the role as financial institution of the average consumer.  Some have initiated “Every Day is Bank Transfer Day” slogans for t-shirts and other marketing materials. Even so, many bank customers are hesitant to switch to a credit union because of the perceived complications involved in that process (changing direct deposits, closing old accounts, etc.). Has this pro-credit union buzz actually resulted in significant member growth over the past year?

Almost half of federally insured credit unions experienced growth since last year

NerdWallet analyzed data published by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and found that overall membership is up nationwide and in most states. On an individual basis, 49% of federally insured credit unions experienced an increase from June 2011 to June 2012 (most recently available data).

With the increases coming from less than half of the credit unions, we wondered which states have seen the largest bump. (full table available at the end of the post)

Continue Reading