Millennials don’t trust banks – Are credit unions the answer?

Attracting and keeping millennial members is a big concern for many credit unions. No matter how well a particular credit union performs in that area, it could always be better – and some credit unions struggle to reach out to the younger generation. Some issues include the millennial emphasis on technological advancements, which some credit unions don’t have yet, and the culture gap many people perceive between boomers and millennials. Some credit union leaders despair of capturing millennial market share, but new research shows they may want to think again.

Millennial sentiment about big banks
The Millennial Disruption Index from Scratch/Viacom Media Networks found banking is at the biggest risk of disruption from millennial consumers – above tech, retail and household goods. Millennials don’t feel positively about banks, the study found – 53 percent said their banks offer nothing different from other banks. Remarkably, 71 percent would rather go to a dentist than listen to what banks say. This level of antipathy has a kernel of opportunity in it for credit unions, though. One in three millennials are open to switching banks in the next 90 days – and that’s where credit unions need to step in and show themselves to be a great option.

Millennials don’t see much of a difference between banks at all, and all four leading banks are among the top 10 least loved millennial brands. Credit unions have a shot at positioning themselves as the ideal option for millennials, particularly in opposition to what big banks offer in terms of services and reputation.

National Journal spoke to Jill Castilla, president and CEO of Citizens Bank of Edmond outside Oklahoma City. Castilla believes credit unions can gain millennial market share in a big way.


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