ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- First American Credit Union, a part of First Community Federal Credit Union, experienced a 60% increase in new members in October 2011 as compared to October 2010. Additionally, total membership growth in all regions of First American Credit Union and First Community Federal Credit Union experienced an overall 14% increase in new members and a 15% increase in new member deposits during the same time period. First American is excited about this growth and is well prepared to welcome additional new members within area communities as growing sentiment surrounds consumer interest in moving their financial relationships to local credit unions.
Of note, November 5, 2011 is being dubbed ‘National Bank Transfer Day’. Bank Transfer Day is the idea of 27-year-old Kristen Christian of California who became fed up after Bank of America announced its plans to introduce a $5 a month debit fee. As reported by Credit Union National Association (CUNA), so far nearly 60,000 people have signed up for this “event” on the Bank Transfer Day Facebook page, and more than 330,000 have been invited by their friends to sign up.
First American Credit Union’s preparation approach is to use this day to welcome and educate its new members on the business model of credit unions as a not-for-profit financial cooperative, “Credit unions are designed to pass back earnings to its member-owners in the form of lower loan rates, better rates on deposit and reduced transaction service charges,” indicated Cheryl A. DeBoer, President & CEO. “We are organized to meet the needs of our members, who govern the institution by electing from within the membership a volunteer board of directors who oversee the management of the credit union,” further said DeBoer.
The savings of belonging to a credit union have growing impact on families as economic trending is showing additional focus on savings. Consumers saved $6.3 billion in the 12 months ending June 2011 in lower fees and better rates by using credit unions rather than banks, according to CUNA’s “Benefits of Membership” study, updated quarterly.
First American is additionally responding to consumer discontent with new large bank fees with its introduction of a campaign directly tied to giving back based on debit card usage. “This member give back program tied to our MasterCard Check Card (debit card) is another example of how we connect with our members to offer a better financial solution, and to contribute to their financial health”, said DeBoer.
During the months of November, December and January, First American Credit Union and First Community Federal Credit Union plan to pay members up to $5.00 each month based on their aggregate debit card transactions. Additionally, there will be twelve (12) randomly selected winners of $500 based on weekly transactions as well as one promotional grand prize winner of $5,000. This give back effort is estimated to provide in excess of $200,000 back to member-owners of the credit union.
First American recently acknowledged a loan transfer campaign that offered the opportunity to cut its members’ interest rates in half on transferred loans from other financial institutions. When calculating the interest saved on future loan interest payments, the amount exceeded $4 Million. “Giving back to our members is what we do as a standard business practice,” said DeBoer.
To be a member of a credit union, a person must meet eligibility requirements (called a “field of membership”). A governing field of membership may be related to employer groups, associations, or geographical areas. First American’s field of membership is community based locally, encompassing the counties of Rock, Green and Walworth in Wisconsin, Winnebago county in Illinois, and other regionally defined field of membership eligibility in Michigan.
First American Credit Union is a part of First Community Federal Credit Union which currently serves over 78,500 members, with assets of $650 Million and operates with sixteen (16) regional branch offices within Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. First Community FCU is headquartered in Parchment, MI; not affiliated with FCCU in Beloit, WI. For more information, visit www.firstamericancu.com.