Customer service, fair prices motivated 1.3 million Americans to open accounts with credit unions last year.
Consumers frustrated with the service and rates of the major banks in the U.S. have helped propel the number of people with accounts at credit unions to a record high. Some 1.3 million customers opened accounts at credit unions in 2011, bringing the total number to 91.8 million, or about one in every 3.5 Americans. Credit unions have become an increasingly attractive option compared to banks, due to many of them having roots in the communities they serve, fewer fees, cheaper and more accessible services, and the whole not-extorting-billions-out-of-U.S.-taxpayers thing. The growth in new customers also pushed the more than 7,000 credit unions’ collective assets to $961 billion, a five-per-cent increase over the year before.