New Bank Fees Driving Americans to Credit Unions

With America’s big banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup implementing new fees and raising minimum balances for account holders to avoid fees, cash-strapped consumers are turning to credit unions in droves to save money. Over the weekend, 3,200 new accounts were opened at the Navy Federal Credit Union, easily setting a new record at the world’s largest such institution.

As major Wall Street banks have taken hit after hit over the last few years, membership in credit unions has been steadily increasing. Since 2007, credit union membership has gone from 86.8 million to 91 million, and the rate of growth is only increasing. Total credit union assets during that time have increased from $755 billion to more than $942.5 billion.

The popularity of credit unions is partially due to the stained reputation of major Wall Street banking firms, but also because credit unions are designed to cater to the needs of the local communities in which they’re located, providing more personalized service along with more inexpensive banking fees.