Maine One Of The Leaders As Total Credit Union Membership In U.S. Tops 100 Million Member Milestone

August 5, 2014

The strong growth of credit union membership in Maine has contributed to the United States Credit Union System reaching a membership milestone today--total credit union membership in the U.S. now stands at 100 million members.  In the past six years, membership at Maine's credit unions has grown by more than 50,000 new members.

With the membership at U.S. credit unions having reached and surpassed 100 million memberships nationwide--one in every three Americans now belongs to a credit union.  In Maine, that number is even higher with 641,000 Mainers out of a total population of 1.3 million using a credit union, equating to nearly one in two Mainers belonging to a credit union.

The 100 million memberships count is based on data collected from credit unions and compiled by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in its June 2014 "Monthly Credit Union Estimates." CUNA estimates that credit union memberships expanded by 2.9% in the past 12 months, from June 2013 to June 2014, and the 100 million mark was eclipsed in June. This represents a continuation, and acceleration, of trends previously reported: In 2013 memberships expanded by 2.5% and in 2012 memberships grew 2.1%. CUNA expects the membership growth to continue in the second half of 2014 and exceed the full-year growth of the previous year.

Credit unions added a total of 2.85 million additional memberships over the past year--the largest reported increase in more than a quarter century. And, in percentage terms, the 2.9% increase was the fastest since 2000, according to the CUNA analysis.

John Murphy, President of the Maine Credit Union League, called the milestone indicative of the trend of "consumers looking for the best value for financial services.  In Maine, consumers save nearly $38 million annually by using a credit union through lower and fewer fees, better rates on loans and higher dividends on deposits.  That is a significant savings to the more than 641,000 Mainers that use a credit union.  Consumers also appreciate the cooperative structure of credit unions with every member being an owner of a credit union.  Credit unions put their member-owners first, while many other financial institutions focus on the interests of their stockholders and/or high depositors.  It's exciting to see the growing popularity of credit unions not only in Maine but nationwide, too.  The 100 million membership figure is a milestone we can all be proud of achieving."

"Clearly, there is growing recognition for credit unions among consumers," said CUNA President/CEO Bill Hampel. "They increasingly understand that a credit union places their interests above all else, particularly in returning financial benefits to consumer members in the forms of lower rates on loans, higher returns on savings, and lower and fewer fees." He added that, in 2013, those financial benefits totaled more than $6 billion.

Bill Hampel, Interim President of CUNA, said, "At least two key measurements of consumer attitudes have recently underscored the reputation that credit unions have built among their members. At year-end 2013, the American Customer Satisfaction Index found, for the fifth straight year, that credit unions lead banks in customer satisfaction--scoring 85 out of 100, compared to 78 for all banks. Credit unions have topped banks in each of the five years they credit unions have appeared on the index.  In 2013, the Chicago Booth Kellogg School Financial Trust Index showed that consumers trust credit unions more than banks. The index, sponsored jointly by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, showed trust in credit unions is 62% while trust in big banks is 28%."