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Credit Unions Well Ahead of Banks in Consumer Trust

WASHINGTON (1/28/10)–Credit unions have a higher approval rating on trust than banks, according to the latest Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index (The Wall Street Journal Jan. 28).

Credit unions had a 58% approval rating, compared with a 31% approval rating of national banks and 53% of local banks. Banks in which the government has a stake were trusted the least, with a 21% approval rating, the report said.

The study was based on phone surveys to consumers in the U.S. Data was collected in late December by the University of Chicago and Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

“The Trust Index reveals that what has made credit unions successful–service to members, transparency in operation, a real feeling of ‘ownership’ in the institution–are values that are honored by the American public,” said Credit Union National Association President/CEO Dan Mica. “The fact is, credit unions did not start the fire leading to the financial meltdown–but they can play a significant role in helping Americans recover from it.”

Paola Sapienza, one of the study’s authors, noted that trust in credit unions and community banks is much higher than in national banks, “consistent with academic evidence that local [institutions] have more transparency, fewer hidden fees and better customer service compared to national banks.”



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