Despite challenging economic times, more than 620,000 Mainers continue to celebrate the savings that come with being a Maine credit union member. A recently-released study, conducted by a highly-respected former state economist, on the economic impact and benefit that Maine’s Credit Unions provide to consumers found that, despite the significant economic challenges and rate environment, Maine consumers saved nearly $38 million by using a Maine credit union in 2011.

The study titled, “The Economic Impact on the Maine Economy and the Financial Benefits to Maine Consumers of the State’s Credit Unions,” was conducted by Chuck Lawton, Ph.D, of Planning Decisions. Lawton said that the total savings that credit unions provided to consumers were particularly impressive “in light of the enormous changes and circumstances that have taken place in the financial services sector and the economy since the financial crisis began in 2008.”

Maine Credit Union League President John Murphy said that the great efforts made to offer such savings in a challenging economy make credit unions an increasingly valuable option for Maine people. “The credit union philosophy of putting the interests of members first continues to highlight the difference between credit unions and other financial institutions. Credit unions are owned and governed by their members, so all members benefit from better rates and lower and fewer fees. That is a key and distinct difference of credit unions. As we saw in 2011’s Bank Transfer Day, now more than ever, consumers recognize and appreciate the value of using a credit union,” he said.

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