Credit union members have long appreciated the lower fees that are just one of the many perks of credit union membership – a savings that totaled $10.5 million for Maine CU members in 2011, according to a recent survey. This is a “secret” that is officially out, thanks to the publicity generated by the Bank Transfer Day movement, which was sparked following Bank of America’s announcement of new fees.

In a survey of Maine credit unions, conducted by the Maine Credit Union League in the aftermath of ‘Bank Transfer Day’ when Bank of America announced its now-rescinded monthly fee on debit cards, most Maine credit unions reported growth in new members, additional deposits and significant increase in web visitors and inquiries from consumers seeking information about joining a credit union.

With close to two-thirds of Maine credit unions responding, the survey found nearly 85 percent had experienced growth in new member accounts above normal levels during that month. More than half of respondents reported double-digit growth, ranging from 12-55 percent.

“Every day is a good day to join a credit union,” Maine Credit Union League President John Murphy said. “More and more consumers are recognizing the value and benefits of using a credit union, especially when compared with other financial institutions. With fewer and lower fees and better rates on savings and loans, Maine’s Credit Unions are a great deal, and with a significant increase in awareness of the positive advantages of using a credit union, Maine credit unions are stronger and more valuable for Mainers now than ever.”

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