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BancVue Study: Awareness Hinders Consumers' Switch to CUs
Thursday, March 5, 2015 6:30 AM

If all things were equal, 66 percent of U.S. adults would rather bank at credit unions or community banks than one of the big national banks; yet only 23 percent of consumers who are not currently banking at a credit union or community said they are at least somewhat likely to switch in 2015, according to a new study.

The 2015 Consumer Banking Insights Study, commissioned by BancVue on behalf of nearly 300 community financial institutions (CFIs), found that a lack of products (11 percent) and awareness (11 percent) are two reasons consumers cite for not using a CFI as their primary institution. More than 1,000 U.S. adults were surveyed online.

According to the study, for 71 percent of U.S. adults, features such as free checking, ATM fee refunds, and access to the latest banking products are more important when it comes to choosing a financial institution. Fully 31 percent of megabank customers said they want to use a local credit union or community bank but feel that those institutions lack the products they need.

However, according to a recent survey by Bankrate.com, 72 percent of credit unions offer free checking, compared with only 38 percent of the largest banks in the United States.

Also, 97 percent of credit unions responding to CUNA's 2014 Technology Spending Survey offer online banking, and just over 40 percent of members who have checking accounts are signed up for online banking. Credit unions have been quick off the block in offering mobile banking with 60 percent of respondents offering the service.