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Nussle on Bloomberg, Addresses Misunderstandings about CUs
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 6:40 AM

Credit Union National Association President/CEO Jim Nussle appeared on "Bloomberg Surveillance" Friday, during which he cleared up some common misconceptions about credit unions.

Nussle explained why the cooperative model is best suited to meet the financial needs of the underserved. "What we do may look like a bank, but how we do it and who we do it for are completely different than a bank model," he said. "How we do it is not-for-profit. All the banks are for-profit." model itself that lends itself to serving members.

"It's not about how big they are, it's who they serve and how they do it," he said. "But size and scale can really help you support underserved populations and go into areas with a branch (where) maybe you couldn't go before."

Nussle pointed to several examples of how the cooperative model better serves consumers, including the largest ATM network in the entire country. "So if you join one credit union," he said, "you can likely get free ATM services across the country from a 30,000-ATM network, which is much different than if one had to do it one-by-one."

Nussle discussed "banking deserts" with co-anchor Brendan Greeley, and said almost every one of those populations could be served by a credit union. He referenced CUNA's aSmarterChoice.org resource for consumers interested in finding a credit union to join.

"If you're someone out there on the street who has not had a checking account or a credit card, go in, because our model is different," Nussle said. "We don't just open a checking account, we sit down with you. Let's talk about your first budget, let's talk about how your finances work, let's get you out of debt, let's raise your FICO score. How can we get you in a better situation?"