Consumer Use of Banks and Credit Unions

Findings from a Survey for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues

by Jinkook Lee, Teryn Mattox, Kyoung-Nan Kwon, Arie Kapteyn, Tania Gutsche

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In the current financial climate, it is increasingly important that the public be made aware of the availability of credit unions, which are cooperatively owned and not-for-profit financial institutions that generally offer competitive prices for financial products. The authors conducted a nationally representative Internet survey to address issues related to consumers' perceptions of credit unions and financial institutions and to help credit unions understand consumer behavior. They found that consumer selection of financial service providers is based primarily on convenience of branches, convenience of ATMs, and bank fees. Bank users are more focused on convenience; credit union users are more interested in fees. A lack of understanding about credit unions is the primary barrier for new members.

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The research described in this report was sponsored by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and was conducted by RAND Labor and Population

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