Credit unions are owned by our members, not stakeholders. Each person who deposits money in a credit union becomes a member and their deposit is considered their ownership share.
Here are a few comparisons:
Typically, membership eligibility is based on location, employer or other commonality. Where as banks serve anyone in the general public.
Credit unions are democratically run financial cooperatives. Our board of directors volunteer their time and they're elected by and from the membership. Each member has one vote in electing board members. Where as bank customers have no voice in how their financial institution operates.
Credit unions are also not-for-profit. This means that after expenses are paid and reserves are set aside, surplus earnings are returned to members in the forms of higher dividends, lower loan rates and free or low-cost services. Banks are owned by a group of investors who expect a specific return on their investments.
Credit unions are part of a worldwide support network that includes credit unions, a national trade association (CUNA), and a worldwide credit union organization (WOCCU). They share ideas, information and resources.
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