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CUs Members Still Less Affluent Than BankCustomers

MADISON, Wis. - (05/18/04) -- A new study by the Filene ResearchInstitute reinforces public perceptions by concluding that moreaffluent households are more likely to use banks than credit unionsfor their financial services. The study, 'Who Uses Credit Unions?'finds that households using banks but not credit unions are moreaffluent in terms of income, financial wealth and total wealth. Thestudy found that households that use credit unions only have amedian income of $34,948; households that use banks only have ahousehold income of $37,004. Households that primarily use creditunions had a median income of $52,423, vs. $60,646 for householdsthat primarily use banks. Release of the study comes as bankers arearguing that credit unions are losing their focus on low- andmoderate-income households and have shifted more towards servingthe affluent. The study also found that young people, those under35, have the highest percentage of households using only a creditunion; while the elderly, those 65 and older, have the highestpercentage using just a bank. Also, African-American households aremore likely to use a credit union than any other ethnicgroup.

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