LAKE BLUFF, Ill. — Credit unions will miss a huge opportunity to take business from big banks in 2011 if they eliminate free checking.

That's the position of Mike Moebs, who contends that 10 million to 15 million checking accounts will leave mega-financials this year and go to small regional banks, community banks, and credit unions. "By the end of 2011, I believe the big guys will lose 8% to 12% of their checking market share," the economist and CEO of Moebs $ervices told Credit Union Journal, noting the shift is already occurring. "We have seen the big banks' checking share fall 3% in the past year, or four-million checking accounts."

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