Banks are doing whatever they can to increase bank revenue, even at the expense of their customers. The Bank of America (BAC) wanted to charge customers an additional $5 debit card fee. Imagine, banks charging customers to access their money, via purchases or automatic teller machine (ATM) interface. After all, deposited funds belong to the account holders, the customers. The overwhelming BAC customer outcry forced the bank to cancel its plans to charge the additional $5 fee.
As U. S. consumers, we have plenty of choices. Another alternative points to credit unions. Lower fees exist at the credit unions, allowing consumers to open and maintain accounts with less financial burden. In addition, credit unions tend to accommodate the local community; therefore, building business and long-lasting relationships.
Credit unions are cooperatives and not-for-profit entities; thereby, providing maximum profits. The credit unions return profits to the members, who are owners, with larger savings rates and lower loan rates than banks. In contrast, banks, profit-generating entities, exist to return profits to the stockholders; however, loan rates tend to be much higher than credit unions. For banks, it is imperative to generate profits and return dividends to the stockholders.
In the current challenging economic climate, with an unemployment rate of 8.1% (April, 2012), consumers exhibit more concern about spending money wisely, and determine the appropriate financial decisions that will benefit their basic needs.