The Wisconsin Bankers Association has submitted the following letter to the editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in response to a recent article it published, syndicated from NerdWallet, titled “As rates rise, consider saving at a credit union.”
Banks Offer Consumers Opportunities to Grow Savings and Meet Financial Goals
By Rose Oswald Poels, Wisconsin Bankers Association President and CEO
An article published on March 8 encouraged readers to consider saving at a credit union as the Federal Reserve continues to increase interest rates, however the article failed to recognize key points that are important for consumers to bear in mind when choosing a financial institution.
Both banks and credit unions are impacted by rising interest rates. Depending on the product or service, a bank may offer a better rate or may have wider offerings to better meet the consumer’s needs. It is untrue to generalize that credit unions offer better rates than banks.
Unlike credit unions, banks pay income taxes that support social services, emergency responders, schools, and other public services. In fact, the average American family pays more in federal taxes than the entire $2 trillion credit union industry. Banks also give back to their local communities; according to 2020/2021 survey data from the American Bankers Association, Wisconsin banks volunteered approximately 562,900 hours of service and made approximately $59,700,000 in community donations.
Wisconsin has many diverse financial institutions to choose from, and it is in every consumer’s best interest to shop around for their saving and borrowing needs — including at banks.