Hank Barrett: You have a choice when it comes to banking

January 16, 2014 

I read with great interest and a little humor the Our View article What meltdown? Big banks are back to business as usual (Opinions, Jan. 15). The article talks about fines levied, bailout money given... The general public needs to know that they have options apart from these “megabanks.” They’re called credit unions. Credit unions are financial cooperatives owned by their members. There are 378 credit unions in the state of California and they are chartered to serve the consumer, not generate revenue for the stockholders. Unlike days gone by where credit unions served single employers, credit unions generally now offer services to more consumers. During the crisis, credit unions received no “bailout” money and although we (credit unions) took some big financial hits because of the real estate crisis, our industry bailed ourselves out, paid for our own industry losses and are now seeing daylight from this crisis.

People do have a choice: keep supporting the super megabanks that continue to do what they do, or look at the option of moving their financial relationship to one of the many local credit unions that are here, supporting and working for their members in our own community. Rather than allowing the megabanks to reach into their pockets to support “record profits” and “gross mismanagement,” people could be a member-owner of their financial institution and enjoy the benefits that credit union membership provides.

Like everything else in life, there are choices.

HANK BARRETT, President / CEO

Valley First Credit Union

Modesto

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