You are if you bank with Bank of America, Well Fargo, HSBC, UBS, or any of the other 9 “too big to fail banks” on this list: https://www.corp-research.org/corporaterapsheets. Enter “crimes of [your bank’s name]” into an Internet search engine and see what pops up. Whoa! Then try it with a credit union. Nothing interesting there. Maybe that is because the few crimes that are committed at credit unions are actually met with punishment. When did you last hear of a big-time bankster going to jail?

Feel better about yourself – and save money – by taking the time and attention required to move your banking activities to a locally-owned and operated credit union. I switched from Wells Fargo to Technology Credit Union many years ago, and now I get similar or better service, and fees that are reasonable both in frequency and cost. That’s because credit unions are not-for-profit. Rather than answering to outside shareholders seeking high returns on their investments, credit unions answer to their member owners (generally known as customers). That means net earnings aren’t paid to shareholders as dividends; they are reinvested in the credit union and often applied in the form of lower loan rates, higher savings rates, and reduced fees. 

When I want to use an ATM, I go to the Town Center and use 1 of the 3 credit union ATMs located there (Patelco, Keypoint, and CommonWealth). Although most credit unions operate locally or regionally, the spirit of cooperation is a common theme among credit unions. Unlike banks, many credit unions share ATMs and branches giving you access to thousands of free ATMs operated by credit unions across the country where you can conduct most transactions with no fees or hassles. 

When, not if, the big banks fail again, your money will be in safer hands in a credit union. Find a list of options available to you here: https://culookup.com/

Rob Means
Rob Means is a 40-year resident and community activist working to reduce CO2 emissions by electrifying transportation.

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