WASHINGTON-Columnist Marshall Loeb, former editor of Fortune, Money, and The Columbia Journalism Review, recently focused his efforts on highlighting the credit union difference in his July 1 column for CBS.MarketWatch.com. Not only does he inform consumers that better deals are available at credit unions, but he adds that credit unions' market share is rapidly expanding. Loeb pointed out that credit union assets grew by 14.5% to $500 billion in 2001, while bank assets rose just 5.3% to $6.6 trillion. "True, credit unions are much smaller, but they are clearly taking market share away. This is driving the bankers bonkers," he wrote. Of course he noted the bankers' argument that credit unions can afford to offer such deals since they enjoy a "tax subsidy" and that they are expanding beyond their original mission. Loeb also points out that nearly everyone in the U.S. is eligible to join a credit union and recommends calling CUNA to discover where one can join. The column concludes, "In the lively competition between them there is bound to be one winner: The consumer."

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