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Credit unions deal in a world of numbers every day; not so much for the writer. However, I was struck by the vast quantities of figures coming at me in recent weeks, so I’ve decided to take a look at statistics for this week’s column (No. 120).

Half. That’s the fraction of bank customers who told ath Power Consulting that they were highly satisfied or likely to recommend their bank. That figure’s atrocious and something credit unions can really capitalize on. Nearly half, 45%, of those surveyed by ath said personal relationships and service are the most important factor. If that’s true then why do credit unions-which claim to have the best customer service-only control about 6% of the financial services marketplace? First, banks can also give good customer service; credit unions don’t have a lock on it. Second, the banks’ figure was dragged down by the largest banks, which came to less than a third of that total. And, finally, what people say is often very different from what they do, whether out of laziness, cost-consciousness or lack of education. Credit unions can only control one of these factors and that’s education. The general public is still not aware of the services credit unions provide. A solid national awareness campaign is necessary.

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