The $4.2 billion Bethpage FCU is offering new member checking accounts a guaranteed lifetime pledge that it will not charge debit, maintenance, minimum balance or foreign ATM fees.
The pledge announced this week follows the 190,000-member credit union’s introduction of a free checking option for members this summer. In February, Bethpage FCU launched a website named www.freecheckingforlongisland.com.
Bethpage said it was making the moves “following new regulations curbing bank’s long-established revenue streams … just as banks geared up to eliminate free checking for customers.”
New members using the Bethpage Bonus Checking account will get a “No Fee Guarantee” certificate good for the life of the account.
The Bethpage, N.Y., credit union said it has opened nearly 1,500 new checking accounts – double its customary pace – in the past three weeks after Bank of America announced its $5 debit fee.
The credit union also said it has seen a 17% increase in checking accounts for new member households since it began free checking in June 2010.
“We are seeing significant, fundamental changes taking place in the banking industry that are transforming the way people do their banking,” said Kirk Kordeleski, president and CEO at Bethpage FCU. “These changes, coupled with consumers overall discontent in the financial arena, are creating positive awareness about the advantages of banking at a credit union.”
Bethpage said it now has 24 branches and 60 shared service centers across Nassau and Suffolk counties.