NEW YORK — Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union, in addition to serving current members and signing up new ones, played host Saturday to a couple of European journalists covering Bank Transfer Day.
Member Service Representative Carlos Acosta said the $29 million low-income credit union welcomed two reporters working for French publications to discuss Lower East Side’s success in gaining new members and accounts.
“Media coverage all over has been great for us,” said Acosta. “We haven’t had to advertise at all. All the stuff on the news, like the ABC network, has really helped.”
Acosta said branch traffic Saturday had been typical; the credit union is open on Saturdays until 4 p.m. The real test has been all the inquiries over the past three weeks.
He said the 5,800-member credit union, appropriately located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, has added “a couple of hundred accounts” over that time.
“People are just fed up with all the fees,” Acosta said. And those people include Acosta himself. He said he just closed a Bank of America account because of a $15 a month usage fee. “That’s $180 a year. That’s a lot of money,” he said.
Acosta said the low fees at his credit union are not the only attraction. Lower East People’s also offers hot coffee and warm donuts. Just the thing on an unseasonably chilly November afternoon in the Big Apple.