Credit unions growing, adding customers
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ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- Credit unions continue to surge as more and more people move away from use of traditional banks. The economic downturn and tight credit policies of many major chain banks have led to increased business for the credit unions.
Empower Federal Credit Union has opened a new branch in the Fairmount area to meet demands of what it says is a ballooning base of customers. Empower has added some 50,000 members in the past five years.
Empower’s President and CEO says without the problem of "bad loans" plaguing the major banks, credit unions have been more welcoming to consumers.
“We opened up our lending and we've been approving, probably for the last four or five years, over 90 percent of our loans. So, we saw this as an opportunity to help the community. Help people in need. And the community has responded,” said John Wakefield, Empower Federal Credit Union President & CEO.
Empower now claims 110,000 members in the region, and assets have now topped $1 billion.