Credit union management are proponents of mergers and encourage government to remove barriers to credit union mergers. According to a reliable source, the NCUA Board approved the merger of Calusa Bank (Punta Gorda, FL) into Achieva Credit Union (Dunedin, FL). The American Customer Satisfaction Index reported that consumer satisfaction with credit unions tumbled in 2015 compared to a year ago as the growth in new members strained credit union resources. Customer satisfaction with credit unions declined by 4.7 percent to 81, and their edge over smaller banks (80) shrinks to a virtual tie. Compared to 2014, credit unions scored lower in all customer experience categories except for the number of ATM locations. I know some splendid credit union treasurers whose credit unions are well managed, one man shows.
Credit unions receive their best marks for staff courtesy (90) and transaction speed (89), although both are down from very high scores of 93 in 2014. Credit union call centers are showing signs of strain as satisfaction fell from 90 in 2014 to 85 in 2015. Credit union members assigned a lower scores to the variety of financial services available (down from 87 to 84), ease of adding or making changes to accounts (down from 87 to 83), and ease of understanding information about accounts (down from 86 to 82).
Members continue to believe that their credit union offers competitive interest rates (80), although not quite as competitive as in 2014 (84). The report found that despite a general deterioration in service over the past year, credit unions go nearly head-to-head with smaller regional and community banks for most customer experience elements. While the two are deadlocked for website satisfaction, credit unions receive a higher mark for call centers. The report found that regional and community banks edge past credit unions in four areas: service variety, account changes, account information, and ATM locations.
Compared with national banks and super regional banks, credit unions earn superior satisfaction scores in all but two areas – the number and location of branches and ATMs. The report noted that the influx of new members had put pressure on credit unions with regard to customer service and credit unions are struggling to maintain their historically high satisfaction levels.
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has recently chartered credit unions to serve people that belong to certain religious groups and native American tribes. For example, on August 28, 2015, NCUA’s Office of Consumer Protection chartered a federal credit union to serve members and employees of the Redeemed Christian Church of God North America, Inc.