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L-R: Bill Hampel, Chief Economist for the Credit Union National Association; Linda White (second from right), CEO of United Health CU; and Chuck Papenfus (far right), CEO of Inland Valley FCU

updated 02/25/14 09:35 AM
Top Performance Lauded
Inland Valley FCU and United Health CU were both recognized today by the Credit Union National Association for ranking as two of the nation’s best credit unions under $75 million in assets in providing direct financial benefits to members, including low-interest-rate loans, higher-than-average deposit yields, and fewer or lower fees compared to banks.

During CUNA's general session of the 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington D.C., CUNA Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Bill Hampel recognized Inland Valley CEO Chuck Papenfus and United Health CEO Linda White on stage.

In 2013, Inland Valley CU’s benefit per member household was $208. United Health CU’s was $248. The other two asset-size categories recognized were $75-$250 million and $250 million and above.

“We were surprised—not because we don’t think we provide valuable cost effective services and rates, but more because the enormity of the award,” Papenfus said. “Our per-household savings translates to almost $750,000 in savings to our members and community in 2013.”

Inland Valley’s goal is to improve members’ finances in every way possible, he said. It’s “sobering” to think how people’s lives would be different if it weren’t for credit unions.

“The award helps us realize that our efforts are tracking with our goals and mission—but at the same time, it makes us realize we need to do more,” Papenfus said. “We need to think about strategies to not only reach more members of our community, but also members of our credit union who probably don’t realize how or where they can improve their financial health.”

White said her credit union is honored as well. For United Health, it’s the second consecutive year being recognized with this honor.

“We pride ourselves on offering our members products and services at costs that are affordable,” she said. “After all, we’re a not-for-profit cooperative. We might not be making as much as we could in revenue, but it’s the members we work for.”

United Health stays proactive in alerting members when they’ve “paid too much” in overdraft and nonsufficient-fund fees, White said.

“This award confirms why we do what we do,” she added. “We know we’re doing the right thing.”

Click here to view CUNA's 2014 California Benefits of Credit Union Membership report, which shows the collective benefit gained by members from all California credit unions.

Click here to access the national and state-by-state reports.

The reports compare credit union rates and fees with banks, and calculate how much members save by being at a credit union instead of a local bank.

CUNA presented awards to the top winning credit union within three asset groups (a total of nine awards), while the others were acknowledged.

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