The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Back To The Future

On August 11th, 2008, posted in: Uncategorized by

Let’s take a trip back in time…to the year 1996.  What was going on 12 years ago?  Well, according to MSN Money columnist, Liz Pulliam Weston, bank fees were a heck of a lot less than they are today.  In her article, “Bank Fees Are More Outrageous Than Ever,” she draws some parallels between then and now. Stop pays on checks used to cost $10, and now they typically run in the $30 range.  Cashier’s checks and money orders that used to cost $1 now cost $10 and up.  Seems obvious to me that banks aren’t what one would call “consumer friendly.”

St. Louis Community Credit Union remains “consumer friendly.”  As an example, the money orders that now cost ridiculous amounts in the banking world are either free or 49 cents at the Credit Union.  How is that possible?  Well, it’s pretty simple: because of a bank’s “for profit” status, they have to make a profit for their shareholders.  Charging consumers fees are a means to rake in the profit.  St. Louis Community Credit Union (on the other hand) is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that only exists to make our members’ lives better.  Pretty simple as to why our fees are less, don’t you think?

One more example is the cost of returned checks.  In 1996, the Credit Union’s cost for a check that attempted to clear a member’s account with insufficient funds was $15.  Today, 12 years later, the cost remains $15.  Folks make mistakes…why further penalize a member in need with a $35 fee?  Ouch!!!

Ironically, 1996 was designated as “The International Year For The Eradication Of Poverty.”  It was also the “Chinese New Year Of The Rat.”  I’m guessing St. Louis Community Credit Union took the ending of poverty very seriously…banks on the other hand apparently remain beholden to the rat.

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