Which one to choose between banks and Oregon credit union?

By: Dyana


Before the financial crisis in 2008 which led to multi-billion dollar bailout package for the big banks, the most popular option of keeping cash was in a bank account. This crisis had shaken the confidence of the customers to such an extent that a poll in 2013, i.e., even after 5 years of this crisis, found that as high as 74% of Americans had very little confidence on the Portland banks. As a result people started looking out for alternatives and more and more people started choosing Oregon credit union for meeting their banking requirements like keeping cash deposit, availing loans for car, homes or business, etc. Another statistic revealed that as of September 2016, over 1.08 million consumers used credit unions.

Let us look into few important similarities and differences between Portland banks and Oregon credit union which will make it easier for you to make a choice considering your requirements. Both banks and credit unions have lot in common and in fact they are so similar that for an observer it would be difficult to distinguish without looking at the signage of the institution. Both the institutions accept cash deposit, provide loans to the customers or members, issue credit and debit cards etc. Besides this, both offer the customers a wide array of financial products and services like insurance, investment options and also provide guidance and financial education to the customers or members.

The major difference between Portland banks and Oregon credit union is the way they run their business. The first distinction is that the basic objective of a bank is to generate profit from the operation and create wealth for the shareholders, while credit unions are not-for-profit organizations. The second difference is that banks are like any other big corporate where board of directors take major role in deciding the business strategy whereas in case of credit unions it is the members who manage the finds and run the operation. So, in case of banks, you are a customer who doesnít have any role in how the business is being run but in credit unions you are one of the owners who can take active participation in policy making.

Since Oregon credit union operates on not-for-profit business model, they can offer loans at lower interest rates while pay higher interest on cash deposits and savings when compared to Portland banks. This means savings on both the accounts for the members. As far as the accessibility is concerned, banks have more number of ATM and branches making it easier for their customers to access from any corner. On the other hand, credit unions are also connected to national ATM networks and reimburse any fees that may have been charged.

However, in case your business demands a lot of transactions to be made online then Portland banks would definitely be your obvious choice as most banks have great IT infrastructure and encourage customers to transact online that helps them to reduce their headcount and cost to service customers. Oregon credit union is yet to catch up on this front as they are more people centric in their approach and as the members themselves take care of managing fund, it doesnít add to the cost of operation.

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Many prefer Oregon credit union over Portland banks as they earn more on deposits and pay less interest on their loan repayment with credit unions.

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