Canadian CUs Seek To Capitalize On Consumer Disillusionment With Banks

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Credit unions here are trying to capitalize on consumers' growing disappointment with their banks by promoting credit unions as a more consumer-friendly option for financial services.

Originally launched back in August, the Credit Union Central of Alberta has put together a "tool kit" of marketing creative for print, radio, television and outdoor advertising outlets that can be customized by each of Alberta's 69 CUs.

Credit Union Central of Alberta said the "Switch" campaign is part of its overall effort to increase credit union membership in the province to 1 million by 2010.

With its theme of better, more personalized service at credit unions compared with the mergers of increasingly big, "impersonal" banks and trust companies, the campaign is designed to leverage a growing sense of "disenchantment" among bank customers.

The credit unions in Alberta currently serve about 650,000 members and have a combined $8 billion in assets.

The "Switch" campaign is being billed as the first time all 69 of the province's credit unions have worked together on such a province-wide campaign, however Credit Union Central of Alberta couldn't point to hard numbers showing how many of those credit unions have actively participated in the program. A survey to track and monitor the program is currently underway.

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