Study: Maine's CUs Worth $40 Million To State's Residents During 2005

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A new study here claims that Maine's credit unions were worth $40 million to the state's consumers during 2005.

The study, "An Examination of the Financial Benefits of Credit Unions to Maine Consumers," was authored by Charles Lawton, an economist with Planning Decisions in South Portland and a former state economist, and commissioned by the Maine league. The three-month study arrived at the $40-million figure by calculating higher interest rates on savings ($8.0 million), lower interest rates on loans ($17.7 million), and lower fees ($14.2 million). "It is also important to note that another less obvious benefit created by Maine's credit unions, namely the competitive impact of their very existence. The cost to Maine consumers of not having credit unions would be far greater," said Lawton. Maine's credit unions hold 16% of total deposits of financial institutions in the state, double the national average.

The study also notes that Maine's credit unions provided close to 1,600 full time jobs, and over 350 part time jobs, paying over $63 million in payroll. These jobs and the incomes that they provided circulate through the Maine economy indirectly supporting an additional 4,200 jobs and an additional $120 million in income.

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