The Consumer Federation of America and the Credit Union National Association issued a report Tuesday that claimed consumers could earn up to $20 billion more in interest annually by switching from traditional savings or money market accounts to certificates of deposit and by banking with a credit union.

The report said the difference in interest that banks pay on money market accounts and short-term certificates of deposit grew to 2% in January, double the 1993 gap.

The report said credit unions, on average, pay 1% more than banks on checking, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit, according to the report.

The American Bankers Association responded to the report, but did not challenge its numbers.

"The survey offers consumers a distorted glimpse of reality," the ABA said. "The trust is that national surveys won't tell you what the best deal in your town is.

"Banks generally offer lower mortgage interest rates than credit unions and banks increasingly offer high interest, money management accounts as ways for consumers to maximize interest rates while maintaining liquidity," the ABA said.

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