Sunday, October 4, 2009

Why I love my credit union

Years ago, while working my way though college I stumbled into a banking job. There were some perks to working for a “big bank”, like learning the ins and outs of the finance world. After 3 years I had worked my way up to the title of personal banker. I loved this position, at least at first. I felt like I was really helping people. After about 6 months a big ball of reality blind sided me. My job was not about helping, it was about selling. It was about selling whatever the trend product was at the time. I hit one of my lowest points when I was ordered to walk around a college campus targeting new students, enticing them with candy bars to fill out credit card applications. It felt ethically slimy. Shortly after that, I transferred to a different branch.

At my new branch my eyes were forced open even wider. I soon learned that the “big bank” not only held no regard for it’s customers but also cared very little for it’s employees. Our branch went through 3 robberies in a 6 month period. There were even shots fired at the last one. The “big banks” response was to put a 70 something year old unarmed guard in the building part time; and move us up from number 8 to number 6 on the “at risk” list. That’s when I quit

The last robbery had left me needing about 6 months of intense therapy and a fun little title of PTSD. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason… My husband thought that he needed to get me out of the house at least once a week, so we started bowling (I even have my own shoes). We soon made friends with a family that would meet up every Saturday for some bowling in the dark. That’s where I met Bobbie. Bobbie told me all about this fabulous credit union that she worked for and insisted that I would love working for them too.

I knew from the start that I had wasted so much time at the “big bank”. Verity was about their members first. While still making sound business decisions we were never ordered to push any one product, but trusted to find the members need and help them with it. The members loved us too. I’ll never forget, one of my favorites, she hand knit me a baby blanket when she found out that I was pregnant. I’ve used it for all three kids. After working in such a hostile environment for so long, the change to Verity was like coming home.

I know that my story is a little dramatic, however, I have heard similar stories time and time again. People getting fed up with poor customer service and then finding refuge in their credit union. So I ask why? Why wouldn’t you use a credit union over a “big bank”? For the most part they have better rates, they are just as safe, they are totally accessible (with shared branching), and most importantly, they are all about you.

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