In response to the recent opinion piece written by the CEO of Rise Economy and published in the CU Times, "Community-Focused Credit Unions Should Have Dumped Junk Fees Long Ago," it is crucial to provide a contextual perspective on credit unions' valuable contributions toward fostering financial inclusion in our communities.
While the article points out concerns about consumer fees within the credit union arena, it fails to recognize that credit unions, particularly Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), have long been champions of consumer-friendly practices and community-focused initiatives.
As a CDFI, Tucoemas is a testament to the industry's commitment to responsibly serving members' financial needs. Over the last five years, Tucoemas has paid out over $500k in financial education incentives, refunded $150k in foreign ATM fees, helped members reduce debt by more than $300k, eliminated overdraft fees, and provided over $6M in attainable capital through grant funding. These efforts are in addition to the unique member-focused services credit unions offer nationwide and are commonplace among CDFIs in the credit union industry.
Additionally, Tucoemas offers the Rise Checking account, showcasing credit unions' dedication to transparent and accessible financial products. This account charges zero overdraft fees and zero insufficient funds fees and emphasizes credit unions' commitment to creating diverse and inclusive financial products.
The article focuses on data that can overshadow the remarkable efforts of credit unions nationwide. Credit unions have consistently committed to people-centric banking, differentiating themselves from traditional banks by emphasizing community engagement and equitable financial practices.
Tucoemas and credit unions nationwide remain dedicated to promoting financial well-being, offering transparent products, and actively contributing to community prosperity. We encourage an inclusive dialogue that recognizes the collective efforts of credit unions, reinforcing their role as powerful agents of positive change in the financial landscape. Together, we can continue to empower communities and foster a more equitable and accessible financial future for all.