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By Alliant Credit Union
December marked the sixth anniversary of the Federal Reserve lowering the target short-term interest rate to below .25%. This unprecedented period of low rates has punished savers.
Fortunately for our members, in October Alliant increased our savings dividend Annual Percentage Yield (APY) to .80% APY1, bucking the seven-year, market-wide decline in deposit yields. Alliant’s savings rate is now 10 times the bank average and among the highest in the country.2 Alliant’s high yield checking3 rate also stands out among unrestricted free checking accounts. In November we instituted ATM rebates, adding even more value to membership. In addition to 80,000 Alliant-preferred surcharge-free ATMs, Alliant checking accountholders can now use any ATM, and if charged a fee, Alliant will rebate up to $20 of ATM fees per month.4
While savers have suffered under the Federal Reserve policy, borrowers have been the beneficiaries of low rates. And Alliant’s lending rates are also consistently below market. We originated a record amount in new loans during 2014. Final December numbers are not yet available, but we’ll post an update as soon as we have them.
I recognize that some members were unhappy with our decision to impose a fee to recover the cost of printing and mailing paper account statements. While the fee raises costs slightly for some members, we believe that it is consistent with Alliant’s cooperative mission and in the best interest of the collective membership. Alliant’s high return to members depends on maintaining low operating expenses, and over half of Alliant’s members have already adopted the more economical free eStatement option. Even with the paper statement charge, Alliant’s fees are well below those of most banks and credit unions.
Also during 2014, Alliant remained in the top 10% of credit unions in member giveback.5 As Alliant Credit Union begins its 80th year, we are as committed as ever to providing our members superior value along with 24/7 member service and account access.
We look forward to 2015 and continuing to make membership rewarding by acting in our members’ best interest.
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