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While banks and credit unions offer the same financial products and services, the purpose of these financial institutions could not be any more different.
Banks are for-profit businesses with the objective of making profit - usually at the customers’ expense.
The profits then go to the shareholders who own the bank.
Major decisions are made by the board of directors who are appointed by shareholders.
They are usually paid to serve and are not required to be customers of the bank.
Credit Unions are not-for-profit cooperatives which return profits to members in the form of lower fees, lower interest rates on loans, and higher returns on savings.
Credit unions have volunteer boards of directors who are credit union members elected by other members.
This gives everyone a voice on the direction of the organization.
Credit unions are locally based, consistently rated higher than banks in customer service and are very involved in local communities.
Founded on the "People Helping People" philosophy, credit unions are here to save people money.