Credit unions in Maine experienced increases in assets, savings, lending and membership during the first six months of 2011, according to the Maine Credit Union League.

The industry group said credit unions’ assets increased $5.56 billion, or 3 percent, real estate loans jumped 5.1 percent and savings grew 2.7 percent. Credit unions added 4,388 customers in the first half of 2011, a 0.7 percent gain.

Maine Credit Union League President John Murphy said credit unions are flourishing partly because they offer many fee-free products and services, such as debit cards, checking accounts and ATM access.
Major banks have recently added fees; Bank of America announced a $5 monthly fee on debit cards starting next year.

“Consumers continue to seek value in financial services, especially as economic challenges remain for many Mainers,” said Murphy. “Maine credit unions are well-positioned to provide value and benefits that consumers seek. We expect this trend to continue, as other financial institutions introduce new fees and increase existing ones.”

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