Due to its financial strength and its commitment to its members to provide banking services at the lowest possible costs, 121 Financial Credit Union has eliminated its $5 monthly maintenance fee for member accounts, effective November 1, 2011, announced William Braddock, CEO of 121 Financial Credit Union.
“To our knowledge, we are now the only financial institution in the Northeast Florida market with absolutely no maintenance fee,” reported Braddock.
Sending a message that 121 Financial is a member/consumer advocate institution that is less concerned about generating profits than its banking competitors, particularly the big banks, 121 management is seeking ways to eliminate members’ banking expenses.
“Maintenance fees in financial institutions are generally charged on small dollar account relationships to “level the playing field” for those who use (or only qualify for) very limited services,” Braddock explained. “In other words, the Credit Union is unable to generate revenue on these accounts, so the fee was imposed as a matter of fairness to those who use more of the Credit Union’s services. For that reason, our maintenance fee was originally established nearly a decade ago.
“But in reviewing the current environment where institutions have been adding fees, such as $5 per month debit card fees, and then having to back down due to customer anger, we felt we needed to be proactive. Our goal is to always pass on savings to our members whenever and wherever possible,” Braddock said. “For example, we have never charged a fee on our debit card use. Our members are our “shareholders” and they reap the benefits. We answer to them not to stockholders who are just looking at the bottom line.”