Steadfast FinancesCredit Unions Begin an 'Anti-Too Big To Fail' Advertising Campaign

Credit Unions Begin ‘Anti-Too Big To Fail’ Advertising Campaign

Filed in Advertising , Banking , Financial Crisis 14 comments

I’ve been asking for months now: why haven’t credit unions and small regional banks created a nationwide “Anti-Too Big To Fail Bank” advertising campaign for the sole purpose of taking market share?

Why haven’t they capitalized on this incredible marketing opportunity to draw upon the public’s resentment for fat cat bankers to lure depositors (everyday customers like you and I) to retake market share they’ve lost to the big banks due, in large part, to the big bank “friendly” legislation enacted during the Clinton Administration (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994). After all, the 20 largest financial institutions only had 35% market share in 1990, but doubled to 70% market share by 2009.

The basic premise of this Anti-Too Big To Fail Bank campaign should be simple, and disclose only the facts:

  • Nearly causing a second Great Depression.
  • Costing millions of jobs boosting the unemployment rate to 10%.
  • Backing millions of risky sub-prime loans that led to the real estate bubble versus sticking to the 3-6-3 boring banker rule.
  • Requiring hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars in bailouts to prevent bankruptcy.
  • Taking millions in executive bonuses generated from investing capital taken from taxpayers.

I’m sure there are banks that have promoted this concept in non-mainstream media outlets and maybe in a business centric media environment (like CNBC), but thus far, I’ve only seen one credit union willing to promote this message to individual customers/consumers.

~ ~ ~

– Image of advertisement removed at the request of Mission SF Federal Credit Union –

~ ~ ~

This flyer is from Mission SF Federal Credit Union based in San Francisco, and kudos to them for finally saying what the rest of America should be thinking.

Remember, your business is your vote! By continuing to do business with unethical companies, you’re effectively telling management you agree with the way they are conducting business and that they should continue along their present course.

In this case of fighting back against the Too Big to Fail Banks, all you need to do is withdraw your money and bank with a small, community bank like this one.

If you know of a bank that is advertising a similar slogan, please list them in the comments section below.

Photo by guillaumelebleu

(Image is listed as All Rights Reserved, but prior consent was obtained from user prior to posting.)

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!
Posted by CJ   @   27 December 2009 14 comments
Tags : , ,


Dec 28, 2009
11:14 pm
#1 Tracy :

Here you go, Matt. You might like this:
Hope you had a good Christmas.

Dec 28, 2009
11:17 pm
#2 Matt SF :

Now that’s just good YouTube! :)

Got to love any website called Banker Spank! Sounds kinda dirty, but I’m cool with it.

Dec 29, 2009
11:28 am
#3 Evan :

I 1000% agree with you! That being said, I wonder if it has to do with that particular industry’s advertising norms.

You never really see ANY bank or credit union comparing their stuff to an another bank, rather they just compare to national averages.
.-= Evan´s last blog ..What to do with Unwanted or Semi Used Gift Cards =-.

Dec 29, 2009
11:38 pm
#4 Matt SF :

Great point, I’m not sure why they wouldn’t be pounding the table along these lines.

I can recall my first credit union placing an ad in local TV programs, but never pushed their rates versus Bank of America or Wachovia for-profit banks.

It’s a shame really… wish I knew the answer.

If you scroll up, the Flickr user who posted the image was kindly asked not to promote their advertisement, so I had to remove their flyer.

Really disappointing if you ask me because I thought it was extremely well written and struck a major nerve with folks like me.

Dec 30, 2009
2:18 pm

I agree that credit unions should have taken advantage of the tremendous opportunity banks presented them with the financial meltdown. Quite frankly, credit unions should have had a national awareness campaign years ago.

But there is a downside to bank bashing: If you tell people your industry (bankin) sucks long and loud enough, they’ll just lump all the players together. I wrote an article along these lines last August:

Dec 30, 2009
2:43 pm
#6 Matt SF :

Good stuff Jeffry, and I appreciate your comment because I wasn’t aware that the public would lump all bankers into one large pool.

I’ve always divided up the financial sector into: investment banks, big banks (too big to fail banks now), community banks and then credit unions. Perhaps it’s because I spend time analyzing the subject matter or watch too much CNBC, but now that I hear it phrased as you put it, it certainly sounds believable.

Dec 30, 2009
3:46 pm
#7 Jeffry Pilcher :

Yeah, I’m with you Matt. I look at the financial sector as something involving many various industry components: insurance, investments, commercial banking, investment banking, accounting, etc.

My online publication focuses on retail/consumer banking. From the financial consumer’s perspective, megabanks, regional banks, community banks and credit unions are all grouped together. To your point though, a large-scale campaign could help people understand the distinctions better.

Folks like you and me are industry insiders and sensitive to these differences. The common bloke? Not so much.

Dec 30, 2009
3:08 pm
#8 Sonya :

Have you seen this new campaign? Easy enough for ALL community financial institutions to promote.

MOVE YOUR MONEY “safely out of major banks and into small community institutions”

Dec 30, 2009
3:24 pm
#9 Matt SF :


I love it! I might use it in a post this week since it promotes the my same message of not doing business with those you find unethical, greedy or (potentially) corrupt.

Almost makes you want to send out emails to your family saying “move your money now!

Jan 21, 2010
9:23 pm
#10 Ariel :

The credit union I work at did a Banks Just Aren’t That Into You Campaign at the time that the similarly-named movie was popular. It did pretty well for acquiring new people. Believe it or not, many people still don’t know what a credit union is or if they can join. A national campaign would be great, but it can be difficult to raise the funds to collaborate on that level and compete with the dollars that the big banks can pour into advertising.

Jan 22, 2010
12:16 am

If all credit unions contributed 5% of their marketing budgets (or 0.01% of their assets) to a common marketing fund, the industry would have a $50 million annual ad budget.

For a credit union with $12 million in assets, that would equal a little more than $600. A credit union with assets around $4 billion would need to contribute about $200,000 — but remember, that’s only 5% of what should be a $4 million marketing budget for that credit union.

Jan 22, 2010
8:38 am
#12 Ariel :

Great point, thank you for the analysis. I guess the larger question is are the individual credit unions better off spending their advertising dollars locally and keeping their message about being local and/or should they also be spending more on increasing the overall industry awareness. It can be a hard concept to grasp that a local organization would be spending their dollars nationally, because its hard to see the direct results. But idealistically, it would do some good.

Jan 22, 2010
9:59 am

Whatever they’re doing today isn’t really working.

Trackbacks to this post.
Leave a Comment




Previous Post
Next Post