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Why You Need to Switch Banks Now - Part II
Breaking Up with a Big Bank is Good for You
January, 2010 - Issue #63
"I'm so mad," announced my sister Becky at a recent family gathering. "I used to bank at Washington Mutual. Then they went belly up or merged or... something. Anyway, my account was taken over by Chase, and I guess their ATM policies are different. I ended up stuck the other day without cash, even though there's money in my account."

Her frustration is all too common. Few of us understand the intricacies of the recent big bank bailouts, busts and mergers. What we do know is that we feel like we got the raw end of the deal.

Which is why I told my sister to take her business to a local bank, and why - even if your ATM card works fine - I'm telling you the same thing.

You Need a Bank that's Growing
"Many people have a real discomfort with the recent bank mergers and failings. They want to see that a bank is stable and growing. We've been a part of this community for 12 years and we invite anyone to come in and look at our financials. Check out our annual report. When looking at a bank, you should get an idea if it's lending and making money. Check to see if the bank is growing in deposits and loans. That's the best indicator that it's growing well. We're growing, not going!," says Kris Hough, vice president/regional manager of SCVBank.

Small Businesses Need a Financial Partner
"We ask [our clients] to spend some time with us, so that we understand their business and their challenges. We encourage them to have us at the table as they try to meet challenges and grow. Tax and legal professionals are necessary, and we're the other component. We go out and we do walk throughs with clients. We offer a two-day intense class about cash flow management. It's about a lot more than making a loan or processing checks. We provide the knowledge and resources to make better financial decisions," informs Tamara Gurney, president and CEO of Mission Valley Bank.

Why You Can - and Should - Join a Credit Union
If you're tired of the way Big Banks have been managing their - and your - (tax) money, maybe you should switch to a place that treats you like an owner. Because at a credit union, that's exactly what you are!

Credit unions don't answer to stockholders because they don't have any. Instead, members run the show by electing the board of directors and weighing in on product options and enhancements.

Plus, all earnings are reinvested right back into the business versus lining stockholder pockets. "This cooperative structure allows us to offer better rates, customer service and product enhancements to our members," says James Davis, a sales manager for Lockheed Federal Credit Union. Case in point: LFCU is offering auto loans at 4.24 percent APR*, with even better rates available to qualified members.

For a one-time membership fee of $5, you can be a part of a five-star financial institution that's never lost a dime in 72 years of business. Members enjoy unlimited free transactions at 28,000 ATMs (many in 7-Eleven stores!); free checking with e-Statements, federally-insured savings, free online and mobile phone banking and exceptional rates for auto and home loans.

By supporting credit unions like Lockheed, you give a boost to our community. LFCU has provided more than $26,000 to the SCV Senior Center (employees even painted a hallway and contracted a professional artist to paint a mural on site); proudly sponsors Santa Clarita's Festival of the Arts and high school Student of the Month program, provides free instruction on financial literacy and job market skills to SCV youth, and much more.

The credit union even pays its employees to volunteer locally, which may explain why LFCU was ranked one of "California's Best Place to Work."

"We're one of the best-kept secrets in Santa Clarita. Come in, have a cup of coffee, and find out why SCV residents recognized LFCU as the best credit union four years in a row," says Davis.
*Annual percentage rate accurate at time of print.

Make the Switch Today
Lockheed Federal Credit Union
800-328-LFCU (5328) www.lfcu.com

Mission Valley Bank
775-4100 (Valencia)
253-9500 (Centre Pointe)
www.missionvalleybank.com/switch

SCVBank
255-9250 www.scvbank.com
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