Credit Union depositors are members and each member is an owner of the Credit Union. Banks’ depositors are customers and have no ownership interest. Banks are owned by investors.
Since Credit Union members are owners, each member, regardless of how much money they have on deposit, has one vote in electing a board of directors and members can run for election to the board. Banks are owned and controlled by stockholders. Their customers don’t have voting rights, cannot be elected to the board and have no say in how the bank is operated.
At banks, the profits go back to the investors and at Credit Unions, profits go right back to the members in the form of better interest rates which means lower rates on loans and higher rates on deposits. Bottom line-if you have several different products at a Credit Union, you can save (potentially) several hundred dollars a year.