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Igniting Growth

August 2014 – Vol: 37 No. 8

From the editor

Picture of Mary Auestad ArnoldWith revenue caught in a squeeze play between compressed margins and tightened regulations, what’s a credit union to do? Jim Burson provides tactics for three options in “Revenue Growth Homer.” A baseball lover and senior director with CUES Supplier member and partner Cornerstone Advisors, Scottsdale, Ariz., Burson describes what it takes to hit singles (organic growth), doubles/triples (CUSO opportunities), and home runs (mergers).

I’m not much of a baseball fan, but I do remember many of the players from the Milwaukee Brewers’ glory years in the early 1980s. I especially recall third baseman Paul Molitor, not so much for his position play but for his role as “The Ignitor.” As leadoff hitter, Molitor sparked rallies that led to Milwaukee’s only American League pennant and World Series appearance, both in 1982.

Marketing serves as the igniter in credit unions, bringing the brand to life for both staff and members.  In “Optimizing Opportunity,” author Karen Bankston looks at what some U.S. and Canadian credit unions are doing to bring in the runs, whether they be from singles, doubles or the occasional homer.

$847 million Texas Trust Credit Union, Mansfield, for example, is playing off its commitment to connect with each community it serves to grow organically and via merger. On the organic front, the CU is pulling out all the stops to reach University of Texas-Arlington students with an athletic sponsorship, a new branch, ATMs, a unique fee schedule and an affinity debit card. At the same time, the CU is working to integrate members acquired through a merger with a former General Motors credit union by forging ties with a GM retiree club and union.

The goal: stronger, deeper relationships. “We have 66 percent of our members engaged with at least two to three products, including active checking accounts,” explains Amber Danford, SVP/marketing/business development.

Burson writes that successful organic revenue growth requires organizational alignment, a focus for $360 million North Peace Savings & Credit Union, Fort St. John, British Columbia. Over three years, the CU has reorganized its member service staff, added technology and rolled out a service delivery culture. Result: a 2013 membership increase at double the provincial rate and a 10 percent bump in assets.

Read how four other credit unions are sparking growth.

Mary Auestad Arnold
Editor and Publisher

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