NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FEDERAL CREDIT UNIONS
3138 10th Street North
Arlington, VA 22201
(July 27, 2012) NASHVILLE, Tenn. – National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) President and CEO Fred Becker, Jr., called on the nearly 2,000 credit union professionals and volunteers attending the association’s 45th Annual Conference and Exhibition to continue to seek ways to demonstrate their value proposition and adapt to new technology in the year ahead.
“We are in the midst of our own renaissance,” Becker said. “Credit unions have become a nationwide success and are here to stay. We need to ‘turn up the volume’ and make sure everyone hears what we offer.”
Speaking at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Becker noted that the Nashville country music phenomenon holds many parallels for the credit union industry.
Becker said that, like country music before the advent of the “Nashville Sound” in the 1950s, credit unions at one time were the “best kept secret” in financial services. But now, credit unions are enjoying newfound recognition, having topped $1 trillion in assets and over 94 million members.
Becker also noted that NAFCU’s own credit union locator site, CULookup.com, had broken new records in traffic to the website, increasing over 350 percent in the last year.
Becker made four specific recommendations for credit unions to capitalize on this recent recognition and gain even greater awareness, while building stronger relationships with their members.
Specifically, Becker said that credit unions need to:
- offer products and services on members’ terms;
- develop personal connections that are relevant and meaningful;
- emphasize the distinctive credit union culture; and
- modernize to keep pace with the changing times.
Becker cited numerous examples of credit unions that were using new technologies like online banking, iTunes rewards for members, technology bars, and “pod branching,” as well as “tried and true” concepts, like financial literacy events, to attract new members and to improve the bottom line.
Becker also stressed that even as regulations proliferate and revenue streams dwindle, opportunities abound for credit unions. “Consumer dissatisfaction and overall frustration with the economy are more intense than at any time in modern history. A migration is underway, with accounts and money moving from mega-banks to true value – and that is credit unions,” he said.
The National Association of Federal Credit Unions is the only national organization that focuses exclusively on federal issues affecting credit unions, representing its members before the federal government and the public. www.nafcu.org