Advising business members in your credit union

Conexus Credit Union uses advisors and training to educate and appeal to small business owners.

Over the past 18 months, Conexus Credit Union has been working to widen the focus of conversations its business advisors have with business members from primarily lending to encompass deposit accounts and cash management services as well.

“This is a real change for our team,” says Maggie Sinclair, VP/business banking at the $7.15 billion credit union serving 121,000 members throughout the province of Saskatchewan. “They’re very good lenders, but our aim now is to offer more holistic advice—‘five-star conversations’ that begin with finding out business owners’ immediate lending needs and then moving on to questions on how we can make sure your business is protected.”

In progressing toward that aim, Conexus CU changed the title of its business service staff from “relationship managers” to “business advisors” to underscore their role in advising business members on the full range of financial services the credit union offers. The business advisors have also been trained in new questioning and conversational techniques to identify members’ needs for business financial services.

As the largest credit union in Saskatchewan and sixth largest in Canada, Conexus CU serves more than 10,500 business members in diverse sectors, including agriculture, commercial real estate, oil and gas, health care, manufacturing and retail. The 85 business advisors with Conexus Business Solutions—with the support of other CU associates, a specialized cash management team and a centralized support staff—manage approximately $4.5 billion in total funds and serve business members’ needs out of the 41 CU branches across the province.

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