CUANY shares membership survey results

New York credit union leaders weigh in on industry challenges, opportunities

The Credit Union Association of New York recently shared key findings from its 2013 membership survey, conducted online Aug. 20–Sept. 5, 2013. A total of 115 New York credit union leaders completed the survey, representing every asset category and region in the state and 39 percent of CUANY’s total membership.

Notably, 97 percent of respondents are satisfied or very satisfied with the value, service and benefits their credit union receives from CUANY. In addition to feedback regarding CUANY’s services and initiatives, the respondents provided valuable insights on the challenges and opportunities facing their credit unions.

Key findings include:

  • Reaching young adults is a priority. Respondents were given a list of scenarios and asked to choose the top three that described how they saw their credit union evolving over the next three years. An impressive 75 percent of respondents chose “stronger focus on young adults” among their top three scenarios. “Field of membership expansion” (42 percent) and “partnering with other credit unions” (35 percent) were the other most popular selections.

“These responses validate our efforts to connect credit unions with tools and resources for reaching emerging markets,” said CUANY President/CEO William J. Mellin. “From our statewide Young Professionals Commission to various outreach workshops, we’ll continue to support New York credit unions in attracting and engaging young adults and other key groups.”

  • Taxation threats and regulatory burden are the top challenges. When asked to identify the most significant challenges facing credit unions over the next three to five years, 51 percent of respondents mentioned the threat of taxation in their responses, and 47 percent mentioned regulatory burden/compliance-associated costs. Marketplace competition (12 percent) and aging membership/lack of young adult members (10 percent) were other common responses.

“When it comes to the issues they’re most concerned about, I believe New York credit union leaders are very representative of their peers nationwide,” noted Mellin. “The Don’t Tax My Credit Union campaign is still a critical advocacy initiative of ours, as is working with NCUA and the CFPB to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden. It’s not surprising that our credit union leaders cited compliance support as the most valuable Association service we offer, and it’s a service that will continue to be crucial as we move forward. 

  • Credit unions can maximize on consumer dissatisfaction with banks/opportunities to build public awareness. When asked to identify the most significant opportunities that could positively impact the credit union movement over the next three to five years, 29 percent of respondents mentioned consumer dissatisfaction with banks and/or opportunities to build increased awareness of credit unions. Potential loan growth (15 percent), technological advancements/opportunities (12 percent) and increased credit union cooperation/partnerships were other common responses.

“Our industry is in a great position to engage consumers and tell the credit union story, particularly as more and more Americans are becoming less willing to settle for financial institutions that put profits over people,” said Mellin. “Interestingly, the opportunities our credit union leaders mentioned most—from loan growth to technology to cooperation with one another—can all be connected to the primary opportunity of engaging consumers.”

The Credit Union Association of New York has served as the trade association for the state’s credit unions for 96 years. New York credit unions have assets of more than $65 billion and serve 4.9 million members. To learn more about CUANY, visit To find a credit union or learn more about the credit union movement, visit

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