This Vermont credit union is stealing the ‘member value’ show

Member value is a credit union industry term thrown around to try to define the value members receive from their CU. But value itself is a subjective term, meaning different things to different people. There are many ways to evaluate member value, but Callahan & Associates have created a metric to quantify value, making it a more tangible goal. They call it Return to the Member (ROM), and this metric represents a CU’s demonstration of member value. The Credit Union of Vermont has been extremely successful in providing member value, so much so that they have been recognized by Callahan & Associates for their exemplary performance within the ROM metric. The Credit Union of Vermont has ranked at or near the top of Callahan’s Return of the Member metric for nearly a decade. As one of the best in creating member value, here is how the Credit Union of Vermont has achieved their success in the category.

Low Operating Expenses

First, it’s important to consider how Callahan calculates ROM — they use a combination of interest rates and usage. The Credit Union of Vermont ranked #2 in the second quarter of 2018 when compared to the industry’s 1,049 credit unions with $20 million to $50 million in assets. There are several factors that have allowed the CU of Vermont to maintain their status at the top, one of which is their lean operating structure. They have consolidated technology vendors so most of their products are under one roof, which allows them to operate more efficiently. The Credit Union of Vermont is a $50 million CU and their operating expenses have stayed below 3% since 2009. CEO, Brian Fogg, would like to see that rate drop below 2% in the coming years and channel those savings into greater returns for members. Fogg’s method of creating high ROM is through low loan yields. As they save money on operating expenses, they can offer better rates on loans, fewer fees, and higher deposit rates.


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