Transforming credit union operations for an uncertain future

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis is placing enormous pressure on credit union operations. Members are facing historic job losses and economic hardship, just as the low interest rate environment is stressing credit union loan portfolios, revenues and efficiency. Meanwhile, stay-at-home orders and widespread fears of infection are transforming both consumer behavior and how we work, forcing organizations to embrace a new vision of service delivery, operational flexibility and innovation.

As they responded to the COVID-19 crisis, credit unions initially, and rightfully focused on emergency relief and crisis management. However, as we enter the next phase of this crisis, our partners at Filene Research Institute argue that now is the time for credit unions to refocus on people, processes and product. In their latest 3-part Special Report “Credit Unions and the Coronavirus: Notes on the Impacts and Implications of the COVID-19 Crisis” (co-sponsored by CO-OP), Filene states that now is the time: “to invest in business continuity and business resiliency so as to further your mission and support your community[i].”

According to Filene’s research, credit unions should begin their transformation journey in the following areas:

  1. Reposition financial well-being at the heart of the relationship

Trust will continue to be the cornerstone of the primary financial relationship (PFR) and is needed now more than ever.


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