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CUBAEC collaboration spreads in Calif.s Bay area
SAN FRANCISCO (9/26/12)--The Credit Union Bay Area Executive Coalition (CUBAEC), a group of 60 credit union CEOs from the San Francisco Bay area, is the latest initiative added to the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) new collaboration website.

CUBAEC was formed in 2004 by 11 small credit unions to network, discuss issues and find common solutions by sharing experiences and resources. CUBAEC membership includes CEOs from credit unions with up to $250 million in assets from Monterey, California's Central Valley, Northern California and San Francisco. 

The group's primary objectives are:

  • To provide networking opportunities (problem solving and information exchange);
  • To provide effective educational opportunities on topics of interest to group members; and
  • To facilitate the generation and exchange of ideas related to the business of running a credit union.
Linda White, CEO of United Health CU, Burlingame, Calif., said CUBAEC has greatly enhanced her credit union's operations--giving her the ability to more easily delve into and discuss important business strategies and tactics. One example that's been especially helpful in today's low-margin environment: "Being able to find out how others approach the decision to implement fees and service charges has been very helpful" she says.

Her interest is "not so much in the specific dollar amount of fees other credit unions are charging--but in the thought process and the methodology others use when exploring this issue," White said.

CUBAEC maintains resources of recommended service providers and credit union professionals available to provide assistance. The group has collaborated on commonly needed policies, risk assessments, marketing projects and business resumption plans.

The need to reduce back-office redundancy through more cooperation and collaboration is one of the top strategic issues facing credit unions. "Credit union professionals repeatedly tell us this but, when asked, indicate that they don't cooperate or collaborate more because they aren't aware of successful efforts," said Mike Schenk, CUNA vice president of economics and statistics. 

The CUNA collaboration website addresses these issues, Schenk said. It provides a repository of successful initiatives, policies and procedures, and a vehicle for credit unions, leagues and credit union service organizations (CUSOs) to share their stories. "Our goal with the site is to improve the cross-pollination of good ideas, enable credit unions to replicate successful initiatives and ultimately to produce substantial financial and operational benefits that help credit unions thrive," Schenk said.

Site visitors can join a collaboration list serve, share information about initiatives, and explore cooperative efforts. The site includes links to additional resources such as Credit Union Magazine articles and several Filene Research Institute studies. For more information, use the link.
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