MADISON, Wis. (9/22/11)--The Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) recently released 2011-2012 Survey of Potential Members Report--a strategic document that predicts new membership trends among financial institutions--found loyalty to be a chief driver in generating membership for credit unions and customers for banks during recent years. However, only credit unions truly benefitted from this loyalty. “After the meltdown of the banking industry in 2008, the majority of bank advertising focused on portraying an image of a customer-focused, trustworthy institution,” said Jon Haller, CUNA director of corporate and market research. “Credit unions did banks one better. With their additional focus on helping their members meet their financial goals, credit unions fared better than banks.” Credit unions reported higher scores than banks on satisfaction levels, sustaining member loyalty and generating business from member loyalty. The report found that 71% of all respondents who use credit unions claimed to be “very satisfied” with their credit union, higher than the 66% of nonmember bank respondents who were “very satisfied” with their banks. Loyal credit union promoters had more checking accounts, more loans, higher loan balances and a higher average number of products/services than their loyal bank counterparts. “These kinds of findings are very important for credit unions to know--in the credit union industry, loyalty really does translate into increased usage of services,” Haller said. “This is the kind of information that is useful not only in the board room, but on the front line where employees interact with members. There are many opportunities to make a positive impression on members.” The report also sheds light on other important developments in non-member growth. Value, trust and appreciation ranked among the top categories where credit unions had a heavy advantage over banks. Furthermore, the survey revealed that youth and Hispanic markets offer significant growth opportunities. With the information provided by the report, credit unions can better understand the current trends relating to non-members’ financial behavior and act on these trends to increase their member base and improve loyalty for continued growth, CUNA said. For more information about CUNA’s 2011-2012 Survey of Potential Members Report, use the link.