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Catalyst Corp. looks back on first year
PLANO, Texas (9/4/12)--Wednesday will mark the one-year anniversary of Catalyst Corporate CU's formation, when the corporate credit union consolidated Georgia Corporate FCU and Southwest Bridge Corporate FCU.

"It's not 'whew,' it's 'wow,'" said Kathy Garner, president/CEO of Catalyst Corporate, where everything has been on a fast track the past 12 months. "It has been busy, but at the same time, it has been energizing," Garner added.

When Catalyst launched in September 2011, about 860 credit unions had put up $90 million in capital for the new entity. At the end of August 2012 Catalyst has more than 1,230 credit union members. Its capital grew to more than $150 million during its first year.

Much of Garner's time in her early months on the job has been on the road visiting credit unions and attending credit union events to welcome new members into Catalyst's expanded membership.

"Credit unions have been nothing but supportive during the past year," Garner said. "They have expressed that they see Catalyst's growth as delivering on our business objectives to create efficiency and value by growing scale."

In June, Catalyst Corporate conducted a member satisfaction survey. More than 2,000 contacts among its member credit unions were invited to participate, and 540 from more than 300 credit unions responded.

One goal was to attain a Net Promoter Score (NPS) by asking: "How likely are you to recommend Catalyst to a friend or colleague?"

Catalyst received an NPS score of 64%, placing it slightly behind such companies as Amazon and eBay, and above companies such as Schwab and American Express, Garner said.  The average score in the banking industry is 18%, according to the book, The Ultimate Question 2.0.

"Respondents cited Catalyst's quality of service and helpful staff among the reasons for recommending the corporate," Garner said.

Earlier this year, Catalyst formed three regional councils. They have met twice to discuss product enhancements, member communication and the member satisfaction survey.

The 36 volunteers serve on the councils. They and more than a dozen credit union professionals serving on various committees join a board of directors that has expanded to 11 positions to provide additional West Coast representation.


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