PLANO, Texas (12/26/12)--Catalyst Corporate FCU celebrated the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) by growing and serving more member credit unions--cooperatively.
During the year, the Plano, Texas-based Catalyst Corporate expanded the number of member credit unions it served by 42%, from just under 900 to nearly 1,300. The corporate now provides service to more than 17% of U.S. credit unions in 21 states.
Nearly 10% of its member credit unions have assets above $250 million, and one-third is in the $25 million to $250 million asset range. More than half have assets of $25 million or less. The total number of "natural person" members represented by Catalyst Corporate member credit unions nationwide is more than 14.5 million.
Regardless of location or size, Catalyst Corporate provides each credit union with cooperatively priced wholesale financial services and helps credit unions stay abreast of technology-based services by using the power created by aggregation, said the corporate. Jointly, member credit unions can do more at a better price than they could as an individual financial institution, Catalyst added.
In a competitive environment, where natural person credit unions can be served by a plethora of for-profit vendors, Catalyst Corporate discovered its membership recognizes the cooperative difference.
In a membership survey conducted earlier this year, credit unions were asked to describe Catalyst Corporate on a seven-point scale, where one equaled "For-Profit Vendor" and seven equaled "Member-Driven Cooperative." Sixty-five percent of the respondents perceived the corporate as a member-driven cooperative, 3% were neutral and 5% leaned toward the perception of a for-profit vendor.
"Providing service to member credit unions is our sole reason for existence," said Kathy Garner, Catalyst's president/CEO. "One of the critical benefits of the cooperative system is that members are owners. As Catalyst Corporate--and the entire credit union system--rebounds from the financial crisis of recent years, we have been committed to listening to our members. Responsiveness is a core value of Catalyst Corporate--not just during the International Year of Cooperatives--but for the years to come," she said.
The United Nations General Assembly designated 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives with the slogan, "Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World." Catalyst Corporate said it took the message to heart, by introducing new services such as mobile banking and real-time teller capture and by continuing to offer sound balance sheet management strategies to its growing membership.