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Paper To grow CUs must adapt to new consumers
DES MOINES, Iowa (3/29/12)--A new white paper from Coopera Consulting offers credit unions guidance for initiating a strategic plan to serve the Hispanic market.

That plan begins with asking the right questions, writes the paper's author, Miriam De Dios, vice president of Coopera Consulting, an Iowa-based economic firm focused on the emerging Hispanic market. Coopera is owned by Affiliates Management Company, the holding company of the Iowa Credit Union League, and is a strategic alliance partner of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

"Credit unions realize that the face of the American consumer is changing and that to grow membership, they must adapt to their new consumers, instead of forcing them to adapt to the credit union," writes De Dios.

Credit unions can lower their average age of membership by attracting Hispanic members, De Dios notes. Because it is a largely underserved group, helping Hispanic members navigate the U.S. financial system is an important part of the overall credit union mission.

"Hispanic outreach is an indispensable investment in the future," writes De Dios. "Yet having a Hispanic growth strategy on its own will not generate the kind of success a credit union needs. It is the integration of a Hispanic growth strategy with the credit union's overall strategic future that will ultimately create sustainable success."

The paper offers six questions credit unions can ask in assessing whether to develop a strategic plan to serve their local Hispanic community:

  1. Is the credit union well-positioned to target and serve the Hispanic market?
  1. How many Hispanic members is the credit union currently serving?
  1. What milestones has the credit union already achieved?
  1. How many Hispanic members could the credit union serve and what is the income potential?
  1. What are the opportunities and challenges faced by the credit union?
  1. What are the best-practice strategies that will attract and retain Hispanic members?
To download the white paper, use the link.

Coopera and CUNA have introduced three training products aimed at helping credit unions better serve the Hispanic immigrant market. The products include two on-demand training courses for credit union staff and one seminar in a box kit to help credit unions host financial educational events for the Hispanic immigrants in their communities. To access the products, use the links.
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