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New iBelong TV ads tout safety soundness

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (2/4/09)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) introduced two new ads to its iBelong credit union awareness campaign. As with previous spots, the commercials feature members expressing why they belong to a credit union. The ads feature several safety and soundness messages, including that credit union deposits are insured up to $250,000. To view the ads, use the link. “The iBelong campaign has proved successful in increasing awareness and favorable perceptions of credit unions in Pennsylvania,” said Jim McCormack, PCUA president/CEO. “In these uncertain economic times, we’re able to extend the iBelong brand to address consumers’ concerns regarding the safety of their money with a credit union.” The new spots will run statewide beginning this month. PCUA also has made the ads available to the Illinois and Mississippi leagues, which licensed the campaign from Pennsylvania and are running the ads in their respective states.

CUcorps CUCare Group sold to Salus

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LIVONIA, Mich. (2/4/09)--CUcorp’s CUCare Group has been sold to Salus Group, which will increase healthcare and benefit options for credit unions, according to the Michigan Credit Union League. “CUCare is designed for mid-sized credit unions,” said David Adams, CUcorp CEO. “The new Salus will be better positioned to handle the health insurance needs of credit unions of all sizes in a more cost-effective way.” CUCare, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Michigan league, has managed a credit union health insurance program through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network. By acquiring CUCare, Salus will offer credit unions more products, including healthcare and pension options. Salus also will offer packages to select employees groups (Michigan Monitor Feb. 2). Michael Brillati will remain Salus president/CEO. Jim Fournier will be Salus executive vice president and chief operating officer. Salus is a credit union service organization started in 2005 by Brillati and five Michigan credit unions. It has business in Michigan and several other states.

CUSN study Members use shared branching

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. (2/4/09)--A survey reveals that credit union members who use shared branching as a delivery channel for credit union services are among the most profitable members.
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The survey was conducted by Lakewood, Colo.-based Credit Union Service Network (CUSN). Among the findings:
* Shared branching is an important delivery channel as evidenced by the frequency of use. Thirty-two percent of members visited shared branching service centers four or more times per month, while 27% visited twice a month. * Members continue to use shared branching as a delivery channel once they have discovered its convenience. * Users of shared branching are profitable members as evidenced by the number of accounts they hold with their credit union.
"Many of the misconceptions of shared branching are dispelled with the results," said Doug Burke, CUSN president/CEO. Respondents were asked how long theys had used shared branching service centers. Fifty-three percent reported using the centers for one to five years. Only 25% had used the service center less than a year. Those unfamiliar with shared branching often assume members use service centers primarily for withdrawals. However, when CUSN tracked financial transactions for 2008, it found that only 25% of the dollars passing through shared branches were withdrawals. Roughly 69% were deposit dollars.
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Another common misconception--that members using the service have only one account, a share account, with their host credit union--was also dispelled. Eighty percent of members surveyed reported having two or more accounts with their credit unions, and 46% reported three or more accounts. The survey also evaluated service level at the service center. Of the respondents, 89% indicated the service was "excellent" and 11% reported it was "good." More than 1,500 members, representing 377 credit unions nationwide, responded to the survey, which was distributed through service centers in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming. Of the respondents, 56% were women and 44% were men. The highest percentage of respondents were from the 45-54 age group with 24%, followed by the 25-34 and the 35-44 age groups, each with 22%. CUSN is affiliated with CO-OP Shared Branching.