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World Council speakers advise on young adult membership strategies

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GOLD COAST, Australia (7/31/14)--Credit unions' challenges worldwide are more
Click to view larger image World Council of Credit Unions President/CEO Brian Branch speaks to his group's World Credit Union Conference on the challenges of attracting young-adult credit union members. (World Council Photo)
similar than ever before, including young adult membership growth, which drives the demand for credit unions to provide competitive mobile and digital payment systems, according World Council of Credit Unions President/CEO Brian Branch who spoke Monday at his group's World Credit Union Conference here.
"Young adults today have many more financial services options available to them, and they are willing to pay more for convenience," Branch told the general session audience.
"Convenience will be king. Our challenge is how to serve this market profitably by looking at our channels and addressing whether the products and services we offer respond to their demands."
In most countries, the median age of credit union members is mid- to late-40s, which is 10 to 15 years older than their median national population age, according to Branch. This segment is past its prime borrowing years, whereas young adults are on the brink of significant milestones and costly life transitions related to their education, careers, families and other living expenses.
Branch indicated this generation will be the source of future financial services business soon.
"For online and mobile channels to be successful, they must be easy, take only a few minutes and fall within regulatory requirements," Branch said. "If young consumers have to go to a branch in order to complete the process in person, we lose them."
Branch finished his remarks by challenging the global movement to join World Council's membership growth campaign to add 50 million credit union members worldwide by 2020, for a total of 258 million. This could be possible with a widespread focus on attracting young adult membership through less restrictive regulation, increased mobile, online and payments technology and collaboration amongst credit unions, he said.
Also addressing the conference Monday session, keynoter Lee Wetherington, a
Click to view larger image Keynoter Lee Wetherington, of ProfitStars, shares a forecast of the industry's best research on upcoming developments in online, mobile, payments and branches at the World Council's World Credit Union Conference in Australia. (World Council Photo)
technology expert and adviser, said the any notion that change is happening so fast in the marketplace that it prevents credit unions from planning for it accordingly is wrong.
Wetherington shared a forecast and summary of the industry's best research on upcoming developments in online, mobile, payments and branches. He provided insights on the global credit union movement's unique opportunity going forward to use their members' data—which no other institution has access to—to understand and satisfy members' financial advising needs through mobile and online payments.
"The future is more about data than it is about payments," said Wetherington, ProfitStars director of strategic insights in the United States. "Using credit unions' data, we will be able to help our members decide whether, when and where it makes sense to buy the stuff they want in real time, with integrity. None of the other market disruptors are in a position to do that."

Three incumbents re-elected to N.J. league board

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HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (7/30/14)--Three incumbents were elected to three-year terms on the New Jersey Credit Union League board.
David Ardire, president/CEO of Campbell Employees FCU, Cherry Hill; with $158 million in assets; Linda McFadden, president/CEO of XCEL FCU, Bloomfield, with $153 million in assets; and Christina Olender, CEO, Parlin (N.J.) DuPont Employees FCU, with $5 million in assets; were to elected to three-year terms beginning in January (The Daily Exchange July 30).
Other board members and officers include:
  • Chair: McFadden, Tier B;
  • Vice Chair: Leo Ardine, president/CEO, United Teletech Financial FCU, Tinton Fall, with $323 million in assets,  Tier C;
  • Secretary: Olender, Tier A;
  • Treasurer: Andy Jaeger, president/CEO Credit Union of New Jersey, Ewing, with $333 million in assets, Tier B;
  • Jay Flanagan, president, Elizabeth Firemen's FCU, with $8 million in assets, Tier A;
  • Michael Reilly, president/CEO, Central Jersey FCU, Woodbridge, with $72 million in assets, Tier B;
  • Bob Steeves, president/CEO, Essex County Teachers FCU, Bloomfield, with $13 million in assets, Tier C; and
  • Tracy Sussmann, president/CEO, MidState FCU, Cateret, with $16 million in assets, Tier A.

Idaho Business Review: CU growth outpacing banks'

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BOISE, Idaho (7/31/14)--A July 21 Idaho Business Review article highlighted the success of Idaho's credit unions, noting that the state's cooperative financial institutions have more than doubled in size in the past decade.
In fact, Idaho-based credit unions saw their assets grow to $5.3 billion last year, up from $2.5 billion in 2004. That's a 113% increase; however, it is adjusted down to 73% growth with inflation.
Idaho credit union assets are fast approaching those of banks headquartered in Idaho. Idaho-based banks, which have roughly a quarter of all bank deposits in the state, had $6.4 billion in assets at the end of 2013, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. That amount has dropped for two straight years. Credit unions, however, have increased their assets by an average of 8% the past three years.
The state's four largest credit unions are Idaho Central CU, Pocatello, with $1.6 billion in assets; Potlatch No. 1 CU, Lewiston, with $676 million in assets; Westmark CU, Idaho Falls, with $555 million in assets; and Capitol Educators FCU, Meridian, with $384 million in assets. They have more than have the state's assets and all but Westmark have grown faster than the state average the past three years.
In the article, Todd Erickson, president/CEO of CapEd CU, said the many of the state's new credit union members have moved their money from banks because of negative service experiences.
At the same time credit unions came out of the recession relatively unscathed, Erickson said. They were able to continue lending through the economic downturn. "Our loan losses and delinquencies didn't really change," Erickson told the Business Review.
While banks make the age-old argument about the credit union tax status, credit unions are nonprofit financial institutions that are owned by their members. Any profits earned by the credit union are returned to the members.

CU System briefs (07/31/2014)

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  • GARDEN CITY and WICHITA, Kan. (7/31/14)--Golden Plains CU, Garden City, Kan., $444 million in assets, with  and $75 million-asset  Central Star CU, Wichita, Kan., with $75 million in assets, have announced their intention to merge.  The merger will provide expanded service offerings, additional locations and greater financial stability for both Golden Plains and Central Star members.  All three Central Star locations will remain in operation and will join the 12 Golden Plains' locations throughout the state.  The merger is expected to be completed this year ...

MnCUN backs Emmer for 6th district House seat

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (7/31/14)--On Wednesday, the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) announced its endorsement of former State Rep. Tom Emmer for the open 6th Congressional District seat. There is an Aug. 12 primary.
MnCUN Vice President-Governmental Affairs Mara Humphrey said that during his tenure in the state legislature, Emmer consistently demonstrated his support for credit unions' and their ability to serve their members.
"He has vowed to continue that support of credit unions in the 6th district and across the country if elected. Credit unions have a champion in Tom Emmer," Humphrey noted.
Emmer himself has said that credit unions offer consumers and small businesses a great
Click to view larger image The Minnesota Credit Union Network and member credit unions held a fundraiser for Tom Emmer (center) in June. (MnCUN Photo)
choice for local, Main Street-focused financial services. He added, "I'm proud to have the support of the Minnesota Credit Union Network and--when serving in Washington, D.C.--will continue to work for a fair marketplace so that credit unions can continue to grow."
Emmer is running for the House seat currently filled by Rep. Michele Bachman, who announced in May that she would not seek re-election this year.  Emmer, a Republican, ran for governor and narrowly lost to current Governor Mark Dayton (D) in 2010.