Contact: Katye Long
CUNA Communications, 608-231-4038

MADISON, Wis. ? Emphasize ownership when crafting messages for members ages 18 to 30, as in-depth interviews show this really resonates with this particular age group and differentiates the credit union from its competitors. This advice from Financial Center CU is included in a report on how to increase youth membership, one of two new best practices reports from CUNA?s Credit Union Magazine.

In Best Practices: A Youthful Approach to CU Growth, Michael Duffy, president and CEO of Financial Center CU in Stockton, Calif., reveals more about branding?s integral role in the credit union?s overall strategy for attracting young adults, and how this successful endeavor has increased savings accounts by 23 percent, checking accounts by 21 percent, and auto loans by 16 percent for that age group in the last year alone.

In the report, Financial Center joins seven other savvy credit unions - ranging from $78 million in assets to $1.58 billion in assets - that have reached out to the younger market through unique offerings and creative programs and realized impressive membership growth. Each case study highlights the successful programs that educate and appeal to young people in four age groups: elementary school, middle school, high school, and college.

While each of these credit unions? approach is different, they all are driven by a universal truth: Young people represent credit unions? future. Without an infusion of young members, the future of the credit union movement is in jeopardy. Further, CUNA?s most recent Environmental Scan revealed that the average member is now 47 years old, up from 40 in 1985, and more than half of all adult members are well past the peak borrowing years of ages 25 to 44.

?You have to continually infuse any business with new consumers, particularly a financial institution,? stated Jill Banning, president and CEO of Regional FCU in Hammond, Ind., in the report. ?People have an amazing number of choices now when it comes to financial services. It?s not just banks versus credit unions anymore ? even retail stores offer options.?

The second new report - Best Practices: Lessons Learned From Business-Services Providers - chronicles eight different credit unions on their paths to becoming successful business services providers. The report features credit unions of differing markets, locations, and asset sizes, each with own unique assortment of risks and challenges.

While each case study is different, the report includes some important similarities as well, such as each credit union?s: methodical, market-driven approach to analysis and planning; creation of a staff with a credit union approach and business expertise; and focus on building relationships rather than conducting transactions.

Both reports are available in printed and PDF downloadable format. For more information, go to and enter stock number 27826P for the youth membership report or stock number 27733P for the business services provider report in the product finder box, or call (800) 356-8010, press 3, and use the stock number as a reference.

About CUNA

With its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) serves more than 90 percent of America's 8,800 credit unions, which are owned by more than 88 million consumer members. Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives providing affordable financial services to people from all walks of life. For more information, visit

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