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    One Question Survey: Focus In or Focus Out?

    The current economic environment has had major impact on American families and the credit unions that serve them. Each quarter 250,000 families are losing their homes to foreclosure. Countless others have voluntarily surrendered collateral in an attempt to save their homes. Unemployment is high many areas also causing rising delinquency within credit unions.

    On another note, the failure of more than one major banking institution has consumers looking for a safer alternative. Many are turning to credit unions as a place they can trust.

    Given this, we want to ask you:



    Why is this true for your shop? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

DiscussionLeave a Comment

  1. We continue to pursue opportunities in business banking as well as the local mortgage business. Our managers are encouraged to go out in the community with our community relations personnel and build relationships with agencies and schools.

  2. The old business axiom “If you’re not growing you’re dying” holds true. What better time to find new members and develop new relationships than this? There are people hurting financially and confused out there—credit unions are the beacon. Who aren’t we reaching and why? This is not the time to shrivel. It is a good time to review all expenses and operations. “Aggressively pursue” for some of us means start getting it in your strategic plan and mean it!

  3. We’re actually doing both, Our mortgage business is booming and we’re pursuing all of that business we can handle. We’re also looking at many new lending opportunities as a means to better diversify our service base and risk exposure. And, we’re examining every item in our income statement to identify opportunities to become more efficient and generate better earnings that can be used to pursue growth. Without sufficient capital and earnings stability, we will not be able to exploit the opportunities that exist for us. First quarter annualized deposit growth was 34% and we’re having to control that to ensure we maintain sufficient capital levels for the long-term.

  4. At First Financial we feel that this is the best time of opportunity that has come along for credit unions in years. There is free publicity in the media, credit unions can differentiate themselves as a positive force, and there are great borrowers (business and natural members) out there that are being turned away for loans. We’re “making hay while the sun shines!”

  5. We are doing both as well tighening up on operating expense areas where possible, and enhancing income by pursing emerging markets when possible.

  6. Personally, I think in most cases it is really time to focus on membership growth – Expanding service to more markets by adding the right products and services and opening cus leadership to the opportunity of serving new markets makes good business sense. We should grab the great publicity about credit unions and actively look for ways to better tell your story.

  7. Consumers and members are looking to conduct business with institutions that are transparent, accountable, ethical and concerned about their social impact. If credit union didn’t exist, we’d be talking about creating them. In fact, if you read my blog Social Impact Matters at http://realsolutions.coop/2009/3/6/social-impact-matters, you’ll see how others are talking about the cooperative business model as a signifcant part of the solution for consumers. Credit Unions must find a way to both watch the bottom line during these very difficult economic times WHILE ALSO pursuing emerging markets and marketing their unqiue business model.

  8. I have been following trials and opportunities for credit unions and other co-operative businesses since the greed over need inspired financial collapse. This is indeed a time of opportunity (and some significant adversity) for credit unions. The big opportunity is to focus and build on what makes us differerent from banks and grow our market share. The bigger the difference the bigger the opportunity.

  9. These are times to take advantage of the opportunities that include increase membership and providing a viable a and safe option for Americans to bank. It’s a great time to to communicate our message.

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