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CUs address pulling back vs. outreach to new markets
WASHINGTON (8/10/09)--The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) and all six CUNA Councils are inviting credit union leaders to participate in a multi-media conversation on a strategic question during this volatile economy: “Is now the time to hunker down, or is now the time to aggressively pursue market share?” Answers can be shared in writing, on video, or via audio podcast. Where credit union leaders see an online icon for “REAL Credit Union Voices,” they can prepare an “Executive Monograph” to be posted on NCUF’s REAL Solutions Impact Center and six CUNA Councils’ websites. (Use the links.) “The REAL Credit Union Voices series will feature diverse opinions about business strategies during these interesting economic times,” said NCUF Executive Director Steve Delfin. “Every week, in collaboration with the CUNA Councils, we hope to receive new Executive Monographs to present the latest perspectives on this timely and relevant topic. The initial comments we’ve received are very revealing. We look forward to seeing more credit union leaders’ insights as we open these conversations on impact.” Of the 58 credit unions who have responded in writing, 59% say now is an opportunity to capitalize on increasing awareness and trust that consumers are placing in credit unions. “The majority of credit unions are aggressively targeting emerging markets and increasing product offerings to grow membership and assets,” said REAL Solutions National Program Director Lois Kitsch. The fastest-growing emerging markets for credit unions include youth (ages 11-18), young adults (19-30), and recent immigrants. Credit unions providing REAL Solutions offer up to 26 innovative products to serve those consumers who are working to save and build assets (News Now, July 13). The other 41% of early respondents believe now is a prudent time to focus inwardly and reduce expenses. Many of these credit unions serve regions that have been hit hard by the recession. As their communities face severe unemployment, rising consumer loan delinquencies and unprecedented foreclosures, their credit unions are working to control asset growth. Credit unions can share their strategy and vote in the REAL Credit Union Voices survey.
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