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 Apr '18Mar '18
# of CUs5,7245,727
Total Assets
($ billions)
Total Savings
($ billions)
Net Cap.
Loans to Savings82.9%81.5%
Loan Delinq.0.8%0.8%

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Thrive in the Frugal Future

People yearn for a more equitable and efficient way of life. Can CUs help?

People across the globe dream of a more socially equitable and less wasteful way of life, and credit unions are in a unique position among all financial institutions to make that a reality, said innovation expert Navi Radjou, keynote speaker at this year's America's Credit Union Conference and World Credit Union Conference.

Worldwide, people are becoming more frugal, he said. They seek discounts and better pricing on goods and services, and express a willingness to live with less.

Citizens, he said, are concerned about social inequality, worry about resource scarcity, and are "values" conscious.

Radjou described the existing economic system as "wasteful, inflexible, and disconnected from (consumers') real needs." He said big banks are a good example of this model, which is "complex, costly, and slow to respond to customers' needs."

It is time, the innovation expert said, to do more and better with less; to create more value for more people in a sustainable way. Emerging markets are pioneering frugal innovations by adding value while simultaneously reducing resource cost. In the financial services arena, frugal financing disrupts the marketplace through crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending.

Radjou urges credit unions to harness the power of frugal innovation by applying these four principles:

1. Remember it is possible to do more and better with less, but don't be afraid to look to existing innovations, build on them, and share them;

2. Offer frugal products and services with four qualities: affordability, quality, simplicity, and sustainability;

3. Learn to play additional and different roles in the frugal economy: put on the hats of the entrepreneur, the transformer, and the connector between consumer needs and solutions; and

4. Turn to your members to be co-creators of solutions: Provide a physical space that can attract millennials to come and create solutions to their product and services needs.

(Via news.cuna.org)

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