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CU Snapshot

 Jun '17May '17
# of CUs5,911 5,922
Members
(millions)
111.7111.2
Total Assets
($ billions)
$1,378.8$1,369.6
Total Savings
($ billions)
$1,172.6$1,156.8
Net Cap.
Assets
10.6%10.6%
Loans to Savings79.6%79.9%
Loan Delinq.0.7%0.7%

         Credit Union Indicators

Drive Growth With Education

Teaching financial literacy can be a marketing tool.

Financial education is part of credit unions' core mission to improve their members' financial well-being.

But providing education also can be part of credit unions' growth strategy, as financially literate members use more products and services, understand the value of membership, and spread the word about credit unions in their communities, according to a CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council white paper.

The white paper, "Financial Education: Leveraging This Marketing, Growth, and Engagement Tool," examines how credit unions use financial education as a successful marketing component.

In any business, education is about engagement, Michelle Payne, assistant vice president of branding and communications at Elements Financial Federal Credit Union, in Indianapolis, advises in the paper.

"We're using knowledge, information, and resources to catch prospective members' attention and build trust before talking about products. Once we have that, we hope people will look to us for products and solutions," Payne says.

Author and finance expert Peter Dunn provides an example.

"Helping people use your services, like determining how much house to buy, provides more value," Dunn says. "It's something the underwriting department used to determine based on the ‘max' that fit your lifestyle. Now it's what's more prudent. It might appear that a credit union is trying to loan less money, but they're doing what's best for members, and people see that."

Financial education provides a clear competitive advantage for her credit union over its banking peers, asserts Payne.

"As service-focused organizations, we have the interest and take the time to teach members how to use products most responsibly and wisely," she says. "It's something banks may not do, or do as well."

(Via news.cuna.org)