SEATTLE -- Marginally more credit unions became "high performing" credit unions in 2007 over 2006, according to noted CU consultant Tony Ward-Smith, but the consultant worries that the CU industry is not paying enough attention on getting the rest to reach high performing status.
In Ward-Smith's definition, a high performing credit union averages 2.5 accounts per member, an average of at least $4,264 balance per all accounts and a positive year end return on average assets.
According Ward-Smith's analysis of NCUA's year end data, 546 credit unions in the U.S. were high performing institutions last year vs. 536 in 2006. Further, while only 7% of CU's in the U.S. have become high performing credit unions, fully 33% of the total U.S. credit union membership belongs to a high performing credit union.
But Ward-Smith says he viewed the data from CUs which were not high performing to be the more important and that these should act as a wake up call for the CU industry as a whole."The data show credit union membership growth is not keeping up with U.S. population growth and suggests the majority of credit unions are not marketing their products and services to their members effectively," Ward-Smith said.