BrightLeaf Financial Hires Business Development Manager
Knopp will be responsible for introducing BrightLeaf's marketing, training and technology tools to credit unions so they can offer online personal financial planning services to their members.
Knopp has more than 17 years of experience in program, project, systems and product management and strategic planning. Prior to joining BrightLeaf, she served as IT director for CUNA Mutual Group where she provided relationship management to key business areas and led a team of systems and project managers. Knopp had worked at CUNA Mutual Group since 1990 in a number of capacities, including business development leader, business project manager and IT project manager.
Created by MEMBERS Development Company, BrightLeaf aims to meet the financial needs of the middle income market.
Rollout of Dealer Discounts, Bank Mergers Could Boost Member Growth
MADISON, Wis. -- Add auto dealer price discounts and large bank mergers and bailouts to the list of opportunities that could help credit unions increase their membership.
According to CUNA Mutual Group's November Credit Union Trends Report, the industry has an estimated 91.9 million members, which included a gain of 128,000 in September. Year-to-date growth is 2.6 million, 2.3 times greater than all of 2007's figures. As seen in the last quarter in two of the past three years, membership is expected to decline in the fourth quarter this year as credit unions clean up inactive accounts, the report noted.
CUNA Mutual said it expects mega bank consolidations and bailouts to trigger a migration of bank customers to credit unions, adding that many may choose to switch because of a desire for local decisions and control.
Membership may also see a boost as auto dealers move toward price discounting and away from subsidized financing, according to CUNA Mutual. "Slightly improved" vehicle lending and the indirect channel are expected to bring in more members.
Despite data revisions and credit quality stress over the past year, the rate of credit union consolidation is below historic trends and the year-to-date decline is the same as in 2007, CUNA Mutual said.
"Environmental pressures, especially economic and regulatory, continue to point toward the need for economy of scale mergers in addition to troubled institution consolidations," CUNA Mutual said. "While we will see two consecutive years of below trend consolidation, it is our belief that a much stronger trend of mergers will emerge mid to late 2009 and continue forward well into 2011."
Merger activity, the report noted, is contingent on the assumption that there will be "no significant change in the value of a credit union charter."