Bank Failures Spur CU Business Growth
"I think we've opened 30-40 new accounts in the last two days and that's about what we do in a month," said Stacy Wamsley, director of marketing at the $48 million Weld Schools CU of Greeley, following the April 10 state and FDIC takeover of the $2 billion New Frontier Bank.
"What you are seeing is a flight to safety by consumers and an opportunity for credit unions as we develop new relationships," commented Terry Leis, president/CEO of the $860 million Credit Union of Colorado in Denver; CU of Colorado's Greeley branch early on opened 21 accounts from former New Frontier customers.
Also gratifying, said CU executives, is the number of consumer and small business loans that are switching to CUs.
"I talked to our managers today and we're seeing an extra 5 to 10 accounts coming in at our branches and we expect to see a whole lot more in the next 30 days when folks realize the end of the liquidation," said Ed Bigby, president/CEO of the $120 million Norbel CU of Fort Collins, which also has a Greeley branch.
New Frontier had branches in Longmont and Windsor, two communities where many Denver and Fort Collins CUs have a marketing presence.
The New Frontier failure was followed a week later by two more failures, the $180 million American Sterling Bank in Missouri taken over by Metcalf Bank, also in that state and the failure of the $180 million Great Basin Bank of Nevada, Elko, purchased by Nevada State Bank.