While the current economic environment have created new challenges for credit unions, the report, "Credit Unions: Gearing-up for Success," found that it has also brought new opportunities for credit unions to grow their market share and broaden their member base.
According to the report, about 70% of survey respondents have attracted new members away from large banks, and 60% plan to be in merger talks over the next two years. Despite these gains, the report also revealed that credit unions continue to ignore a range of new products and services that carry limited risk and are not capital-intensive when using the right vendor partners.
"While credit unions fared extremely well through the financial downturn, which saw consumers grow wary of traditional banks, they must remember that growing deposits is traditionally a great challenge for them," said Christine Barry, research director with the Aite Group and author of the report. "Credit unions need to differentiate themselves, not only by continuing to offer superior levels of service but also by better leveraging technology, implementing member segmentation strategies and offering unique member programs that appeal to segments beyond credit unions' traditional member base."
According to the study, credit unions must also rethink how they interact with their members and update their models and programs to better position themselves to win the business of younger members and future generations. Greater focus needs to be
placed on enhancing online offerings and using social networking sites like
Facebook and Twitter to attract these members.
CUES said it will use the report findings to assist with event programming in 2010.