ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — If lending income is not going to increase near-term–and experts seem certain of that–where can credit unions find new revenue streams? Bob Larson, a CUNA consultant, told attendees at the New Jersey Credit Union League's “Reality Check” conference to accept that a growing reality is the importance of noninterest income.
From where? Larson pointed to a medley of possible sources, one of which is finding ways to serve the 17 million currently unbanked consumers, a number he said might go as high as 23 million as banks start increasing fees. “What a great opportunity serving this population is,” said Larson. “This is why the credit union movement was founded.”
But that is just that start of noninterest income, said Larson, who urged credit unions to adopt a “consultative culture” that made a point of offering members products and services that might help them better cope with today's times. He pointed to credit protection products, credit insurance, other insurance products such as life and disability, and many more as ways for credit unions to increase noninterest income.
Larson's bottom line: savvy credit union executives will pursue a variety of ways to increase noninterest income and many will find themselves embracing more of a sales culture as they seek to compete in a more complex financial services landscape.