LAS VEGAS — Speaking before a large audience of CUSO and credit union leaders is familiar territory for Jack Antonini.
In 2010, the former CEO of USAA Federal Savings Bank was one of the keynote speakers at the National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations' annual conference. In Las Vegas last week, he addressed the association for the first time as NACUSO’s new president/CEO during the group’s annual conference at the Encore Las Vegas.
Antonini shared NACUSO’s five-year vision that included building on the group’s historic focus on driving credit union growth and sustainability. That path is paved with bricks to help credit unions find innovative, collaborative solutions that leverage scalable platforms and networked business designs through CUSOs, he added.
For one, NACUSO’s strategic vision is to provide leadership by being the legislative and regulatory advocate for CUSOs, Antonini said. To that end, he highlighted efforts that NACUSO’s legislative and regulatory advocacy committee have already carried out, including several comment letters issued on timely industry concerns including the corporate credit union rule and incentive-based compensation. He reiterated that NACUSO is not trying to duplicate actions coming from CUNA, NAFCU and others but wants to work collectively to ensure that CUSOs have a “credible voice.”
By helping to unite cooperatives, NACUSO can also join others in being “the leadership force unifying the credit union industry against the real competition – banks.” Even though Antonini’s career experience comes mainly from the banking industry, it was his experience of meeting and talking with credit union people at NACUSO’s conference last year that revealed some shared philosophies.
After being tapped the new president/CEO of NACUSO in December, he said, “The credit unions’ focus on service to membership and always striving to do right for the member is what compels me to want to help credit unions to succeed.”
To make that happen, NACUSO is planning to develop a directory of CUSOs and third-party service providers to include a list of products and services that are offered and owners and customers served. The association also wants to take the lead on developing life event approaches including how CUSOs can help credit unions help their members with buying a car or a home, making a career change and saving for retirement, Antonini said.
“Members are your best asset,” he told the audience, adding banks see customers as “source of profits. “Big bank reputations have suffered. Credit union [reputations] are highest regarded.”
Because banks are charging customers more than ever, they are angry, which presents a “tremendous opportunity to win new members,” Antonini offered.
In creating those new relationships, credit unions can continue to do what they are doing: listen, learn and improve, Antonini said.
By creating a top 10 list of feedback from both members and employees, he said problems can be fixed so they’re not repeated and solutions can move forward on what can be done better. “Think about it from a member’s perspective. How would you like to be treated? How can you make it faster, easier and at a lower cost?”
Indeed, NACUSO wants to help credit unions and CUSOs create and enhance a golden rule service culture by becoming a trusted advisor, Antonini said.
“Credit unions are safe and trustworthy. They’re not motivated by quarterly shareholders. We don’t want to steer member to something they don’t need.”