Relationship Incentives Still Aid Membership Growth
Strong relationship pricing incentives could continue to grow membership, new industry data revealed.
According to CUNA Mutual Group’s June edition of its Credit Union Trends Report, membership growth remains muted by historical standards with the year-to-date gain through April at 311,000 members, which was 55% below its four-year average YTD increase.
There are now an estimated 92.9 million members, up 538,000 since April 2010.
The retail financial services industry will continue to offer strong relationship pricing incentives, said Dave Colby, chief economist at CUNA Mutual.
“While there may be incentives for multiple product and service relationships, there will likely be financial disincentives for low-balance, single relationship members,” he said.
Despite slower top line membership growth, Colby said fewer, but deeper relationships, will be good for credit unions. The net effect will be slower membership gains going forward, primarily from the elimination of redundant banking relationships, he added.
Still, the CUNA Mutual economist cautioned that “changes in pricing schemes will open the door for more non-traditional providers.”