How to Gain Members and Buck the Trend
Three years ago, when the financial situations of many Americans began heading for a fall, the New York City-based, $1.6 billion, 320,000-member Municipal Credit Union took the opportunity to advertise how its services could help consumers manage their struggles.
Mortgages and personal loans with highly competitive rates and a no-fee Visa credit card were just a few products Municipal CU pushed to the public, and its new campaign didn’t just tell consumers how to save money–it helped the credit union achieve a significant increase in membership. Municipal CU signed on 34,975 new members in 2009 and 37,950 in 2010.
Lehn said the CU also has four business development officers who acquire and work with select employee groups and regularly measure new membership from each group. She also noted that since 2002, the CU completed eight mergers and increased its number of branches from six to 17.
“It’s difficult to say what has worked the best,” Lehn said. “New branches work in tandem with select employee group efforts. Indirect lending can bring in large numbers, but these are difficult to make stick.”