WASHINGTON — The plight of postal credit unions, now facing tough decisions on branch closings and member assistance, was on the minds of some attendees at the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference.
In one case, the $137 million BluCurrent CU of Springfield, Mo., detailed its resurgence after it changed its name last year from Springfield Postal Federal Credit Union and now serves a 10-county area of southwest Missouri.
“The last six months have been pretty dramatic, with new accounts increasing 22% and 38% of those accounts taking out loans,” Craig Tabor, executive vice president, told Credit Union Times.
Much of the loan growth has been in mortgages, he said, but consumer loans have grown as well, said Tabor noting his 17,000-member CU saw the need to revamp its near-term strategy as a local and major postal processing center signaled its closing later this summer.
“We understand many of the jobs may be going to Kansas City but we’re not sure,” said Tabor, who’s CU used Weber Marketing Group of Seattle to guide the rebranding.
Tabor advised other postal CUs facing similar predicaments to pursue the name change as a viable option.
“We also found it’s better to go through the trademark process as Weber did rather than relying on some kind of contest where members pick the name and then you’re stuck,” said Tabor.
The BluCurrent executive also noted that since the name change, the average member age has dropped from 46 to 38.
The U.S. Postal Service has said it plans to cut more than 260 mail processing centers and eliminate roughly 35,000 jobs as it deals with declining mail volume.