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LAS CROABAS, Puerto Rico -A CUES Credit Union Member Preferences Study released here during the conference says members still want branches. Conducted over a four-year period using a national database of 2,000-plus consumers, the study finds that branch convenience is the number one reason why a member selects a bank over a credit union as a primary financial institution. Many still view the credit union as a place for great rates, fees, and direct deposit. According to Mark Weber of Weber Marketing Group, credit unions can expect to generate more business once they harness a member’s main checking account to convenient locations. Among the findings, 50% of members would do more business with their credit union if branches were better located, and almost 40% defined a convenient branch as one that is closer to home. Hours are also a big issue as more members are looking for more Saturday, Sunday and evening hours. A whopping 68% of those surveyed said that they choose a bank because of convenience, and when selecting one credit union over their own 23.9% also cited convenience. Weber suggested that credit unions consider opening specialty branches such as mortgage or small-business education/lending centers rather than full-service branches to meet the needs of future members. For more information or to order the CUES Member Preferences Study visit www.cues.org.

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