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Your recent comments (CU Times, March 19, 2008) about the importance of branching to the growth and sustainability of credit unions are right on target. Your facts supporting the benefits of branching match the findings from CEO Advisory Group’s 2008 National Growth Study. This study asked credit union CEOs how they plan to drive growth over the next five years, and then overlaid this information with historic national trends gleaned from the 5,300 call reports. The findings produced “Seven Key Drivers to Accelerated Growth.” One important factor emerged as a strategy that differentiated fast growing from slow growing credit unions: branching.

We find that some credit unions have a limited vision of what branching means. In the strategic planning phase its should encompass all branching options and link the best options to the credit unions strategic initiatives, markets, culture, products and services while supporting profitability and philanthropic objectives. There is not just one way to grow through branching. Let’s take a look at some of the many options a credit union can consider.

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