Bank transaction fees at the teller window are proving the latest account windfall for Kansas credit unions with the state’s second largest, the $380 million Credit Union of America, witnessing a business uptick this month.
Jane Hammil, senior vice president/chief administrative officer of the Wichita credit union, said her CU “is finding these new charges bothering bank customers and they’re coming to us.”
Specifically, the $3.5 billion Intrust Bank, Wichita-based but with operations also in neighboring Oklahoma, began earlier this year charging customers .50 cents for every transaction over three made at the teller window in a given month. In addition, the bank has set a $3 fee for savings accounts with a $200 minimum.
“I don’t think these charges are being favorably received,” observed Hammil, who detailed the CU’s ongoing strategic growth plans for 2011, including the closing of a deal in September to purchase a new headquarters building from the Kansas Credit Union Association, which is moving to leased space in Wichita
Despite the poor economy, CUA, noted Hammil, has experienced a 48% growth in assets over the past three years, 34% jump in membership, and a 27% employment increase.
“We’ve sought to be a steady player, no skyrocketing expansion,” added Glenda Burkett, vice president of marketing.
CUA’s existing headquarters was becoming too cramped and thus the purchase of the KCUA property “will allow for an improved staff training area, provide needed storage and geographically group departments that interact,” the credit union said in a statement.
For its part, the KCUA said tech changes and new product/service strategies have allowed the trade group to sell its headquarters building it has owned since 1999. The space it occupied plus rental tenants in the building on Westdale Avenue was more than the KCUA required given a reduction of certain processing functions.
“Moreover, we decided we really didn’t want to be in the landlord business,” said Marla Marsh, the president/CEO of the 92-member league.
“As we were doing our strategic planning last year, Credit Union of America came to us with an offer and we thought it fit our planning quite well,” Marsh said. The KCUA, which has seen its staff reduced from a high of 36 to 22, will continue operating its leased space in Topeka where it concentrates its lobbying team.