LAFCU ITM Don Stevenson, a 35-year LAFCU member, withdraws money during a demonstration of an ITM by a LAFCU ITM service representative, on screen, and Kelli Ellsworth Etchison, LAFCU’s chief marketing officer. (Photo: LAFCU)

This week’s print issue of CU Times is our second-ever to focus on the topic of Branch Evolution, a relevant subject for a time period when opening a brick-and-mortar location is not required to run a successful business. Credit unions are focusing more and more on improving their digital banking offerings in order to compete with other institutions, expand service to members who can’t make it to a physical branch and make all members’ lives more convenient. Meanwhile, according to Callahan & Associates, the number of deposit-taking credit union branches in the U.S. fell by 3.4%, or 646 locations, from mid-2017 to mid-2018 (the most recent available data).

Yet, the process of opening new branches, or remodeling existing ones, still plays a key role in many credit unions’ business strategies, as evidenced by the number of news releases that continue to flow into CU Times staff members’ inboxes on the topic. Here are some examples of new branch announcements I’ve received in the past two months, most of which highlight modern design and advanced technology:

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has worked in the credit union space for over a decade. She joined CU Times as managing editor in 2015 and was promoted to executive editor in 2019. Before that, she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union) in Los Angeles from 2013-2015, and as a CU Times freelancer from 2011-2013. She has been a professional writer and editor for more than 17 years, specializing in news and lifestyle journalism as well as marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space.

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