Three Examples of Credit Union Success

Credit unions can be inventive when communicating their special nature.  Here are three different approaches.

A Few Great Numbers (KPI’s)

This traditional view of success is from the yearend numbers of an exceptional coop. This CEO’s team focuses on the 5 key performance indicators (KPI’s) in 2023 as shown below.

metrics goal actual
member growth 5.10% 4.10%
net earnings 1.00% 1.23%
service quality 82.25 83.3
P&S per member 4.64 4.61
deposit growth 10.00% 12.80%

These along with many others not shown (net worth, loan growth etc.) would be outstanding in any year.  However in this year of flat to down trends overall, they are extraordinary.   How was it accomplished?

This credit union implements the most traditional and important strategic advantage credit unions enjoy–“relationship banking.”  It provides stable deposits, long term members and intense focus on their community and its well being.

The organization does this by putting people first. The CEO tells employee and member care stories as a central part of his monthly updates.  Not words, but deeds, sometimes confessing honest shortcomings.

The credit union leadership has set boundaries, what to do well and what not to attempt.  No mergers, no bank buys.  They are in a market dominated by a super coop competitor ten times their size.

For those who believe scale is necessary for success, this credit union grew to over $700 million in 2023. It did so while recording the fifth consecutive year of lowering its operating expense to average assets ratio. In this five years the ratio has fallen every year going from 3.08% to 2.55%.

That result  is lower than the majority of credit unions over $5 billion.  It is because they know who they are as a credit union.

Celebrating a Community That Cares

For any credit union striving to communicate its role in the communities served, I would urge you to look at this latest video from Whitefish Credit Union in Montana.

It is from Josh Wilson, Senior Vice President for Marketing.  The video centers around people in all walks of life serving their community in local food banks.

It is a moving documentary.  So powerful it should be entered in the Sundance film festival. The stories honor those who serve and are being served.  It is a tribute to the small rural towns and the natural environment in which the credit union operates.

Watching it makes you feel good about this example of caring for others.  There is not a word about Whitefish’s financial services, which says everything you need to know about the credit union.  Enjoy.


The Special Opportunity for Credit Union Leaders- I Feel Like Makin’ Love

Yesterday I linked to a song by the rock group Green Day.  A fan, Bob Bianchini, sent me their latest video from two weeks ago.  It is a real picker-upper to start your day.

You might ask who is Bob Bianchini?  He is the only League President who simultaneously served in the state legislature.  That was in an era when credit union leaders knew how to get things done.

This video reminded me of Rex Johnson’s exhortation to the credit union audiences who attended his many lending symposiums.   He would close by telling them, “your job is to treat your members so well that they become fans for your credit union.”

Here is what genuine fandom looks like-in a New York subway station from Bob and Green Day.


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