The Credit Union is a unique hybrid organization that combines the advantages of conventional credit unions and the convenience of modern lending. The Credit Union is choosing from amongst over 2,000 prospective brand names, placing first in every category studied, including relevance, emotional connection, likeability, recognition and purchase desire. In addition to the above findings, the study also revealed that the traditional model of lending and financing has changed significantly in the last ten years. With more people relying on their own credit cards, there has been a sharp increase in the number of default applications made by members.
The Credit Union has introduced a new branding initiative to strengthen its reputation as a trusted financial partner. The Credit Union has launched a number of new initiatives to increase consumer awareness, enhance customer service, reduce churning and increase profitability. It has developed an integrated marketing communications (M&C) strategy to counter the negative publicity received recently from the housing market crisis. The focus of the Credit Union’s branding effort is to build a culture that is “greener, friendlier and more community-oriented”. These actions are aimed at creating a “new image for the credit union, one which will become a permanent feature of the lives of its members and their families.”
The efforts by the Credit Union and its board members have already begun to pay off. A recent analysis conducted by McKinsey found that the majority of members nationwide are actively involved in the governance and strategy of their organisation. This level of engagement by members ensures that they are informed about important issues and are able to take informed decisions. As they are actively involved, they are more likely to take part in future strategic planning.
With an interest in sustainability and a vision of transforming the Credit Union into a “greener” organisation, members nationwide are “seeing the value of being a member of a not-for-profit financial institution”. They want to “receive value for their dollar” and “work for a better environment for all”. They want to be “a trusted financial partner”. When you consider these critical priorities when forming your opinion about the Credit Union, it becomes evident why it is so important to continue the efforts of the Board and Executive leadership during the current outlook for restructuring.
When members were asked what they most valued about being a Credit Union, the most common response was financial security. People wanted to know that their financial information was secure and that they could access their own bank accounts and checkbooks without having to wait on hold with a customer service representative. People wanted to know that they would be able to do easy things like apply for a loan or make deposits without calling up their own bank to do so. Other most desired qualities from a Credit Union were low dues and high rates of interest. Consumers also want to have the option of using electronic rather than paper checks, which is the most secure way to make payments today.
While the Board and Executive Leadership have taken the steps necessary to implement the changes needed to provide a more secure financial future for Credit Unions nationwide, they have not yet taken the necessary steps to strengthen the Network. Too many people work at home or do part-time jobs and are simply not aware of the requirements of a Real Estate Agent. It is not uncommon for Homeowners to miss a few monthly payments, or for a Real Estate Agent to miss several payments on a property. The lack of cooperation between the Network and the Real Estate agents has left the Credit Union with too many empty houses and too many unpaid mortgages.
A recent survey showed that over thirty percent of all Realtors have been hit by the economic downturn and now working with the same organization that insured them and guaranteed them a certain income, they find themselves in a tough situation. The members of the Network are losing their real estate and missing payments and now they wonder if they will be able to stay together credit union. When an unexpected crisis occurs and it requires cash, the Credit Union needs a group of financially responsible individuals to come together and make a tough decision.
How does a Real Estate Agent know where to turn? If you are in a situation where you need to purchase a home, a foreclosure or if you are facing a legal problem, your best source of information may be your own Credit Union. How much debt do you owe, and how many properties do you own? Do you have a clear understanding of your obligations and can you explain those responsibilities to the rest of the Network? The members of a credit union have the ability to hold each other accountable. If the members cannot agree on a course of action, the union cannot act as a mediator.