I am fortunate to serve on the Texas Credit Union League’s Communications Advisory Committee. At our meeting last month, representatives from the League shared some powerful statistics and information about our credit union environment. Below are some the highlights in the areas of age distribution, shifting ethnicity, and what Boomers want from their PFI.
However, just like CUNA’s excellent E-Scan (a must read), information is useless unless you do something about it. So after each informational area I offer some suggestions for what credit unions can actually take.
The following was shared from CUNA’s 2009-2010 National Member Survey:
- Credit union members are getting older. Members’ average age is now 47, up from 1985.
- To meet long-term lending goals, credit unions will have to attract more consumers from the 18-to-24 age group. And the news on this front is not good. The percentage of members age 18 to 24 is small and getting smaller.
- Credit unions need a two-pronged strategy for achieving future loan growth. They need to continue to attract more consumers in the peak borrowing years of 25 to 44 and they need to attract even younger consumers 18 to 24.
Credit unions have talked for years about getting younger, but the reality is we are heading in the wrong direction. Here are some suggestions:
(1) Target the parents (who are credit union members) to get the youth.
(2) Offer technology products such as online account opening, mobile banking, text alerts, etc. that youth want.
(3) Embrace youth at your credit union: hire young, put Generation Xers on the board, promote young people to executive positions, etc.
(4) Adopt a complete youth marketing strategy that includes social media, key events, college partnerships, etc.
The following was shared from the U.S. Census Bureau:
- Hispanics are the fastest growing portion of the U.S. population, representing about half the growth since 2000. After the 2010 census, demographers expect Hispanics to total 50 million or about 15% of the population. This figure will rise to nearly 25% in 15 years.
- The size and relative youth of Hispanic consumers make them attractive to credit unions looking to not only grow membership but to expand their pool of peak borrowers. The Hispanic population is also migrating to other regions beyond the western and southern regions.
Like the youth, Hispanics are a prime growth target. But reaching them is easier said than done. Here are some suggestions:
(1) Hire bilingual staff throughout your credit union.
(2) Make sure all your marketing material is in Spanish (not just one brochure).
(3) Form partnerships with key Hispanic organizations in your area (Hispanic chambers, small businesses, etc.).
(4) Immerse your credit union completely in the Hispanic culture, especially if you have branches in largely Hispanic population zones.
What Boomers Want from Their PFI
The following was shared from a CUNA Mutual Group Retirement Research Study:
- More than 40% for credit union members are baby boomers and 17% of these members are likely to leave their credit union.
- Currently boomers say credit unions do not play a significant role in their financial lives and they don’t rely on them for financial guidance and advice.
Boomers, boomer, boomers. If credit unions take them for granted, they will lose them. Here are some thoughts for not just retaining them but thriving with them:
(1) Offer financial planning services and don’t treat it as an after –thought in your marketing strategy: make it a core product offering (just like loans and checking accounts).
(2) Offer special products designed just for Boomers—not around their age but rather on their active and full lives.
(3) Focus on advice rather than selling; if you give them advice the sale will eventually come.
(4) Flood them with financial information through your website, financial seminars, etc. Don’t just make your website information but rather design it to help them manage their portfolios.
The information the League shared is invaluable—now it’s up to us in credit unions to do something with it.