It’s nearly football season, which gives me license to use whatever football metaphor I choose – at this stage of the pre-season they aren’t stale yet!
A football metaphor is also appropriate because of what you are likely to see when you’re watching a game on TV – commercials, and lots of them. Among them you’ve probably noticed ads from State Farm – but how many of you noticed a very important change in their positioning, one that has tremendous implications for credit unions?
If you look closely, the ads stress three things – Insurance, Mutual Funds and ‘State Farm Bank.’ We certainly count on State Farm to be selling insurance. But full-fledged banking solutions (mortgages, car loans, home equity loans) are not something most consumers expect from an insurance provider.
Remember when H&R Block made a strategic move into banking a few years ago to capture a larger share of client refund dollars? Now they offer checking and savings accounts, IRAs, CDs, lines of credits, and even their own debit and credit cards.
Just as this move from H&R Block threatened credit unions by providing competition, so too does this change in positioning from State Farm. Just like paying taxes, buying insurance is another thing that your members do each year. In fact, you bring insurance agents in town direct business by making insurance a prerequisite for receiving a car or home loan (and they thank you for it, believe me!). The entry of a firm like State Farm into the business brings scale and national brand equity to the table, which means that you’re now facing a well-funded and formidable competitor in the banking landscape that wants a larger share of your member dollars.
The long Memorial Day weekend is more than just a break from work, it gives us a chance to reflect on the sacrifices that the men and women of our military make on our behalf. I’m speaking not just of the sacrifice of those who have given their lives or were wounded in action, but also of others who put their lives on hold for military service, and to their families as well.
Whether deployed overseas or serving domestically, military families have a different set of needs than other credit union members. More than one-third of the U.S. military population is faced with relocating their families each year. Unlike the private sector, where any employee has a choice to make with regard to accommodating the wishes of their employer for relocation, military service members don’t get suggestions, they get orders. Especially in times of war, those orders can come on very short notice. Read more
Our partners are on the front lines with credit unions every day, and while you may only have experience with your credit union, the odds are that our Preferred Partners have worked with hundreds or even thousands. They can bring perspective and common problem-solving to bear on practically any topic.
At NAFCU Services, we try to help the knowledge transfer process by capturing the expertise of our Preferred Partners in digital format—in webcasts, webinars, podcasts and white papers that are archived in our NAFCU Services Partner Library. We are up to 180 and counting, and best of all they are free to ALL credit unions!
Check out our top six most popular webcasts over the last couple of years: Read more
Category: Growth & Retention
, Management & Operations
, NAFCU Services
Tags: Affinion Group
, Allied Solutions
, Burns-Fazzi Brock
, cyber security
, identity theft
, Money Concepts
, Pentegra Retirement Services
Innovation can be hard to define, but you can think of it as “the successful application of new ideas.” ‘Application’ is the key word there – new ideas are the easy part – figuring out which are the good ones, and then applying them successfully, is more difficult.
So innovation is more than just an academic exercise or a tally of patents. The application of a new idea in the real world leads to new products, services, processes, systems, or attitudes that improve something or add value. With all of the changes that are occurring in financial services generally, and in the credit union business model specifically, being (and staying) innovative is more important than ever.
Every year at the NAFCU Annual Conference we recognize the very best innovations among our Preferred Partners that help credit unions thrive in an increasingly crowded financial services marketplace with the 2011 NAFCU Services Preferred Partner Innovation Awards. No surprise this year, two of the three winners focus on opportunities for credit unions to generate revenue, while the third represents a quantum leap in productivity, leading to significantly lower costs. Read more
Guest post by Tom Telford, Executive Vice President, Burns-Fazzi, Brock.
The term “volunteer” exemplifies commitment, impact and shaping a desired outcome through the offering of one’s own ability. For all board members committed to the credit union movement, this means thousands of hours of work to help shape their organizations. With the new regulations from NCUA regarding fiduciary duties, the responsibilities and expectations of credit union directors have multiplied.
The position of board member in for-profit sectors typically equates to monetary rewards for service. In the credit union industry, most forms of “compensation” are not allowed under NCUA guidelines.
NCUA regulation section 701.33 prohibits compensation to more than one board officer but allows a federal credit union to provide all directors with reasonable health, accident and other related types of personal insurance protection subject to numerous restrictions. Read more