In the post-recession economy, credit unions have a lot going for them, from increased trust and reputation over the commercial banks to new growth opportunities. The trend toward mergers between smaller credit unions means that bigger players are emerging that can compete with bigger banks for brand recognition, while new mobile technology is making it easier for credit unions to reach wider markets with limited brick and mortar locations.
There is no shortage of challenges facing credit unions ahead, including the struggle to reach Millennial members, retaining members, and growing pressure from banks on legislators to end their tax-exempt status. However, there are also plenty of areas where credit unions can grow their revenues, many of which are new territories.
The auto leasing market is one such opportunity and many are debating introducing lease programs. The auto market remains strong right now with nearly 17 million vehicles expected to be sold or leased in 2017, and Millennials in particular are looking at leasing options over buying. Urban drivers in particular are drawn to leasing, as it’s easier for them to stay within mileage restrictions, so your region is an important factor when you’re evaluating whether or not to get into auto leasing. The residual value of a vehicle if the credit union winds up taking possession of it can also be a significant risk; minimizing risk is going to be central to any successful program.
Merging is another hot topic in the credit union industry, and at times a controversial one. On one hand, merging allows smaller credit unions to pool resources and become major competitors with big banks. On the other, it’s up to the board of directors to make sure that mergers are in the best interest of members.
In a low-interest economy, credit unions are also offering competitive interest rates on savings accounts, with some offering as much as 1.00%. Competitive savings accounts rates, better rates than commercial banks on certificates of deposits, cash back credit cards, and competitive auto loan rates are all listed by Forbes as driving engines behind the recent growth of credit unions in the United States.
To capitalize on these opportunities, credit union boards need to be prepared to talk strategy, compliance, and risk management. Board portals such as Aprio Boardroom are software solutions that help credit union boards streamline their meetings so that they can focus on risk management, compliance, and long-term strategy. They allow admin to share documents securely and instantly with all directors; it’s going paperless without the risks of email. Portals such as Aprio’s also offer tools that allow directors to discuss materials between meetings and vote on them. This means that directors can handle routine business outside of meetings and focus on strategy when they sit down together.
If you feel like your credit union’s board is bogged down in meeting inertia and incapable of capitalizing on growth opportunities, visit Aprio to find how a board portal can help focus your meetings and free up time for important discussions. An affordable, quality board portal will provide your organization with convenience, security, and the tools to do more work in-between meetings. Book a demo and get ready to face the challenges of the future.