4 tips for unleashing your credit union’s best kept secret

By Robert Comfort, president of CUNA Mutual Group’s broker-dealer, CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc

Very few credit union members even know their credit union offers advice that can help them achieve financial security. We see surveys where an overwhelming number of people say, ‘Hey, if my credit union offered this, I would be very open to talking with them.’

Can you guess what service these members are talking about?

You might be surprised to learn it’s Retirement and Investment Services (some may use the term Wealth Management or other similar terms).

We know 43 percent of credit union members have investable assets over $100,000, or cash plus long-term investments, excluding their home; however, only 2 percent of members use their credit union’s investment services. These members are often older and have accumulated more assets than the typical credit union member.

However, credit unions must make financial advice a core offering – not just something that is mentioned to a member if they ask for it – if they are to meet all members’ needs for wealth management services.

Most members typically have similar financial needs across their financial lives: cash management; credit and loans; asset accumulation, future income generation, insurance, and leaving a legacy for future generations.  CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI) works with credit unions to address their members’ financial needs for their retirement years through a blueprint for success. This foundational framework helps credit unions unlock their best kept secret by:

  1. Being visible on the website. Most people today, especially Millennials, do their banking online. Therefore, members can be a captive audience for marketing of financial services. If they’re already online and can better understand the expanded services offered to them, they could be much more likely to set up an appointment and get much-needed advice.
  2. Educating and engaging members on an on-going basis. It usually takes several touches for a member to walk into a branch and say, “I want to talk with a financial advisor.” The old marketing adage says it takes seven touches, and for some media, it’s even more. Traditional media is beneficial as is preparing credit union team members to proactively talk about the investment program. In addition, social media can be a huge help in connecting with your credit union’s members. By meeting members where they are, whether that’s via direct mail or LinkedIn posts, you can help members better understand their needs and reach that optimal level of awareness.2
  3. Building, developing and optimizing Advisor teams. A trusted relationship between a member, their credit union and their financial advisor is a powerful combination. Members want to know who they can connect with. By creating a team of senior and associate advisors, relationships can be bridged, over the long-run or even during a short-term vacation. As credit unions build their advisor groups, they should look to the present – and the future – to ensure long-lasting member relationships.
  4. Using technology. Technology moves at an exponential level and keeping up with it can be challenging. However, using technology to capture data analytics can be a powerful tool in assessing what members are most interested in, or worried about. Utilizing services, such as AdvantEdge Analytics, can help you pinpoint what your members are currently interested in. With this knowledge, you can provide exactly what members need, and make sure they know it’s available to them.

Ultimately, by establishing Wealth Management services as a core offering, credit unions can build long-lasting relationships with members across their financial life cycles, while bolstering their bottom line.

To learn more about promoting your credit union’s wealth management offerings, click here.