Only ‘Idiots’ Pass Up Deals CUs Offer

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LAS VEGAS – Credit unions in Australia are preparing a national advertising campaign to lift their profile and overcome a seemingly hardheaded attitude.

Louise Petschler, CEO of Abacus-Australian Mutuals, told a general session audience at the 1 Credit Union Conference hosted here by CUNA and WOCCU the four biggest Australian banks have 90% market share and CUs are looking to bite into that large slice of the financial services pie. Asked why more Australians are not joining credit unions Petschler replied, “Perhaps this is a Vegas observation, but some people are idiots,” to a roar of laughter from the large crowd. “You can offer them the best deal in the world and they are not joining.”

Bill Hampel, SVP of research and chief economist for CUNA, blamed credit unions’ small market share in the U.S. not on consumers’ mental deficiencies, but their long memories. “Credit unions have the legacy of field of membership. In the near past is was difficult to join a credit union. Today, everyone is the U.S. is eligible to join at least one, but people still think credit unions are exclusive.”

Look for extensive coverage of the 1 Credit Union Conference in the July 19 issue of Credit Union Journal.

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