Seeking Deposits, US Federal Rolls Out Several Special Products

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US Federal CU wants deposits and it isn't too chicken to ask for them.

In a spring promotion that encourages members to put their "eggs in more than one basket" - in other words, diversify-USFCU is hoping to plump up assets.

As a lure, the $520-million credit union is offering a variety of certificates of deposit specials and several of what it calls "MAX Certificates" that allow the member to adjust their APY at any one time during the duration of their term.

"Like most of our peers, we had a rampant growth in deposits in (early) 2003," said Marty Kelly, VP-marketing & business development. "But, as the market was improving toward the end of the year, people started pulling their money and investing elsewhere."

He said the promotion, which uses a lot of colorful visuals including chickens, is aimed at illustrating the "whole chicken coop of investment opportunities."

The theme has been carried as a cover story in the member newsletter, on branch posters, lobby cards and video displays, and on the CU's website. To get to the promotional information online, members are instructed to "cluck here for details."

Kelly said he even suggested as a joke that the board consider changing its company mascot, an eagle, to a chicken. No surprise, he said, they squawked at the notion.

They were, however, happy to offer high-yield CDs as high as 4% on a 48-month term with a $10,000 minimum, along with 24- and 36-month MAX Certificates with 2.1% APY and 2.7% APY, respectively, with only $1,000. Kelly said the latter two products give members the options of changing the APY to the current rate at any time during the term of the deposit.

Success of the promotion in the first five weeks is nothing to cluck about, either.

Kelly said the certificate specials attracted "roughly" $4 million, $2.5 million of which came from new money.

"The MAX Certificates have been less exciting, bringing in only $125,000," he said. "But we understand that our members have different needs and different tolerance in risk factors."

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