Younger Members = Growth + Cost Cutting

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BROOKFIELD, Wis.-Dave Selina questions whether credit unions are connecting their need to serve a younger market with their desire to also reduce expenses.

The segment executive with Fiserv contended that attracting a younger market not only prepares the credit union for the future, it also addresses the bottom line today. "If it were a matter of throwing up a bunch of branches to meet the needs of Generations X and Y, then that would be problematic. But the largest potential growth area for credit unions is younger members, who embrace electronic delivery-the most economical way to reach people."

Selina urged credit unions during their planning sessions to connect how appealing to a younger market supports both savings and growth, especially at a time when credit unions are looking closely at costs. "High-level discussions quickly turn to 'show me the numbers,'" Selina added.

Include Selina among those who believe credit union should talk about ways to become more aggressive with mortgage lending in 2011. "All the big players are being overly conservative," he observed. "Credit unions have always been smart lenders. There is an opportunity for the CU industry to solidify their position with consumers on mortgage banking. If they don't take advantage of this, they are missing an opportunity that might come by once in a generation."

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