A Little Help Goes A Long Way

National reports and local initiatives illustrate how responsible financial institutions help members save money, spend wisely, and jump-start economies.


The Commerce Department reported on Friday that U.S. GDP grew 2% during 3Q 2010. The report drew a mixed response from popular media sources (see Washington Post, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal), but as we’ve discussed on CreditUnions.com, it’s in the local economies, not on the national stage, that you’ll find the strongest signs of recovery. According to the New York Times, consumer spending, which is the most important recovery indicator, is “gathering fresh momentum.” It is driving the uptick in GDP, and although employment is still a factor, “households appear to be more at ease about shopping.”

How are you putting your members at ease? Members 1st ($1.8B, Mechanicsburg, PA) is helping its members put bread on the table by giving them access to today’s low rates, and Educators ($1.3B, Racine, WI) is saving its members $10 million in interest payments. Read more about these life-altering initiatives; they’re happening one member at a time, one locality at a time.

Several credit unions — Envision ($222M, Tallahassee, FL), Red Rocks ($181M, Highlands Ranch, CO), and TDECU ($1.6B, Lake Jackson, TX) to name three — turned new Reg E stipulations into an opportunity to better inform members about their balances and spending while growing non-interest income. Henry Wirz, CEO of California-based SAFE ($1.8B, North Highlands, CA), says, “The new opt-in rules for debit overdrafts did not reduce income but in fact is increasing the number of members who use [overdraft] … we never promoted the service until we had to explain the opt-in process.” Read more about the impact of Reg E today.

Amid all the talk of finances and recovery, credit unions’ loan pipelines started filling up again. According to Callahan’s FirstLook data, loans originated in the third quarter were up 15.7% over second quarter FirstLook loan originations while delinquency and charge-offs have remained essentially stable. Read about third quarter trends on CreditUnions.com; then join us on CUtv for our quarterly Trendwatch call.


Nov. 1, 2010


  • great