With the complex array of financial products and services available to consumers, it's no wonder that credit union employees, both seasoned and novice alike, lack confidence when discussing them with members. Yet confident employees are more likely to recommend products to assist members—ultimately increasing a credit union's bottom line.
For example, after using the Educated Investor University—an online suite of financial education courses brought to credit unions in a partnership between The the Credit Union Executives Society and Precision Information, LLC.—Desert Schools Federal Credit Union ($3.3 billion in Phoenix) saw a 275% increase in money from new sales of investment products from 2004 to 2006. Mountain America Credit Union ($2.8 billion in Salt Lake City, Utah) experienced a 324% growth in money deposited in term deposit accounts from 2006 to 2008.
Precision Information measured the success of its classes by testing the financial literacy of more than 1,000 credit union employees, from frontline staff to executives. Before taking the Educated Investor University courses, the median score was 55.7%. Post coursework, it rose to 81% among participants who took the classes.
What's more, upon completing Educated Investor University:
- 94% of employees said they felt more knowledgeable about the subject matter.
- 90% said they would recommend the course to a member or employee.
- 86% said they would be more likely to refer the products they studied to members.
Developing staff financial literacy not only improves job satisfaction, it also increases employee retention and productivity. According to A.D. Prawitz and E.T. Garman in their report "It's Time to Create a Financially Literate Workforce to Improve the Bottom Line,"* better financial education and a sense of well-being generate an annual employer gain of $750-$2,000 per employee.
"Education and advice is critical to our success in this industry. Our members win when our staff is prepared to be the financial advisors that they expect and deserve. Our staff wins when they are provided great education that results in a tangible certification. Our credit union wins when we increase our members' financial power. The system and the courses at Precision Information are excellent partners in creating this win, win, win environment," said Tony Klubertanz, Director of Training and Development, Summit Credit Union ($1.3 billion in Madison, Wis.).
Educated Investor University's online curriculum delivers more than 100 tutorials with 50 plus hours of unbiased, detailed coursework straight to staff computers. Composed of personal finance, investing basics, and retirement and wealth management classes, each course is broken down into easy-to-digest, 15-20 minute modules. Each module provides interactive tools and questions to enhance information retention.
"We love the financial education courses," said Susan Frank, CEO, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union. "They not only help our employees do a better job in assisting our members, but they also help the employees improve their own financial health."
Register for a free Educated Investor University Web demo now at www.educatedinvestor.com/products/cues.
* Benefits Compensation Digest, Volume 46, pages 1, 11-14