Stronger Together

7 ways Spokane credit unions come together to support one another and the industry.


7 ways Spokane credit unions come together to support one another and the industry.

Safety and Security

A formal group composed of officers from credit unions, banks, and law enforcement meet to discuss the financial services environment and how to protect one another.

Shared Branching

Eight Spokane credit unions participate in shared branching, creating a network of 24 locations in Spokane and 4,620 locations nationwide.

“Shared branching has helped with member retention because it makes it much more convenient to access accounts,” says Ren’ee Roberson, vice president of finance at PrimeSource Credit Union. ($49.8M)

Networking Nourishment

Ten to 12 mid-size credit unions gather for a monthly breakfast meeting to discuss
business and finance. The topics run the gamut and include rules, regulations, compliance, problems, board relationships, and examiner expectations.

Policy Sharing

Smaller credit unions don’t get a break because of their size when it comes to toeing the line of the law. To reduce the regulatory burden, many credit unions swap policies and share insights. A locally owned CUSO even offers a policy swap resource on its website. Reaching out to credit unions of similar size helps leaders identify resources that will fit their needs.

“There’s no way we could wear all the hats we wear without help from other people,” says Debie Keesee, CEO of Spokane Media Federal Credit Union ($9.9M).

Data Processing

Four Spokane credit unions formed data processing CUSO CU*Northwest in 2005. Although it is an extension of CU*Answers, it is owned and governed by its own board of directors that is composed of regional credit union CEOs, including Debie Keesee of Spokane Media and Margaret Burkholz of Prime Source. Today, 21 credit unions use the CUSO’s services, with two more converting by year’s end.

Political Action

A group of Spokane credit unions rallied this spring to collect member signatures in support of Senate Bill 2231, which proposes to increase the member business lending cap. The credit unions gathered nearly 5,000 signatures in 10 days and released a press statement signed by more than a dozen credit unions.

Marketing Mavens

For the past several years, the Northwest Credit Union League Advertising Cooperative has sponsored a campaign to raise the visibility and credibility of the credit union movement.

“We recognize we might not be able to do it by ourselves,” says Brad Hunter, vice president of marketing at Spokane Teachers Credit Union ($1.7B). “But if we cooperate and pool our funds, we can develop a campaign that we can use across all markets in our state.”

STCU broadcast a member testimonial for shared branching that was so powerful, the state league co-opted it for one of its campaigns.

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