Find Your Voice

Bank of America tells the Bank's story in its second quarter impact report. What can credit unions learn from B of A's public presentation? 


Yes, it might be the “B” word, but Bank of America is doing something right. It’s touting its own story. The bank has released its Quarterly Impact Report, and impactful it is. The 12-page report is full of best practices credit unions can learn from…in fact, the report looks like Bank of America took a page out of the credit union handbook.

Sure, there are the standard performance highlights, two pages of accessible, easy-to-digest information on the bank’s consumer lending, small business lending, “green” financing, and the list goes on (most of us are pretty well-aware of Bank of America’s financial performance, we’ve even written about it a bit on But Bank of America also takes the opportunity in its report to tell its consumer stories; it’s making news out of everyday business. After reading the report, I can now tell you about the Rmiki family and about how the bank’s affordable housing program made their dreams of home ownership come true. I can tell you how the bank is helping its business clients succeed through “greater control, choice, and clarity in managing their finances.”

Sprinkled throughout the consumer stories are little nuggets of knowledge — such as “Associates donated more than 460,000 hours toward our 2010 volunteer goal of one million hours” and “We pledged to increase lending to small, medium-sized and diverse businesses by $5 billion this year” — that reinforce the bank’s community standing.

These are good news stories, and Bank of America is pretty good at telling them. But credit unions have the same types of stories. Credit unions are having as much as an — if not greater — impact in their local economies. Bank of America set up a clear theme in its report, stating: A third major focus for us is giving customers more control, clarity, and choices to better manage their money. One example is our new policy on debit cards. We recently decided to end overdraft fees for everyday debt card point-of-sale transactions.

When you are communicating your institution's impact in the communities you serve, what will your theme be? Have you found your voice?


Sept. 9, 2010



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