Credit Unions’ Potential & Actual Membership Continues to Grow while Penetration Rate Declines to 6.8%

Nationally, 12-month membership growth increased 1.9% through the third quarter of 2009 as consumers turned back toward local financial institutions and focused on saving. Additionally over the past 10 years, many credit unions have expanded their field of membership significantly, 1,900 by more than 200%.

 
 

Nationally, 12-month membership growth increased 1.9% through the third quarter of 2009 as consumers turned back toward local financial institutions and focused on saving. Additionally over the past 10 years, many credit unions have expanded their field of membership significantly, 1,900 by more than 200%.

One trend that Callahan & Associates believes indicates remaining credit union opportunity is the membership penetration rate, or the number of current members as a percentage of potential members. Over the past 11 years, credit unions’ average penetration rate has fallen from 29.7% to 6.8%.


Click here to see a larger image of the graph above

Despite increasing FOMs and positive membership growth, credit unions are not reaching enough of their potential membership base. And with the need to keep expenses down in 2010, credit unions must find cost-effective ways to connect with those they have not yet reached.

To discuss how credit unions can do more with less, Callahan & Associates is hosting a discussion on raising your credit union’s community profile through your Board of Directors this Thursday, January 21st at 2 p.m. EDT.

“As industry analysts, we want to ensure that credit unions are always looking at the big picture,” says Jay Johnson, EVP of Callahan & Associates. “The presentations included in this event will help credit unions think about new ways they can tap into their expanding fields of membership without significantly increasing costs.”

Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, CEO of Travis Credit Union and Charles Thomas, former CEO and current Director of Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union will discuss their board strategies and how deepening community involvement is critical.

The webinar is designed for credit union CEOs, CFOs, Board of Directors and Executive Teams. Please visit the webinar homepage to register for this event. The webinar will begin promptly at 2 p.m. EDT, 11 a.m. PDT.

Please contact Lydia Cole at (202) 223-3920 ex. 161 or email lcole@creditunions.com with any questions related to this event.

Callahan & Associates is a Washington, DC-based firm specializing in financial publications, software development, strategic planning, and investment management for credit unions for twenty-five years.  Visit www.creditunions.com to learn more.

 

 

 

Jan. 19, 2010


Comments

 
 
 
  • Many of the credit unions that expanded into community charters only have one, or a very small number of branches. Lets face it, in spite of all the advances in online banking, selecting a financial institution for most consumers is still a proximity based decision. A typical branch has about a 3 - 5 mile sphere of influence. I believe that is why credit unions may have expanded their potential membership base significantly by adding county wide charters, but have seen more limited success in adding new members.
    mike s.
     
     
     
  • If you grow your potential membership by 700% (or 1.2 billion people) over 11 years, but only grow actual members around 2% annually, one would expect a huge differential in penetration.

    This seems to undermine the argument for growth through community charters. It looks like you have to add 1,000 potential new members in order to get 1 actual new member.
    Jeffry Pilcher