Credit Union Journal  |  Monday, December 5, 2011

Special Report: Best Practices Credit Union Journal's Best Practices Awards for 2011 offers a host of great ideas with proven results that CU executives can try out at their own credit unions. It's all part of CU Journal's mission of helping CUs grow and better serve their members.

Unintended Results

Improved Communication Leads to Loan Growth

AUSTIN, Texas-What began as a push to improve internal communication resulted in an increase in one credit union's Net Promoter Score, along with increased loan growth and employee retention.

Share & Share Alike

CU Goes Well Beyond Transactional Business

HOBART, Ind.-Many credit unions rely on shared branching networks to make banking more convenient for their members, and often that means simple transactions.

Ready, Aim...

Direct Marketing Bolsters New Branch

LEESBURG, Va.-When it opened a new branch in a dense residential area with little commercial development, Northwest FCU turned to direct marketing to get the word out-very direct marketing.


Revamped IT Drived Membership Growth at STCU

SPOKANE, Wash.-Spokane Teachers Credit Union here has implemented a number of changes it credits for helping it to add more than 900 new members per month-and that was before the recent Bank Transfer Day effort.

State Your Business

Bringing Legal Expertise In-House Pays Off

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-When one CU decided to hire in-house counsel to improve its efforts around collection items referred for litigation, it knew it was a good idea-it just didn't know how good.

A Calculated Risk

Risk-Based Lending Helps Members During Recession

NORCROSS, Ga.-What it describes as a "very credit union-ey" product has helped members with weak credit scores here to get a vehicle.

Capturing Hearts, Minds & Money

Mobile Deposits Take Off at Digital FCU

MARLBOROUGH, Mass.-Digital FCU (DCU) here has boosted its mobile deposit numbers to the point where nearly 50% of all remote deposits come via mobile channels, earning it a Credit Union Journal "Best Practice" award in the Mobile Deposit category.

Loss Of Job, Gain Of Trust

SECU Cushions the Blow After Massive Layoffs

RALEIGH, N.C.-With approximately 7,500 North Carolina state employees facing layoffs as a result of a $2.7-billion budget deficit, State Employees' CU sprang into action.

How 3 CUs Are Snagging More Than Checking Accts.

JACKSONVILLE, Ark.-Some credit unions are finding those debit promotions that have ramped up the past few months are reeling in more than checking accounts, they're attracting profitable members.

Healthy Return

Allegacy FCU Program Keeps Premiums Flat

WINSTON, Salem, N.C.-While most CUs likely face another large premium increase for employee health insurance, one credit union expects its costs to remain stable-if not decline-for the next benefits year.

It Pays To ASK

Connex CU 'Team' Answers Questions

NORTH HAVEN, Conn.-Connex CU's director of training is in the middle of leading a course when her phone rings. She stops the class, takes the call, and provides information that eventually helps a member.

Living & Breathing

Internal Landing Page Paying Dividends

DALLAS-After operating with the same intranet for a decade, American Airlines Credit Union decided it was time to launch a "living, breathing landing page."

A Retry With Refis

Getting Proactive Brings In Loan Dollars

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.-One credit union has learned just how much better it is to be proactive and seek out refinancing opportunities than to just advertise it offers great rates.

Innovation, Despite Gargantuation

How SECU Remains Nimble & Responsive

RALEIGH, N.C.-With 1.7 million members and $23 billion in assets, State Employees' CU here is the second largest CU in the U.S. But despite its size, SECU still strives to remain innovative in ways other CUs struggle to be. SVP of Education Services Leigh Brady said that SECU's strategy is simple: Listen to the needs of the members.

The 'Irrelevance' Issue

VacationLand FCU Seeks To Move To Top of Mind

SANDUSKY, Ohio-Credit unions may struggle with awareness and misconceptions about membership, but one CU believes it's actually lack of relevance that is often the biggest detractor to growth.

Tru-ly Rewarding

Show Me The Money? Nah, What Else You Got?

PLYMOUTH, Minn.-After instituting a new sales and service culture in January and tying it to an employee-incentive program, TruStone Financial FCU here has seen a 56% year-to-date increase in its membership numbers-and that was prior to all the hubbub around Bank Transfer Day.

Giving Back, One Department & Branch At A Time

The Golden 1's Outreach Spans Across Its Market Areas

SACRAMENTO, Calif.-The Golden 1 Credit Union had a lofty goal for giving back in 2010-to have each department and branch participate in at least one community outreach activity.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

WestStar Addresses A Big Concern of Many

LAS VEGAS-In a market with 14% unemployment, it was clear members without jobs weren't going to look to borrow.

The Ten Spot

Mortgage With 10-Year Term Generates $19M In Loans For Connex

NORTH HAVEN, Conn.-Connex CU believes a 10-year home loan is perfect for the current economy and has the numbers to prove it-$19 million from 148 loans over five months.

The College of Credit Unions

Alumni of Pen Air FCU University Make Better Employees

PENSACOLA, Fla.-Spending $20,000 annually on a comprehensive employee training program is a small price to create a pool of talented leaders who are driving CU performance, says Pen Air FCU.

Dealing With The (Refi) Rush Order

How To Smoothly Process 430 Loans

INDIANAPOLIS-Too much business is never a bad thing, but you have to be able to support it if you're going to benefit from it.

Show & Sell

Tool Puts A Number On Savings At CCU

NORTH HAVEN, Conn.-It's more effective to show people what they can save at the credit union rather than tell them about it.

In The Hunt

Interactive Steps Raise Online Awareness

LAKE MARY, Fla.-After being named Central Florida's best credit union for the fourth time by local media, CFE FCU here set out to do more to raise awareness of its brand via its Facebook page and a Web Hunt game.

Treated Like a Rock Star

'Personal Bankers' Assigned To Every Member

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.-Xceed Financial Credit Union's "Personal Banker" program is paying off with higher loan balances and more account relationships among participating members.

A Lot More Than Cab Fare

San Francisco FCU Finds Medallion Loans Pay The Tab

SAN FRANCISCO-When other financial institutions passed on working with a local agency on a loan program to help drivers purchase a taxi medallion, the $770-million San Francisco Federal Credit Union stepped up.

Practice, Practice, Practice

MACU Institutes Numerous Improvements

WEST JORDAN, Utah-Mountain America Credit Union hasn't put in place one Best Practice as much as it has installed Best Practices across the enterprise.

The Turnaround Story

13-Mo. Lending Skid Gives Way To 11 Mos. Of Growth

CHARLESTON, W.Va.-Pioneer West Virginia FCU has completed an impressive turnaround.

The Department of Synergy

Partners FCU Pioneers Way To Get Effectively Focused

BURBANK, Calif.-A "Synergy Department" at Partners FCU has helped drive a Best Practice for growth.

Starting Over

Why Pioneer WV FCU Chose To 'Reboot'

CHARLESTON, W.Va.-Sometimes the best thing for a struggling credit union is to start over.

What CUs can do that Santa can't...
Looking for a new car this holiday season? This spot from Synergy CU in Ireland is a reminder that there might be better places to go for that than Santa.