CROSSVILLE, Tenn.-Thanks to a strong and well-timed marketing push, membership is up at Upper Cumberland FCU, as is its loan-to-share ratio.

CEO Denise Cooper pointed out that the $31-million UCFCU had by coincidence lauched an aggressive marketing campaign promoting the credit union's name and loans two months before Bank Transfer Day.

What that has done, said Cooper, is raise the credit union's profile at a time when consumers were becoming truly dissatisfied with banks, and bring in new members more for loans than deposits, many bringing over loans from other FIs. "Bank Transfer Day had no immediate impact. Instead, it had a long-term impact and definitely increased our deposit and loan growth over the past 12 months."


Controlled Growth

Upper Cumberland controlled deposit growth by keeping dividend rates low. By September 2012 Upper Cumberland had boosted its loan-to-share ratio to 86.27%. Total loan balances have increased by 32.51%, regular shares by 30.25%, and assets by 16.77%. Delinquencies have remained low at 0.11% and net charge-offs are 0.28%. ROA stands at 1.38%.

Keys to lending growth, said Cooper, are taking a retail approach to marketing loans. Not only did Upper Cumberland install a digital sign outside the main office to scroll loan rates and specials, it had its branch windows painted with its loan rates: 2.75% for used autos with a credit score of 680 and higher and 3.99% for 10-year fixed-rate mortgage.

"These two products were hot items in our community. We painted the glass in March and left them up until October. We are located close to a bank's drive-thru window. We had one new member that said he was at the bank's drive-thru and saw our rates and stopped in to get a loan."

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