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Targeting loans, checking helps grow membership

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Credit union: Financial Resources Federal Credit Union

Assets: $453,903

Location: Bridgewater, NJ

Category: Membership Growth

Nominated by: Haberfeld Associates

By implementing member acquisition strategies targeted at checking and loan relationships, Financial Resources Federal Credit Union increased its core membership growth significantly.

“We began by introducing a new management/coaching role within our retail group that was dedicated to providing oversight and support for frontline sales and service initiatives,” said Financial Resources FCU COO Frank Almeida. “We reviewed an initial set of processes looking to streamline and make it easier for members to do business with the credit union whenever possible.”

To ensure goals would be met, the $453 million, Bridgewater, NJ-based credit union connected with the Lincoln, Neb.-based Haberfeld Associates. Almeida said the firm’s solution was in line with the CU’s “overall philosophies and approach.” Next steps included redesigning checking products, reviewing and eliminating associated account fees, refreshing marketing collateral, redesigning the account opening process and implementing a direct mail campaign.

“Every member of Financial Resources FCU’s team works enthusiastically to bring in new core members. They are engaged and motivated to reach the credit union’s goals and that energy is demonstrated in the excellent results over the past year,” said Haberfeld Associates’ Account Executive Danielle Stahlnecker. “Their strong leadership and culture emanates throughout the credit union.”

Comparing pre- and post-launch statistics underscores strong campaign results, explained Almeida. For example, new member checking account openings are up 91 percent. Business checking has increased by 104 percent, loan volume (branch loans by dollar) is up 31 percent and credit card production increased by 17 percent.

“We approached this as more than a retail effort, but rather a credit union wide initiative. From the board and executive leadership team, back office staff, retail team members and for our new hires in their orientation and training so that everyone knew and understood their role in the program’s success,” noted Almeida.

Critical to the success of the initiative has been the CU’s “committed and caring team” that Almeida said “truly wants to do right by both our members and the credit union.” He added that initiatives like these, while important to the CU’s success, should also be fun.

“By the very nature of what we do we spend a lot of time focused on various measurements related to performance and success where it becomes very easy to lose site of the people and processes involved and for our true overall purpose of service,” he said.

Those efforts have earned Financial Resources FCU a 2017 Best Practices Award from CU Journal.

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