RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.-Dollars invested into marketing this year should produce solid growth returns, observed one person who believes a great deal of the member growth CUs enjoyed last year can be credited to bank errors.

Stan Hollen, president of CO-OP Financial Services, told Credit Union Journal that the general anti-bank sentiment that swept over the U.S. last year obviously contributed a great deal to the record member growth numbers CUs enjoyed in 2012, and that credit unions still have the opportunity this year to keep the momentum going with solid advertising.

"I think the biggest opportunity is member growth," said Hollen, noting the many PR mistakes banks made last year. "We can talk (about the banks' problems) and bring more growth this year."

However, there can only be enough growth that ROA can handle, reminded Hollen. "The greatest pressure is going to be on the other side of the balance sheet-with lending. You have to have a fairly high loan-to-share ratio to have the kind of return on assets that lets you grow and bring in those new accounts. Lending has always been what's most important to drive the credit union bottom line."

For info: CO-OP Financial Services: www.co-opfs.org

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