TAMPA, Fla.-Florida Central Credit Union relies on its onboarding program to drive deeper relationships with all the new members it's getting this year-having a 50% success rate.

"Our onboarding process consists of follow-up calls from branch personnel and direct mail pieces based on account relationship," said CEO Laida Garcia.

The onboarding effort, recognized Garcia, is much more important this year, especially since the $385-million credit union has advertised heavily in 2012, using radio as well as print.

During the 12-month period beginning Sept. 30, 2011 and ending Sept. 30, 2012, Florida Central experienced a 13% increase in new members, up from 10% the year before. During October through November 2011, the credit union opened 1,500 new accounts.

"That's an increase of 57% in our average number of accounts opened monthly," noted Garcia.

During the 12-month period ending in September, growth in deposits from new members increased by 17%.

"However, on average, the deposit amount per new account was significantly lower than what we have experienced historically," said Garcia. "Florida Central experienced over 6% in loan growth in the last year, but little of it came from these new members. However, while fewer of the new members took out a loan, those that did borrowed larger dollar amounts."

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