ROCHESTER, N.Y.-Greece Community FCU had to look around for ways to further reduce costs, and during 2008-2009 especially, it learned there were still many avenues to pursue.

"Most of our efforts have been around lowering operating costs," said Manager Laura Dewey. "Employees now contribute 10% toward health insurance. We are not giving raises this year-last year was the first time in three years our two long-term employees were given increases."

The strategy was also applied to other operating costs, as well. "We have renegotiated several vendor contracts, either signing longer terms to lower cost or asking for lower costs. We removed our ATM rather than incurring the cost to buy a new one to be compliant with the ADA guidelines. We have stopped mailing receipts to members for mailed-in deposits and loan payments."

The $9-million CU also cut teller hours, reduced dividend rates on regular shares, money market accounts, and CDs, and cut back on the amount of promotional items purchased. It added a few fees-IRA transfer and check cashing for non-members.

"We also did not have a board appreciation lunch or dinner during the holidays," said Dewey.

GCFCU made one more cut, this time not to lower operating costs, but instead to drive revenue.

"We lowered our auto loan rates," said Dewey. "Had to. It's very competitive out there."

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the credit union industry

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.