Monday, March 9, 2015

How Are You Helping Members with Financial Stability?

From Bob Trunzo, President and Chief Executive Officer, CUNA Mutual Group

We have served credit unions and their members for 80 years. We know that supporting credit unions means a commitment to empowering the financial security of the millions of Americans they serve.

So, in 2014, we announced a $200 million investment in consumer-focused initiatives, products, and services to help credit unions reach middle-American consumers.

At the core, this requires a clear focus on the latest consumer insights in areas like broad research, wealth management, and customer experience.

Research provides priceless perspective

While there are marketplace challenges for credit unions, consumer research shows clear opportunity. We want to do our part to help you navigate the future.

A new study we commissioned from the Filene Research Institute reflects on how consumers prefer to interact with financial institutions, how they approach retirement planning, the investment idiosyncrasies of baby boomers, and how credit unions can help.

Shedding light on the economic dynamics affecting our industry, our monthly trends report provides credit unions with a glimpse at the big picture.

Wealth management services provide vital opportunities for growth

Credit unions are uniquely positioned to leverage wealth management and retirement planning services to support the financial stability of their members.

We are investing $25 million in CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI) to expand our network of more than 400 financial advisors who provide in-house services to members through 250 credit unions nationwide.

We also seized the opportunity to provide financial services tailored for the preferences of women, who will control two-thirds of private wealth over the next five years, offering some of the most impactful female advisors in the industry.

Meanwhile, we remind you that the National Credit Union Foundation offers retirement planning counseling and services to members and staff through retirement fairs it hosts with credit unions across the nation.

We support this program through corporate giving, and we encourage you to leverage it as a resource.

An intuitive, engaging online customer experience is critical

Today’s consumers expect an immediate, engaging user experience online – one that fits the way they live and the devices and technologies they already use today. Credit unions that bring this to life have the best chance to connect with new members.

You can see this at work through our TruStage Connect solution. It provides live video and text chat support with a licensed insurance representative to help simplify the purchase of personal insurance products for credit union members.

Our alliance with financial technology provider D+H is another example. It will bring a new online mortgage payment protection solution to members in a seamless, online user experience for application and enrollment.

The products and services we provide through credit unions have been empowering Americans with financial security for generations. As we reflect on years past and the years ahead, one thing is clear: Credit unions who align with the needs, preferences and financial interests of the American consumer will remain relevant to their members, now and in the future.

How will you seize the opportunities?

Get more information on how CUNA Mutual is dedicated to helping people find financial security, download the Filene research report and more on