Credit Unions

NEW INSIGHT: Turning Savings-Conscious Students Into Lifetime CU Members


The early bird catches the worm — and credit unions (CUs) are no exception. Players around the space are increasingly looking to get a jumpstart on teaching their customers about savings habits and ultimately adding new members.

In Washington, D.C., lawmakers got an early start on financial reform for 2018. Recently passed legislation and bills still in the works could rewrite major aspects of the credit union world, and CUs have now taken to Congress to ensure their voices are heard. Meanwhile, other credit unions are giving a whole new meaning to “starting early” by engaging school students to help them run branches that are geared toward their peers and faculty and located in their schools.

The January Credit Union Tracker™ charts the latest news on major financial legislation, impactful mergers and CUs going back to school to win new members.

Around the Credit Union Landscape

No matter what Schoolhouse Rock! says, no piece of legislation is just a bill. Much of what’s sitting — or passing — on Capitol Hill has significant implications for credit unions. Before those laws go into effect, though, companies from around the space are making their opinions about them known.

Legislators are considering writing stricter protections after a year of devastating data breaches, and many CUs are leaping for the chance to urge them on. A number of them pushed Congress to pass new laws requiring disclosure of data breaches and codifying punishment for those who allowed the information to become compromised.

Meanwhile, other CUs are butting heads with their own supervising agency.

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller recently introduced a provision that would require the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to hold public hearings on its budget. The provision would turn a voluntary practice into an obligatory and formalized one, thus guaranteeing CUs a chance to comment. Heller said the measure makes local CU members’ priorities heard at the nation’s decision-making tables, but others assert it gives CUs too much power over the organization that’s supposed to be managing them.

While watching this dispute, financial players are also putting attention on a recently proposed bill on which, in a rarity, it seems members of both sides of the aisle can agree. The bipartisan bill would enable more CUs to add underserved communities to their membership, no longer limiting this to credit unions with multiple common bond charters. Of course, the CUs would still have to prove they’re up to the task.

To find more on these stories and other headlines from around the credit union space, check out the Tracker’s News and Trends section.

Getting an A+ in savings

When some of Royal Credit Union’s student and staff members make a deposit or withdrawal, the teller managing their transactions could be one of the school’s students.

In this month’s feature story, Jennifer McHugh, Royal’s director of public affairs and financial education, explained to PYMNTS about the growing demand for financial institutions to open student-run branches in elementary, middle and high schools. McHugh also discussed what it takes to set up a credit union branch run by students, and how the practice can win lifelong members.

To read the full feature story, along with the latest credit union headlines and trends, download the most recent edition of the Credit Union Tracker™.

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