CUNA Mutual Group Demonstrates Its Value of Supporting Credit Unions Through Difficult Times

By Jeff Post, President and CEO, CUNA Mutual Group

A rocky economy and unprecedented losses from natural disasters took a serious toll on everyone in 2011. All of us at CUNA Mutual Group are grateful we could be there to help credit unions and members when they needed us most. Our strong financial results in 2011—as in the previous two years—show our continuing value to the industry as we face this difficult economic environment together.

Despite the financial headwinds, preliminary calculations show that CUNA Mutual Group ended 2011 with its strongest capital position ever. We wouldn’t be in this position without listening to and learning from credit unions every day. Credit unions have guided us through our Voice of the Customer initiatives, advisory panels, league partnerships, daily interactions with our employees and more.

Here’s a small sample of what we accomplished together in 2011:

 

New tools for increasing loans and non-interest income

Smartphone Loans for loanliner.com®, introduced in late June, is already in use at more than 500 credit unions. Its secure, compliant lending platform significantly increased the completion percentage of applications at two pilot-test credit unions, and overall, 47 percent of Smartphone Loan applicants expressed interest in payment protection products.

Our Integrated Web Calculator was enhanced in 2011 to streamline the workflow for loan officers. For example, we added an electronic document retrieval feature, mechanical repair coverage intelligent quoting, and a NADA database change.

Both of these products are among those scheduled for further enhancements in 2012, as we stay committed to developing the technology credit unions need to increase loans and non-interest income.

Auto lending remained slow in 2011, but the 400 credit unions using our Auto Loan Recapture Program averaged an 8-percent lending growth rate, generating $5 in interest for every dollar spent on the program.

 

State-of-the-art retirement planning services for employees

More than 3,000 credit unions now use our newly released online retirement guidance platform, RetireOnTarget®. As a result, more than 140,000 credit union employees whose 401(k)s are administered by CUNA Mutual Group can better meet their retirement goals with an easy-to-understand planning tool.

 

Advocating with lawmakers on behalf of credit unions

Our legal experts, in conjunction with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), continue to track key legislation and help organize our industry’s effort to educate lawmakers about potential effects of bills and regulations. We also offer ongoing education, consultation and financial support to leagues and other industry partners. In short, we do not simply offer products to credit unions—we reinvest in the credit union movement that founded our company 77 years ago.

 

The plan for 2012: Stay aggressive in product and service improvements

As in 2011, we will not be resting on our laurels. The scoreboard goes back to zero. We know we have to prove ourselves again every day.

Toward that end, we’ve added fresh talent and proven performers who have been working to help us launch new and enhanced products and services, such as a new website for members to make the experience of purchasing insurance more convenient, effective and safe. To help credit unions improve their investment and portfolio management strategies, we’re expanding our Credit Union Investment Advisory Services (CUIAS), run by our registered investment advisor affiliate, MEMBERS Capital Advisors.

We have many more additions and improvements on the way, and we’ll continue seeking your advice and feedback throughout the year. And as always, we stand ready to serve when disaster and financial turmoil strike—our financial strength and talent prepare us to help you in whatever way we can.

 

CUNA Mutual Group is the marketing name of CMFG Life Insurance Company, its affiliates and subsidiaries, including CUMIS Insurance Society, Inc. Product availability and features may vary by jurisdiction and are subject to actual policy language. Corporate headquarters are located in Madison, Wis.

 

Strategic Link is the NWCUAs wholly-owned service corporation, providing the Associations member credit unions with exclusive high-quality, competitively-priced products and discounted services. Questions? Contact Sales & Marketing Associate Craig Reed: 206.340.4789, creed@nwcua.org.

Posted in Community Impact, CUNA.