Commit to Being ‘Fiercely Cooperative,’ Nussle Tells ACUC

Putting credit union advocacy on the offense led to a successful 2018, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle said at America’s Credit Union Conference (ACUC) Tuesday, so how do credit unions stay on the offense in 2019? The continued use of credit unions’ “cooperative superpowers,” Nussle said, will continue to make the credit union difference stand out.

“We have in our DNA the track record and capacity to do amazing things,” Nussle said. “And our competitive superpowers are our best asset and our competitive advantage, as well as the building blocks of our movement, founded in our seven cooperative principles.”

Nussle also described the three “existential challenges” facing credit unions, attacks on the credit union model and the market being the first two. And the third? 

“I hear too often about credit unions competing with other credit unions. You’ve seen the data. We have 7% of the market share, with 93% of the market an ‘empty blue ocean’ to go after,” Nussle said. “Banks and unregulated fintech is our competition, not other credit unions. It’s natural to be ambitious, competitive and intendents, we are simply not big enough to fight amongst ourselves. I know we’re fiercely independent but I want us to be fiercely cooperative as well.”

Nussle said CUNA’s strategy to combat these threats is to raise awareness and consideration of credit unions, using the Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® campaign to elevate the credit union brand, amplify current marketing strategies and using targeted, efficient methods to reach consumers.

Nussle also introduced Chris Lorence, CUNA’s new chief credit union awareness officer, and played examples of what the campaign looks like to consumers.

He also made a major announcement: that three new states will launch an Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union campaign. Starting in July it will commence in North Dakota, South Dakota and Indiana.

Nussle’s full speech was carried on Facebook Live, and was viewed nearly 800 times as of Tuesday evening. The recorded version is available here.