The Vitality of Growth and How to Achieve the Best Results with John Dearing

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Capstone Strategic, Inc. partner and managing director John Dearing led a breakout session discussing the credit union market, the challenges credit unions face when it comes to internal and external growth, and what could be done to achieve the best results possible.

With issues impacting credit unions like declining fee and interest income, regulatory hurdles, industry consolidation, economic and political uncertainty, tough competition, etc., Dearing stated how important it is for credit unions to provide the best service to members that they will value.

The culture that society resides in is one of instant gratification, he pointed out. Consumers want something and they want it right then and there; so for credit unions, member focus and delivering the needs of the consumer is crucial.

Three areas of focus in Dearing’s discussion included generating new ideas, sharing “outside” perspectives and providing useful tools for execution. He emphasizes on three steps for strategic growth:

  1. Building the foundation
  2. Building the relationships
  3. Building the deal

Dearing discussed options for credit unions to consider when looking at their membership growth. Some of these options included investing in CUSOs, using CUSOs to grow through mergers and acquisitions, ways to generate non-fee and non-interest income, external partnerships and collaborations, and more.


He went over five options for growth:

  1. Organic – building a new branch
  2. External – acquire new technology/invest in a CUSO
  3. Exit the Market – brands exiting to refocus
  4. Minimize costs – aggregate for scale with vendors
  5. Do nothing – traveler checks vs. credit card