COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (9/17/15)--While there’s no denying online and mobile financial services continue to gobble up more of the market, consumers continue to clamor for physical branches, and credit unions in Nebraska and Iowa are answering the call.
Centris FCU, Omaha, Neb., and Veridian CU, Waterloo, Iowa, will both open new branches in Council Bluffs, Iowa, next year.
The move, given the recent business growth in the area, shouldn’t come as a surprise, analysts said.
Institutions are putting down stakes in Council Bluffs because it’s become a stable market, Jamie Eads, senior project manager for financial institution consulting firm Bancography, based out of Birmingham, Ala., told the Omaha World Herald (Sept. 16).
Eads said financial institutions located in Omaha also need visibility in Council Bluffs.
The credit unions’ new-branch building may also be attributed to the recent growth the movement has seen.
While the number of bank branches has fallen in recent years, the number of credit union branches in Nebraska has climbed by 7.6% since 2010, according to Nebraska Credit Union League Vice President Dan Collins. Nationally, credit unions saw branches increase by roughly 4% between 2010 and 2014.
Further, membership at Centris has climbed 25% over the past five years, and Dawn Gonzalez, the credit union’s vice president of community development, said the new branch will help meet future member demand in the area.
For Veridian, the new facility will be the new anchor for the credit union in metro Omaha. Veridian has largely worked out of Waterloo, servicing loans to metro-area car dealers in recent years.
“The dealers have always asked us when we’re coming to Omaha,” Jay Ferris, of Veridian’s western region market, told the Omaha World Herald. “It’s huge for us to have a branch here.”