The roar of helicopter blades over the convention center briefly filled the General Session hall during the CUNA GAC Monday. On cue, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle, who was in the middle of his opening remarks, stopped and said: “I don’t know if that’s the bankers, or not.”
While the sound might have seemed ominous at first, Nussle told attendees not to be afraid. Frankly, it’s time for credit unions to stop being afraid of the big banks, he said.
Some might say if we’re too bold, we’re going to wake up the bankers, Nussle said. “Can I just tell you something? They’re awake. They’re already awake. Nothing we’re doing this week is waking up any bankers.”
Instead of harboring fear of those other financial institutions, Nussle said credit unions must be bolder, and more aggressive. That way, credit unions can grow and begin chipping away at the grip big banks have on market share in a material way.
One critical way credit unions can draw more of that market share is by becoming the same type of disruptors that have recently turned other industries on their ears, Nussle explained.
Companies such as Uber and Amazon are spurring massive change in their respective industries, and credit unions have the ability to assume a similar identity, he said. “Credit unions are and need to be the disruption in the financial services marketplace that Americans are searching for,” Nussle said. “This is probably one of the biggest challenges we have ahead of us.”
“Are we Uber–or are we taxis? Do we want to be the disruptor or do we want to be disrupted?” he added. “I want us to be the disruptors to the 100 biggest banks in the country that have 75% of the market share right now and that are ripe for stealing that market share.”