By Ken King, former executive director of Consumer Credit Counseling Service and Family Service Association of Sheboygan, WI
It’s often said: “If you think education is expensive — try ignorance.”
When you consider that an education — formal or informal — shapes a person’s lifelong learning and potential for financial security, then that educational investment becomes more affordable long-term.
CUNA developed CUNA Financial Counseling Certification Program (FiCEP) to provide credit union professionals with a competitive edge to grow member loyalty by giving credit union staff the knowledge needed to offer financial counseling.
Loan risks and your bottom-line
A popular question about the FiCEP program is “What is the ROI of the program?” The value is there but quantifying it is difficult. How do you measure a loan that doesn’t go into default, on-time payments, regular savings and a loyal member? The real ROI is a better, more informed employee and a more financially stable member who is better off.
Even during our longest bull market in history, many Americans were not saving enough for a one-off emergency expense. Now, as we face prolonged economic disruption, many Americans do not have the financial resources to ride out this crisis. This dire situation we’re facing makes loan risks greater and getting members the financial support they need harder. Providing financial counseling is a proactive way credit unions can mitigate losses and be there to help members make smart financial choices.
Cost-benefit analysis of a financial wellness program
True success is when you focus on helping members become financially stable, regardless of their income level, because you’re fulfilling the mission of cooperative finance while building your pipeline for future sales. The goal of CUNA Financial Counseling Certification (FiCEP) Program is to help all credit union staff become more confident in helping members build a stronger financial future. Justifying the cost of a financial wellness program can be compared to evaluating the ROI of an employee assistance program. The going rate for most employee assistance programs is between $1.25 and $5.00 per month. If you were to compare that cost to the $1.00 monthly cost per member of running a financial wellness program, you could easily justify offering one to your members.
Here is your potential return on investment:
Showing you’re a dedicated financial partner by helping members struggling with their finances can go a long way in forming stronger relationships. Make a difference for your members by building the knowledge of your staff.
Learn more at cuna.org/ficep.