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The battle for deposits requires new approaches to ease liquidity pressures, according to a panel of credit union and fintech leaders who addressed the 2023 CUNA Finance Council Conference Monday in Anaheim, Calif.
Orange County’s Credit Union in San Ana, Calif., turns to credit unions’ superpower in addressing this challenge: collaboration.
“There’s power in collaboration,” says Amber Cisneros, chief member experience officer at the $2.5 billion asset credit union. “Tap into your peers, and have daily conversations with your internal team about what’s in the pipeline. It’s not just on [finance leaders] to fix this; everyone owns a part of this issue. Have people be accountable for deposit growth.”
Orange County’s also partners with fintechs to grow deposits. “It’s a great way to supplement what you’re doing,” she says. “See who can help you during this time.
“This crisis will pass,” Cisneros continues. “What won’t pass is serving and being there for your members. We should always do what’s best for members.”
Other ways to grow deposits:
New avenues for deposits include corporations, which tend to be an untapped source of liquidity for credit unions, he says. “Business banking solutions can help credit unions on the lending and deposit side. One benefit in the wake of recent bank failures: credit unions can show how they’re stable.”
She advises credit unions to showcase their community involvement efforts and how they put their deposits to work in meaningful ways. Doing so can attract like-minded institutional investors.
“This has kept our cost of funds low, and people like that we want to keep them at the credit union,” Cisneros says.
Ultimately, she adds, recurring deposits such as direct deposit and Social Security payments are the best way to maintain liquidity. During member onboarding, Orange County’s gives new members direct deposit forms that are already filled out.
“Empower employees to have and act on these conversations,” Cisneros says. “It’s a big differentiator.”