Welcome to 2010. It’s sure to be a busy year for the credit union and our members, and we’ve already hit the ground running.
Since the official merger on 1 December we’ve been working hard to start the process of bringing together the two divisions of our new credit union. Our members have shown overwhelming support for the merger, and have had plenty of questions about what changes they’ll see by the end of the year.
The short answer is that we know a lot will change, but the exact changes and timing are still being discussed. While few details have been decided, we do know that our new credit union will have an increased ability to help our members.
A great opportunity
The new credit union – which will be named later this year – will be operating in a unique landscape that will give us some fantastic opportunities to develop ties with new communities and new members. We have the chance to create something new; something that honours where we’ve come from, while having the freedom to start afresh.
Once the merger is complete we’ll have a credit union that has a better capacity to help members over a range of life stages and lifestyles, but stays true to what credit unions are.
I really want both members and non-members to gain a better understanding of what it means to be part of a credit union. The vast majority of new members come to us because of the products we offer, not because of who we are or the way we treat our members. It’s only when people become members that they begin to understand our ethos and really value our focus on them as members and owners, rather than customers.
Everyone in our credit union – from the Board of Directors to the staff in our branches – is passionate about putting our members at the centre of what we do (to paraphrase some Australian Central advertising). Our current members understand this, but we want non-members to know this too – we want to become synonymous with friendly, personalised banking that benefits everyone and offers a range of people the products they desire.
This idea of ‘member centricity’ is about examining every part of our credit union and every decision we make from our members’ perspective. Thinking about how decisions will impact members is always important within credit unions, but it’s going to be vital as we make decisions big and small over the next few months.
While our members will see a great deal of changes over the next 6-12 months, the truth is that we’re always changing. Our members and the wider market demand new products, new ways of doing business, new tools for them to access us and their money. If we never changed then we wouldn’t have many of the things we now have: Visa cards, Internet Banking, even accepting members outside of certain industry groups or unions.
Once our two divisions are integrated, our members will have access to an improved range of products, more branches and the same service and value they’ve come to expect.
It’s certainly going to be a busy year.