2022 Credit Union Planning Strategies

December 27, 2021



It’s that time of year: everyone is talking about the holidays and making their New Year’s Resolutions lists as we look forward with hope (and more than a little apprehension) to the things next year will bring. As your staff wraps up 2021, it’s time once again to dive right into your 2022 credit union planning strategies. And IMS is here to help!

COVID Isn’t Yet a Thing of the Past

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are well-documented, and likely not going anywhere for 2022 or the following years. As much as we all wish desperately to put the past few years behind us for good, there’s still a lot to address and unpack, from the effects COVID has had on member habits to the labor shortages we are experiencing right now.

Recently, a CUNA Senior Economist spoke during a World Council of Credit Unions webinar, and we wanted to talk about some of the points covered.

In 2021, credit unions achieved pre-pandemic levels of economic output, says Senior Economist Dawit Kebede. Commercial loans and refinances are leading the pack in terms of loan growth rates.

And as vaccinations increase member confidence, there will also likely be a rise in loan and membership growth in the new year.

2020’s record highs in savings growth are now falling, likely to be 12% lower by the end of 2021, and expected to fall another 6% by 2022.

Branch Network Analysis

Before you rush off to start adding credit union branches or expanding current ones, we have to take a step back and look at the current picture for your CU. Just because the unprecedented declines of 2020 were followed by astounding growth and rebound in 2021 doesn’t mean 2022 will look the same.

If you want to use this organic growth to expand as part pf your 2022 credit union planning strategies, take a look at your current branches. Are they performing well across the board? Are certain ones struggling or seeing more online activity than branch business? And what does the entire system look like? Are your loan programs performing at forecast?

Having a clear understanding of your credit union’s network now will help you create a solid plan to target problem areas and expand successfully into the growth opportunities that 2022 will bring.

Upgrade Your Physical Spaces to Reflect the New Normal

According to Level 5, physical branches are “still at the forefront of customer engagement and retention, but due in part to digital channels, their role has become less transactional and more about onboarding and advisory sessions.”

That’s why part of your 2022 credit union planning strategies should include a thorough evaluation of the spaces each branch has, and the purposes they are being used for. You should focus more on making your branches friendly and helpful for new and potential members looking to open accounts, with lots of space to conduct advisory meetings with members – whether they are discussing mortgages or other loan options, financial education, and more.

Start Your 2022 Credit Union Planning with IMS

IMS is the leading backup, disaster recovery, and IaaS service provider for credit unions – this enables us to provide leading technology at a price you can afford. We want you to be able to serve your members as well or better than big banks and new fintech companies. Check out our virtual private cloud services.

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