Do You Offer Financial Education for the Right Reasons?

Is your first priority to increase business or to improve members' lives?

October 04, 2010
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Why offer financial education?

Perhaps these scores reflect the need for some credit unions to re-examine why they provide member education in the first place. Clearly there are a host of programs out there to use.

As a leading provider of financial education materials, CUNA has nine online offerings, in-person seminars, and written materials, and has been in this business since the ‘60s. It has more than 2,200 online subscriptions among credit unions.

CUNA is by no means alone in its view that financial literacy is important to members and to credit unions. Bucky Sebastien, new executive director for the National Credit Union Foundation, is said to be making financial education the cornerstone of his plans.

Not that the Foundation hasn’t been steeped in personal finance before with its Real Solutions campaign and funding of the BizKids television show.

But now the Foundation has a front person with political connections in credit unions and in government.

And, of course, there's a host of other providers selling their wares as the next answer to improving financial literacy. Some even tout that their programs can increase your front-line staff's cross-sales, though that’s very difficult to prove.

What’s your rationale for financial education? Is it to help your members or to improve your bottom line?

Next: The ‘new poor’

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