Marketing Must Know These Key Ratios

The primary Business Model for credit unions is straightforward. It is Money in Money out. Credit unions buy money ( deposits) from members (Cost of Funds) and then loans out those deposits to Members (Interest Income) at a higher interest rate (Margin). Of course, there are multitudes of nuance to this model, that’s why credit unions have CFOs, but as Marketers, this is how a credit union makes money.

Also, a Marketer needs to know how a credit union delivers on this money in, money out model — the variables include four things: fee, service, sales, and product strategies.

Is your credit union fee sensitive, fee neutral, or fee aggressive? Fee sensitive defines a credit union that historically has a low non-interest income ratio (most of this ratio is made up of various fees) and has a lively debate when a new fee or a fee increase is suggested. Fee neutral is a credit union that understands how vital prices are to the income statement and tries to stay competitive with their fee structure. A fee aggressive is defined by a credit union that needs/wants fees to drive their income statement or actively uses fees to drive member behaviors

What is your credit union’s service model? Are you high touch, E-delivery focused, branch-centric? A high touch branch focus is the most expensive financial institution model because this model requires a lot of headcount and brick and mortar to compete. Typically SEG-based credit unions that are staying true to the bank-at-work model are more cost-effective. Hybrid models that are SEG-based but look and feel like a community field of membership have expenses similar to branch-centric credit unions. E-delivery is likely the most cost-effective model if they avoid branches and the staff to run them.


Rich Jones is the Founder/Principal of Leading2Leadership LLC. Before starting his strategic planning agency, he spent over 20 years in leadership roles in the financial services sector. Before becoming an executive in the financial services sector, Rich was an entrepreneur, building and selling two businesses and working for early-stage start-up companies in executive roles in marketing, business development, and seeking investment partners. With more than three decades of experience, he brings innovative thought to companies and executives. Rich published “Leading2Leadership, a Situational Primer to Leadership Excellence.” The book is available on and was designed to be used as a book study for leadership development programs; it breaks leadership skills into manageable situations for discussion and reflection. Rich works with credit unions, CUSOs, and vendors, designing digital, data, culture, marketing, and branding transformation strategies. In 2014, Chosen as a Credit Union Rock Star by CU Magazine, and in 2018, Rich received the Lifetime Achievement Award from CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council. A Marine and graduate of Colorado State University, Jones shares his expertise at

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