We have some exciting and important information about WSECU's future to share with you!
For the last two years, your Board of Directors has been studying WSECU's past performance and projected future trends. When compared to our credit union peers, we perform at or near the top of our industry in most areas, including the measurement we value most - your ratings of our service. However, new member growth is one area where we fall well below our peers at a state and national level-and it continues to decline.
WSECU remains the only large credit union in the state with a closed field of membership restricted to public employees and their families. Additionally, the composition of our membership has changed over time. Public employment is shrinking presenting the cooperative with a contracting potential member base. Today, just 20 percent of new members come from the public sector.
Having a healthy rate of new member growth is imperative for sustaining and expanding services to you in the future, especially for things like the technological enhancements that today's members want.
Here is our challenge: How do we provide the growth to maintain the level of service you want and deserve without changing the core focus and values of WSECU? Your Board of Directors has drafted a proposal that would retain our culture, continue our commitment to public employees and assure the cooperative has a healthy future.
Through a field of membership expansion, we could reach out to individuals who embrace the same values as public employees; e.g., those who give back, professionally or personally, to their communities. This would be an ideal match for a credit union dedicated to service. Your Board believes a change to an open field of membership with a targeted marketing and outreach effort to attract people who share the values of public employees is the right path. It is an evolution that can revitalize and build on our focus on public and community service. And, with the healthy, modest growth this path could bring we can continue to meet your evolving needs, maintain service levels to the entire membership and increase our level of engagement in branch communities.
We want your help before any formal change is made, including identifying more ways to enhance our relationship with public employees. We also want your thoughts on how we can successfully add more individuals who share the same values as WSECU and the public sector.
Credit unions provide great service and great value. We believe the time is right to invite more people to experience the power of cooperative banking in a way that honors WSECU's past and prepares for our future.