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Insurance manager: Credit unions must attract young clients
Credit Unions need to come up with strategies and products to attract young clients if they are to secure a place in T&T’s future financial landscape says Andre Goindoo, managing director, CUNA Caribbean Insurance Society Ltd. During a Sunday Guardian interview at yesterday’s Policyowners Advisory Council with the theme Building Our Future Together, held at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre, Goindoo said a survey of credit unions in 2011 discovered that this category of financial outfits remained unattractive to young depositors.
The survey was sponsored by the company to gauge how members used services provided, as well as indicate other financial institutions they utilised. And, baby-boomers who had accounts in their names, did not know, since it was opened on their behalf by parents or guardians. Goindoo said, “Credit Unions need to focus on how they leverage technology to attract younger members.
“They referred to the credit cards...they referred to using Facebook...Very important was the advent of how mobile technology is being positioned to conduct financial transactions. If I got it correct, it was an emphasis on focusing on this particular area because this is where the younger generation will be focused. Everybody has a cell phone, some have two and three.”
He said credit unions also needed to explore the concept of shared branching which was a model of operation for which they had no need to put down physical infrastructure, but could leverage technology using similar facilities to provide services to their members.
Goindoo expressed optimism that this model, if done correctly, could reduce the operating cost for credit unions which would redound to the benefit of the members. Asked about proposed legislation that would see the financial element of these operations fall under the purview of the Central Bank of T&T, Goindoo said legislation in the financial services sector was nothing new and was something industry practitioners would have to live with.
“There is new proposed legislation at present for insurance companies. There was the revised Financial Institutions Act a couple years ago, and there is proposed Credit Union legislation that will move the financial element of their regulation to the Central Bank.
“Obviously it means, like anything else, there would be some areas that we now need to and there may be areas that people disagree with which we could understand,” Goindoo said. He added, “Once credit unions need support CUNA Mutual can provide support in a number of ways. If there are groups that can articulate a position and need help with regard to lobbying, CUNA Mutual can assist in that regard.
In the US, in Washington, CUNA Mutual also plays that role where it assists credit unions to lobby for particular pieces of legislation and bills that they would need.”
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