Callahan & Associates, the credit union industry’s leading analytics firm and publishers of CreditUnions.com, have just released their 2010 Credit Union Directory. Comparing this year’s directory against last year’s, The Financial Brand has noted 75 substantive name changes.
Some of these name changes may be due to mergers, but most frequently, credit unions change names for one of these three reasons:
- The credit union’s primary sponsor has disappeared, or dwindled to such a point that it can no longer sustain membership.
- The credit union feels its name is geographically limiting and/or exclusive to certain types of people (e.g., teachers).
- The credit union can no longer use another organization’s brand name. This is typically triggered by a request from the primary sponsor’s lawyers, but sometimes by another financial institution asserting trademark rights.
From this year’s new names:
- 11 credit unions included the word “Community”: Arlington Community, Champion Community, Community, Community Driven, Memberfocus Commmunity, My Community, NMTW Community, Prestige Community, Total Community, Valley One Community and Vue Community.
- 7 reduced their names to acronyms: CEFCU, CSE, MaPS, MCT, ME/CU, NMTW and USE.
- 7 are coined names: Altana, Aventa, Cinfed, Genisys, Meritrust, TruStone and Vue Community.
- 3 use the number “one”: Alabama One, Metro 1 and Valley One Community.
- 3 credit unions ditched the word “First” in their name, while one put it in: University First.
- 2 credit unions used alphanumeric constructions: Med5 and Metro 1.
It might be time to update The Financial Brand’s list of The Top 50 Most Distinctive Credit Union Names. Which ones do you think belong in the list?
Further Reading: Anyone in the financial marketing arena should know “How to Look Up a Financial Trademark in 10 Easy Steps.” And here are some of other stories about credit union name changes as reported here at The Financial Brand:
- The do’s and don’ts of CU acronyms
- The ‘Community Credit Union’ fallacy
- The most common words in credit union names
- What does ‘Federal’ do for FCUs?
- From “America’s who?” to “ACU who?”
- Advanta forces Avanta to become ‘Altana’
- Credit union picks ‘Wildfire’ as new name
- Two credit unions merge to create ‘Genisys’
- Credit union completes transformation to ‘Centric’
- Credit union picks ‘Aventa’ as new moniker
Also, please contact The Financial Brand for your copy of “The Credit Union Guide to The Name Change Decision,” a comprehensive, 33-page analysis of the strategic renaming issues that apply to any financial institution considering a name change.
|New Name||Former Name||Assets|
|Access of Louisiana||Olin Employees L.C.||23,957,101|
|Air Line Pilots Association||ALPA||173,653,482|
|Alabama One||The Credit Union of Alabama||555,068,560|
|Arlington Community||Arlington Virginia||184,221,737|
|Aspire||FAA Eastern Region||182,560,814|
|Best Reward||Reward One||105,868,976|
|Cal State C U Of The North Bay||Cal State Central||100,616,334|
|CEFCU||Citizens Equity First||4,146,031,206|
|Champion Community||Champion Alabama Employees||39,209,042|
|Chief Financial||Chief Pontiac||106,449,575|
|Cinfed||Cin Fed Employees||281,639,448|
|Community Driven||M P G Community||56,461,073|
|Corner Post||Wilkes-Barre Postal||54,501,638|
|CSE||Canton School Employees||109,971,421|
|Delta Schools||Antioch Schools||28,862,560|
|Eastside Family||Leo XIII K C||26,502,742|
|Fox Valley||Aurora Burlington||20,623,581|
|Freedom Of Maryland||Freedom||226,247,620|
|Greater Springfield||Springfield Mass. Municipal Em||112,721,214|
|Hidden River||Schuylkill County School Emplo||105,483,954|
|Hoosier Hills||Spencer County Co-op||317,252,013|
|Main Street Financial||LA DOTD||107,610,630|
|MaPS||Marion and Polk Schools||349,164,166|
|MCT||Montgomery County Teachers||414,626,807|
|ME/CU||Municipal Employees Credit Uni||98,623,759|
|Med5||Rapid City Medical||33,500,879|
|Media Members||Phil. Inquirer & Daily News Emp.||40,100,157|
|Memberfocus Community||Dearborn Schools||82,760,898|
|Meridian||Ottumwa School Employees||26,650,365|
|Metro 1||First Metropolitan||198,627,458|
|Milestone||Birmingham Post Office||21,695,864|
|My Community||Midland Community||233,477,847|
|NMTW Community||Northern Mass. Telephone Workers||449,007,906|
|Piedmont Advantage||Piedmont Aviation||238,320,389|
|Security||Lapeer County Community||359,181,006|
|South Central||South Central State Employees||47,795,522|
|South Texas Area Resources||STAR||39,085,576|
|Southwest Michigan||Kalamazoo District Bell||70,511,587|
|Texas Plains||Plains Bell||26,704,814|
|Total Community||Taylor Community||45,034,035|
|Union Yes||Building Trades||58,857,008|
|University First||University Of Utah||550,434,216|
|USE||U. S. Employees||73,361,048|
|Utah Heritage||Moroni Feed||40,076,421|
|Valley One Community||Numerca Community||29,529,870|
|Vue Community||St. Alexius Community||29,128,239|