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Coalition Building: Collaboration in Advocacy

Posted by on Tuesday, 17 July, 2012

When I present advocacy training seminars or teach my class at CUNA Management School, I usually talk about the ten basic lobbying principles:  unity, clarity of objectives, discipline, subject matter expertise/preparation, perseverance, adaptation, opposition research, credibility/trust, key actors and coalition building.  I intend to discuss each of these principles in future blog posts; this installment is dedicated to coalition building and published in conjunction with a presentation that I am giving to the World Council of Credit Unions Conference in Gdansk, Poland.

If you attend any credit union system conference, I can guarantee you that someone will talk about collaboration – working with others to accomplish a specific task.  Collaboration occurs in just about every aspect of the credit union movement, even in the way we approach advocacy.  In fact, given how challenging it has become to get Congress to move even the most basic piece of legislation, collaborations with other interested parties – coalition building – is an essential part of a successful advocacy plan.

At a basic level, there are a lot of advantages to working with other groups that share our interests in an issue. 

  • A coordinated approach is almost always more effective than two parties with similar interests working on their own.  Multiple parties mean additional resources can be brought to bear to fight what may be an expensive and long battle.  Working together allows each group to bring their strengths to the table, whether they are financial, access, knowledge or grassroots. 
  • Joining forces also brings together additional perspectives.  Coalition members may want to see a policy advanced for different reasons.  Having advocates that approach the issue from a different perspective can be valuable as long as the end goal is truly the same for all involved.  In fact, multiple perspectives can help policymakers draw the logical conclusion that the impact of the proposal is broader than if just one group was pushing for the bill. 

However, there are also risks associated with being a part of a coalition.

  • Being a part of a coalition may mean partnering with groups that oppose your efforts on other, unrelated issues.  On several issues, CUNA has partnered with groups, like banking trade associations and retail trade groups, which oppose significant aspects of the credit union legislative agenda.  We work together when we can, and we find we are more successful when we do.
  • Participating in a coalition requires the surrender of a degree of autonomy.  Group deliberations lead to group decisions; the path the coalition decides to take may not have been the path an individual participant would have followed.  However, this risk can be managed by leveraging the strengths you bring to the table.   
  • What is more challenging and more important to manage is the exposure of an organization’s credibility, resources, strengths and weaknesses.  Part of the decision matrix when joining the coalition has to be answering the question, “How will this make us look?”  Another important question to consider is whether the effort is worth the cost, actual and reputational.  This is especially important on peripheral issues that may be more important to the other coalition members than they are to your group. 
  • Finally, it is also important to keep in mind that when you are a part of a coalition, your partners get an insight on your strengths and weaknesses, which could help them in a future legislative battle. 

Coalitions are not a new phenomenon in credit union advocacy – the Campaign for Consumer Choice is a good example of the effectiveness of a broad coalition effort led by CUNA.  I remember this effort because, as a Congressional staffer, I was on its receiving end.  In fact, my perspective on coalition building has been shaped significantly by the time that I spent on Capitol Hill and the number of times that I saw coalition efforts work.  If you can manage the risks, there are often many good reasons to join or try to form a coalition on many issues. 

A Coalition Needs to Be More Than a List of Names:  The MBL Experience

One of the most important legislative issues for credit unions is, of course, the effort to enact legislation allowing well-capitalized credit unions with significant business lending experience to lend beyond an arbitrary statutory cap imposed in 1998.  The beneficiaries of this legislation will not only be the credit unions that engaged in this additional lending but also the small business-owning credit union members that are able to receive funding and the people they hire as a result.  We estimate that credit unions could lend an additional $13 billion to small businesses in the first year, helping them to create at least 140,000 new jobs.  This legislation (S. 2231 / H.R. 1418) is fiercely opposed by the banking sector, and has historically been viewed by many in Congress as a bank versus credit union issue.  But really, it’s about small businesses. 

In an effort to not only change the conversation but also demonstrate the impact of the bill, we organized a coalition of interested parties to help achieve its enactment.  At first, the goal was to put together a diverse and growing list of organization names to show there was support outside the credit unions system.  Today, there are over 30 organizations which have publicly supported our efforts to enact this legislation – conservative and progressive think tanks, small business organizations and cooperative organizations.

Over the past few years, we have been able to develop our coalition into something more than just a list of names; but it did not happen through a flip of a switch.  Building a strong coalition requires a dedication of resources.  It involves recruiting members, educating them, keeping them informed and urging them to take action at the appropriate time. 

In the beginning, we did not ask much of these groups, only that they allow us to use their name in support of the bill.  We were seeking to broaden our base of support.  Over time, however, we found we needed more from our coalition partners; and we found they were all willing to give more to the effort!  We first asked our coalition partners to engage in blog posts and media opportunities touting the importance of credit unions as part of the solution to the small business credit crunch.  Then, we encouraged the groups to include information about our legislation in their talking points on Capitol Hill.  In February, we organized a “Small Business Hike the Hill” where credit unions and our coalition partners brought small business owners to Washington to speak with lawmakers about the legislation.  And, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced his intention to call a vote on the MBL legislation, our coalition partners responded by asking their members to call on Congress to pass the bill.  This response would not have been possible without the effort we’ve put into developing the coalition over the last three or four years. 

Just as the ability of our coalition to take action did not develop overnight, the size and composition of the coalition did not develop immediately.  It took a lot of time to get to 30 members.  I can remember when we used say we had “over a dozen,” and meant 13!  The size of our coalition grew as we perfected our alliance, and this process continues. 

In general, more partners are better – we’re continuing to seek additional partners – but it is also important to have the right partners.  Our coalition includes a number of very large and reputable organizations; their participation has helped us attract additional partners. However, absent from our coalition are two of the biggest small businesses groups in the United States.  The primary reason these groups have not weighed in on our behalf is the influence the banks have on their membership.  Were they to join the coalition, the credibility of the group would surely increase.  Fortunately, the coalition has not been hindered by their absence.

Thanks in large part to the active participation of our coalition partners, we were able to secure our first conservative Senate cosponsor; we added a dozen House cosponsors to the bill after our Small Business Hike; and during our major advocacy push in the spring, we added 16 new cosponsors bringing our total to 140.  All of this has well positioned us to win a vote on the MBL legislation later this year.

The Challenge of Working With Competitors:  The Interchange Fees Experience

Before the MBL coalition was formed, we joined the Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC), the financial industry coalition to combat interchange fee legislation.  The debate over debit interchange fee regulation ended up being the fiercest trade association battle fought before Congress in years, pitting the financial services sector against the retail sector.  An unprecedented amount of resources were applied over what was essentially a battle over pennies on debit card transactions.  But, of course, those pennies add up very quickly.

The EPC is a full time coalition, comprised of the payment card networks, the six major financial services trade associations, several large banks, and at least three credit union service organizations.  It is managed by an outside lobbying firm and also retains a communications firm.  The participants in this coalition have the same goal: opposition to the regulation of interchange fee rates.

As with any coalition, each of the major participants in the EPC brought strengths and weaknesses to the table.  The payment card networks, big banks and their trade associations brought significant financial resources and invaluable legal and technical expertise.  However, they also brought baggage; coming out of the financial crisis, the big banks did not have a stellar reputation, and few on the Hill were looking to do them any favors.  The payment card networks had similar reputational issues, and they were the main targets of the merchants’ legal and legislative campaigns.  This is why the members of the EPC needed credit unions and small banks as part of the coalition.  While we did not have the financial resources to match the larger partners, we had a reputation of treating our members well, performing admirably throughout history, and, most importantly, we brought significant grassroots capability to the table.  Between the credit unions and small banks, there were financial institutions in every state and every Congressional district that would be adversely affected by the interchange amendment (notwithstanding the small issuer “exemption”), and our job was to make sure that story was told.

Over time, the members of the coalition naturally played to their strengths, but one of the significant challenges to success was the fact that many of the partners were competitors in the marketplace; many of the partners operated in different parts of the market; and some of the partners (ie. credit unions) had completely different business models.  As a result, there was a level of natural wariness that could never be displaced.  Unfortunately, this contributed to inefficiencies in the exchange of information and intelligence and may have ultimately hampered strategic execution. 

We and the small banks probably came the closest to overcoming these challenges, for we truly were in the same boat – seemingly beneficiaries of a meaningless exemption that complicated our efforts to defeat (and then repeal) bad public policy.  We met frequently with the small bank lobby – in our offices and theirs – and our staff spent countless hours working closely together developing lobbying strategies, organizing Hill meetings and considering legislative alternatives. A year removed from the major vote on the interchange amendment in the Senate, I’m am still pleased with the working relationship we developed with our small bank counterparts on interchange. 

What we learned from the interchange process is that sometimes circumstances force you into alliance with groups that have similar but somewhat competing interests.  In these situations, it is important to do everything within your power to manage those challenges, maintain credibility and play to your strengths.

Sometimes You Need a Coalition But Cannot Form It Yourself:  The ATM Fee Disclosures Experience

In the summer of 2011, I was approached by a credit union CEO on a Hike the Hill in Washington regarding an issue with ATM fee disclosures.  After learning more about the issue and what credit unions were doing to comply with the regulation, we decided that the best remedy was to try to get Congress to remove the statutory requirement while at the same time to seek relief from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Since this was an issue that did not only affect credit unions but also any ATM operator, we recognized early that we would be more successful if we tried to bring together a coalition of affected parties. 

We also felt that we would probably have greater success in building the coalition if we were not perceived as the leader of the coalition, so we identified an intermediary group that represented a significant part of the ATM industry and worked with them to form a coalition of banking trades, merchant groups and other ATM operators.  Many of the groups that fought with each other over interchange united to try to attempt to remove this obsolete regulatory requirement.

In contrast to the interchange coalition, the participants had incentive to trust each other because for all intents and purposes they were in the same boat.  The members of this coalition leveraged their contacts on the Hill to generate broad-based bipartisan support for the legislation.  We were able to develop and execute a strategy that resulted in the House of Representatives approving the legislation we supported (H.R. 4367) by a vote of 371-0.  Thanks to the coalition’s efforts, not a single member of the House of Representatives articulated opposition to the bill during its consideration in the Financial Services Committee or on the House Floor.

The ATM issue is an example of coalition building in the financial services sector at its best.  We worked together to generate broad bipartisan support, and played to our strengths to neutralize potential opposition.  And today, we find ourselves working on moving this bill through the Senate.

Takeaways

The framers of our Constitution purposefully made it difficult to enact legislation.  Even though the modern Congresses have turned what should be difficult into something that is nearly impossible, it is probably a good thing that it isn’t easy to change public policy.  There is a strong argument that we are better served by consistent policy that changes in moderation over time than legislative changes enacted with unpredictable fluidity.  But for individuals and organizations charged with affecting change to public policy, throwing up one’s hands and saying that it is too difficult therefore it should not be attempted is not an option.  We must find a way forward, and coalitions are important part of an overall lobbying strategy.   

When engaging in coalitions, it is important that each of the participants plays to their strengths, that your actions maintain and advance your credibility, that you take steps to manage the challenges presented by the coalition, you take time to perfect and build the alliance, and that you do what you can to deflect controversy by remaining actively engaged in the coalition’s strategic direction.


Taking your Credit Union Membership from Crowd to Tribe

Posted by on Wednesday, 8 February, 2012

To us ‘credit union folk’, the value of membership is rooted in our core. We know that membership to a cooperative means ownership. It means we are a part of something greater, a community of shared interest, we’re among friends. To those who are new to cooperatives, or are just now discovering the value of membership and ask us to define it– we sometimes struggle to share the warm and fuzzy feeling that we get just thinking of words to describe it!

I’ve started reading the book “Tribes” by bestselling author (and also past CUNA’s ACUC speaker), Seth Godin.  On the book-flap, Godin describes a tribe as, “any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea.” The book’s concept is to focus on leadership with a different spin, tribe leadership.

Win this book by sharing your examples below

As I page through the book, I am flooded with the Credit Union and cooperative parallels to tribes.  I’m amazed at the interchangeability between ‘organization’ and ‘tribe’ and ‘membership’.  However, on page 30 it really started getting sticky. Godin defines the difference between crowds and tribes.

Crowds and Tribes, he outlines, are…

“Two different things:

  • A crowd is a tribe without a leader.
  • A crowd is a tribe without communication.

Most organizations spend their time marketing to the crowd. Smart organizations assemble the tribe.”

How are credit unions ‘assembling the tribe’ versus ‘managing a crowd’?  How are we showing potential tribe members we’re exactly what they’re looking for?  On paper, it’s apparent that credit union membership trumps taking your money to any other financial institution. The 7 cooperative principles alone should convince any person off the street to move their money to a CU on the spot. To find out how credit unions are assembling their tribes, I started my search with ‘credit union principles’.

To my delight, I found a variety of great examples of doing it right:

Be Engaging – My favorite example of ‘assembling the tribe’ is how the crew at Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union   uses the principles as the foundation for their credit union’s blog – http://www.7principles.coop/ . The blog seems to serve as a primary communication valet for the CU’s tribe. This crowd has turned tribe with a widespread communication hub (I can also see they’re ‘liked’ by 895 Facebook friends). Also, their new ‘tribe leader’ is also featured in a recent blog post! 

Be Entertaining – One of my favorite CU videos by gira{ph}. This video spells out our CU Principles clearly in black and white (with a little red, too).

Be Fun – A great way to bring together your CU staff ‘tribe’ is to create an enjoyable work environment.  Have you seen this debut video from The Summit FCU last week? It must be gratifying to work for CU that can crack a joke, make fun videos, and capitalize on the latest craze!  With nearly 4,000 views in less than a week, the fun is definitely far-reaching.  Another fine example of assembling the tribe.

What is your CU doing to change your membership from crowd to tribe? 2012 is the International Year of cooperatives, what better opportunity to shout from the rooftops the benefits of credit union membership. Is your credit union taking this unique opportunity to engage your membership? We would love to showcase how your credit union is assembling the tribe (of membership, of staff, of potential membership).  Please share your best practices below and be automatically entered to win a copy of “Tribes” by Seth Godin. 

 

CONTEST NOTES: Contest begins today and ends on Wed., Feb. 15th at 11:59PM (ct). Winners will be chosen by a random number generator. Make sure you leave an email address where you can be contacted.  The winner will be notified via e-mail and will also be announced on the blog.  The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants received.  No purchase necessary to win. Void where prohibited.      This competition is offered by Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and is open to anyone who comments on this post and is at least 18 years of age. Employees of CUNA and family members of such employees are not eligible to enter.   CUNA shall not have any liability for any malfunction of or damage to the prize. The award winner may be responsible for applicable state or federal taxes on the value of the contest prize


Building a SM presence at #ACUC11, one plank at a time

Posted by on Wednesday, 29 June, 2011

Social Media presence isn’t easy and building momentum for its use at a national conference can be a challenge, however it planked our expectation this year at CUNA’s ACUC (America’s Credit Union Conference). And one of the entertaining highlights? Random pictures of attendees laying face-down in peculiar locations, in San Antonio and across the US.

Twitter is a natural tool for a conference. It allows attendees to post great take-aways from sessions, network with peers, share bright ideas, suggest city hotspots, plus much more. We used the hashtag of #ACUC11 so attendees of the conference could search tweets to find what others were saying about the event.

Over the course of the 4-day conference (6/19-6/22), according to Topsy.com’s Analytics, there were 679 mentions of #ACUC11  (!!). Thanks to the influx of tweets, retweets, and @mentions CUNAverse managed to gain many new followers, and we can now stay connected to our new friends (in 140 characters or less).

Planking goes Big Time

I won’t go into the history of planking (you can find it here on Wikipedia)  but it took this years’ ACUC by storm! From State League presidents (see NC’s John Radebaugh planking on a riverboat) to speakers, and attendees.  Even CUNA Mutual and those holding down the CUNA fort in Madison  got in on the action(See a collection of CU planking pics here).

It was a great way to build a community of attendees outside the conference sessions also by tying in some tourist sights San Antonio has to offer. Has anyone ever planked the Alamo? If not, @PJLiving  is the first!

Twitter seemed to bring a new life to America’s Credit Union Conference. As a staff member that stayed in Madison as things were in full-swing, I felt like I was right alongside of attendees. Reading highlights from breakout sessions and quotes from our Keynote Speakers, it was a nice breath of fresh air to check in the #ACUC11 search to see what would pop-up next. It was a great tool of inclusion in an age where we may not all get to travel for training. Though the information is fleeting (twitter keeps a tweet’s search functionaly for about a month), it’s a great way of connecting “in the moment”.

Are you using twitter at your credit union?  If so, share your best practices and ‘wow’ moments with a comment below.  Oh, and don’t forget to follow @CUNAverse :)


Top 10 must-read credit union articles for February 2011

Posted by on Thursday, 10 February, 2011

February’s Top 10 must-reads include content from the World Council of Credit Unions, Credit Union Times, and CNN Money in addition to excellent news and research from CUNA’s Credit Union Magazine, E-Scan, and CUNA News Now.  What do you think… did we miss any? Do those listed deserve to be must-reads this month?

Marketers embrace tablet technology

Reach an audience that’s young, high income, and likely to respond.

This article originally appeared on escan.cuna.org. Learn more about subscribing to CUNA’s EScan resources and reports by visiting their website.


Consumer Confidence Jumps in January

Read CUNA Senior Economist Mike Schenk’s take on why consumer confidence rose in January and what it means for the overall U.S. economy.


Take control of your CU’s appraisals

Ask several key questions when reviewing each appraisal.


CUNA backs SEC’s CU swap clearing exemption

The SEC’s proposal to exempt CUs with less than $10 billion in assets from mandatory securities-based swaps clearing requirements has CUNA’s backing, but CUNA would like it to go even further.


Iowa CUs Seek Greater Collaborative Strength

With the help of World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), Iowa Credit Union League officials traveled to Poland in the hopes of learning ways Iowa’s credit unions to save money while better serving their members from credit unions and cooperatives overseas.


Embrace end-to-end E-lending

Electronic lending, from application to funding, will be a requirement to remain competitive.


Twelve selected for Indiana’s 2011 ignite project

Twelve Indiana CU representatives have been selected to be part of ignite, an initiative of the Indiana CU League focused on developing innovations that can help CUs better the financial lives of their members.


Fed action may affect benefit costs

Additional defined benefit plan funding may be warranted if corporate bond yields drop.


Apple FCU Offerings Aim to Help Make College a Reality

How is Apple Federal Credit Union helping local families of college-bound students turn the dream of earning a college degree into a reality?


Standing on shaky ground

For up to 50% of Americans, a job loss or medical crisis could spell financial ruin.


10 must-read credit union articles for January 2011

Posted by on Thursday, 13 January, 2011

The Credit Union National Association produces a number of excellent credit union-focused news and research via Credit Union Magazine, E-Scan, and CUNA News Now. Here are ten must-read articles from these publications for the month of January, 2011.

Marketing to Hispanics? Find the Right Translator

Make marketing messages understandable and culturally relevant.


Collection Strategies Adjust to Economy

A kinder, gentler approach is more likely to succeed.


‘NCUA-safe’, Suze Orman Attract Millions in Donated Ad Space

The “NCUA-safe” ad campaign featuring personal finance expert Suze Orman touting the virtue of federal credit union insurance has tallied more than $2.6 million in free advertising for the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).


Ten Credit Card Predictions for 2011

Expect APR increases and lower delinquencies.


Gift Cards as a Meeting Incentive?

Can a federal credit union increase participation at its annual meeting by giving $25 gift cards to members in attendance?


There’s ‘No Such Thing’ as an Easy Core Conversion

If you let things slide, you risk ‘having a wave come over your head.’


Ill. League Obtains $1.4M Reg. Fee Holiday for Credit Unions

Why are all 290 Illinois state-chartered credit unions are seeing a boost to their bottom lines in 2011?


Credit Unions On Top in Customer Satisfaction

CUs and small banks lead their larger rivals in customer satisfaction and loyalty, reports the Prime Performance 2010 Bank and CU Satisfaction Survey.


Fed Action May Affect Benefit Costs

Additional defined benefit plan funding may be warranted if corporate bond yields drop.


Fed Offers Two Plans for Interchange Fees

The Federal Reserve issued for public comment its proposed rules addressing interchange fees.


Top 10 Posts for 2010 and a Thank You from CUNAverse

Posted by on Thursday, 30 December, 2010

The CUNAverse Team2010 was an exciting year for our team - it was the year we kicked off CUNAverse!  In just 7 months since we launched CUNAverse 10,000 people have checked out the blog, we’re nearing 100 posts, many of you have commented and sent tweets and we’re looking forward to keeping the conversation going in 2011.

We wanted to take the time before 2010 came to a close to thank you for helping to make our launch in to the blogosphere such a blast.  As we near 2011 please leave us a comment here on the blog, send us a tweet, or drop us a message on our facebook page to let us know the types of things you’d like to see on CUNAverse next year.

For those of you that have just joined in on the CUNAverse conversation, here is a look back at our top 10 blog posts from 2010:

1. Does Your Credit Union Have a Social Media Policy?

2. What Credit Unions Can Learn From Pizza Hut

3. What Credit Unions Can Learn From Ritz Carlton

4. Compliance: Are You Ready For 2011?

5. Why Celebrate International Credit Union Day?

6. Turnover Increase on the Horizon for Credit Unions

7. Culture of Fear or a Culture of Love

8. Worried that CUs Aren’t Focused Enough on Upcoming Truth In Lending Changes

9. Taking Your Credit Union From Good to Great

10.  First Feedback on Bill Cheney as New CUNA President/CEO


National Press Likes ‘Move Your Money’ to Credit Unions

Posted by on Thursday, 27 May, 2010

The “move your money” campaign generated much excitement among consumers, credit unions — and the press. That’s not news: It’s been going on since December, when the campaign to move deposits from big banks to “community banks” was first outlined on the Huffington Post (and, as a result of demands by readers of HP, eventually extended to credit unions).

Lately, though national press interest in the idea of more consumers moving to credit unions has been spiking. At CUNA, we’ve received inquiries from national media as well as big regional papers. A Newsday feature (in NYC and Long Island) about consumers moving their money to credit unions is just the most recent example. At CUNA, we jump on the opportunities to promote credit unions through all channels.

There is no doubt that consumers have been moving their money to credit unions. Last year, savings grew by 10.3 percent, the biggest one-year increase in at least five years. But are consumers moving with their money? In other words, what’s the membership growth?

More people are, in fact, becoming credit union members: 2009 witnessed more than 1.2 million new members — a 1.4 percent growth rate (to 91.2 million members — now nearly 1 in 4 Americans are CU members). That growth is robust: It outpaces the U.S. population growth by 1.5 times, as well as the growth of the nation’s banking customer base, which largely mirrors the U.S. population growth rate.

But is the 2009 growth rate an anomaly? On its face — not really. In 2008, for example, membership grew by 1.6 percent (the fastest one-year growth over the last half decade), and 2006 growth was 1.4 percent also.

But, CUNA economists suspect there is something more to the numbers (as economists typically do). They point out that indirect lending by auto dealers had been the engine (so to speak) of CU member growth prior to the Great Recession starting in late 2007.

Over the last 18 months or so, car buying has waned with the growth of the economy, which means indirect-lending-member-growth has slowed as well.

Nevertheless, membership grew in 2009, as the numbers show! CUNA’s experts believe that consumers are, in fact, moving their money and their feet to credit unions, even though the numbers were not inflated so much last year by new members through indirect lending.

We don’t have 2010 numbers yet (for 1st quarter), but they should be ready soon. Will there be a corresponding spike in membership? If so, we’ve got another great story to tell to the national press. If not — well, we’ve still got a great story anyway. More to come, no doubt.


Guess Who Made the BBB’s List of Top Consumer Complaints?

Posted by on Wednesday, 12 May, 2010

What industry tops the Better Business Bureau’s list of consumer complaints?  If you said banks (high fees, impersonal service, mega-mergers), good guess but no.  It’s cell phones. But what industry had the biggest spike in complaints over the past year?  If you said banks, now you’re right. 

Cell phones drew the most complaints last year, 37,477, up 2.1% from 2008, according to the BBB.  Consumers registered 29,920 gripes against banks, but that’s a whopping 42.3% increase over the previous year.  None of the others (cable TV, automakers, internet retail) came close.  A “MainStreet” news posting on Yahoo Finance took note of banks’ dismal standing on the BBB consumer complaint list and advised that larger banks in particular “better beef up their customer service fast—before customers decide that the credit union down the street will treat them, and their money, with greater care.” 

Many have already come to that conclusion. CUNA figures show credit unions added 1.2 million new members in 2009.  And credit unions’ share of the household savings market has grown from 9.2% at yearend 2008 to 9.8% at the end of 2009.  That’s a pretty big leap, CUNA’s Bill Hampel points out, considering it took from 1994 to 2008 for credit unions’ savings share to get from 8.0% to 9.2%.