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Unleashing Corporate Power: Credit Unions and Community Deposits

By Barata Bey, Director of Community Finance, CNote
August 3, 2023

Seventy percent of credit unions named growing deposits as a high priority in 2023 – almost four times the amount that articulated the same need in 2022. One nontraditional avenue that credit unions should consider is tapping into the strong movement of corporations channeling cash into the communities where they live and work.

Corporate investments in local communities are a sustained movement, with 51% of America's largest companies actively engaging in community investments. This comes as no surprise given the research findings that revealed that "seventy-seven percent of consumers are motivated to purchase from companies committed to making the world a better place." Another study highlighted: "Nearly 90% of executives believe a strong sense of collective purpose within their organization drives employee satisfaction." Corporations are acutely aware that supporting community initiatives, particularly in under-resourced areas, is crucial for differentiating themselves from competitors, attracting and retaining top talent, and ensuring continued growth.

With the increasing number of corporations seeking to demonstrate their genuine commitment to the community and their stakeholders, credit unions have a significant opportunity to benefit. By actively supporting credit unions, corporations can demonstrate their dedication to fostering economic growth, promoting financial well-being and addressing pressing social issues at the local level.

Apple is a prime example of a corporation that is actively making a difference with its cash. They utilized CNote, a women-led technology platform, to move $25 million in deposits into credit unions across the country as part of its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative – an effort to address systemic racism in America and expand opportunities for communities of color.

Kaua'i Federal Credit Union was one of the beneficiaries of these deposits, which they leveraged to support their local community with rental relief, environmental resilience and economic diversification efforts.

"Deposits from Apple came at a pivotal time for Kaua'i Federal Credit Union," said Monica Belz, CEO. "We were able to increase our lending capacity within the community and provide support for local businesses and rental relief efforts."

Apple's partnership with credit unions demonstrates how corporations can directly support local communities through deposit initiatives. By channeling funds into credit unions, corporations further empower these financial institutions to become catalysts for positive change in the areas they serve.

As credit unions continue to prioritize deposit growth, they should consider the opportunity presented by corporations moving cash into communities. The movement of corporations investing in local initiatives aligns with consumer preferences and corporate objectives. By engaging with corporations, credit unions can leverage these partnerships to increase deposits, support local economic development and showcase their pivotal role as trusted financial institutions committed to their communities.

Connect with CNote to learn more.

About CNote

CNote is a technology platform that provides a sustainable flow of non-member deposits that are low-cost and deliver consistent value. This service is available at no cost to CUNA member credit unions as arranged by CUNA Strategic Services.