How Do Ministries Choose a Banking Resource?

by Jac La Tour, ECCU Communications Manager
(Originally published as a post within ECCU’s former e-publication, The Buzz.)

When you’re a ministry structured as a credit union that functions as a commercial bank, which is the most succinct way of describing what ECCU is and does, you care about things like why ministry leaders choose to do business with a financial institution. We cared enough to ask the members of our Ministry Advisory Panel (MAP) recently. Their responses were enlightening.

Here are just a few statistics included in the survey report:

  • 55% of respondents have never switched banks during the time they’ve been on the ministry’s staff.
  • 6% have switched banks three times.
  • 78% are not considering switching banks in the coming year.

Perhaps the most enlightening finding, though, is that…

“…of the ministries that reported no inclination to change primary banks, 41% say it’s because of factors like the strength of their relationship with their bank, the bank’s excellent customer service and personnel, and because their bank understands ministry. Only 1% of these panelists mentioned price as a reason for keeping their primary bank.”

A host of “other” responses confirm that interest rates and fees, while important, are not the primary concern of most ministries when it comes to banking. Relationship is. The survey report explains why:

“Many others…value the ability to have issues resolved quickly, efficiently, and by personnel who share their values. Most respondents that cited 'relationship' as a reason for staying with their primary bank are current ECCU ministry members. And they often find greater value in knowing that their deposits are invested in other ministries, providing a return of eternal significance beyond short-term interest rates.”

I can tell you that these findings encourage us to keep working at making ECCU a distinctively ministry-focused banking resource. This, in fact, is a big reason we launched the MAP. By soliciting the insights and perspectives of decision makers who have actual experience managing ministry finances, we’re looking to identify ways to help you do your job better.

Maybe you’d like to join the conversation by becoming a MAP member. We’d sure appreciate your involvement. More panelists make for more accurate survey results, producing information that could actually help ministries like yours manage their finances more effectively.

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