WSCU has proudly ranked in the top 1.5% of credit unions on a national level for it’s ROM, or Return of Member, also known as it’s member value. What exactly is ROM and how do credit unions receive their rank?

As cooperatives, credit unions serve and answer to their member owners. Credit unions are mission-driven, non-for-profit entities, which means that they can direct all their attention to providing the best deal to members.

The industry prides itself on offering superior rates, products and services. But quantifying member value is tricky. That’s why more than two decades ago, Callahan & Associates, a credit union research and consulting firm based in Washington, DC, developed Return of the Member (ROM).

ROM captures a comprehensive view of member value by considering aspects such as:
Rates: Are the credit union’s loan rates lower or deposit rates higher than its competitors?
Options: How many products and services does the credit union offer?
Usage: How many members use these products?

ROM offers a way to demonstrate the tangible benefits of credit union participation and ownership. ROM also measures three core credit union functions:

Savings: The Return to Savers component of ROM measures how well a credit union is providing deposit services to members. It takes into account aspects such as dividends paid, changes in share balances, and the number of share accounts per member.

Lending: The Return to Borrowers component of ROM pays homage to the fact that credit unions were created to provide credit at a reasonable cost. It takes into account things like loan rates as well as a credit union’s growth in lending and product variety. It also considers a credit union’s loan servicing portfolio.

Usage: The Member Service Usage component of ROM measures whether members are using the credit union as their primary financial institution (PFI). It considers performance in areas like the number of core accounts a credit union holds and penetration rates, as well as employee measures like productivity and revenue generated per dollar of salary and benefit.