New office coming on West Maple, 84th & Q office to close
Over the next two years, Metro will be shaking up our office locations to better meet the needs of our members. In January, the Credit Union purchased land for a new office on West Maple Road, and on April 1st, Metro will be closing our office at 84th & Q Streets. Metro is looking at another opportunity for a new office north of Dodge Street.
In the past three years, Metro opened two new offices at 50th & L and 72nd & Cornhusker. Why so many office changes in five years? We sat down with CU President Mike McDermott for a question and answer session:
Question: Why so many branch changes at Metro in such a relatively short period of time?
McDermott: Our strategy to open or close or move offices is really a function of meeting member’s needs. We look at where members live and where they’re doing transactions, and we try to be more convenient for members.
Question: Did the last two new branches on 50th & L and 72nd & Cornhusker pull transactions from 84th Street Office?
McDermott: The simple answer is yes, but the decision to close 84th & Q was impacted more by where members are moving than two new offices. Since 84th&Q was opened, Metro has grown from serving about 14,000 members to serving almost 35,000 members. Over the last 10 years, transactions have grown year over year at every new office except 84th & Q. This decline in transactions tells us that the 84th Street location was not convenient for enough members.
Question: With two new planned offices north of Dodge, is Metro seeing a lot of growth in that area?
McDermott: Yes, and it’s been pretty dramatic. Right now our fastest growing offices are on 72nd and Ames and 111th & Maple. In fact, in 2016, Ames Street became our busiest office.
Question: What’s happening with the Saddle Creek Office when the area is redeveloped?
McDermott: Metro will always have a major branch office to serve the UNMC/Nebraska Medicine Campus. We literally have thousands of members on that campus who use Metro as their primary financial institution. With the redevelopment of Saddle Creek Road, we plan to build a new, state-of-the-art branch office very near our existing office. This is really going to be an exciting project; it’s an opportunity to upgrade the old space for our campus area members.
Question: What’s just over the horizon for Credit Union branches?
McDermott: Future new offices depend on making Metro more convenient to members.
But, other than what we’ve already discussed, the biggest changes we’ve seen over the past decade are growth in transactions and the number of members performing transactions without coming in. Metro processes just under one million member transactions per month. In 2016, almost one half of transactions that used to occur in branches were done by members via home and mobile banking. Over the next
two years, we’ll be working to ensure we’re convenient for members electronically as
much as with our physical branches.
Question: One million transactions a month with 35,000 members seems like a lot. Is that normal?
McDermott: Every financial institution is different, but we do have a lot of transactions for our size, primarily because Metro has a much higher percentage of members who actively use the Credit Union’s products and services. When we moved our Card Processing to First Data here in Omaha, they initially thought they had Metro categorized incorrectly in their system as our member card usuage was double what they would expect to see for an institution our size. And, our transaction volume was a big reason we had to move to a larger computer system a couple of years ago. But, these are all good problems to have, when more members are using more services.