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Banking The $1 billion club: Texas Trust Credit Union sees growth

The $1 billion club: Texas Trust Credit Union sees growth

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Texas Trust Credit Union

Established: 1936

Ranking: 18th largest credit union in Texas ranked by asset size.

CEO:

James Minge

Headquarters:

5850 Interstate 20 W

STE 130

Arlington 76017

972-263-5171

Locations:

Sixteen branches in Arlington, Athens, Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Grand Prairie, Hurst, Mansfield, and Midlothian.

Markets Served:

Dallas, Tarrant, and Henderson counties and parts of Ellis and Johnson counties

Employees:

250+

Members:

84,000+

Asset Size:

$1 billion

Suffice it to say Jim Minge and Texas Trust Credit Union (TTCU) are grabbing a little more attention these days.

A billion dollars will do that.

Minge recently celebrated his fifth year as CEO of TTCU. To help make the celebration more memorable, the company ended 2016 with more than $1 billion in assets, a milestone reached largely with the help of the growth TTCU has experienced since Minge came on board.

Since 2011, the credit union grew its real estate lending by 26 percent, auto lending by a whopping 204 percent, credit cards by 127 percent and the ever-important membership by 66 percent.

“It was a two-pronged approach,” Minge said. “We knew we needed to increase convenience in the communities we serve, first by adding more branches and reaching out into new markets, and also by concentrating on our electronic delivery online and through our mobile application.

“Second, we emphasized taking care of our members, one at a time as they walk through the door, with a goal of providing service that they can brag about to their friends and neighbors. Those two approaches have been our primary focus.”

TTCU was created in 1936 and is the 18th largest credit union in Texas. It serves members in Dallas, Ellis, Henderson, Johnson and Tarrant, counties through 17 locations in Arlington, Athens, Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Grand Prairie, Hurst, Mansfield and Midlothian.

Minge, a certified public accountant by training, worked for the San Antonio Credit Union for 18 years before coming to TTCU. He said he had a lot of different jobs there, which was excellent training for his position at TTCU.

And just as he has done at TTCU, he helped the San Antonio Credit Union grow exponentially. It went from $600 million to $3 billion in assets during his time there. He helped lead the business department from startup to $150 million in loans for thousands of members.

“It was a fun and engaging journey there, and I see the same things here, with great people and a great market,” Minge said. “We have grown our membership by two-thirds in the last five years, increased our auto lending, and have had lots of success.”

The growth in auto financing has enabled TTCU to become one of the largest such programs in North Texas. Also, real estate lending surpassed $240 million, placing TTCU among the largest credit union mortgage lenders in the Dallas-Fort Worth market.

Technologically, the focus has been heavily on convenience. From back office loan processing to advanced mobile services, along with card controls and remote deposits, it’s all gotten easier.

“Our mission is to build brighter financial futures for our members,” said Larry Skinner, chairman of the board of directors. “Our leadership team has achieved this by expanding our footprint, strengthening community relationships and enhancing our product offerings, all while observing sound fiscal practices.”

A pair of mergers played a key role in surpassing $1 billion as TTCU teamed with Security One Federal Credit Union in Arlington in 2013 and with TrustUS Federal Credit Union in Midlothian in 2016.

When Minge came onboard, TTCU was a healthy credit union but its growth was not keeping up with the increasing population in its markets. The credit union has now doubled its number of branches by moving into new markets. This included the addition of two school branches and expansion in Arlington, the largest city in its core membership field.

In addition, TTCU greatly increased its ATM network, including becoming part of a no-fee nationwide network. It entered into partnerships with Allpoint and Dolphin Debit, giving members more convenient and surcharge-free access to money. The additional locations include Murphy’s gas stations

“We have been able to differentiate ourselves in the communities we serve by giving back in many ways, especially when it comes to local school districts and the University of Texas at Arlington,” Minge said. “Our emphasis on partnerships with school districts and giving back to them has been beneficial for all of us.

“We can’t afford to advertise like the big banks, but we work to provide service that our members can brag about, building our reputation in a good old-fashioned word-of-mouth way, a way that you just can’t buy. That has been integral to our overall membership growth.

“Convenience is also very important, so we have added branches so that our people know we are there for them.”

TTCU also relocated its offices to Arlington from Mansfield giving it room to add more employees to serve the increasing membership. Since 2011 the credit union has grown by more than 33,000. Total membership is now more than 84,500.

The Spirit Debit Reward Program has solidified relationships with school districts and UT-Arlington. Not only has it helped increase membership, it has provided more than $1.3 million to participating schools from use of the reward program. With every swipe of a Spirit card, funds are donated to a school or school district of the member’s choosing.

Product enhancements focused on strengthening core deposits, mortgages, auto lending and leasing, credit card services, insurance and investments, and business loans, including Small Business Administration loans. The Checking20 Account has been so successful that the credit union paid over $797,000 in member bonuses within 19 months of its launch.

“We introduced that account taking a different approach with it,” Minge said. “Basically, if you do business with us, we will give you back rebates and bonuses. Members have rewarded us with more business thanks to that account, and that helped us achieve 127 percent growth in credit cards, because the cards and bonuses are tied to that account. This is another good way that we differentiate ourselves in the market.”

And while there is much to celebrate at TTCU, Minge said, the hard work will continue as it looks for more ways to streamline service to its members.

“Our leadership continues to drive toward creating happy, motivated employees who help us cultivate happy, loyal members,” Minge said. “The first billion dollars is a colossal milestone, one that took us 80 years to reach. We are already hard at work on that next billion.”


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