NEW YORK–Where are credit unions facing their biggest expense-management challenges? And what are they doing to seize opportunities for greater efficiencies?
Jay Johnson speaking at CUNA Finance Council meeting
Those questions were posed by Jay Johnson, partner with Callahan & Associates, during the CUNA Finance Council annual meeting here.
Here’s what credit union CFOs and others said they are doing to manage expenses:
- One person said they took a hard look at card services and opted to move to a new platform.
- Another audience member said following a merger it has refocused on office operations-related costs.
- One person said their credit union is facing an internal issue with having to pay more to hire people in the current environment, which forced it to adjust all salaries. (Another noted it was paying $13 per hour as a minimum, until an Amazon fulfillment center opened locally paying $18 an hour. It was forced to match the hourly pay.)
- Another said it is examining “simple stuff,” such as automating reports, which he said is also a “morale booster.”
- One person said it instituted a process for negotiating any contract that comes up for renewal that is almost like an RFP process vendors must repeat. “We don’t just go back and sign the old contracts anymore,” he said. “We brought a consultant in to review our core processing, and he got all types of escalators wiped out of our DP contract. On the talent piece, what we also focus on is any new expense, particularly FTEs. We ask, ‘Is this a revenue-producing position or a support position?’ and we have an entirely different process for each. For the revenue producing position, we have identified at which point we will break even and then begin to see ROI.”
- One CU said it has joined with other CUs in its market to cut costs by jointly addressing fraud.