THE 'tude

It’s hard to exaggerate the fears and rumors that have surrounded the terrible outbreak of Ebola.

Some have called for stopping all travel, for mass quarantines, and not just suggested but claimed to know that the whole tragic sequence is. in fact, a government conspiracy.

The NCUA approved 20 mergers in September 2014, which is down slightly from the previous two months. The combined assets of the merged credit unions are $393 million.  The mean and median assets of merged credit unions are $19.6 million and $8.7 million respectively.

Another technology-enabled member service has entered the credit union branch space: mobile appointment booking. On-line Branch Appointment Booking is driven by the use of mobile devices, the availability of internet connectivity and member expectation of ever greater convenience.

When the Terracotta Army of talking heads in Washington is blathering about the balance of power in the capital, the yammering most frequently centers on “control” of Congress or the White House, and which states might be players in the seat count. It doesn’t get the same attention, obviously, but a much quieter states vs. federal tug-of-war has been playing out in Washington, especially over the past decades, and that is state CU supervision vs. federal supervision. In an industry where there is approximately a 60/40  federal/state split, and nearly every CU is federally insured, the latter spend much of their time working for redemption from federal preemption.

Rumor has it that over half of credit union CEOs will retire in the next 10 years. On average, a credit union is lost in a merger every day. One of the leading reasons credit unions merge is loss of leadership. To me, leadership continuity is like leaving the dinner table. No CEO should leave the post without making sure that everything is in order. Every board should make sure that there is someone, or at least a formal process in place, to insure leadership continuity.

I’m a believer in ‘paying it forward’ – if you do good things to others, then good things will happen to you.” This is how Melissa McKenney approaches her relationships with the members of Akron, Ohio-based GenFed Financial CU.

As the branch manager of GenFed’s Shelbyville, Ind. office, McKenney views her work this way “because it makes me feel better as a person.” Prior to joining GenFed, she worked for a payday lender.

The CUNA board has made pretty clear where it believes the trade association needs to be headed with its hiring of a former congressman as its new CEO. Or perhaps that was just the default position of a board borrowing a page from the American Bankers Association and choosing to focus on a (real or perceived) external threat rather than the bushel basket of thorny durian fruit that is the internal challenges.

Based on the article on this site last week, the new CUNA CEO thinks that “bold leadership” is working with bankers on certain issues of common interest.   The only things CUNA has worked on with banks are the common interests of bank and credit union executives.   The common interest issues up until now have certainly not been in the interest of members.  Ever since the glorious, cash-rich days of the HR 1151 fight, the CU trade associations have been desperate to latch onto emotional issues that will keep the associations’ phones ringing, the coffers full, and the staff salaries high.

There’s no doubt the under-34 crowd is leading the charge toward mobile banking. Yet older consumers are increasingly turning to their smartphones and tablets to meet their banking needs, representing a big opportunity for credit unions. While older consumers still account for a smaller chunk of the market — approximately 27% of those who perform mobile banking transactions, according to a 2012 online survey of nearly 3,000 individuals conducted by the Consumer Research Section of the Fed — the percentage of older individuals swapping branch activities for mobile banking is only getting bigger, multiple studies reveal.

By Joe Brancucci

Sometimes we get so engrossed in the day-to-day elements of our business that we lose sight of the bigger picture.  There’s a lot going on in our industry and this is probably as good a time as any to take a few steps back to put it all into perspective.

Reflecting on this, I think that 2011’s Bank Transfer Day was a great shot in the arm for all of us who participated actively, creating a group of passionate supporters and demonstrating how we care for our current and future members.  But there was a lot more to it than that.  Credit unions demonstrated their real value, which goes much deeper than products like financing and checking/savings accounts. 

At the heart of it, providing favorable rates for home loans and car loans really helps keep families together and allows them to hold on to their jobs.  And, by showing the intrinsic value of credit unions, which is to help keep members “whole,” we were able to reinforce our messages to current members and reach an entirely new set of prospective members in a different way.