According to the Chinese Calendar, 2021 is the Zodiac Year of the Cow wearing a golden bell! The gold is connected to finance and people will be watching their money very closely in the coming year of the cow. The cow is part of the earth group related to farmland that helps crops grow – that brings life-sustaining happiness to people – that brings them together and fosters relationships. So each of us would do well to focus more on re-connecting with family/friends and taking care of each other as we move into the new year.
This year the global Covid-19 pandemic has forced many businesses and individuals to re-think and re-imagine the future. There will not be a return to normal—the new normal will be a reset of our norms based on the lessons learned due to this world-wide health crises going forward.
In addition, the recent political elections/turmoil in the USA will cause more anxiety and market place uncertainty in 2021 and will bring about unsettling times.
More than ever 2021 will not be the time for credit unions to become conservative or play it too cautious. Credit unions have weathered the financial storm well this year. Our movement should capitalize even more of the steady success we have had this year and really focus on our differentiation as a member-owned local financial institution in the communities we serve.
We must be heroes to our members, keep demonstrating our mission/purpose, and tell our “people helping people” story more so we can focus on continuing to be the first financial responders and life-lines to our members’ financial needs.
The new reset in 2021 for credit unions will include:
- Giving members a strong member/values experience
- More exponential rise of electronic transactions 24/7/365
- Continued staff working remotely form home
- More virtual staff/board training
- Continued virtual board meetings
- Rise of online inquiries/ordering
- Helping more members needing financial assistance/counseling/dealing with unemployment situations/small business lending
- Increase social media communications
- Vigilant protection of employees/members
- Remote lending
Trends for potential increased business opportunities for credit unions in the new year to watch for:
- Home equity loans for improvements (home offices/family caves/backyard landscaping)
- Boat/personal watercraft/RV/camper/ATV loans (closer to home travel/see the USA travel)
- Second vacation home loans
- Be prepared for pent-up desire for new auto loans in 2021
- Lower rate credit cards with rewards
- Member Business Lending (post-PPP)
Finally, credit unions will need more cowbell in the year of the cow!
We should continue to be visible and promote who we are in supporting members needs and in the communities where we serve, no matter what challenges will be faced by all. It may mean the difference between just surviving and thriving in 2021. To be continued…