An education in member business lending

CUNA institute brings real-world instruction to the classroom.

By Adam Metro

As he looks out into a packed classroom at CUNA’s Business Lending Certification Institute, Dana Sumner doesn’t just see engaged students—he sees future leaders.

“One of the things I always tell them is, ‘You are the future CEOs of the credit union industry,’” says Sumner, president of Development Finance Training and Consulting. “Moving forward, the CEOs are going to come from a commercial lending background. They have to because I think it’ll be so ingrained in the industry.”

About 29% of credit unions offer member business loans, according to NCUA statistics. Sumner believes economic conditions dictate that more credit unions will adopt commercial lending as a remedy to shrinking margins.

“We get a detailed look at the financial status of a lot of credit unions across the country, and one of the things we see consistently is deterioration in their traditional loan portfolios,” says Sumner. “That transcends into lower loan-to-share ratios” which results in declining income and an impaired ability to serve members.

Business lending is an opportunity, if done correctly, to boost loan-to-share ratios, generate income, serve members, and grow the credit union, he says.

continue reading »

More News