Are low rates a way to attract unprofitable members?

by: Bo McDonald

Now that most third quarter call reports are up on the NCUA website, I spent some time reviewing the data. I checked out the results from our clients, other best-practice credit unions, and a few credit unions I see as missing huge opportunities. It’s always eye-opening to take a few minutes each quarter to look at the numbers. I learn a few things every time.

After studying the stats, I had one question to ask: “Are low rates just a way to attract unprofitable members we’ll resent?”

One of the call reports I scanned was about a former client. I was elated to see loan growth of more than 40% this past quarter. I know many credit union executives who would consider giving up their first born just to see a mere 4% growth of their loan portfolio! As Paul Harvey would have said, though, “Here’s the rest of the story.”

Despite steady loan growth for 3 straight quarters and an amazing 41% loan growth this past quarter, other numbers from this credit union tell a more disturbing story.

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