Credit union expert shares 2014 strategic planning insights

by. Emily Maxie

Today we have a special treat. We’re bringing you a guest blog post from our friends over at Credit Union Resources. Dean Borland, SCMS, CUDE, VP Product Assurance, presents some great insights about the strategic planning process.

 It still feels like summer but it must be fall; baseball is winding down, football is winding up, ragweed is in full bloom, and strategic planning season is upon us. Even though the planning season is just getting into full swing there are already some emerging trends you might want to consider as you start thinking about your credit union’s future.

Overall, profitability has improved since the depths of the recession. However, profits have increased more for large credit unions than for small-to-mid size credit unions. It is becoming increasingly difficult for small-to-mid size credit unions to post a solid bottom line. Although all credit unions are different, many small-to-mid size credit unions are experiencing similar issues.

Expense ratios are down, but not necessarily expenses. Many credit unions point to personalized service as their greatest attribute and market differentiator. Unfortunately, staffing costs are typically the largest single expense on the credit union balance sheet. If high expense is standing in the way of producing a solid bottom line, turning back the thermostat and reducing copy paper usage will not be enough to fix the problem. Addressing operating efficiency (and headcount) will be necessary to make significant expense reductions. Or, you have figure out how to generate enough income to pay the bills and have something left over for the bottom line at the end of the month.

continue reading »