How to balance risk and reward in 2019

Credit unions must strike the right balance between the risks they take and the rewards they seek.

Credit unions are in the financial services business. They’re also in the member service business. The confluence of these two means credit unions are in the risk business.

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“Credit unions are a risk-mediating intermediary,” says Chris Howard, a senior vice president at Washington, DC-based credit union consulting firm Callahan & Associates. “They take deposits, process transactions, and make loans. Risk is in that definition. If they want to be a no-risk business, they just don’t lend.”

At conferences, during roundtables, and in strategic planning sessions with credit unions across the country, leaders at Callahan & Associates have noted several recurring themes that the firm has identified as opportunities for 2019. One of those themes: How can credit unions balance risk and reward to better serve members?


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