Key strategies for relentless growth, Part 2: Credit union best practices

Last month we provided you with 10 tips to help ensure your credit union experiences dramatic growth in 2015. Now we realize that 2014 was a pretty good year for many credit unions, but this is no time to rest on your laurels if history has anything to do with it. We live in a very cyclic world of ups and downs and today, as business is motoring right along at a nice clip, it’s time to make hay while the sun shines for that continued growth we all desire.

That said, here are a few credit unions that have implemented the key strategies from last month’s article and have experienced tremendous and relentless growth as a result.

Carolina Postal Credit Union in North Carolina experienced an increase in loan volume of 33% in 2013 compared to 2012 and has sustained its loan growth in 2014 (mostly consumer lending driven with no indirect). In addition, CPCU’s delinquency ratio for consumer lending went from 1.98% in 2012 to .36% in 2013 and continued to remain low in 2014. As a result, the credit union garnered:

Bridgeway Credit Union in New York experienced double loan growth through direct loans (no indirect) in August 2014 (following CSA training mid-June) and has sustained its loan growth year-to-date. According to Bridgeway’s CEO Michelle McCourt, prior to its CSA training, it was at 1.64% loan growth as of May 2014. Bridgeway’s loan growth as of June 2014 was 5.29%. The credit union’s loan growth YTD as of October 2014 was 16% closing with 17% loan growth at year-end 2014. Its delinquency ratio at the end of October was a mere 0.48%; June 2014’s delinquency rate was 0.52%; and May 2014 was 0.75%.

“Seems that it should be going the other way, as we take on a little riskier loan,” McCourt says. “Maybe our members just love us so much they always pay us first.”

Summit Credit Union in North Carolina created instant loan opportunities immediately following cuStrategies’ training program in October 2014.

According to Summit’s EVP of Marketing and Business Development Glenn Kirk, a shock wave ran through the credit union’s lending department as they tried to keep up with all the mini-apps. Its business development team has been hugely successful bringing back mini-apps from business partner events, receiving 109 in just one day at one recent Benefits Fair.

Baker Federal Credit Union in New Jersey experienced 32% loan growth in 2013 and 30% in 2014 with most of the loan growth occurring in consumer lending – not mortgages and they do not offer business loans – with no indirect lending. Baker’s delinquency ratio and charge-off ratio for consumer lending did not increase at all. Although, the credit union did experience a loss on real estate loans that impacted its overall delinquency ratio.

According to Baker FCU’s CEO, Sue Rodriguez, the credit union’s average loan yield has increased to 7.42% in 2014 from 7.07% year-end 2013. As a result, the credit union has recently been able to offer mobile banking, upgrade its bill pay service, update its website, and finally launch mobile deposits.

“I could not have done any of that without the increase in income,” Rodriguez says.

Appalachian Community Credit Union in Tennessee experienced a dramatic increase in its average loan yield from 6.26 to 8.26 from first quarter 2013 compared to fourth quarter 2013 – with no increase in its delinquency ratio. The credit union continues to post positive results in 2014 as a result of the CSA Program.

As you can see, by following the 10 tips in last month’s column, there is definitely opportunity to grow – sometimes quite dramatically. Successful credit unions’ must develop a strategic plan of action from the top down to create a focus on increased loan growth and profitability so they can generate the income to hire the necessary staff, invest in tomorrow’s technology, build more efficient branches, upgrade antiquated systems and procedures, etc. All of this ultimately enhances your credit union’s value toward established and prospective members for long-term growth.

What tips do you have for relentless growth at your credit union?

Celeste Cook

Celeste Cook

Celeste Cook is founder and President/CEO of cuStrategies, LLC, which provides strategic planning services, consulting services, and training programs to the credit union industry. She is also a keynote ... Web: Details