On-site: CUNA GAC 2012 – Opening General Session

Randy Smith, Publisher, CUinsight.comby: Randy Smith, Publisher/Managing Editor, CUinsight.com

Bill Cheney, President and CEO of the Credit Union National Association, kicked off GAC 2012 welcoming the over 4000 attendees to Washington, DC.  Cheney said the credit union community’s job this week is to make sure the Udall MBL bill will get a vote and pass.

Cheney stated that credit unions have rebounded from the lows set in 2009.  Net worth is now 10.2% and rising and total net worth is close to $100 billion.  Credit union assets will reach $1 trillion in 2012.  Last year on the momentum of Bank Transfer Day credit union gained 1.2 million new members.

Credit unions are winning in customer satisfaction too.  80% of consumers have a positive opinion of credit unions.

The positive media attention credit unions are receiving is allowing the movement more power in Washington, Cheney stated.  CUNA is taking an aggressive approach.  Demanding actions for an industry that wants to better serve our members.

Cheney next introduced what he called “a secret weapon last year”.  Kristen Christian, the founder of Bank Transfer Day, took the stage and read a letter she has sent to policy makers stating MBL needs to be raised which will have a positive effect on our communities during the recover.

Next up was Debbie Matz from the NCUA.  Matz started pointing out what a difference a year makes.  The credit union system is stabilized and now we need to move forward together.

As Matz pointed out you can tell from the headlines the world is a volatile place. Although the US is in recovery the volatility of the world has people flocking to where they trust.  This is one of the reasons people are coming to credit unions.  This is why we need to look to the future to make sure we keep our members satisfied.

Matz asked the question, what will credit unions look like in 2034? She gave to scenarios stark in contrast.  One of CUs struggling to hold on to a shrinking market share, which isn’t to hard to imagine.  And another scenario built on the foundation of growth and strength.  Consumers see credit unions as a better option.

Matz: “If we want to paint a better picture, we all have a roll.”

The NCUA needs to insure safety and soundness with the least amount of regulatory burden.  Examiners are spending more time in large credit unions that pose the greatest risk to the share insurance fund and less time on the well performing smaller ones.  Today there are still 400 CAMEL 4 and 5 credit unions.
Matz stated the NCUA must also keep up with CUs.  NCUA is hiring subject matters to do this.  Experts in new lending practices and technology have been hired..  The NCUA listened to credit unions and the desire to have more transparency.  The new website takes a step to provide that.  Also over the next 3 months the NCUA will be holding listening sessions in every region of the country.

Matz laid out next what credit unions need to do.  She started with stating CUs need to focus on basic due diligence.  Board members need to have the background and training to fulfill their duties.  But most important CUs need to do strategic planning.  How will the credit union look in 10 years.  The average age of credit union members is up to 47 and members between the ages of 18-24 are only 9%.  Older credit union members are not the borrowers.  How is your CU going to attract younger members?

Matz pointed out that younger members demand technology and want all of your tools at their disposal.  This is essential to attracting the next generation.

What do we all need to do? Get MBL lifted.  Small business owners are in need of capital and credit unions have the money to loan.  We need to work together to let healthy CUs access supplemental capital.  Matz finished up stating that the most important thing CUs and the NCUA need to do is communicate.  The NCUA is listening, Matz stated, changing the exam process, more transparency, and regulatory relief.

Matz: “We share one goal, stronger credit unions with a vibrant future.”

Randy Smith is one of the founders and publisher of CUinsight.com, your one stop place for all things credit union.  Randy has spent over 15 years in the financial services community.  Over the past three years as publisher of CUinsight.com Randy looks for new and innovative ways to spread the credit union message and keep the community informed.  Randy works closely with individual credit unions, leagues and associations on a variety of topics including media relations, business development, marketing and strategic plans to get new ideas off the ground. Put simply, Randy likes to create and foster new ideas and watch them grow.  Randy has been cited and written for many publications and speaks at industry events to further the growth of the credit union movement.  www.cuinsight.com

Randall Smith

Randall Smith

Randall Smith is the co-founder of CUInsight.com, the host of The CUInsight Experience podcast, and a bit of a wanderlust. As one of the co-founders of CUInsight he looks ... Web: www.CUInsight.com Details