Abound Resources Survey Reveals That Regulations, Rates, and Economic Recovery Dampen Optimism at Credit Unions

AUSTIN, Texas (January 10, 2013) – Abound Resources, a leading credit union consulting firm and alliance provider of CUNA Strategic Services, released the results from the recent survey of credit union executives. The results highlight that credit union CEOs are much more pessimistic going into 2013 than they were going into 2012. The primary driver of the pessimism is an increasingly difficult and unpredictable regulatory environment.

“This year credit union CEOs are decidedly more pessimistic than they have been since we launched our annual survey four years ago,” said Brad Smith, President and CEO of Abound Resources. One-fourth (25%) of credit union CEOs report they are either very or somewhat pessimistic about their credit union’s outlook for 2013. In 2012, only 16% were pessimistic and none were very pessimistic. Only about one-third (37%) are optimistic or very optimistic about 2013, compared to 43% in 2012. The remainder (38%) expect another year like 2012.

Other major issues of concern are a weak economy and loan demand. Both of these factors were mentioned by more than 60% of CEOs as major concerns in 2013.

In terms of setting growth priorities for 2013, growing consumer loans, expanding online presence and improving sales and marketing methods were the top three. Interest in growing member business loans and mortgage loans jumped considerably this year in a search for higher yields and portfolio diversification.

On the operating side of the equation, priorities are consistent with prior year surveys in that streamlining workflows and increasing operational and technology efficiencies are the primary focus.

2013 is the year of credit union workflow improvements. Streamlining credit union workflows was cited by 50% of CEOs as a priority. According to Brad Smith, “There is a built-up demand for improving credit union workflow since so few credit unions made workflow improvements last year. Workflow improvement projects are tricky as middle management is often resistant to changing how they work, or they don’t know how to make changes beyond a few tweaks.”

A complimentary copy of a white paper analyzing the complete survey results and Abound’s top 5 recommended strategies for 2013 is available for download at or by clicking here.

Abound Resources is a full service financial institution consulting firm with the sole purpose of helping community financial institutions achieve their goals – whether those goals are for growth, efficiency, technology or risk management. In fact, they guarantee it.

Abound Resources offers an array of services designed to improve performance and profitability and to help credit unions cope with an increasingly stringent regulatory environment. Abound Resources is proud to be an alliance provider of CUNA Strategic Services

Abound’s seven practice areas are each headed by an experienced practice leader:

  • Technology –technology plans, vendor evaluations, core vendor RFPs, credit union contract negotiations, credit union vendor management
  • Performance Management – credit union workflow improvement, revenue enhancement, credit union efficiency improvement
  • Lending – loan process improvement, loan origination vendor evaluations and implementations
  • Small Business – member business deposit and fee income growth programs
  • Strategic Planning – credit union strategic plans, risk tolerance planning, one page strategic plans, competitive differentiation
  • Sales and Marketing – branch performance improvement, sales coaching and training, e-marketing strategies and campaign management
  • Risk Management and Compliance – ERM, credit union IT audits, information security assessments, credit union compliance, BSA review

More News