The credit union industry will feel the lingering effects of the economic recession well into 2010. Even with the cushion of conservative lending practices and inherent member loyalty, credit unions must account for the shift in members' payment behavior. Because of the shift, financial institutions are more interested in sophisticated approaches to analyzing and evaluating loan portfolios.
Without question, the credit union lending marketplace is dynamic. In today's economically uncertain environment, it is critical that credit unions' lending programs are fully contributing to their bottom line.
Credit unions are re-evaluating their lending strategies and processes to shore-up risk management practices and gauge overall lending profitability. These institutions need to address a number of key variables to gain a truer picture of their lending profitability. If the data or methods used in the analysis are inaccurate and incomplete, credit unions could underestimate the risks associated with their lending practices. This ultimately affects the profitability of their lending, which increases poor strategic or operational decisions.
Incorporating a full range of analytic tools to manage lending strategies helps credit unions gain a clear and current picture of their portfolio quality, profitability, and performance. Credit unions with the correct tools and data in place can reduce delinquency and loss levels as well as heighten their loan growth, even in today's challenging economic environment.
To this end, Lending Insights, which provides analytical tools and business intelligence solutions to the credit union industry, offers solutions that enhance and solidify underwriting measures and improve overall lending performance and profitability.
"The tools in the Lending Insights system have allowed us to carefully monitor and control our indirect lending program, down to the dealer level, by collateral type, and by credit quality," says Tim Marriott, vice president of consumer lending at Schools Financial Credit Union ($1.4B, Sacramento, CA).
From lending performance evaluation to profitability assessment, credit unions need to constantly review and adjust their underwriting principals to ensure bottom-line growth. Lending Insights offers a full-spectrum solution that tracks performance and trends against set goals. It also provides branch management tools, drill-down capabilities to assess segmented portfolio performance, static pool analysis of portfolio loss, delinquency and repayment data, and market intelligence tools to benchmark the credit union's performance against other lenders.
"Lending Insights gives me the chance to look at various aspects of our portfolio when I want and how I want," says Pete VanGraafeiland, manager, loan retailing and servicing for Coastal Federal Credit Union ($2.1B, Raleigh, NC). "I'm able to use the software as a dashboard report for monitoring purposes, but at the same time use the system to fulfill ad-hoc report requests for management."
Lending Insights' software enhances and solidifies underwriting measures for auto lending portfolios, which creates a competitive advantage in the auto lending marketplace. "Having this level of information in near real time has given us a competitive advantage and helped us fine-tune our program during what continues to be a challenging market," Marriot says. "But, the results in terms of growth and performance of our indirect loans compared to our competitors speak for themselves."
"Our goal is to provide credit unions with a complete suite of powerful analytic and business intelligence tools that helps them better manage their loan portfolios by leveraging best in class technology and analytics," says Mike James, chief operating officer of Lending Insights
Credit unions interested in learning more about how Lending Insights can support and enhance their lending program, can contact Mike James ( 877.262.3680, ext. 704, firstname.lastname@example.org), or national lending director Johanna Fong (877.262.3680, ext. 711, email@example.com) or visit www.lendinginsights.com.
A version of this article originally appeared in CUDL's Merge magazine. Bill Meyer is the corporate communications and public relations lead at CUDL.