Callahan Bowl VI

By analyzing credit union performance data in the home states of each Super Bowl contender, Callahan & Associates predicts which team will reign supreme.


In October, Callahan & Associates conducted our deepest and most significant analysis of credit union data to date, and we used that analysis to predict the winner of the 2009 World Series. Reader response, as well as our success in predicting the winner, leads us back to the well once again. This time we’ll use similar analytical trends and metrics to determine who will walk away the victor of Super Bowl XLIV, the New Orleans Saints or the Indianapolis Colts. To conduct this analysis we compared credit unions in Indiana and Louisiana. After a three-year hiatus, The Callahan Bowl has returned, and we're bent on improving our 1-4 record by correctly predicting the winner of this weekend's big game.

1st Down: Rosters

The first thing we looked at was each team's roster. Do the opposing teams have dynamic all-stars? Are their offensive lines sound? Can their kickers thread the uprights when the game is on the line? When analyzing two groups of credit unions, this is also a great place to start. Although Indiana has a size advantage, with three billion-dollar-plus credit unions within its borders, Louisiana has the deeper roster. Two hundred thirty credit unions are headquartered in Louisiana compared to 202 in Indiana.

But it's not just roster size that counts. You also have to make smart moves in the off-season to bring in players, your number one asset, that will have a measurable impact on your team's performance. Earning assets (both investments and loans) for credit unions in Louisiana return a higher yield than those at credit unions in Indiana. But what is it that helps a team bring in these high-performing assets? It is front office staff and their ability to keep the organization running? This is where credit unions in the Hoosier state achieved a better return. Through September, Indiana's credit unions reported an average of $3.57 dollars of revenue per dollar of salary and benefits, just above the $3.35 in Louisiana.

2nd Down: Defense Wins Championships

A major draw of these two teams meeting in the Super Bowl is the fact that both are lead by high-powered, dynamic quarterbacks. In order to stop Manning and Brees, both teams will need to step up their defensive coverage to prevent these quarterbacks from breaking open big plays. Similarly, credit unions also needed to step up their "coverage" in 2009 as industry delinquency trends have increased over the past year. Although both states currently report coverage ratios below 100%, credit unions in Indiana have set aside a greater allowance for these potential loan losses. Its coverage ratio came in at 83.0% in September as compared to the 67.8% reported in Louisiana.

However, the higher coverage ratio might be more necessity than strategy. Through the end of the third quarter, credit unions in the Bayou State reported an annualized charge-off rate of 70 basis points, while charge-offs in Indiana rose to 84 basis points during the same period.

3rd Down: "Go Horse" vs. "Who Dat"

In a big game like this, fan support is crucial. Playing in Miami means neither team is afforded the benefit of home field advantage, and the composition of the crowd depends upon fans having the dedication, and financial means, to make the trip south. As the feel good human interest story, the Saints fan base certainly has the lead in momentum. People are rallying behind the team making its first trip to the big game. Credit unions in Louisiana have seen a similar trend in their fan base. Membership growth for credit unions in the state was 3.2% over the past twelve months, well above both the national average of 1.9% and Indiana's membership of 2.3%. Credit unions in Louisiana also reported faster loan growth and asset growth than credit unions in Indiana, as this increasing fan base deepens its relationship with the credit unions.

However, what Colts fans may lack in momentum, they make up for with the near-rabid loyalty exhibited by their "12th Man." Credit unions in the state of Indiana have also seen signs of this loyalty. Indiana's credit unions reported an average member relationship of nearly $12,200, well above the $10,200 reported in Louisiana. Although Indiana's higher median household income may play a role in the higher loan and share balances, those trends are also influenced by the higher real estate and auto lending penetration among the credit unions' membership base.

4th Down: The Lombardi Trophy

Turnovers, completion percentage, and fan support all influence the outcome of the game, but the bottom line is the team that puts the most points on the board walks away the champion. Callahan tracks a number of earnings metrics to determine a credit union's performance, but the words "bottom line" will always be associated with one thing: ROA. From an ROA perspective, credit unions in Louisiana come out on top, reporting a 59 basis point ROA in September, nearly double the 31 basis points reported in Indiana. Even if you were to track ROA prior to the NCUSIF Stabilization Expense, credit unions in Louisiana still come out on top.

According to this analysis, both teams (and the credit unions in their respective states) are too evenly matched to declare a clear winner. When none of the aforementioned facets of the game can point us in the right direction, we are forced to measure the fundamentals of each team. For credit unions, these fundamentals come in the form of our traditional seven-point scorecard to determine who will still be standing when the smoke clears. (Data is as of September 30, 2009)

State Share Growth Loan Growth Loans/
Member Growth Capital/
Delinquency Ratio ROA

















The results of our seven-point scorecard favor Louisiana credit unions, as they come out on top with a final score of 5-2. This strong performance in Louisiana has led us to throw our support behind the New Orleans Saints this Sunday.

Disagree with my analysis Colts fans? Fire up that copy of Peer-to-Peer and tell me what ratios I’m missing, and how that metric ties into your team's performance on the big day. Whether this Sunday evening finds you shouting "Go Horse" or "Laissez les Bon Temps Roulez," one thing is for certain: we're all in for one heck of a game.

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Email your vitriol to him at