Credit Unions Already Benefiting From First Look Program

Discover how credit unions can help speed up the lag time between the filing of the 5300-call report and the data released by the NCUA.

Credit unions use market data in various ways. Some use the data to make performance comparisons between themselves and credit unions of a similar size. Others use it to analyze industry trends from quarter to quarter. No matter how a credit union uses the data, the more up-to-date the information is, the more useful the analyses will be.

For years, analysts of the credit union industry complained about the lag time from when credit unions file their 5300-call report to when that data finally gets released by the NCUA. Their complaint was that, in this time, the data becomes less relevant and less useful. Callahan & Associates solved this problem by introducing its First Look project five years ago.

The project's mission is to get quarterly data out as quickly as possible to the people who benefit most from this information. The Web-based program allows credit unions to view full call reports of all other participating credit unions as well as study industry snapshots of quarterly data, weeks before the NCUA makes this information publicly available. Today, hundreds of credit unions participate in the First Look program in order to get their hands on the most current industry data.

One such credit union is Quincy Municipal Credit Union of Quincy, MA. Shirley Laliberte, CFO of Quincy Municipal, is the first participant to send her text file to Callahan's each quarter. "The industry data cited on the First Look page is quite beneficial every quarter," she says.

In first quarter 2002, Callahan collected data for more than 33% of industry assets during First Look. This preliminary data once again proved to be a good indicator of final market data. Preliminary vs. final yield on average loans was 7.6% to 7.7%; preliminary vs. final operating expenses to assets was 3.5% to 3.5%. These and other key ratios are listed below to show how closely the Mar. '02 First Look preliminary data resembled the final Mar. '02 industry data released by the NCUA.



July 15, 2002



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