The Right Perspective (part 1)

Achieving success on and off the balance sheet is possible but requires strategic positioning.


Many aspects of a credit union’s business can’t be communicated on a balance sheet. So when it came time for Financial Partners Credit Union ($716M, Downey, CA) to share its 2010 performance with its Board, it had a simple message: What you see isn’t what you get.

The stabilizing economy granted substantial opportunity last year, says Financial Partners CLO Mike Patterson. Although the credit union improved its financials in areas such as net worth and capital, it also had to bridge a communications gap. It had to explain to its Board why the credit union wasn’t growing in the traditional sense but was strategically growing on and off the balance sheet.

Courtesy of Financial Partners

At year’s end, total deposits were down by approximately $10 million, yet the drop was buoyed by the credit union's focus on core deposits such as checking, shares, and money market accounts.

“We focused on those relationships because CDs were a tough market to maintain last year and we knew would have some challenges,” Patterson says. “We wanted to transition more of that activity into investment services."

As a result of strategic maneuvering, the credit union increased investments from $31 million in 2009 to a total of $172 in 2010.

“We saw that drop in CDs and had a plan to see if we could move them over to another side of our business,” Patterson says.

But investments and shares are only a portion of the story. To learn about Financial Partners positioning for strategic loan growth in 2010, read The Right Perspective (part 2).




March 21, 2011


  • Good info, strategy and results. Would have been better with a bit more details and context.