The Right Perspective (Part 2)

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


The Right Perspective (part 1) addressed the share and investment side of Financial Partners Credit Union's ($716M, Downey, CA) growth throughout 2010. But the credit union's strategic positioning for the year extended to both sides of the balance sheet.

Charts and Graphs Courtesy of Financial Partners

Totals loans declined from $572 million to $519 million annually, says Patterson, but that’s not the complete story, as originations grew 14.5% in the same period. Auto, HELOC, and other portions of the consumer portfolio dipped in accordance to the credit union’s conservative approach in those categories, says Financial Partners CLO Mike Patterson. “We pulled back fairly hard on those the past couple of years, but we’re starting to change that now.”

Although the mortgage portfolio was down approximately $12 million last year, the credit union originated $266 million and sold $220 million in the secondary market. “We had a strategy for sales, and 2010 was a lift for us in mortgage origination over 2009, which was already a record year,” Patterson says. Multi-family apartment lending was a focus for the credit union’s member business lending program. These loans grew by $7.3 million annually, with the credit union booking approximately $19 million and selling more than $10 million.

Last year was also a huge year for refinance, Patterson says, but this year its focus is on the development of new purchase business and its relationships with area realtors. The credit union already has roughly 100 individuals involved in its preferred realtor program.

Charts and Graphs Courtesy of Financial Partners

Member loans serviced also grew, even though the portfolio was down in total loans. Financial Partners grew sold loans serviced from $402 million in 2009 to $519 million in 2010. “Now we have about a billion dollars in our servicing portfolio, which is a good reflection of how we’re growing and taking care of our members, even though we don’t show it on our books,” Patterson says.

As the book closed on 2010, Financial Partners learned not only how to strategically position itself for success but also how to communicate those successes to its Board and its community.

“We entered 2011 with the mentality of steady as we grow,” Patterson says. “We see 2011 as a back-to-business year, with member growth as a primary goal.”

As of February, the credit union's checking is already up 200% versus last year, and membership growth and cross-sell capabilities remains a priority. The credit union is focusing on maximizing its relationships as it prepares to take them to a new level through cross-selling, Patterson says.