It's unusual to have credit union yearend data and analysis available
for viewing at the annual CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference,
noted Callahan and Associates ecommerce manager Scott Patterson.
And this year's numbers offered some tantalizing trends for credit
unions to consider regarding future initiatives, like record mortgage
originations, record investment growth and continued strong earnings.
But just as important as those industry-wide results are individual
credit union results as compared to their CU peers around the country,
both in the same asset size, larger asset groups, geographical location,
and many other categories, noted Patterson.
"Data has a very short half-life; it's value is tied to time,"
notes Callahan and Associates President Chip Filson. "Like
reading yesterday's newspaper, speed is critical to getting increased
So when yearend data was released by NCUA on February 15, Callahan
data specialists worked almost around the clock to update Peer to
Peer software so that credit union CEOs and directors visiting their
booth during the GAC could see a thorough financial analysis. And
it proved a big draw, said Tina Kaderabeck, Callahan's manager of
software and data analysis.
While some 90% of CUs with assets over $250 million use Peer to
Peer, smaller asset CUs that are cutting edge in services to members
also find it valuable.
Hamilton Horizons FCU, Hamilton, New Jersey, is one such credit
union. Cindy Rein-Zima, president, made a point of stopping by to
compare HHFCU's expense ratios with other community credit unions
across the country, and she liked what she learned. "There
are others (like us) out there," she explained. "This
data goes much further than what's available from NCUA, and it's
just the kind of information my board asks for."
Hamilton Horizons FCU (assets of $22.4 million; 3900 members, capital
at 14.8%) lost its main sponsor through a protracted strike several
years ago (a turbine engine company that is now a SEG) and opted
for a community charter. They can serve anyone who lives in Hamilton
Township. Despite its size, HHFCU
(www.hhorizonsfcu.org) is full service. "We run our own
ATMs (currently two) have Visa credit cards, do mortgages through
Cumanet, and offer HELOCs as well as all the plain vanilla CU menu,"
said Rein-Zima. This data helps me see my expenses as compared to
other CCUs that have a cash operation. My board needs to see that;
besides, it's fun to sit and do it; play with all these comparisions,"
Rein-Zima noted that the CU is searching for land to build another
branch. "Oh, we're planning to grow," she said.