Self-Service, Niche Communities, And Asset Quality

Five can't-miss data points this week on


This week, searches for the self-service member, identifies ways to serve a niche community, considers asset quality in the current economic environment, and more.

Here are five can't-miss data points:


A self-sufficient member is a good thing. Do-it-yourself folks don’t need expensive help, are more likely to be satisfied, and are sticky — they are in it for the long run with their favorite financial cooperative. As long as that cooperative is meeting their needs. So, how do credit unions ensure they meet the needs of members? Two leading cooperatives — Langley Federal Credit Union and Wright-Patt Credit Union — have found that technology and education are two key ingredients in creating a corps of self-sufficient member-owners.

Read: In Search Of The Self-Service Member


Everence Federal Credit Union serves Amish, Mennonite, and Anabaptist groups across the country. The credit union is the banking arm of Everence, a fraternal benefits organization that provides faith and values-based investments, insurance, and retirement plans. Both Everence and Everence FCU help people and institutions integrate faith and values into financial decisions that ultimately support people, places, and communities. Here, Kent Hartzler, CEO of Everence FCU, shares what he’s learned about serving niche communities and why his cooperative’s mission is more relevant to a broader group of consumers than ever before.

Read: Tried-And-True Tips To Serve A Niche Community


The new managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, revealed striking statistics at the institution’s annual meeting in Washington, DC, in October. Two years ago, 75% of the world’s nations reported an uptick in their gross domestic product (GDP). In 2019, 90% face a major slowdown as measured by purchasing power parity. What might happen to a credit union’s loan portfolio if economic conditions in the United States shifted abruptly? Callahan & Associates is not in the business of predicting recessions; however, the firm can help credit unions determine whether the loans they have on the books or are planning to make are good for individual members as well as the overall membership. One way to do that is by looking at asset quality, how credit unions are hedging for the future, and where the U.S. economy is heading.

Read: Are Your Loans Good For Members?


Technological innovation is changing the way consumers experience the world and creating tremendous opportunities (and challenges) in the financial services landscape by fundamentally changing how members interact with the credit union and one other. In this climate of constant change, how can credit unions leverage the latest technology to provide amazing products and services? Credit union technologists and business leaders of all technical abilities traveled from across the country to San Diego for the Symitar Educational Conference (SEC) to find out. The event delved into the ever-evolving technology landscape surrounding the credit union industry, and sessions covered a range of topics, from loan growth to deposit acquisition, helping members achieve financial success to achieving greater operational efficiency. Despite the varied agenda, four key themes emerged.

Read: A Place For AI At The CU

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The credit union movement prides itself on offering superior rates, products, and services to its member-owners, but quantifying the value inherent in cooperative strategies can be tricky. The Return of the Member (ROM) index is one way to do that. ROM is a comprehensive metric that uses 5300 data from all U.S. credit unions to quantify the value credit unions return to members. Designed by Callahan & Associates more than 20 years ago, ROM assigns every credit union in the United States a value between 1 and 100 based on three core functions — savings, lending, and product usage. Credit unions can use ROM to compare their performance against any peer group — such as asset base or state — to calculate a percentile rank and overall final score. Callahan regularly reviews ROM data to see how credit unions of similar sizes compare against one another. Where do you rank?

Read: A Method To Measure Member Relationships

Happy Reading!

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Oct. 28, 2019



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