Keep Calm And Carry On

Over the past few years credit unions buckled down, made loans, and took care of members. Now they have the momentum to further propel the industry into a new era.


The United Kingdom first printed the phrase "Keep Calm and Carry On" on a poster during the beginning of World War II to bolster moral as the country faced a possible German invasion. Although the slogan was not widely recognized at the time, its popularity has surged in the past decade. The now-iconic campaign is in the public domain, and those watching coverage of the Summer Olympic Games in London might have noticed twists on the expression — Keep Calm It’s Only The Olympics; Keep Calm And Go For Gold — on game swag.

Here at Callahan, we loved cheering for our U.S. Olympic athletes almost as much as we loved hearing from credit union leaders about the phenomenal results they posted for second quarter 2012. In fact, we took a little inspiration from the summer games in this quarter’s INDUSTRY PERFORMANCE. The title, “Credit Unions Perform Faster, Higher, and Stronger,” pays homage to the Olympic motto citius, altius, fortius. But this isn’t just lip service. Credit unions really are performing in unbelievable ways. During second quarter, the industry posted faster member and loan growth, originated the highest ever level of loans for second quarter or at midyear, and achieved stronger asset quality and earnings.

So what’s going on? Over the past few years, during a time of economic uncertainty, credit unions indeed kept calm and carried on. They buckled down. They made loans. They took care of members. Now they have the momentum to further propel the industry into a new era.

If you’re looking for inspiration for this year’s planning session, you’ll find that and more in this issue of CUSP. The eleventh installment of the ANATOMY series highlights new twists on tried-and-true loans; ON THE CUSP delves into onboarding programs that welcome new members, not just more numbers; COOPERATIVE STRATEGIES underscores the important role credit unions play in spurring local businesses, housing, and employment; and CUSP’s THEORERICAL CASE STUDY provides advice from three credit unions leaders on when and how to rebrand. And finally, if you’ve ever wondered what lessons credit unions can glean from those fighting food deserts across the country, look no further than DIVERSIONS.

After all this, your mind might need a rest. You won’t find that with CUSP’s first-ever rebus. But you will have fun sounding out the names of the credit unions in this picture puzzle.