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FEATURE More to Give

Ostensibly, for-profit corporations have no responsibility other than to make money for their stockholders. But the outcomes of such a philosophy are becoming increasingly apparent. Consumers are being exploited and the national and world economies are creating the haves and the have-nots. In this environment, credit unions, with their member-first philosophy have much to give by way both of examp​

By Chip Filson

December 01, 2006


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FEATURE Empowering Members–the Uniqueness of Cooperatives

As lending becomes another commodity service, credit unions are creating value through price and service, and by understanding the unique needs of their members. Through cooperation and innovation in the lending arena credit unions are changing the way business is done.

By Chip Filson

November 01, 2006


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FEATURE Does NCUA's Vision Need Rethinking?

The credit union system has been changing, but the core mission of NCUA has remained the same for decades. Because safety and soundness is less of a problem – indeed a different kind of problem -- than a generation ago, perhaps it is time to rethink NCUA’s focus. Perhaps NCUA should be more intently focusing on the growth and evolution of the cooperative financial option for all Americans.

By Chip Filson

August 01, 2006


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FEATURE Changes in Return of the Member (ROM) Reflect Market Changes

Rather than evaluate credit unions’ on profitability measures, Callahan’s Return of the Member scoring system evaluates how well credit unions serve their members and fulfill their mission statements. Find out what changes we made to ROM in 2006.

By Joe James

June 12, 2006


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FEATURE Putting the Movement Back in Credit Unions

To many people, credit unions appear little different from other financial services companies. But credit unions can set themselves apart now by doing what they did in their early years: acting as “social entrepreneurs.” Just as credit unions once improved lives by extending loans for sewing machines or assembly line tools, they still can help affect change in people’s lives and society. Some are ​

By Chip Filson

May 01, 2006


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FEATURE Why Credit Union Planning is Failing

No or slow growth is a common ailment among credit unions. The solution is not redoubling efforts that have worked in the past but rather a whole new way of thinking.

By Chip Filson

August 01, 2005


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FEATURE Consolidation: Fate or Destiny?

For consolidation to deliver superior member value, credit unions must think beyond the merger paradigm. Creativity in organizational structures may be just as important as innovation in products, marketing or service cultures.

By Chip Filson

July 01, 2005


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FEATURE Conversion Confusion

Two large prospective conversions are testing credit union philosophy. Are members needs put first in conversions to stock-issuing entities? Probably not. But prospective conversions might better instigate options for a credit union merger, which would preserve the cooperative tradition of members’ interest as the exclusive goal of the organization.

By Chip Filson

May 01, 2005


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FEATURE DOES BRANCHING PROMOTE GROWTH?

Some financial institutions swear by extensive branching, but within the credit union industry heavy branching does not always correlate with growth. Nevertheless there are things credit unions can do to leverage their branches, or effect branch-like service without the brick-and-mortar expense.

By Chip Filson

April 01, 2005


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FEATURE Unique Visions-Extraordinary Results

In an environment that has many financial institutions including credit unions struggling, some are doing phenomenally well. Three are a New Jersey bank with extraordinary growth, a credit union that helps churches, and a credit union offering expanded services to the University of Southern California. Among five common traits are enthusiastic leadership, focus on a specific field of membership,​

By Chip Filson

November 01, 2004


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FEATURE Is Credit Union Governance a Strategic Priority?

The Carver Policy Governance model for non-profit boards can bring clarity to a board’s purpose and make peace where board-management friction arose. But limiting a board to ends statements alone can relegate it to a mere purveyor of written expressions of hope. The challenge is the heavy lifting to convert ideals into real differences that members can see and use.

By Chip Filson

October 01, 2004


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FEATURE What Do We Know about Credit Union IT Spending?

Callahan’s surveyed credit unions about their IT spending plans in 2004, discovering that the top two areas for IT spending this year are security and enhancing the member’s Internet experience. The survey validates that IT spending is important and increasing, but what is less clear is how credit unions measure the impact of their dollars and how the spending correlates with their business plans.​

By Chip Filson

July 01, 2004


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FEATURE Over the Target

More than 50 credit unions organized a booth at the National Automobile Dealers Association annual convention in Las Vegas with the motto "America's Credit Unions - 80 Million Reasons Why." It proved a revelation for the credit unions and a shot across the bow to the competition. Credit unions learned again the value of working together and could see that the possibilities for the future were sky ​

By Chip Filson

February 01, 2004


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FEATURE The Challenge of Identity

As credit unions move to community charters and more open FOMs, they are challenged with the need to present themselves less as affiliation entities and more as ones that offer the best value. How they do this will strongly affect their future growth.

By Chip Filson

January 01, 2004


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FEATURE Is There a Productivity Opportunity in Credit Unions?

The national economy is showing impressive productivity gains. This is true even in the service sector, some portions of which – airlines and even baseball teams – are making concerted and radical efforts to improve their productivities. Credit unions lack sophisticated measures of productivity but nevertheless in order to keep up need to work at improving their productivity levels.

By Chip Filson

November 01, 2003


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FEATURE Where did the Internet Go?

The Internet was supposed to revolutionize the financial services industry. It has, but not quite the way its promoters were predicting. Much of its usefulness lies not in availability to customers but in background efficiencies.

By Chip Filson

June 01, 2003


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FEATURE Creating a Culture of Data Awareness

In an environment of squeezed margins, credit unions should more than ever create a climate of data awareness. Data is far more than a report card about past performances. Finding the right data and interpreting them correctly is a foundation for both combating the competition and moving the credit union in the right direction. Data awareness needs to be cultivated at all levels of an organizati​

By Chip Filson

May 01, 2003


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FEATURE Diversification Energizes Strategy

Chip explores non-traditional business ventures for credit unions to pursue.

By Chip Filson

April 01, 2003


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PARTNER PERSPECTIVE Solid Benefits &

Credit unions convert to a bank charter because of pain or opportunity. Capital issues, product limits, and poor consumer awareness create pain. Expanding service to a growing community, filling voids left by banks and credit unions, and maximizing personnel and infrastructure potential provide opportunities.

By CU Financial Services
CUFinancialLogo

November 11, 2002


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FEATURE Members Returning Home

The English poet T.S. Eliot may have said it best: "The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and to know the place for the first time." Members are bringing funds to credit unions in ever-increasing amounts. For the 10 years from 1992 to 2001, the annual growth of insured credit union savings was 7.07%.

By Chip Filson

August 01, 2002


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FEATURE The Power of Data

Quantitative facts covering almost every aspect of credit union activity are abundant—and becoming even more plentiful. Many users of data are seeking answers. The issues range from the general, "How-am-I-doing?" to the specific, such as "Should-Iraise-my-NSF-fee?"

By Chip Filson

April 01, 2002


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FEATURE Bethpage FCU Credits

Bethpage Federal Credit Union, New York, had the highest IRA balance as a percentage of total shares - almost $198 million- and the highest number of IRA accounts at 11,145 in the top 50 of CUs over $50 million-in-assets as of Sept. 30, 2001, according to Callahan and Associates data. And because tax time means IRA season at credit unions, Bethpage FCU President/CEO Kirk Kordeleski acknowledged th​

By Carol Anne Burger

March 18, 2002


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FEATURE Setting Direction in Irregular Times

The New Year comes with a new plan and budget. Long and short-term goals are central to every plan. Goals cover quantifiable outcomes —growth rates, balance sheet ratios, earnings targets, as well as qualitative indicators such as member satisfaction and wallet share.

By Chip Filson

January 01, 2002


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FEATURE Best Performers At Midyear 2001

Of the top credit unions in asset size, do you know who are the top ten performers in capital to asset ratio, operating expenses to average assets and return on assets? Check out these data spreads to see these best performers at mid-year 2001!

By Callahan & Associates

October 08, 2001


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FEATURE Credit Unions Score With The Return Of The Member

To help credit unions gauge their member service, Callahan & Associates offers the Return of the Member (ROM) Index.

By Chip Filson

August 20, 2001


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FEATURE Planning For The Ordinary...Or The Extraordinary?

How can credit unions align themselves to compete with non-credit union industries for business in key markets like credit cards, auto and real estate lending?

By Chip Filson

August 01, 2001


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FEATURE Return of the Member Scoring

Check out the top 10 leaders in Return of the Member (ROM) for three different peer groups below.

By Callahan & Associates

June 11, 2001


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FEATURE The Fosbury Flop: A Model for Credit Unions? (part 1)

When I was in high school there were two methods of competing in the high jump. One was the western roll where one ran to the bar and jumped over it face down. The second was the scissors kick in which the jumper ran at the bar at a shallow angle from the side and went over, butt side down, with a swift kick of each leg to scissor over the bar. Using these methods the maximum performance for high ​

By Chip Filson

May 07, 2001


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FEATURE Back to the Future

The Internet did not change our lives the way some initially thought it would, but has it made the stand-alone business obsolete? Chip Filson examines the future of member service through networked systems.​

By Chip Filson

April 01, 2001


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FEATURE The Fosbury Flop: A Model for Credit Unions?

When I was in high school there were two methods of competing in the high jump. One was the “western roll” where one ran to the bar and jumped over it face down. The second was the scissors kick in which the jumper ran at the bar at a shallow angle from the side and went over, butt side down, with a swift kick of each leg to scissor over the bar. Using these methods the maximum performance for hig​

By Chip Filson

February 01, 2001


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