Trendwatch interprets the data that high-level executives need to fulfill their daily obligations, but even Callahan’s fresh-faced intern found a few key take aways useful.
I grew up in a credit union household. With Bucky Sebastian as a father, I was taught since birth that “bank” is a four-letter word. Because of my background, I have always been biased toward credit unions, but that does not mean I know much about the field. I watched Wednesday’s Trendwatch call on my second day interning at Callahan and Associates. I expected to be confused listening to the complicated discussion about trends and strategies. I thought the call would go right over my head. I was surprised to find I was able to not only stay awake, but also I was engaged throughout the presentation. I came away with a good bird’s eye view of first quarter 2010 and of the strategies that will prove key in the coming months.
So far this year, credit unions’ earnings have increased, and share growth is continuing (just at a slower pace). With the return of competition into the market, lending is especially important for credit union success in the coming year. According to the Trendwatch data, credit unions currently have a third of the balance sheet invested rather than loaned out — this is an expensive situation. Although increasing loan volume will be tough with banks around, it is doable (just check out Callahan’s upcoming lending webinar).
But what really helped me understand all of this information (which was thrown at me in just an hour) was the visual data, such as the numbers and charts that accompanied the speakers (Jay Johnson of Callahan, John Olivo of Goldman Sachs, and Ray Springsteen of Fort Knox CU). The slides are available after the presentation, and I’ve already gone back to find specific data.
Overall, I found Trendwatch to be an insightful and effective tool to learn about credit unions in general and the first quarter specifically. There are possibilities for the future, and I look forward to being in the real world of credit unions.
For additional information on the recovery and lending opportunities, check out: