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Callahan Report

FEATURE A Mandate For Discovery

Credit unions are exceeding goals and breaking records quarter after quarter. In such an ideal environment, why are some still looking for the next challenge?

By Aaron Pugh

Oct. 28, 2015

3270 Views
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FEATURE Good-Bye Incremental Growth. Hello Exponential Growth.

Today’s environment provides the leverage credit union leaders need to take their organizations to another level.

By Jay Johnson

Sept. 11, 2015

2607 Views
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FEATURE Generation TBD

How do you connect with millennial members whose future is so entirely … to be determined?

By Scott Patterson

Aug. 17, 2015

5318 Views
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FEATURE The Brain Game

How credit unions can use biology, psychology, and game theory to modify member behaviors for the better.

By Alix Patterson

July 13, 2015

4161 Views
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FEATURE Test Your Boundaries Without Losing Your Bearings

In a sky full of glittering opportunities, maintaining the industry’s guiding principles becomes more crucial, not less.

By Jay Johnson

April 22, 2015

4382 Views
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FEATURE From IT To "We"-T

Don’t let staff intransigence create digital divides that impede new products or imperil growth.

By Scott Patterson

March 23, 2015

5649 Views
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FEATURE The Threat And Opportunity In Financial Services Disruptors

Non-FI players are raising the bar for user experience and expectations. Now, credit unions must respond or retreat.

By Jon Jeffreys

Feb. 23, 2015

4933 Views
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FEATURE Why It's Important To Be A Community Leader

As credit unions grow, so does their role as community stewards.

By Jay Johnson

Oct. 22, 2014

5713 Views
0
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FEATURE What Would Your Members Do With $1,000?

Over the past four summers, Community Financial has awarded nearly one-quarter of $1 million in $1,000 increments to member-chosen organizations.

By Drew Grossman

Oct. 20, 2014

5627 Views
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reimagination
FEATURE Use Your Re-Imagination

What’s old is new again for credit unions that repurpose great ideas for different circumstances.

By Alix Patterson

Aug. 25, 2014

4747 Views
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FEATURE 5 Business Ideas From One Long-Standing Race

The ideas behind Wright-Patt Credit Union’s annual Savings Race have broader applications for every cooperative.

By Sharon Simpson

Aug. 25, 2014

7866 Views
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FEATURE Inject Attitude Into Your Platitudes

Best practices when changing a credit union culture.

By Jon Jeffreys

July 28, 2014

4320 Views
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FEATURE Control Your Destiny. Own The Online Channel.

Jay Tkachuk, vice president of online services for Security Service FCU, discusses why the credit union built its own online banking platform, how its online services have paid off, and why a long-term view is critical.

By Sharon Simpson

June 30, 2014

4830 Views
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FEATURE Getting The Most From Your Digital Channels

The best multichannel strategy requires designing functions and features specifically for that medium.

By Alix Patterson

June 30, 2014

6965 Views
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FEATURE Unleash The Power Of Constraint

If necessity is the mother of invention, then limitation just might be the father of innovation.

By Alix Patterson

May 26, 2014

4657 Views
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FEATURE How To Beat “No Way” With “Know How”

Being a small credit union hasn't stopped West Virginia-based Element FCU from developing solutions to better serve its members.

By Callahan & Associates

May 26, 2014

1655 Views
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FEATURE 20 Years Of Credit Union Growth

Credit unions have posted slow but steady growth over the past 20 years, increasing their member relationships and deepening community ties over time.

By Andrew Bolton

April 21, 2014

3722 Views
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FEATURE The Value Of The Slow Money Approach

A renewed emphasis on patient, local investment offers a return that resonates for generations.

By Jay Johnson

April 21, 2014

4187 Views
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FEATURE The Benefits Of Lifelong Member Participation

In this Q&A with Rick Heldebrant, the CEO of Star One Credit Union discusses how the credit union takes the long view in its aim to retain members.

By Jay Johnson

April 21, 2014

4899 Views
1
Self Insurance
FEATURE Credit Union Tangibles And Intangibles

Passion and purpose trump the benefits of being a bank.

By Sharon Simpson

March 20, 2014

27845 Views
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Seven Cooperative Principles
FEATURE The Power Of Seven

It’s time for credit unions to take a hard look at how they are communicating the value of their cooperative

By Jon Jeffreys

March 20, 2014

7395 Views
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FEATURE Tech At The Table

As credit union services and solutions become increasingly tech-focused, you need the right people helping to make the best business decisions.

By Scott Patterson

Feb. 1, 2014

4710 Views
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FEATURE When The Going Gets Good, Dare To Change

It’s natural to be complacent when things are going well, yet that’s the perfect time to re-imagine your future.

By Alix Patterson

Jan. 13, 2014

6413 Views
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FEATURE A New Culture For A Credit Union

Erie FCU is upgrading its relationship-building efforts and empowering its leadership team members to make their own decisions.

By Callahan & Associates

Jan. 13, 2014

1689 Views
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OP-ED A New Culture For A Credit Union

Erie FCU is upgrading its relationship-building efforts and empowering its leadership team members to make their own decisions.

Mary Beth Wilcher
 
By Mary Beth Wilcher

Jan. 13, 2014

10757 Views
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FEATURE How Credit Unions Can Forge A Mutually Beneficial Partnership With SEGs

Strong CU-SEG relationships open opportunities for both parties.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 25, 2013

1415 Views
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OP-ED How To Foster A Solid CU-SEG Relationship

MIT FCU mines mutual opportunities within its select community.

Brian Ducharme
 
By Brian Ducharme

Nov. 25, 2013

4341 Views
1
OP-ED How Credit Unions Can Forge A Mutually Beneficial Partnership With SEGs

Strong CU-SEG relationships open opportunities for both parties.

Jon Jeffreys
 
By Jon Jeffreys

Nov. 25, 2013

5500 Views
0
FEATURE How To Foster A Solid CU-SEG Relationship

MIT FCU mines mutual opportunities within its select community.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 23, 2013

1739 Views
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FEATURE 5 Areas Of Innovation All Credit Unions Need To Monitor

Up-and-coming products will impact the relationship between credit unions and their members.

By Scott Patterson

Oct. 21, 2013

17147 Views
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FEATURE BECU Encourages Employee Engagement Through Shared Problem Solving

Crowdsourcing software enables the Washington credit union to solicit ideas from employees and build off the solutions of one another. So far, participation is high and credit union leadership is pleased.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 23, 2013

1680 Views
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FEATURE Harness The Wisdom Of The Crowd

Industries across the globe, including financial cooperatives, are making good use of mob mentality.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 23, 2013

1744 Views
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OP-ED Harness The Wisdom Of The Crowd

Industries across the globe, including financial cooperatives, are making good use of mob mentality.

Alix Patterson
 
By Alix Patterson

Sept. 23, 2013

12320 Views
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OP-ED BECU Encourages Employee Engagement Through Shared Problem Solving

Crowdsourcing software enables the Washington credit union to solicit ideas from employees and build off the solutions of one another. So far, participation is high and credit union leadership is pleased.

By Tom Berquist

Sept. 23, 2013

8754 Views
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FEATURE Governance: Is Yours Up To The Task?

Unlocking your board’s full potential is a complex undertaking. Without board confidence, no governance model will be successful.

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 7, 2013

1457 Views
0
OP-ED Governance: Is Yours Up To The Task?

Unlocking your board’s full potential is a complex undertaking. Without board confidence, no governance model will be successful.

Sean Hession
 
By Sean Hession

Aug. 7, 2013

3028 Views
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FEATURE A Bold Approach To Strategic Planning

It’s time for credit unions to build on the momentum gained during the economic downturn and make long-term plans for the future.

By Callahan & Associates

July 29, 2013

1691 Views
0
OP-ED A Bold Approach To Strategic Planning

It’s time for credit unions to build on the momentum gained during the economic downturn and make long-term plans for the future.

Jay Johnson
 
By Jay Johnson

July 29, 2013

7665 Views
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FEATURE Open Your Books To Drive Better Results

Give employees the knowledge they need to think and act like the business partners they are.

By Alix Patterson

July 1, 2013

5458 Views
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FEATURE Non-Traditional Metrics Help Measure Success

A Canadian community credit union uses impact measures to gain a better understanding of how it is growing as a cooperative.

By Callahan & Associates

May 27, 2013

1552 Views
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OP-ED Non-Traditional Metrics Help Measure Success

A Canadian community credit union uses impact measures to gain a better understanding of how it is growing as a cooperative.

By Heather Kaart

May 27, 2013

4593 Views
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FEATURE Measuring The Cooperative Difference

A new way of looking at data helps leaders look beyond traditional definitions of success.

By Scott Patterson

May 27, 2013

5899 Views
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FEATURE The Credit Union Of The Future

Next Generation Credit Unions embrace the idea that just plain good is never good enough.

By Alix Patterson

April 29, 2013

13604 Views
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FEATURE Put Big Data To Work For You

This emerging strategy isn’t just about getting more information, but about structuring and using those insights in innovative new ways.

By Jon Jeffreys

March 25, 2013

5620 Views
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FEATURE Governance With A New CEO

As the incoming leader of Langley Federal Credit Union, Tom Ryan helped his board strike the balance between embracing historic practices and plotting future improvements.

By Brooke C. Stoddard

Feb. 18, 2013

5444 Views
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FEATURE The Unique Power Of Cooperative Design And The Regulatory Role

Lack of cooperative principles led to NCUA missteps during the financial crisis. Restoring those principles, widely tested through 75 years should, be our guide forward.

By Chip Filson

Feb. 18, 2013

5244 Views
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FEATURE How To Apply The 7 Cooperative Principles To Regulatory Design

To promote the continuous evolution of the credit union charter and its multifaceted contributions to the country’s economic progress, a new cooperative regulatory structure is needed.

By Chip Filson

Feb. 18, 2013

5927 Views
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FEATURE A Committee Structure At Work

TDECU's new CEO Stephanie Sherrodd channels past experience with her institution to encourage continued momentum and harmony in its future governance.

By Brooke C. Stoddard

Feb. 18, 2013

5623 Views
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FEATURE Why Reform Of NCUA Is Necessary And Why Now

Credit unions themselves need to spearhead NCUA reform. Here are the reasons.

By Chip Filson

Feb. 18, 2013

5647 Views
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FEATURE 3 Ways To Achieve Success In 2013

Now is the time for credit unions to invest in three key strategic areas to drive success in 2013: mortgage lending, younger member recruitment, and sophisticated data usage.

By Jay Johnson

Jan. 28, 2013

4566 Views
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FEATURE Desert Schools FCU Ramps Up Real Estate Lending

The Arizona-based credit union expands its back office and looks past HARP and refinances to achieve even greater success in 2013.

By Brooke C. Stoddard

Jan. 28, 2013

4220 Views
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FEATURE How BECU Communicates Its Community Impact

BECU publishes a short financial annual report as well as an extensive sustainability report that describes what the credit union does for staff, the community, and the environment.

By Brooke C. Stoddard

Dec. 17, 2012

4390 Views
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FEATURE Make The Most Of Your Annual Report

The most effective annual reports energize readers by demonstrating the impact your credit union has on all stakeholders.

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 17, 2012

1353 Views
0
OP-ED Make The Most Of Your Annual Report

The most effective annual reports energize readers by demonstrating the impact your credit union has on all stakeholders.

Alix Patterson
 
By Alix Patterson

Dec. 17, 2012

4663 Views
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FEATURE Gaining Influence In A Metropolitan Area

University Federal Credit Union is a mover and shaker in Central Texas.

By Brooke C. Stoddard

Nov. 19, 2012

3388 Views
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FEATURE The Election Is Over, It’s Time To Come Out Swinging

Only credit unions can do what they do for communities; let’s get to work and spread the word.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 19, 2012

1567 Views
0
OP-ED The Election Is Over. It’s Time To Come Out Swinging.

Only credit unions can do what they do for communities; let’s get to work and spread the word.

Callahan's Executive Team
 
By Callahan's Executive Team

Nov. 19, 2012

3297 Views
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FEATURE A Perfect Time To Make Investments

Armed with the knowledge and experience gained from the past few years, credit unions have never had a greater opportunity to build business for the future.

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 26, 2012

2130 Views
0
FEATURE Look Forward To The Future

The country is pulling out of the crisis, and credit unions are thriving. Now where do we go from here?

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 25, 2012

1557 Views
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OP-ED Look Forward To The Future

The country is pulling out of the crisis, and credit unions are thriving. Now where do we go from here?

Callahan's Executive Team
 
By Callahan's Executive Team

Oct. 25, 2012

2898 Views
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FEATURE A Planning Season Grounded In The Cooperative Ideal

Looking for a way to liven up your credit union, membership, and community? Look no further than these seven principles.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 25, 2012

1265 Views
0
OP-ED A Planning Season Grounded In The Cooperative Ideal

Looking for a way to liven up your credit union, membership, and community? Look no further than these seven principles.

Callahan's Executive Team
 
By Callahan's Executive Team

Sept. 25, 2012

2600 Views
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FEATURE A Cooperative Outlook On Governance

How the cooperative principles guide the governance of a non-profit based in Washington state. A Q&A with Anne-Marie La Porte, Director of Governance Services, Group Health Cooperative.

By Brooke C. Stoddard

Sept. 19, 2012

3571 Views
0
FEATURE Bank Of America: Follow Your Customers, Convert To A Credit Union

A credit union charter could save Bank of America customers billions of dollars annually. That’s a non-government stimulus waiting to happen.

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 25, 2012

1311 Views
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FEATURE United FCU Demonstrates The Benefits Of Being A Credit Union

The credit union charter saved an ailing Indiana bank, retained local ownership, and assuaged community concerns regarding employment and sustainability.

By Brooke C. Stoddard

Aug. 25, 2012

2803 Views
0
FEATURE Building A New Future For Housing Finance

The industry has hit a new all-time high for mortgage market share. Now it’s time to raise our ambitions.

By Callahan & Associates

July 25, 2012

1332 Views
0
FEATURE Tales Of A Credit Union With 27% Mortgage Market Share

Greylock Federal Credit Union says service is most important in achieving and sustaining superior market share.

By Brooke C. Stoddard

July 1, 2012

2206 Views
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FEATURE A 100-year Vision For Credit Unions

How can credit unions make a second century as good as the first? We examine the question and forge some answers.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2012

3420 Views
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FEATURE For the Long Haul: Ethics and Leadership

Builder of WesCorp and 30-year Marine Dick Johnson reflects on what it takes to sustain an organization over the long term.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2012

3641 Views
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FEATURE Putting a Credit Union to work in Community Economic Development

University FCU in Austin has very consciously turned outward to help and promote the metropolitan area. Its work builds both the city and the credit union.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2012

3154 Views
0
FEATURE Surprised by Credit Union

In this article, an experienced Realtor reflects on what a credit union in the Phoenix Valley does in a troubled real estate market to support the community.

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2011

2925 Views
0
FEATURE Debt's Dual Edged Sword: the Cooperative Solution and System Need

Debt is all over the headlines. While credit unions provide channels for reasonable credit; they could do even better if their internal mechanisms for extending credit were brought back to health. Get the solutions in this month's report.

By Chip Filson

Nov. 1, 2011

3131 Views
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FEATURE Credit Union's Increasing Role in the U.S. Economy

Quarterly loan originations, outstanding modified mortgages, and retail deposit market share are all featured in this month's data spread to further depict the increasing role of credit unions in our economy today.

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 2011

3293 Views
1
FEATURE An Inflection Point For Financial Services – But Is The Tilt Toward Cooperatives?

Occupy Wall Street — Adopt a Credit Union? At the moment people seem more repelled by banks than drawn to credit unions, and payday lenders are thriving. What do credit unions do now to make their option known—continue to lobby for an increase in the member business lending cap, for example, or is there a different message?

By Chip Filson

Oct. 1, 2011

4498 Views
0
FEATURE Moving from Plan to Action

A definite process moves from brainstorming to action items, leaving room for improvisation.

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 2011

3260 Views
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FEATURE Discovering the Power of Community

Emphasizing community while using cooperative principles is more than about “working together” but also about a creative set of design elements to get ahead and share success.

By Chip Filson

July 1, 2011

2860 Views
0
FEATURE NCUA Debit Card Analysis Validates Proposed Fed Rule

The information contained in the analysis is so misleading it casts doubt on NCUA’s ability to understand the issue and its impact on credit unions.

By Chip Filson

May 2, 2011

8009 Views
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FEATURE Data Snapshot

Credit Unions Role in America’s Economic Recovery

By Callahan & Associates

May 1, 2011

3421 Views
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FEATURE Restore the Power of the Cooperative Model

How to redesign the NCUSIF for a 21st century credit union system.

By Chip Filson

April 18, 2011

4160 Views
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FEATURE Redeemable Upon Demand

When will the CLF return $1.9 billion in capital stock funds that belongs to credit unions?

By Chip Filson

April 11, 2011

5761 Views
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FEATURE Creating a 21st Century Credit Union System: Establishing an Office of Credit Union Administration within the Treasury Department

The opportunity to address a fundamental flaw in the cooperative structure is available, the options are actionable, and credit union energy is pent up, ready for action.

By Chip Filson

April 1, 2011

2738 Views
0
FEATURE Top 25 NCUA Salaries & Bonuses for 2010 and Salaries for 2011

Callahan & Associates

By Chip Filson

April 1, 2011

3131 Views
0
FEATURE Affecting Change From Within the System

When you desire change in our industry, you are confronted with a choice: You can work within the system, or outside it

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2011

2929 Views
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FEATURE Name Withheld by Request

A healthy regulatory environment requires transparency, member representation, and member participation, all lacking today. The movement should take a hard look at the current situation determine what is not working and how repairs might be made.

By Chip Filson

Jan. 1, 2011

2043 Views
1
FEATURE 2010 Year in Review

A summary and subject index of 2010 Callahan Report articles and data.

By Brooke C. Stoddard

Jan. 1, 2011

2937 Views
0
FEATURE A Timely Credit Union Difference: Helping Members Overcome “Transaction Friction”

Credit unions offer a path of least resistance for borrowers getting the refinance runaround. Here are three steps to determine your credit union’s lending possibilites.

By Chip Filson

Dec. 1, 2010

4650 Views
1
FEATURE Refinancing Is a Win-Win Situation

Wright-Patt Credit Union has seen members affected firsthand by the economy, but the credit union has helped members, improved credit union revenue, and shown how America can get growth started.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2010

3363 Views
0
FEATURE Leadership for the Present

We’ve all heard it said, “You can wake up one day and find yourself in a different environment.” Well, credit unions are now truly in a different environment.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2010

3075 Views
0
FEATURE Doing Well by Doing Good

Affinity FCU in New Jersey grew loans 14% year-over-year first quarter. It did so by sticking with its members in bad times as well as good, working with the members as individuals, keeping the lending spigot open, and picking up business from former bank customers.

By Callahan & Associates

May 1, 2010

3042 Views
0
FEATURE The Credit Union System’s Record on Loan Modifications for 2009

Loan modifications were on the rise as Americans shuffled their finances to adapt to the changing economic situation. Credit unions helped to their members to the tune of almost $6.1B.

By Callahan & Associates

May 1, 2010

4165 Views
0
FEATURE Is the Grass Greener Outside the Credit Union System?

When times get tough, Cassandras spring forth with dire predictions, but often they build upon weaknesses they have worked to ferret out. Here we look at – and counter – five charges by critics who believe the credit union charter has perhaps been struck a fatal blow by the recent economic troubles.

By Chip Filson

April 1, 2010

2232 Views
0
FEATURE A Former Banker Notes Credit Union Advantage

Rob Stuart worked at Bank of America for 15 years before switching to OnPoint Community CU in Portland, OR, where is he now CEO. He compares the banking ethos and operations to those of credit unions.

By Brooke C. Stoddard

April 1, 2010

2896 Views
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FEATURE A Unique Spirit Found Nowhere Else

Melanie Houser, Director of Finance for BCU, has worked in banks, an S&L, and a credit card servicer but champions credit unions because nowhere else did institutions put people first. She says credit unions have a spirit that has no equal.

By Callahan & Associates

April 1, 2010

2938 Views
0
FEATURE One of the Nation's Best Credit Card Programs

Pennsylvania State Employees CU has one of the best credit card programs in the nation. With penetration at 40% and growth in balances last year at 23%, members are demonstrating they see the value in PSECU’s program above the programs of banks and other institutions.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2010

2822 Views
0
FEATURE The Corporate Rule and the System’s Future

NCUA should think less about “being in control” and more about working cooperatively to shape a system for the future.

By Chip Filson

Feb. 1, 2010

2387 Views
0
FEATURE Collaboration and a Learning Regulator

Wanting to “be in control,” NCUA runs the risk of cracking the cooperative system. Rather the agency should work more with credit unions to shape a cooperative system for the decades ahead.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2010

2648 Views
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FEATURE A Hard Look at Recapitalizing Shows We Don’t Have the Necessary Information Yet

NCUA’s proposed new corporate rules leave managers confused: Would investing in the reconstituted corporates be prudent? Right now, no one could be sure.

By Randy Karnes

Feb. 1, 2010

4888 Views
0
FEATURE Best of 2009

Stories and data from the Callahan Report that still make a difference today – worth going back to for a fresh look.

By Brooke C. Stoddard

Jan. 1, 2010

3093 Views
1
FEATURE Small Business Lending Fosters Community Development

As a community credit union, our focus has always been on making an impact at the local level. A large component of this has been the services and products we offer to our members who own and run small businesses. However, our ability to continue doing so is in jeopardy.

By Callahan & Associates

Jan. 1, 2010

2794 Views
0
FEATURE Forbearance: The Lesson of the Year and the Spirit of the Season

Keep persons in their homes, keep the father cutting the grass, keep the kids in the schools they are used to. Give people time to work things out, because generally they will reward you with their loyalty decades into the future, and with their business and the value they create.

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2009

3176 Views
0
FEATURE Lessons Learned…

Credit unions remain a safe haven for deposits and a source of credit. What else has the recession taught us?

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2009

4188 Views
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FEATURE Moving Past a Share Insurance Solution

Insurance funds like the FDIC were set up to pay off relatively small claims, not solve problems during systemic failure. NCUSIF in 1984 and the CLF were set up differently, with capital. The financing now facing credit unions is best solved not with an “insurance” mindset but a capital one.

By Chip Filson

Dec. 1, 2009

3498 Views
0
FEATURE Kill the King, or the King will Kill You!

What was a strength at the beginning of the crisis – liquidity – could become a drag in the next stage of rebuilding earnings. Waiting for markets and member demand to recover may not be sufficient. A more active approach to finding the right mix and structure of both assets and liabilities will be more critical than ever.

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2009

2715 Views
2
FEATURE Top 100 Credit Union Performance

See 3Q 2009 performance data a series of metrics and ratios for the 100 largest credit unions.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 2009

3651 Views
2
FEATURE Be Wary of New Regulation, and Speak Up!

Legislation and regulation now being considered might be more harmful than helpful; witness our troubles with the CARD Act. We need to be deeply engaged in the political process of shaping new laws so our members can lead better lives not more constricted ones.

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 2009

2951 Views
0
FEATURE Support A New Consumer Protection Agency

If Congress wants to establish an agency protecting consumers from predatory financial services practices, credit unions should show their support. Mainly we’ve “been clean” and are likely to win new members.

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 2009

3155 Views
1
FEATURE The Overdraft Fee Controversy: Moving from Abuse to a New Paradigm of Responsibility and Technology

Assumptions about over-drafting have changed. Rather than fight old battles, credit unions should acquire the tools to help members know their balances in real time.

By Randy Karnes

Oct. 1, 2009

3381 Views
0
FEATURE Why We Should be Involved in the Health Insurance Debate

Credit unions should stand up for health-care reform - to help their employees, their own organizations, their country and their members.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2009

2880 Views
0
FEATURE Medical Bankruptcy Fact Sheet

Callahan & Associates

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2009

3312 Views
0
FEATURE What is Credit Unions' Role in Health-Care Reform?

Few recent politcal issues have generated as much intense public discussion as health-care reform. Every American uses health care. Should credit unions be involved?

By Chip Filson

Sept. 1, 2009

3044 Views
0
FEATURE The Case for Health Insurance Involvement

Rising health insurance costs batter credit union bottom lines. Credit union leaders should get involved to assure first, a logical debate and second, a levelheaded outcome.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2009

3059 Views
0
FEATURE Leading in a Me-First Society

As if the whole mortgage mess of last year — “Let’s make our dollars at someone else’s expense while the getting’s good” – wasn’t bad enough, now we have a Congress with full knowledge that health care, energy consumption, and global warming all require serious attention nevertheless slinking to positions that only tinker at the margins.

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 2009

3164 Views
0
FEATURE New Thinking About Affinities

Because people change jobs and move, FOM-affinities have been changing. People now might be more loyal to a Harley-Davidson club or the Oprah Winfrey show than to a factory or parish. We should take note and probe how credit unions can discover, deal with, and aid new affinity groups.

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 2009

3530 Views
0
FEATURE The System Dynamics Process for a Credit Union and the Credit Union System

System Dynamics was developed in the 1960s by Professor Jay Forrester at MIT. The premise was that some systems had become so complex no single person could understand all the variables or their intermediate outcomes.

By Chip Filson

July 1, 2009

3266 Views
0
FEATURE First Quarter Results: Strengthening the Core and Keeping Credit Flowing

Credit unions are leading America's economic recovery by lending, capturing deposits and attracting new members at record pace in the first quarter.

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 2009

2837 Views
0
FEATURE The Opportunities Awaiting New NCUA Leadership

When the White House announced its intention to nominate Deborah Matz to the NCUA board and appoint her Chairman, a whole new world of possibilities was created. These include actions responding to the current crisis as well as whatever might accompany a change of leadership at NCUA.

By Chip Filson

June 1, 2009

2931 Views
0
FEATURE A Cooperative Vision to Lead America

Credit unions have suffered a body blow. The combination of economic losses, regulatory surprises, and market challenges has raised credit unions’ anxiety and fears. So uncertain is the moment, how can any of us feel good about any future vision?

By Chip Filson

May 1, 2009

2652 Views
2
FEATURE What I Learned at Wharton

Last week I spent two days at the Wharton School of Business. Wharton is one of our nation's top premier graduate business schools, considered by many to be the pinnacle of management training and business education. It is where the business (and political) leaders of tomorrow are trained and move on to explore seemingly endless opportunities.

By Callahan & Associates

May 1, 2009

3095 Views
0
FEATURE First-Time Home Buyers Benefit from Community First Stimulus Mortgage Package

At Community First Credit Union, one brief phrase captures our commitment to our members: "We'll find a way." Our new outreach specifically targeting first-time home buyers reflects this mind set. The housing market in Wisconsin has not escaped the national home purchase slump, with homeowners unable to sell their homes and potential first-time home-buyers unable to get into the market.

By Callahan & Associates

April 1, 2009

2517 Views
0
FEATURE Credit Union Rising - A Movement Reawakens

The credit union charter provides the most powerful counter-cyclical financial model in America today. Counter-cyclical means the ability to operate contrary to market trends or traditional business strategy. That is why credit cooperatives were formed.

By Chip Filson

April 1, 2009

1572 Views
0
FEATURE Meeting Challenges in Indiana

Amy Sink, CFO at Teachers CU in Indiana, shares her thoughts on the challenges and opportunities running the largest credit union in her state during these troubling times.

By Brooke C. Stoddard

March 1, 2009

3091 Views
0
FEATURE Managing Well in Tough

Tom Baldwin, CFO at Space Coast CU, discusses managing risk, new opportunities opening up as others leave his market, and how a strong capital position is going to weather the storm.

By Brooke C. Stoddard

March 1, 2009

2741 Views
0
FEATURE Countercyclical Leadership

How to operate against the tide and to judge if your operations are effective.

By Chip Filson

March 1, 2009

2577 Views
0
FEATURE “Shock and Awe” or a “Calling Out”?

NCUA's cautious first step has unsettled presumptions for credit unions and has challenged our confidence in each other. Will our faith in each other be strictly limited to the resources we manage, or can we rise about the disappointment and price we all must bear to sustain a cooperative model that is more needed than ever?

By Chip Filson

Feb. 1, 2009

1841 Views
0
FEATURE Receiving Recognition...and Making Sure We Do Something with It

Recently the media has discovered credit unions as exemplary institutions offering a model that can help the country out of its economic mess. We should seize this opportunity for emphasizing our message to the nation.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2009

2383 Views
0
FEATURE Year in Review

Callahan & Associates

By Callahan & Associates

Jan. 1, 2009

2919 Views
0
FEATURE Being There for Members

Astutely managing difficulties and leveraging opportunities in an economically troubled region.

By Brooke C. Stoddard

Dec. 1, 2008

2700 Views
0
FEATURE Two Programs to Restore the Economy

Bucky Sebastian proposes two ambitious programs that together would stimulate home purchase, home lending, energy saving and portions of American manufacturing. Each requires a standard loan rate and reasonable underwriting, as well as guaranteed purchase by Fannie or Freddie, followed in turn by guaranteed purchase by the Fed.

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2008

2468 Views
1
FEATURE It’s a Wonderful Life –or Can Be

Things ought not to be this way. All economic indicators are down. Unemployment forecasts as high as 10% are scary. Gloomy news troubles everyone, even those not in immediate difficulty. Chip Filson explores two lessons from the past that may give some valuable perspective in this time of dire forebodings.

By Chip Filson

Dec. 1, 2008

3637 Views
2
FEATURE Proposed FFSC and FCUs...at a glance

An overview of attributes of the proposed Federal Financial Services Cooperative compared to Federal Credit Unions.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 2008

4346 Views
1
FEATURE The Creation of the National Consumer Cooperative Bank: A Harbinger of Today’s Shifting Legislative Climate?

The National Consumer Cooperative Bank met resistance when proposed, then more resistance under President Reagan, but has served the American people well since its founding in the 1970s.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 2008

3268 Views
0
FEATURE Credit Union Membership in the 2008 “Battleground States”

Callahan & Associates

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 2008

3185 Views
0
FEATURE A New Industry Brand for Credit Unions

The credit union industry brand is weak. A new brand could do better; here are some thoughts on effecting one.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2008

2331 Views
0
FEATURE Do Credit Unions Need a New “Brand”?

Some critics believe that both words – “credit” and “union” – in today’s marketplace have negative connotations. The result of this is a number of credit unions going through a facelift, often including a new name and market re-launch.

By Chip Filson

Sept. 1, 2008

3476 Views
4
FEATURE Top 100 CUs at Mid-Year 2008

Callahan & Associates

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 2008

2605 Views
0
FEATURE Strategic Change from the Inside Out

With planning season approaching, credit unions must be sure to integrate the three primary legs of strategy in their plan. While the external impact of strategy may be the easiest to see and to present, the internal focus may be the most critical.

By Chip Filson

Aug. 1, 2008

2590 Views
0
FEATURE Strategy Change That Works

Times call for strategy evaluation, but be wary change not built on your core approach.

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 2008

2550 Views
4
FEATURE Industry Capital Trends

Data as of March 31, 2008

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 2008

2454 Views
1
FEATURE Now is the Time for Capital Options

Credit union capital options are limited and outmoded. For the sake of credit union members, Congress should allow credit unions expanded means of capital acquisition.

By Chip Filson

July 1, 2008

2414 Views
3
FEATURE Back to the Future

Today the credit union movement stands on the beach – Bambi in the headlights – watching the worst financial tsunami in a half century roll unrelentingly toward us. While other financial institutions frantically raise capital in the search for higher ground, we must ask ourselves "why are natural person credit unions the only insured depository institutions without access to alternative capital?"

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 2008

2501 Views
1
FEATURE A Capital Idea!

A California credit union establishes “member capital accounts” that build equity for members.

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 2008

3019 Views
1
FEATURE Fresh Thought

These are no times for old solutions, or short-term ones. Credit unions rightly can “give back” reserves to members who helped build those reserves in the first place. The ratios will not look as good, but observers need to understand our mission and our advantage in being able to act long-term. Regulators should assist with creative solutions in harmony with the credit union system.

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 2008

2795 Views
0
FEATURE More than “Safety and Soundness”

The mantra used to justify every mission statement, regulatory activity, new rule, and added personnel is "safety and soundness". But with the economy in the midst of major change, shouldn't credit unions actually see increasing risk in the interest of serving members and communities as a positive thing?

By Chip Filson

June 1, 2008

3291 Views
4
FEATURE Why Networks Work

While the news is full of accounts of many lenders retreating from the student loan market, a core group of credit unions, Callahan & Associates, and expert consultants mapped out the operational model that credit unions could use to enter the market quickly and effectively.

By Chip Filson

May 1, 2008

2993 Views
0
FEATURE Creating Member Value in Student Lending: Access & Quality

Creating member value through student lending: Member need for access to funds to pay for college has never been greater. Credit unions are adding member value by linking access with quality.

By Callahan & Associates

May 1, 2008

2346 Views
0
FEATURE Not Playing It Safe

At ABNB FCU we empower employees to do the right thing. Our culture of extraordinary service is a function of our military heritage, hiring the right people, giving employees the right training, and keeping focus on our tradition of helping our members.

By Callahan & Associates

April 1, 2008

2040 Views
0
FEATURE Acting in Times of Uncertainty

With the current crisis leaving financial institutions uncertain about the future of our economy, what is a CEO to do? Some credit unions will play it safe while others focus on short-term problem resolution. But the credit unions that take risks in order to find new ways to serve their members will be the ones creating the credit union model for this century.

By Chip Filson

April 1, 2008

2080 Views
0
FEATURE Solid Results in an Unpredictable Year

Credit Union trends and comparisons with banks and thrifts at year-end.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2008

2005 Views
1
FEATURE Lessons of the Economic Downturn So Far

As the credit crisis morphs into a widespread economic slowdown, leaders in all areas are asking: "What can be learned?" Even though no one knows how long or how deep the financial setbacks will be, major firms are already changing their business strategies.

By Chip Filson

March 1, 2008

2198 Views
0
FEATURE The Lesson from Today’s Economic Crisis: Diversification Really Helps

The economic slowdown shows how important diversity is, that is, diversity of product, of geography and of demographics. Banks have done better at this than credit unions. We need to work on non-interest income and on cooperation among credit unions.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2008

2844 Views
0
FEATURE Loans by the Lockerful – A $35-million Goal, but $158 million Came In

In anticipation of the Fed lowering rates, we prepared ads then made an announcement of a four-day loan sale the same day as the Fed’s announcement. The response was immediate and intense, beating the goal we had set by more than four times.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2008

2857 Views
0
FEATURE The Role of a Credit Union Executive in a Crisis

As a credit union executive who has led three workouts, I can testify to the importance of a good support system, of patience, and of providing leadership confidence.

By Callahan & Associates

Jan. 1, 2008

2764 Views
3
FEATURE Patronage Refunds...the Cooperative Difference

Three recent credit union announcements of patronage refunds as presented on the Credit Unions’ websites.

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2007

2858 Views
0
FEATURE Prophets, Patronage and A Promise

Credit unions that make patronage refunds – rebates on loans and bonus dividends on savings – have the confidence to act on their vision of what credit unions should be. In this they have made a unique credit union differentiator and demonstrated some inspiring leadership.

By Chip Filson

Dec. 1, 2007

2753 Views
0
FEATURE First Look: Data for Ten Largest Credit Unions at September 30, 2007

The ten largest credit unions averaged double digit loan and share growth for the twelve months ended September 30, 2007.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 2007

2144 Views
3
FEATURE Does Credit Union Innovation Need an X Factor?

Credit union innovation needs a jump start. Would a reward like the spaceflight X Prize unleash new ideas?

By Chip Filson

Nov. 1, 2007

2128 Views
0
FEATURE Legislation's Member Value

CURIA is an example of legislation that, if passed, could directly and indirectly increase credit union member value. Supporting legislation has a number of worthy benefits.

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 2007

2156 Views
0
FEATURE Distribution of Credit Union Assets by States

Map: Distribution of Credit Union Assets by States (June 1, 2007)

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 2007

2250 Views
0
FEATURE Legislative Activity in the Member's Interest

Credit unions need to keep telling legislators they are living up to their public service, but they also have to demonstrate it’s true by delivering quality products the for-profits cannot or do not.

By Chip Filson

Oct. 1, 2007

2280 Views
0
FEATURE The Relevance of Advocacy for Credit Unions and Members

Wescom takes a proactive approach to political issues affecting credit unions and it tests itself with questions about how well it is getting its message out to legislators.

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 2007

2431 Views
0
FEATURE Educating Members: The Longer, Wider View

Educating members has to be more than informing them of products. It has to be assuring they understand the very deep distinction between banks and credit unions.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2007

1858 Views
0
FEATURE The Credit Union System at Midyear

As of June 30, 2007, credit unions held a 5.8% share of financial institutuions total assets

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2007

2269 Views
0
FEATURE Can Education be a Competitive Advantage?

Consumers are increasingly confused by financial transactions. Credit unions can build on a reputation of education, caring, and trust to help millions of members and attract new ones.

By Chip Filson

Sept. 1, 2007

1942 Views
0
FEATURE Package and Promote Financial Education as a Competitive Advantage

US Federal FCU had long conducted educational seminars at SEGs. Recently it packaged the seminars into a single program given a name, identity and brand. SEG employees have been enthusiastic.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2007

1776 Views
0
FEATURE The Credit Union Industry: Choice is Key to Success

NAFCU should retain its independence because it adds a voice in Washington rather than being divisive and is a proven provider of effective results for the whole credit union system.

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 2007

1754 Views
0
FEATURE NAFCU Should Merge into CUNA

NAFCU would be best merged into CUNA. Such a move would save money, duplication of efforts, and divisiveness. Moreover, it would allow the industry to present a single message to legislators.

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 2007

2109 Views
0
FEATURE The Growing CUSO Role in Credit Unions

Quick CUSO Facts (March 31, 2007)

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 2007

1968 Views
0
FEATURE THE Best Charter for the 21st Century

The credit union charter is well poised for the future because it allows for creativity, cooperation, a "white hat" brand, and networking.

By Chip Filson

Aug. 1, 2007

1922 Views
0
FEATURE Evolving into Flexibility: One CUSO's Story

CUDL has aggregated hundreds of credit unions onto one common platform, yet provides the flexibility for credit unions to do things their way.

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 2007

1832 Views
0
FEATURE The Best Recruiter: Word of Mouth

Millions of people either do not know they can join a credit union or, if they do, lack the “action step.” Member word-of-mouth can be the most powerful tool for getting them informed and acting.

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 2007

1915 Views
0
FEATURE Top 25 Credit Unions in Marketing $ Per Member

Data as of March 31, 2007: The top twenty-five credit unions in marketing expense per member for 2006.

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 2007

1903 Views
0
FEATURE Getting the Message out about America’s Best Kept Secret

Many credit unions are unhappy with their growth results, especially the ability to attract new members. With a net member growth of just over 1%, but with open fields of membership, why aren’t credit unions’ advantages winning new adherents?

By Chip Filson

July 1, 2007

3352 Views
0
FEATURE Our Campaign of Member Testimonials

Members go to a link at our website and type in stories of why they appreciate being members at Unitus. Anyone can read them and the best are broadcast over radio.

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 2007

1961 Views
0
FEATURE Rescue Refi is Helping People out of Onerous ARMS

Some home buyers signed onto ARMS that now are proving treacherous,with frequent interest hikes and even negative amortization. Landmark Credit Union developed Rescue Refi to help such people.

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 2007

1907 Views
0
FEATURE Seizing Opportunities in Lending

Unsavory practices by for-profit lenders are creating an opportunity for credit unions to step in with lending products that put members first. Is there more to do than merely offering a good rate, though? I believe there is. It will take some creativity and shifting, but with both we could be on our way to really helping our members and our credit unions.

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 2007

1804 Views
0
FEATURE Top 50Credit Union ARM Lenders

Data as of March 31, 2007

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 2007

1901 Views
0
FEATURE The Total US and Credit Union ARM Mortgage Market Share

Data as of March 31, 2007

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 2007

1888 Views
0
FEATURE A Flight to Quality …and Credit Unions?

Can credit unions truly lead the nation with a vision that corrects today's lending abuses and puts common people before profits? The challenge is to lead the change and promote trusted loan solutions. The future of the credit union movement in the 21st century could depend on our success in this task.

By Chip Filson

June 1, 2007

3049 Views
0
FEATURE Transparency: Keeping Integrity When Market Participants Play Outside the Lines

University FCU is the major student loan lender at the University of Texas because of the value of its product, not for its relationship with the financial aid office. Transparency will reveal its work of putting students first.

By Chip Filson

May 1, 2007

2162 Views
0
FEATURE Our Salaries are Made Public, and With Little Comment

At BECU we file executive compensation on the IRS Form 990, which is available to the public. We believe we it’s the right thing to do, and we have not suffered any backlash from the public or members.

By Callahan & Associates

May 1, 2007

2033 Views
0
FEATURE Should CEO Salaries be Disclosed? Yes.

Credit unions should disclose executive salaries. We’ll endure tough scrutiny for a year or so, but the ultimate benefit of transparency is better service and member value.

By Callahan & Associates

May 1, 2007

1857 Views
0
FEATURE Wings’ Merger: The Wrong Way

The Wings Financial merger approach to Continental is antithetical to the credit union movement. We are cooperators, not aggressors; moreover, outsiders should not tell credit union members what is in their best interests.

By Callahan & Associates

April 1, 2007

2838 Views
0
FEATURE A New Merger Era for Credit Unions?

The Wings offer to Continental raises the question whether we have moved into an era of unsolicited mergers, one in which credit unions are spurred to enhancing value because of outside pressures.

By Chip Filson

April 1, 2007

2008 Views
0
FEATURE Merging a Credit Union but Retaining its Identity

A student-run credit union could not offer the high-tech products demanded by today’s university students. A community credit union took it over, retained its identity and gave it the technology it needed.

By Callahan & Associates

April 1, 2007

1793 Views
0
FEATURE HSAs Deserve a Really Close Look

HSA accounts deserve a good look because, although bearing costs, they will bring in deposits and they will help people. Moreover, credit unions are uniquely positioned to offer HSAs.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2007

1839 Views
0
FEATURE An Overview Look at HSAs

HSAs Key Characteristics, Two General HSA Models for Credit Unions, National Healthcare Trends, Top 50 Credit Unions in $ Balances Held in HSA Accounts

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2007

1963 Views
0
FEATURE HSAs – First to Market, Second or Not at All?

Today HSAs are small but may become huge. Credit unions would have advantages offering them and may engage on a retail or partnership model, though the assessment and launch would be complex.

By Chip Filson

March 1, 2007

2991 Views
0
FEATURE Two Years’ Experience with HSAs

With a leg up from an existing relationship with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina, SECU established HSA accounts two years ago and is aiming to expand their offerings and services.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2007

2964 Views
0
FEATURE Enhancing Member Value by Reaching Out for Partners

Affinity Group Credit Union is reaching out to others to form a network of credit union partners, each retaining its field of membership and unique identity while bringing together the resources of a much larger entity.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2007

1768 Views
0
FEATURE What's in a Name?

In a financial services marketplace, an identity that people value is often difficult to maintain. But it springs from the essence of what a credit union is, and it’s important to hold onto.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2007

1978 Views
0
FEATURE The Credit Union Identity Challenge

Owing to changing times and regulations, credit unions have been repositioning themselves. But in doing so they should not lose their identities as organizations of people helping people.

By Chip Filson

Feb. 1, 2007

1896 Views
0
FEATURE A Step Toward Quantifying Member Value

We quantify success in achieving the goal of maximizing the value of the credit union to its member/owners by measuring four components: service, value, convenience and organizational durability. The value component is measured by means of a straightforward calculation comparing the cost of credit union products and services with bank competitors in our major markets. We take an average of local banks’ savings product rates, lending product rates and fees. We calculate the difference between these and the rates and fees the credit union charges. We multiply the variance by our volumes. The sum of those calculations is referred to as our Value Transfer to Members. As a cooperatively owned institution, ROA based on net income is only one part of the equation. By calculating the Value Transfer, we are able to accurately demonstrate the true financial value of the credit union to its members. By adding the Value Transfer to net income, the resulting Adjusted ROA can be used to provide a valid comparison to the ROA of for-profit banks.

By Callahan & Associates

Jan. 1, 2007

2057 Views
0
FEATURE The Importance of Long-Term Member Value – Tangible and Intangible

The lifetime value of credit union membership is tremendous. But this lifetime value is difficult to communicate to members. They can see the difference in rates compared to banks. And they can appreciate “patronage refunds.” But they also have to appreciate investments back into credit unions, the value of being part of a cooperative network, and the value of being a member/owner rather than a customer. Communicating this long-term value is critical and yet a difficult challenge.

By Callahan & Associates

Jan. 1, 2007

3037 Views
0
FEATURE An "Open Source" Credit Union Model

New member growth will not occur just because each organization tries harder. Rather, they should look to network approaches. Each organization can reinforce the others, fulfilling needs where another cannot. Developing Health Savings Accounts will require such an approach; so will the effort “never to drop a lead.” To add member value, we have to think beyond each credit union’s internal reach.

By Chip Filson

Jan. 1, 2007

1954 Views
0
FEATURE Recognizing the Accomplishments and Sacrifices of Employees

Credit unions are made by employees, persons under stress and with complicated personal lives. Most of them could sell their skills for higher salaries, but they believe it important to devote their careers to helping individuals in the membership. Managers have to make a conscientious effort to understand their employees’ concerns, reward them as abundantly as they can, recognize their accomplishments and sacrifices, and create a working environment of which those employees can be proud. December is an excellent time for doing as much of that as possible.

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2006

1996 Views
0
FEATURE Credit Union Auto Lending Market Share By State

Callahan & Associates

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2006

1920 Views
0
FEATURE Member Retention and Delivered Value

We believe that member retention, better rates, higher usage, higher balances and lower expenses are all interrelated. Accordingly, we pay much attention to member retention ratios, the quality of our products, and how we balance daily savings with CD offers. We believe we are well positioned for the future.

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2006

1970 Views
0
FEATURE Being the Reliable, Trustworthy Lender

Credit card abuses have become increasingly outrageous. Credit unions need to re-emphasize their commitment to fair, reliable credit meant to help people's financial lives, not pick their pockets for stockholder profit.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 2006

1919 Views
0
FEATURE Innovations in Lending

The Ratchet Mortgage and One Account are two new lending products that align with the mission of credit unions.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 2006

1875 Views
0
FEATURE How Much Money Would You Accept to Surrender Your Credit Union Membership?

The Nationwide challenge confronts us: Can a price be placed on credit union membership? Only informed members can express to the world that the answer is No. Meanwhile we have to have mechanisms for defending ourselves in an increasingly buy-assets world. One might be a super holding company for credit unions. Another might be an overhaul of the FCU Act to give us adequate defense.

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 2006

1805 Views
0
FEATURE All Symphonies are Unfinished

Just as all symphonies are unfinished in the sense that each performance is a unique reinterpretation, so credit unions have to continue to recreate themselves. They have an advantage in that increasingly business strategy is “cooperative,” that is, moving forward with other entities. Credit unions can do this better than the for-profits. Even so, they are challenged by the Nationwide buyout to ensure that the 100-year-old system of cooperative financial services lasts into the future.

By Chip Filson

Oct. 1, 2006

1918 Views
0
FEATURE Moving Out of Step, Getting Out of Line

Nationwide Insurance has hit on a new tactic for converting credit unions: Buying the member. This is potentially the biggest challenge yet to the industry's survival. How should we respond? Do we defend the line, or maybe consider encouraging a new one? Or maybe we let go of the notion of any line at all?

By Randy Karnes

Oct. 1, 2006

2114 Views
0
FEATURE Improving a System by Concentrating What We Do

To achieve economies of scale, concentrating individual credit unions may not be a good approach. Rather, concentrating what credit unions do might be the better strategy. Concentrating the back offices allows the front offices to be more efficient and friendly. We need to be thinking more of system and working cooperatively to improve the system than of the tribulations of and quick fixes for individual credit unions. Thinking and working on the system will grow the system and make it stronger.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2006

1828 Views
0
FEATURE Transformation: Reinvent Yourself or Reinvent the Business - or Both?

Everyone knows that the world is changing and that institutions have to change as well or whither away. Some of the best mindset about change these days is coming from managers of multi-owned CUSOs. They are not merely individuals with a better idea; rather they are seeing credit union opportunity holistically, that is, from a different vantage than that of the CEO of a single credit union. They are creating value from a network with multiple points of presence and capacity. This capability to “envision” from a new perspective creates opportunities not obvious to others.

By Chip Filson

Sept. 1, 2006

1795 Views
0
FEATURE A Million Member Perspective: Modeling a Peer-to-Peer Opportunity Network

The movement today is not so much divided by “big” versus “small” credit unions as by ones that look to merely serve existing opportunities and ones that look to expand on opportunities; the difference is a matter of mindset. We now have to shift our thinking to the “networked world” of the Internet, a place where MySpace.com draws 50 million people per month. CU* Answers is moving into that world, having developed a group of 100 credit unions together in a channel receiving 25 million hits per year. The networked world is increasingly important, and we need to think about doing business accordingly.

By Randy Karnes

Sept. 1, 2006

2214 Views
0
FEATURE Appropriate Reaction to the DFCU Decisions: Outrage

The NCUA and the federal district court for Eastern Michigan have both erred in not making DFCU Financial live up to the credit union’s bylaws. Fundamental freedoms are at stake. DFCU members acquired three times more signatures for a special meeting than the bylaws required. But management refused to call a special meeting. NCUA and the court are allowing this democratic ownership right of the me

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 2006

2088 Views
0
FEATURE Institutional Innovation: Growing From 1 to 1,400 Credit Unions in Six Years

BECU formed a CUSO called Prime Alliance to create better mortgage lending for itself. Once running, Prime Alliance attracted other credit unions. It used two models: 1) direct ownership by member credit unions; and 2) indirectly serving credit unions by working with mortgage companies and other CUSOs that work with credit unions. In less than six years, Prime Alliance grew from serving one credit union to serving 1,400.

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 2006

1913 Views
0
FEATURE Rocky Shoals Lie Ahead. Better to Recognize Them, the Better to Steer Clear.

Economic stains are arriving. Members are paying more at the pump and more for their borrowed dollar. Last year Americans spent more than they earned. Member strains are going to be mimicked as strains in credit unions, the most crucial in credit unions with the least resources and diversity. These strains in turn will stress the whole movement. We should be thinking now of how to deal with them.

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 2006

1818 Views
0
FEATURE Change and Challenge: Senior Executives Provide a Midyear Assessment

Eighteen senior executives sound off about competition, lack of growth, attracting new members, and other serious challenges of the movement today.

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 2006

1869 Views
0
FEATURE Building a Brand from the Inside Out

Creating a brand begins not with a marketing department but with the senior staff, who must then live up to the brand entirely. Then the staff must live up to the brand. A few years ago, Affinity Plus FCU created a brand, lived by it and has been benefiting by the work ever since.

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 2006

1873 Views
0
FEATURE Developing and Retaining Community Leadership

Banks in particular, but other once-local businesses like auto dealerships and real estate brokers, are increasingly national, thus reducing their local community leadership roles. Credit unions can take up the slack and champion the local communities where the credit unions operate. Credit unions can do this not because they are small and local – some are even now national in scope or close to it – but because they have a tradition of help and service, because they can plan for the long-term, and because they can do the right thing for the right reasons.

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 2006

1731 Views
2
FEATURE Access for All Americans: A New Paradigm for Financial Services and Community Service

Credit unions should consider being pioneers in offering wifi access. By wifi partnering with local governments, businesses and community groups, by providing a real economic benefit, and by re-inventing the meaning of convenience, credit unions could fully realize their mission of availability to every American.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2006

1738 Views
0
FEATURE Extending the Reach

Looking for new opportunities, we formed a CUSO holding company and within it a marketing company. This marketing company serves credit unions, even banks, has been profitable since inception and has extended our reach to persons otherwise not served.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2006

1802 Views
0
FEATURE Grow or Die: A Simple Choice?

Credit union growth has been slow. Attempting to cast blame on external factors or even internal crises may be blundering in the wrong direction. Credit unions might have to look to a different level of organizational design, something completely beyond the current models.

By Chip Filson

Feb. 1, 2006

2096 Views
0
FEATURE Growth Against the Tide: One Credit Union's Story

We are one of the fastest growing, non-merger, credit unions in the nation. We do it with fundamentals: understanding the market; incentivizing the staff; and being aggressive in the right places. We know how to reach out and bring in new loyalty -- the largest portion of our new business is referrals.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2006

1793 Views
0
FEATURE Becoming the Charter of Choice

Increasingly, the credit union charter is being questioned as up to the job for today’s consumers. Certainly credit union leaders should look at charters, especially the federal charter, to see if it is flexible enough to deliver real value in today’s world. But it also has to be remembered that success should not be measured in stand-alone terms only. Because a credit union is part of a vast network, a better measure of success is how a credit union ties into the larger network and by means of those ties delivers best value to the consumers it serves.

By Chip Filson

Jan. 1, 2006

1979 Views
0
FEATURE Save the Dearborn Charter

Dearborn Federal Credit Union has been one of the icons and pioneers of the credit union movement. To suggest that it has reached an end of its ability to create, innovate and aggressively represent the best interests of a growing field of membership is wrong. The coming conversion vote is of monumental consequence not only to this credit union but also to credit unions everywhere. Do not let cooperative ownership control, in place for more than 50 years, slip away from the Dearborn membership. Urge, as I do, a vote to defeat the charter change to a bank.

By Callahan & Associates

Jan. 1, 2006

1912 Views
0
FEATURE DFCU Financial CEO and Board Acting Against the Interest of Members

The effort of DFCU Financial’s CEO and Board to convert their credit union to a bank is not in the best interest of the members. The leadership has built up reserves, which belong to the members, and seemingly are not using those reserves for member benefit. Rather it seems those reserves are meant to raise the market value of the institution if it were a bank. This would reward the CEO and Board more than the members. In addition, not only would a conversion rob the members of their ownership of the credit union, it would deprive the movement of one its great credit unions. The conversion attempt should be defeated.

By Callahan & Associates

Jan. 1, 2006

1968 Views
0
FEATURE The Charter of Choice

Pentagon FCU has run the numbers, and no other model delivers as much to people as the one under a credit union charter. Without it, taxes and the rewards that must be paid to stockholders – who hold first claim on value creation – must come at the expense of return to members.

By Callahan & Associates

Jan. 1, 2006

1979 Views
0
FEATURE Food Samples and Financial Products: Forming Partnerships to Further Growth

In our market, we have to do more with less. So we looked to symbiotic cooperations. In one, we ran up against a thorny situation that seemed to evade a solution. But we found one, and both we and our partner are the better for it. In like manner, we go much farther with cooperating partners than we could ever go with ourselves alone.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 2005

1727 Views
0
FEATURE Hearing Heralds New Era in Credit Union Significance

The recent Ways and Means Committee hearings caused a credit union search for community contribution. But such is only a portion of credit union benefit. Credit unions offer democracy not available through for-profit institutions, and they engender a spirit of cooperation that is essential to the progress of society.

By Chip Filson

Nov. 1, 2005

1897 Views
0
FEATURE Our Identity: Springing from Our Members and Their Way of Life

Our credit union identity springs from the Minnesota rural life around us. Our staff and volunteers know the culture and are popular with the members. In addition, we are very committed to and very visible at community functions. We live the credit union credo: Not for profit but for people. Residents here respond to that and have kept us an exceptionally strong and effective credit union.

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 2005

1919 Views
0
FEATURE Restoke the Fires

Eighty years ago, credit union organizers passionately tramped the country with the credit union message. People responded because they understood the difference those organizers were offering. Now the passion has waned and the difference has blurred. How can we restore the passion and re-illuminate the difference we present?

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 2005

2061 Views
2
FEATURE What Needs to Be Done on the Gulf Coast

Our Baton Rouge Credit Union came through Katrina fairly well, but we need to restore confidence to the whole South-East Louisiana system, that is, confidence on the part of members that their credit unions can serve them and confidence on the part of management that their credit unions can survive. Below are some things being done and what is yet to be done.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2005

1993 Views
0
FEATURE A Coordinated, Effective Response Effort to Katrina

The credit union movement response to the pain of Katrina has to be massive and swift, and under the control of a single person. Individualized efforts tempt turf battles, duplications and grandstanding. The focus should be members and the vision has not only got to be on short-term repair but also on long-term recovery to a stronger system.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2005

1784 Views
0
FEATURE Making the Case for Women: Understanding their Financial Realities

Women’s working lives leave them more vulnerable to financial ailments then men. But many women want financial counseling and tend to make good decisions once they get it. Credit unions, as trusted institutions, are idea for reaching out to making women’s financial lives more safe and sound.

By Callahan & Associates

May 1, 2005

1727 Views
0
FEATURE Who Owns Credit Union Retained Earnings?

Regulators require retained earnings, but who owns them? Can anything be done to make them more effective for credit union members? An “ownership share” may be one answer.

By Callahan & Associates

May 1, 2005

2578 Views
0
FEATURE Making a Success out of Branching

A growing emphasis on branching has managers wondering what their branching strategy should be. For one, it needs to emphasize cost control, and we give three methods. For another, the whole concept of what a branch is needs to be reevaluated. Members – not managers -- should define what branches really are. A successful branching strategy will emphasize efficiencies over numbers.

By Callahan & Associates

April 1, 2005

1787 Views
0
FEATURE A Strategy of Aggressive Branching Growth

We plan to double our number of branches, from 26 to 51 in five years. We expect much of our growth to come through member business services and will tailor the branches – in a hub-and-spoke arrangement – to accommodate this work. The branches will have small footprints, small staffs and, for ordinary transactions, half a dozen video–teller machines

By Callahan & Associates

April 1, 2005

1879 Views
0
FEATURE Mergers as Strategy: Can they make a difference?

Merger activity is picking up in credit unions. What's new is large, voluntary combinations among credit unions that could prosper on their own. This article introduces a new Merger Scorecard to determine if members might benefit from these new combinations. The question is asked whether it is the merger event, or the opportunity it creates, that really brings new value.

By Chip Filson

March 1, 2005

1985 Views
0
FEATURE Why a Bank Merger is Often Bad and a Credit Union Merger Often Good

Mergers among credit unions have long been viewed with ambivalence; there was a taste of disappointment about them. But good credit union mergers increase the value propositions to both acquired and acquiring credit union members. Accordingly, good mergers make for a stronger credit union movement. In fact, struggling credit unions should look for merger partners sooner rather than later so that members are not lost to the movement nor resources wasted.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2005

1707 Views
0
FEATURE A Merger from the Vantage of the Merged

A CEO of a merged credit union tells why his credit union merged into a larger one, how he approached the Board, members, community and employees and what the results have been.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2005

1880 Views
0
FEATURE LIFE AFTER INDIRECT LENDING

Indirect lending was good to Affinity Plus FCU, but it did not allow for the kind of trust-based relationship building with members that the credit union’s mission calls for. So it dropped indirect lending, and discovered that member-centric product innovations, such as an alternative mortgage product, not only made up for the financial loss but resulted in stronger member relationships.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2005

1838 Views
0
FEATURE Risk taking is more than you think and is absolutely necessary

Risk taking is more than you think. It involves risk with the membership, staff and peer credit unions. And in order to succeed, risk taking requires determined teamwork.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2005

1701 Views
0
FEATURE 2005--A Year to Redefine Strategic Possibilities

In this time of strategic planning it may do well to discard some of the old notions. Instead we may look to leveraging cooperation with a new kind of CUSO and to thinking of "community" as far more than physical boundaries.

By Chip Filson

Jan. 1, 2005

1825 Views
0
FEATURE Public Publicity of the Best Kind

Credit unions can do much better publicizing their dedication to people and communities. Large public events can go a long way to accomplishing this and showing that our heart is not and never has been in profit, only in helping people improve their lives.

By Callahan & Associates

Jan. 1, 2005

1739 Views
0
FEATURE A Greater Cause

Financial options for citizens are flourishing as never before. So is there then a need to have credit unions? Some critics would say no. But credit unions are institutions in which the interest of the owners is the same as the interest as the users. This serves not only the users better than other models do, but also serves the nation by holding a higher standard in a marketplace fixated on sales and profits.

By Chip Filson

Dec. 1, 2004

2110 Views
1
FEATURE A Future Without Bounds

Credit unions are just now entering the major leagues of the financial services industry. But there is no reason to believe that their future will be corralled by competition. We have such a small share of the market that we could double annually for years and not satisfy demand. Credit unions are a great deal. When people understand this, they will vote with their feet.

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2004

2000 Views
1
FEATURE Is There a Cooperative Opportunity in Health Savings Accounts?

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which went into effect this year, currently allow for annual deposits of up to $2,600 for individuals and $5,150 for families. They afford credit unions an opportunity to grow shares and transaction volume while expanding member and business relationships. Credit unions may even take the lead in what is expected to be a fast-growing market space.

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2004

1817 Views
0
FEATURE A New Ball Game

A new and rougher environment is beginning for credit unions. Emerging from the “flight to quality” of the recent past but having moved into the large deregulated, open market, credit unions now are competing head to head with skilled national players. Credit unions need to recognize both the dangers and the potential and make the best possible shift from their old selves to their 21st century selves.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 2004

1756 Views
0
FEATURE Is the Branch Still King?

We at Community Credit Union in Plano, Texas, began a retailer in-store branch four years ago. We have since expanded to 18 in-store branches, partnering with three other retailers. The program has been a successful generator of members and accounts for us. This success has been a product of demographic study, skillful hiring, good training and support by the credit union’s upper management and departments.

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 2004

1838 Views
0
FEATURE Expanding Membership by Reaching out to “Unbanked” Groups

Corporate America Family Credit Union in Elgin, IL., began two programs, Quick Cash and Fresh Start Checking, which offer services to the vast numbers of underserved. The programs have strengthened CAFCU not only by attracting new members but also by strengthening the credit union’s bottom line.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2004

2589 Views
0
FEATURE The Post-Employed: A New Challenge and Opportunity for Credit Unions

Core members are moving into their post-employment years. Credit unions need to “follow them” by offering products and service they can use. Done well, this leads to lifecycle marketing in its best form: the older loyal members guiding young people to the credit union credo.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2004

1793 Views
3
FEATURE Accounting Departments: Go Plastic…?

Teachers CU in 2002 moved to purchasing with a “purchasing-card,” or “p-card,” mainly to handle authorization and expense control management. But other benefits have accrued from this credit card-like operation, including savings and rebates.

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 2004

2593 Views
0
FEATURE Small and stressed credit unions: potential problem or opportunity?

Thousands of credit unions are stressed and may be facing liquidation. Sustaining them in their present condition may be a big mistake. We are confronted with either a large success (if we develop the proper remedies) or a huge failing over which our critics would gloat. We need to recognize this problem and develop a workable solution.

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 2004

1680 Views
0
FEATURE At Last - Integration of the Member's Total Credit Union Relationship

Nevada Federal Credit Union and CUSO Financial Services (CFS) have teamed to integrate a brokerage account with the credit union’s traditional kinds of accounts. Members can now view both types of products on a single screen and will be able to readily transfer funds from one type to the other using a money market account on the credit union’s books.

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 2004

1622 Views
0
FEATURE An Alternative in Lending

Affinity Plus FCU, in keeping with to its mission of putting members first, teamed with an alternative lending solutions company to help poor-credit members work their way into conventional low-interest mortgages.

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 2004

1845 Views
0
FEATURE How Do We Know We are on the Member's Side?

Financial cooperatives make a difference in the marketplace and in the lives of their members, and they are a public trust. But to continue in their unique role they need to abide by certain principles and keep them to the forefront of their business decision-making process and vision of community.

By Chip Filson

June 1, 2004

1855 Views
0
FEATURE Conversions Need to Rethink How Equity Is Handled

Charter conversions to thrifts or banks transfer credit union equity to a new institution, often to the benefit of the persons who engineered the conversion. But conversions should dissolve the credit union charter, thus making the equity vest in the members, who could then do with their share of the equity as they see fit. Otherwise benefit can accrue in the wrong people, and a distinction between credit union cooperatives and banks begins to diminish.

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 2004

1688 Views
0
FEATURE Four Ingredients for a Functional, Winning Team

Functional, winning teams are marked by four ingredients: a small senior executive team; members who are team players; members who love winning; and constructive conflict, that is, the trustful but candid expression of opinion.

By Callahan & Associates

May 1, 2004

1899 Views
0
FEATURE Selling the Power of Ownership

Credit unions need to demonstrate to their members and the marketplace that ownership has its values above and beyond services. One way may be to seek methods of demonstrating and paying something like "ownership difference dividends" that make tangible value of the ownership members enjoy in their credit unions.

By Randy Karnes

May 1, 2004

2017 Views
0
FEATURE Beyond The Boundaries

Bankers have launched a new offensive to have credit unions taxed, partly because credit unions are not now what they were in decades past. True, credit unions have changed – this was partly the intent of the national policy of deregulation – though their core structure and mission has not. Evolution of the kind credit unions have undertaken is necessary for success and is on-going (two examples are given). Indeed, to create new and better products is one reason why member-owned cooperatives exist.

By Chip Filson

April 1, 2004

1837 Views
0
FEATURE An Epiphany

At the GAC, Fed Chairman Greenspan said that fixed-rate mortgages may not be serving Americans as well as variable rate ones and that lenders consider writing more portfolio loans. Two credit unions have already been doing this, breaking away from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rigidity and saving money for their borrowers. Other credit unions can follow suit.

By Chip Filson

March 1, 2004

1859 Views
0
FEATURE Mortgages that are best for the members and best for the credit union, despite Fannie and Freddie

Members may say they want certainty but what they really want is the best house they can afford. We have developed an ARM that is terrific for them and have been moving away from 30-year fixed as paper that is expensive for members and loved only by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We'll move away from those two institutions, too.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2004

1612 Views
0
FEATURE Boards Need to be Proactive Organizational Assets with Vision

Credit unions have been evolving and growing in sophistication. Boards have been evolving, also, but in general not enough. They need increased professionalism, training, vision and drive.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2004

1680 Views
0
FEATURE Conversions: We Need More Sunlight and Critical Analysis

Conversions to mutual savings banks can be made to look enticing by the management who are doing the proposing. But we need to judge any conversion by the benefit to the members. There needs to be more open discussion of conversion pros and cons and more critical analysis of a conversion's effects.

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2003

1703 Views
0
FEATURE A Breakout Scenario, or “Tickling the Dragon”

Will credit unions continue into the future with minimal annual marketshare gains of the past, or will it achieve a “critical mass” and breakthrough among the American public? Perhaps the best path to a potential breakout is via Access, including first, removing self-imposed constraints, and then augmenting public awareness, physical convenience and Internet information about credit unions’ value advantage.

By Chip Filson

Dec. 1, 2003

2381 Views
0
FEATURE Conferences: Making the Most of Them

Traveling to meetings and conferences puts a strain on every CEO's time. But there is much to be gained, especially outside the formal programs: "face time" with leaders in the industry; an environment from which fresh ideas can bubble up; learning about what is going on in other regions and more. These have kept credit unions flexible and nimble.

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2003

1694 Views
0
FEATURE On The Ground At A Banking Merger

Bank of America is buying out Fleet Bank in New England, but a major credit union in this market -- Massachusetts-based DEC FCU -- believes that the merger presents a climate of opportunity rather than threat. It believes that its awareness campaign will demonstrate the credit union advantage and attract persons who appreciate a local institution, good service and dedication to member financial well-being.

By Brooke C. Stoddard

Nov. 1, 2003

1814 Views
0
FEATURE Credit Union Data & Productivity Indicators

Employee Data & Productivity Indicators Look at credit union productivity through various output indicators.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 2003

1756 Views
0
FEATURE Good Economic Numbers and Second Thoughts

Third quarter GDP growth was the best in almost 20 years, but the figure may mask weaknesses both in the national economy and in credit union economics. The direction of the national economy and credit union fundamentals is not entirely clear and credit union managers are going to need uncommon insight and flexibility to determine what is going on with their credit unions and steer through the shoals ahead.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 2003

1815 Views
0
FEATURE The Fall Planning Session: Ritual or an Opportunity for Change?

Planning sessions vary widely. Some look for strategy consensus; some look for new action plans. Accordingly, one model or process cannot fit all. A consultant as well as a credit union needs to be open-minded and flexible. But the supreme goal of a planning session needs to be enhanced value to the member.

By Chip Filson

Oct. 1, 2003

1783 Views
0
FEATURE No “Recall” For Credit Unions; Exposure Instead

Much of the public – including persons easily eligible for credit union membership or in low-performing credit unions – do not know of outstanding rates of high-performing credit unions because the rates are not publicized. If credit union rates were published in newspapers alongside the rates of banks, millions of persons would flock to credit union doors.

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 2003

2404 Views
0
FEATURE Learning from a New Era

The 2 ½-year period of low interest rates may be ending. During this time, margins were squeezed and dependence on service income, which will come under pressure, rose. Market share stalled. But some credit unions performed exceptionally well. We need to examine how these leaders succeeded and if their tactics can be adapted by others.

By Chip Filson

Sept. 1, 2003

1962 Views
0
FEATURE Creating a Culture of Data Awareness

All credit unions have a culture, that is, a way of implementing their business plans. Many managers would use the word “service” to describe this environment. Others talk about a sales culture or a trust- or team-based effort.

By Chip Filson

Aug. 18, 2003

4210 Views
7
FEATURE Three Credit Union's Approaches to Account-to-Account Transfers

Account-to-Account (A2A) transfers (also known as member-directed ACH or inter-institutional transfers) give members the power to transfer funds between financial institutions, a service members seem very inclined to favor. Here are how three credit unions have or are implementing A2A to the benefit of their members and their own bottom lines.

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 2003

1481 Views
0
FEATURE The Need for a True Killer Application

Credit unions still lack end-to-end loan origination systems, ones that cross loan type, point of origination, data origination and data processing system. One is needed in order to reduce the costs of applications and processing. Solutions can be within reach, but credit unions are going to have to be smarter about recognizing the need and working together for the solution.

By Chip Filson

Aug. 1, 2003

1716 Views
0
FEATURE 3rd Party Legacy Providers and Open Systems

Third party legacy providers of data processing systems maintain an emphasis on proprietary applications. But credit unions need to continue to strive for open systems. The Internet's development offers a helping hand.

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 2003

1621 Views
0
FEATURE Credit Union Governance: Too Hot, Too Cold or Just Right?

Recent financial scandals have shown private-sector corporate boards unequal to their tasks. Credit union boards have issues of their own, some not solvable in the short term. Nonetheless credit unions can set an example of corporate governance for America.

By Chip Filson

July 1, 2003

1665 Views
0
FEATURE Scrutinizing Ourselves in a Time of Scrutiny

Americans are looking to see if corporate America can examine and then purge itself of the sources of financial scandals. Credit unions should take advantage of this climate of scrutiny not only to demonstrate to the public why it is the safe and sound sector of the nation's financial services industry but also to examine its own strengths and weaknesses.

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 2003

1438 Views
0
FEATURE How to Improve Your Credit Union's Governance - Action Plans for Success

An early 2003 first-ever survey of credit union corporate governance reveals board chairpersons', supervisory committee chairpersons' and CEOs' concerns about credit union corporate governance. The authors list eight areas of concern revealed in the survey and then action steps for each.

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 2003

1545 Views
0
FEATURE Why Education is Critical

Credit union philosophy and benefits are not well understood, even among employees and members. Education must start with employees, who can then spread it to members. Various means are available. Educated Americans will be critical when the coming policy debate on the future of credit unions is joined.

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 2003

1735 Views
0
FEATURE Knowledge-Based Questions and Answers

We installed knowledge-based question-and-answer software for our staff and then made it available on our Website. Three hundred questions are answered, making our staff more efficient and our members better informed and financially educated. Management time has been reduced.

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 2003

1518 Views
0
FEATURE Auto Lending Market Trends

In the midst of a 4 year boom in new car sales, see how the credit union industry is performing and find out who the leaders are.

By Callahan & Associates

May 1, 2003

1585 Views
0
FEATURE A New Weapon in the War For Talent

Studies show that truly effective top managers are rare, but also that many good ones fail shortly after moving into a new organization. Now there is a body of knowledge, and procedures - called onboarding -- that guide an executive when he or she takes up responsibilities at a new firm. The process works as well for promotions from within.

By Callahan & Associates

May 1, 2003

1539 Views
0
FEATURE Pay for Knowledge

Ed reminisces on how his compensation program improved both the credit union and its employees.

By Callahan & Associates

April 1, 2003

1779 Views
0
FEATURE Leading America Back to Savings

A change in members saving behavior has increased liquidity within credit unions. Here is what you can do with that extra cash.

By Callahan & Associates

April 1, 2003

1669 Views
0
FEATURE Cash Rich

This CEO of a $1B credit union tells how his credit union uses high liquidity to add value to their members.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2003

1907 Views
0
FEATURE Account Aggregation: from Promise to Fruition

Hear in their own words, how four credit unions are developing account aggregation to make it relevant to their members.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2003

1504 Views
0
FEATURE Insuring Choice

Chip expains his view on a credit unions' right, and responsibility, to choose the insurance option that is best for it.

By Chip Filson

March 1, 2003

1687 Views
0
FEATURE Thoughts on Construction & Development Lending for Credit Unions

Construction & Development Lending Opportunities Exist!
Busy with first mortgages and don’t have the time to start anything new? Wrong! You should always be thinking of ways to meet the needs of members and diversify lending portfolios, especially when the new loans could be fully collateralized, provide higher yields than available for most consumer loan products, and have shorter terms.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2003

1487 Views
0
FEATURE The Value of a Relationship—With a Vendor

In 2002, credit unions spent over $17 billion in operating expenses. Half was for salaries and benefits. The other $8 billion, plus some of the “benefit” dollars, went to firms whose products and services are vital and often critical for credit union success.

By Chip Filson

Feb. 1, 2003

2065 Views
0
FEATURE Creating Efficiencies in Credit Unions

We should never forget that we are in the credit union movement for the benefit of ordinary Americans who are members. The credit union movement was founded because ordinary Americans – most Americans – could not get a fair shake from America’s banks.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2003

1480 Views
0
FEATURE Anything New in the New Year?

Now that the implementation time is here, credit unions are looking at the economy, the new political alignment in Washington, and their own pace-setting 2002 results . . . and they are asking, will there be anything new in 2003?

By Chip Filson

Jan. 1, 2003

1740 Views
0
FEATURE January: The Time to Discover Sources of Improvement

Happy New Year. That said, let’s get to work. (Which is a bit odd for me to say, because I just retired. So I’ll change that and say instead, Now you get to work.)

By Callahan & Associates

Jan. 1, 2003

1395 Views
0
FEATURE Serving Members Internationally

Recently, First Resource Federal Credit Union in St. Joseph, Mich., a $328-million credit union with 41,000 members, was featured as a case study in the book Uniting North American Business: NAFTA Best Practices by international business consultants Jeffrey D. Abbott and Robert T. Moran, PhD.

By Callahan & Associates

Jan. 1, 2003

1457 Views
0
FEATURE The End of a Cycle or a New Era?

When the Fed lowered the overnight funds target by 50 basis points in early November, it was merely the latest move in a series that has reduced short-term rates by 525 basis points in the past 23 months. These new low rates have altered financial assumptions for organizations that have enjoyed considerable success over the past 20 years

By Chip Filson

Dec. 1, 2002

1605 Views
0
FEATURE How Well is Your Mortgage Program Meeting Your Member Needs?

Mortgages Continue Gains In Importance to the Credit Union Balance Sheet
Third quarter mortgage data shows that mortgages remain a critical component to the credit union balance sheet. Loan growth, primarily driven by first mortgages, has now outpaced share growth for the past two quarters.

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2002

1321 Views
0
FEATURE Seizing Today’s Unique Opportunity

These are odd economic times, but credit unions can and should make the most of them. Vast opportunities await.The stock market has shown itself to be a wealth-devouring monster. People are rightly scared of it. The national and world economies are not only soft, many people also worry that both economies could be subject to the twin shocks of oil shortages and war. Interest rates are at the lowest point in generations.

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2002

2032 Views
0
FEATURE Measuring Credit Unions' Market Share in National Markets

Credit unions' share of the insured savings market has risen 70% over the past ten years, primarily at the expense of S & Ls. While deposit market share grows, there is mixed success in the lending market. Recent data shows that credit unions' share of the credit card market dropped below 3% in the first half of 2002. A similar decline has occurred in non-revolving loans as manufacturer incentives on new automobile financing has impacted a traditional credit union strength. Credit unions are slowly gaining in the first mortgage market, but their share remains below 2%.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 2002

1607 Views
0
FEATURE A New Paradigm for Lending Strategy

From the beginning of credit unions, lending has been the primary factor for business success. Today's interest rate environment makes that requirement even more urgent. But with double-digit share growth, it is very hard to keep up with loans, especially ones that do not significantly increase either credit or interest rate risk. Is it possible to develop new approaches that can be more effective at increasing traditional loan volume?

By Chip Filson

Nov. 1, 2002

1532 Views
0
FEATURE State of the States from the 2003 Credit Union Directory

Callahan & Associates

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 2002

1493 Views
0
FEATURE Build It and They will Come — The Myth of Community Charters

In the movie Field of Dreams, the plot was based on the mythic power of baseball in American culture. Build a baseball field in the middle of cornfields and the rest is success.Ballplayers will emerge from rows of corn and the headlights of cars carrying fans will stretch far into the horizon. Similarly credit unions, which have had field of membership as part of their culture for decades, have frequently viewed the transition to an open or community charter as almost a guarantee for continued success. Once opened up, all a credit union need do is to tell the public they can join. By not having to say no to prospects, the belief is that a pipeline of continuous new members is assured.

By Chip Filson

Oct. 1, 2002

1897 Views
0
FEATURE COOPERATIVE THINKING

Credit unions began on a premise: People could help each other, they could cooperate – you help me, and I’ll help you. They thought that by doing so, they could create pools of credit from which to draw in order to improve their lives. With banks, people were just customers, consumers of a product or service, a means to a profit. But with credit unions they were active owners and participants in not only helping themselves but also their neighbors.

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 2002

1418 Views
0
FEATURE Lima Superior’s Indirect Lending Program

We at Lima Superior Federal Credit Union have been very successful with our indirect lending pro-gram. Our field of membership includes two coun-ties in Ohio: Allen and Auglaize. We have all of the new car dealers in the area signed up as well as some of the larger used car dealers. We find that the auto dealer’s main objective is to sell the car in a timely manner with the customer being able to sign all the paperwork at the dealership. Secondarily, but still very important, is the sale of insurance and service agree-ments, and the fee from the credit union.

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 2002

2744 Views
0
FEATURE Performance Leaders from America’s 100 Largest Credit Unions

Callahan & Associates

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2002

2381 Views
0
FEATURE Relationship Pricing Does it work?

Recently a credit union manger described his frustration with a key part of his business strategy that was not working—relationship pricing. About six years earlier his predecessor had started a program that tried to be more equitable in how members paid for services. If a member did not use a certain set of products or maintain minimum balances, then a $4 per month fee was charged.

By Chip Filson

Sept. 1, 2002

3232 Views
0
FEATURE Babies in the Workplace

By early 2001, unemployment had been at record lows for several years, and competition for employees was fierce. Retention of our employees is a very high priority here at Schools Financial Credit Union, but unfortunately we hadseen an increase in turnover. We realized we needed to focus special attention on retaining employees. would be back at work, the employee would not be expected to perform at 100 percent.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2002

1490 Views
0
FEATURE Baseball and A New Level of Community Involvement

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union has received a great deal of press about our exclusive financial sponsorship of the Minnesota Twins. Indeed, we are the only credit union in the country to have a sponsorship deal of this magnitude with a professional sports team. The story of our partnership is really a modern day example of David vs. Goliath —

By Callahan & Associates

May 1, 2002

1395 Views
0
FEATURE Top 50 by Largest Credit Union Loans to CUSOs

Top 50 by Largest Credit Union Loans to CUSOs

By Callahan & Associates

May 1, 2002

1784 Views
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FEATURE How CFOs are Looking at the Future

The CFO is in a unique position to see the whole of a credit union’s activity, especially as it impacts financial statements. In preparation for discussions with CFOs, our firm surveyed these top mangers to learn their view of the credit union system, their own careers and their forecasts for the rest of 2002. Although many of the reports a CFO produces record past events, CFOs often have a better sense than most of what is to come. Will the credit union meet plans? Where do we have to improve our performance or pull back? So, what are the key issues for this group of credit union executives?

By Chip Filson

May 1, 2002

1431 Views
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FEATURE Filling the Civic Responsibility Void

Credit unions have a long tradition of doing good. But this has mainly been the doing of good among those who belonged, who were members. It’s time we thought more broadly. I celebrate in our history of helping ordinary people work together to make their lives better. Filling the Void Now it is time for credit unions to step in and fill the void created in local communities by the nationalization of banks. No one else is going to do it.

By Callahan & Associates

May 1, 2002

1350 Views
0
FEATURE Using the Internet to Enhance Member Services

Pennsylvania State Employees launches Internet-based credit report service.

By Callahan & Associates

April 1, 2002

1760 Views
0
FEATURE Mortgage Lending

A look at 2001 credit union real estate trends.

By Callahan & Associates

April 1, 2002

1403 Views
0
FEATURE The Unseen Revolution

Credit union cooperative efforts build scale, create success.

By Callahan & Associates

April 1, 2002

1269 Views
0
FEATURE Year-End Data

A look at the nation's Top 100 Credit Unions.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2002

1423 Views
0
FEATURE The Future of the Corporate Network: Interdependence or Fragmentation

Just like natural person credit unions, the corporate network had its most successful year ever in 2001. At year-end total assets hit $59.1 billion for the 34 corporates plus $32.2 billion for US Central.

By Chip Filson

March 1, 2002

1447 Views
0
FEATURE The Best Year Ever & What to Think about It

Educating members about the real benefits of membership.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2002

1283 Views
0
FEATURE The Eye of my Eyes has been Opened

Leadership. Let’s Look at Two "Case Studies." The first is Michael Jordan’s return to the NBA — with the Washington Wizards. Recently I saw the normally poor Wizards beat the NBA’s hottest team. But seeing the game and Michael play isn’t the same as "seeing" how he leads

By Chip Filson

Feb. 1, 2002

1410 Views
0
FEATURE Open Credit Unions to All

Should credit unions be open to all? Ed Callahan says YES!

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2002

1467 Views
0
FEATURE Turning Portions of Today’s Economic Climate into Advantages for Members

Passing along lower interest rates to members is central focus for Progressive Credit Union.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2002

1911 Views
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FEATURE ATMs—An Opportunity for Creating More Networked Advantage

The primary disadvantage credit unions confront in survey after survey is the lack of physical convenience. One of the primary ways credit unions are trying to overcome this perception is through increasing deployment of ATMs and joining with other credit unions to network ATMs.

By Callahan & Associates

Jan. 1, 2002

1964 Views
0
FEATURE Frozen in the Headlights

Some credit unions, mainly large ones, right now are like deer surprised by the headlights of an on-rushing car. They’ve frozen in the headlights. Deer freeze up in such a situation because they are surprised and they don’t know what to do in this startling situation.

By Callahan & Associates

Jan. 1, 2002

1345 Views
0
FEATURE First Look

Which credit unions lead the nation in IRA balances?

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2001

1696 Views
0
FEATURE Computer Based Training

Computer-based training increases knowledge and efficiency.

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2001

1255 Views
0
FEATURE First Look Third Quarter

3rd quarter financials from 12 of the country’s leading credit unions.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 2001

1349 Views
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FEATURE Unprecedented times: What’s the Credit Union’s Role

As a nation, we face a situation unique to any in our nation’s history. Even in these times of uncertainty credit unions must take a proactive approach.

By Chip Filson

Nov. 1, 2001

1922 Views
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FEATURE Doing our Job in a Time of Tragedy, Part II

Recent tragedies have affected traditional channels of communication. Ed Callahan explores ways to deal with new obstacles through digital mediums.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 2001

1353 Views
0
FEATURE Paul Horgen’s experience with the Renaissance Commission served as a wake-up call as to why cooperation is imperative for credit unions

Paul Horgen’s experience with the Renaissance Commission served as a wake-up call as to why cooperation is imperative for credit unions

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 2001

1783 Views
0
FEATURE Credit Union Membership Percent by State

What states have their residents turning to credit unions?

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 2001

1541 Views
0
FEATURE Doing Our Job in a Time of Tragedy

Recent tragedies have shaken the nation. How can credit unions remain strong and ease their members’ financial worries?

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 2001

1478 Views
0
FEATURE An in-depth look at America’s largest 100 credit unions.

An in-depth look at America’s largest 100 credit unions.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2001

1870 Views
0
FEATURE Dual Chartering: Getting the Motors Running Again

Credit unions need to look to non-federal insurance options to rekindle the dual-chartering successes of the 20th century.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2001

1245 Views
0
FEATURE Buying Technology Part II: The Core Processing Solution-A New Standard? Getting the Motors Running Again

Part II of a 2-part article, Randy Karnes outlines a plan for buying technology.

By Randy Karnes

Sept. 1, 2001

1446 Views
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FEATURE First Look

June financials from 136 credit unions, more than 1/5 the industry’s total assets, reveal some of last quarter’s trends.

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 2001

1841 Views
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FEATURE Increasing Lending

Many credit unions are struggling to create loan markets. Patelco executives explain their strategy for increasing lending.

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 2001

1302 Views
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FEATURE From the Manager's Chair

NAFCU’s Government approach to the transfer issue at NCUA is harmful to credit unions. Bucky Sebastian suggests a more productive way.

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 2001

1263 Views
0
FEATURE CUSO DATA - TABLE

The leading wholly-owned CUSOs.

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 2001

1731 Views
0
FEATURE Creating a Common-Wealth

Collective ownership differentiates credit unions from private firms and government enterprises. Is cooperative ownership a competitive advantage and how?

By Chip Filson

July 1, 2001

1355 Views
0
FEATURE A New Point Of View

Using a case study of a 14 year-old, multi-owned CUSO, Sharon Simpson describes the evolution of this organization’s business model.

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 2001

1319 Views
0
FEATURE From the Manager’s Chair

Someone who understands credit unions will support credit unions. But how can credit unions inform the public?

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 2001

1798 Views
0
FEATURE Auto Lending

Leaders and trends in auto lending, as well as indirect lending programs’ impact on the numbers.

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 2001

1426 Views
0
FEATURE Real Estate Lending

Look at trends and leaders in real estate lending.

By Callahan & Associates

May 1, 2001

1387 Views
0
FEATURE The Members’ Voice

In the old RCA commercials for the first “high fidelity” record players, a dog was pictured sitting next to the speaker listening intently to his master’s voice. Credit unions have long honored the vision of listening to the member’s voice, but only recently has technology allowed this to be a-real time experience. In this era of change, listening becomes a critical business process. One company CEO expressed it best: “Real-time feedback from customers is the most incredible quality control tool. It is live hot data.” Collecting hot data was time consuming and expensive before the Internet era. Mail surveys take anywhere from 30-90 days to create, mail and tabulate responses. The report analysis and writing can take another 30-60 days. Six months after a project starts, management begins responding to the information. Focus groups, a second alternative, are expensive, often of small sample size, and generally limited to few topics.

By Chip Filson

May 1, 2001

2077 Views
0
FEATURE Credit Union Investment Services

Data on the largest credit union programs and their providers.

By Callahan & Associates

April 1, 2001

1373 Views
0
FEATURE From the Manager’s Chair

Even in these uncertain economic times, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but that doesn’t mean we should venture into the tunnel alone.

By Callahan & Associates

April 1, 2001

1810 Views
0
FEATURE A New Employee Benefit: Long Term Care Insurance

Why long-term care insurance was added to Wright-Patt’s benefit package. Wright-Patt Credit Union reviewed its employee benefits package during 2000 to increase the perceived value of the package among employees, while strengthening cost controls for the Credit Union. The aim was to offer a benefits package that strengthens Wright-Patt’s ability to recruit and retain quality employees while managi

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2001

1412 Views
0
FEATURE Year-End Data

America’s top 100 credit unions and the performance leaders.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2001

1359 Views
0
FEATURE Does Size Make a Difference: A Look at the 100 Largest Credit Unions:

Chip Filson analyzes year-end 2000 data and examines ways credit unions of different sizes can maximize their competitve advantage. With the exception of the expense ratio, almost all differences in financial performance are minor. The lower operating expense ratio does suggest that there are some economies of scale. Part of this benefit is passed back to members who receive a higher proportion of total revenue in dividends at 48.39%, as compared to the 43.04% of total revenue returned to members at all credit unions. This fact may explain the slightly faster share and member growth rates. However before concluding that economies of scale work for everyone, it should be noted that several of the top 100 had very slow share growth rates-less than 1%. Also the range of earnings as measured by the ROA shows a wide variation from a low of 44 basis points to a high of 2.28%. Size does not automatically guarantee a certain result.

By Chip Filson

March 1, 2001

1361 Views
0
FEATURE Fundamentals, or the Future...or Both?

Credit union CEOs have two jobs. One is running the credit union, assuring that the fundamentals are in order and that members are well satisfied. The other is making sure the credit union is not swamped in the recurring crashing waves of the future but rather is prepared for the future by evaluating new technologies and partnering with entities that will assure the credit union is —if not just out ahead of the crest of the wave of the future — then at least near enough to be carried along without being either left behind nor crushed.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2001

1357 Views
0
FEATURE Will Merchants’ Lawsuit Against Visa and Mastercard Alter the Future of Debit Cards?

Depending on the outcome, a little-noticed lawsuit creeping its way through the courts could seriously impact credit/debit card-issuing credit unions’ programs and revenue. The suit was filed in 1996 by retail giants Wal-Mart, The Limited, Sears, Safeway and Circuit City against the Visa and MasterCard associations. The merchants claim that the associations’ “honor all cards” rule, whereby they are required to accept Visa Check and Master Money off-line debit cards as a condition of their ability to accept the associations’ credit cards is an illegal arrangement, a violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust law and saddles retailers with paying exorbitant fixed prices, resulting in billions of dollars of damages to them.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2001

1909 Views
0
FEATURE A Rare Opportunity and Responsibility to Seize It.

History in the making is often difficult to see. There is too much clutter around to detect that the course of a civilization, a country, an industry has veered in a new direction, and made a kind of dogleg to a destiny it otherwise would not have met. In our own country, the Civil War marked such a dogleg; so did the New Deal. Credit unions may now be at such a dog-leg, if we can grasp the opportunity and shift the movement’s destiny for the better.

By Callahan & Associates

Jan. 1, 2001

1245 Views
0
FEATURE Liquidity: The Solutions are There

With the economy booming, the majority of your members have been spending and borrowing rather than saving. When you’re not taking in much in new deposits and your existing members are making share withdrawals and asking for loans to buy new homes and automobiles, you need to look elsewhere for new sources of liquidity. Recently, credit unions have begun using the sale of loan participations to generate additional liquidity. A few corporates have developed loan participation programs.

By Callahan & Associates

Jan. 1, 2001

1408 Views
0
FEATURE An E-Branch Success and Coping with it

When first considering e-commerce and leveraging the Internet, we considered Web-based activity as simply another delivery channel for our traditional products. A year ago we already had a Website, but we felt we needed something more or we would lose business to competitors. Thus we were playing defensively. Accordingly, we added a "home banking" and "bill payer" capacity to the Website, as well as a loan application and approval capacity. We did not expect anything out of the ordinary. What we got was not ordinary at all.

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2000

1268 Views
0
FEATURE Hidden Value(s)

A recent Brookings Institution task force report, titled "Unseen Wealth," describes the difficulties in recording intangible assets on the balance sheets of public companies. The report states, "As the United States moves into the 21st Century, the factors that have become more important to economic growth and societal wealth are ‘intangible’ or ‘non-physical’ such as intellectual capital, research and development, brand names and human capital... Intangibles are harder to measure, harder to quantify, often harder to manage and harder to define than tangibles."

By Chip Filson

Dec. 1, 2000

1383 Views
0
FEATURE NCUA Transfer Rate, Part 2

The NCUA is raising the transfer rate and lowering the fees of the federal credit unions paying their federal regulator. It's time to pull back the veil of the NCUA and its actions.

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 2000

1254 Views
0
FEATURE The Uncollected Harvest

Where is the greatest opportunity for credit unions to grow in serving member needs? One of the most promising areas is real estate lending. Credit unions have a very small market share but are better positioned than ever to be a major player. There will be two requirements to fulfill this potential. The first is to change the traditional way credit unions have thought about mortgage lending. The second change is to become an innovator in using the self-service delivery model of the Internet to bring the best value possible to members.

By Chip Filson

Nov. 1, 2000

1551 Views
0
FEATURE Spending money and the Lack of Oversight

Recently, the NCUA moved to do the following: raise the transfer rate from 50 to 67 percent, hold the line on next year's operating budget to 10 percent or less and reduce the operating expense fee assessed federal credit unions.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 2000

1261 Views
0
FEATURE Grocery-Store Branching: Is This a Better Way to Reach the Community?

One of the evolutions in credit unions has been more open chartering. This is a return to credit unions' community roots which is how the first charters were organized. Federal credit unions are seeking community charters as the easiest way to cope with the impact of HR 1151. State chartered credit unions have increased the scope of their activityto lessen dependence on the economic fortunesof sponsers.

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 2000

1261 Views
0
FEATURE Tall Hat- No Cattle?

Credit unions report another winning set of results. The net earnings for the first six months of 2000 rose 23 percent versus the same period last year. Loan growth continues in double digits at 13 percent. Collective ROA rose for the first time in many years to 1.04 percent, up from 94 basis points for all of 1999.

By Chip Filson

Sept. 1, 2000

1423 Views
0
FEATURE Losing Membership Savings and What To Do About It

However. . . .Is this rosy picture just a rerun of prior efforts or does it reflect credit unionsÕ successful transition to the new economy? Will share growth continue to lag in the low single digits? Are members using their credit union more or less than five years ago? Is the credit union story just a tall hat show-or is the movement still changing the financial landscape for consumers?

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 2000

1343 Views
0
FEATURE What More Can I Do?

We've done it right. We've invested, educated, and served our members as competitively as any other organization in our marketplace. Yet it appears that we have 'maxed out' and what seems to be an organization with unlimited growth potential may never achieve its goals. What more can we do?

By Randy Karnes

Sept. 1, 2000

1792 Views
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FEATURE What's Inside? What's Out?

One traditional way to describe a credit union is by the work that the organization does. A credit union takes in savings and makes loans, or runs branches or provides exceptional member service. These tasks are mostly carried out by credit union employees. The business challenge then becomes identifying and developing these core competencies better than any other firm. However, today virtually every activity that is believed to be core to what a credit union does can be outsourced. This reality raises the question about what should be done by a credit union's own staff and what should be outside the firm. A bigger issue is also raised of exactly what does it mean to be a credit union?

By Chip Filson

June 1, 2000

1458 Views
0
FEATURE Truth and Moving Forward

Sorry to say, but there are rumblings from the growing banker volcano again. There's smoke and spurts, and the ground is beginning to quake. They'd like to blow off with a good one and bury us in six feet of lava and dust. We've heard grumblings from them about our "arrogance" and our "land grabs," that is, extensions of our authority to organize by communities rather than employers. For this we are to lose our tax-exempt status. The bankers will march on Congress to open Representatives' eyes to their lost tax revenues and convince them to end, as they would put it, our "federal subsidy." These critics are absolutely wrong.

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 2000

1361 Views
0
FEATURE Is a Technology Roadmap Feasible?

Y2K is over. The pent-up list of IT projects is growing longer. The Internet continues to be an enormous tease--will it or won't it reinvent the credit union business? Now is the time for action. But how does a CEO think about all of the options. Is there a framework for decisions? There are two kinds of technology investments. The first is to continue to extend the current processes, but to make them more efficient or better integrated. The other kind of technology is disruptive, threatening the assumptions about how we do business. Can credit unions afford both?

By Chip Filson

April 1, 2000

1987 Views
0
FEATURE The Internet Gold Rush

There is a land grab occurring in credit unions. Many companies, some just starting up and some familiar, are seeking to be a part of the home page of every credit union. A few of these firms merely want links and others want to provide commentary or content to enrich a site. For many, however, the goal is to bring the whole world of e-commerce to the credit union's membership. These efforts have the potential to transform credit unions' service offerings. More important, they could turbo-ch

By Chip Filson

March 1, 2000

1882 Views
7
FEATURE The Human Connection to Change: What's Logical is not Necessarily Psychological

With all of attention today focused on the new economy, unthethered connectivity, networked intelligence, disruptive technology and Web-based business models, there is a growing preoccupation with the "task" issues in our credit unions at the expense of "people" issues.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 2000

1404 Views
0
FEATURE Re-launched Site Becomes Grassroots Tool for 2000 Elections

The Committee of 70 Million website , is being re-launched especially for the 2000 election. The vastly upgraded interactive site allows credit union members to be both politically informed and vocal on credit union issues. It offers new information and features about members' political candidates running in the 2000 elections and makes it easier for credit union members to make their grassroots efforts felt.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2000

1600 Views
0
FEATURE Disaster Looming in a Word Called "Complex"

Jim Leach, the Republican Chairman of the House Banking and Financial Services Committee, believes the banking and financial services industry is in desperate need of reform (see sidebar). In his recent comments, he may not have been thinking about credit unions -- his attention seems to be focused on banks -- but in general what he is saying about the need to rewrite banking law to the realities of the 21st century is as true of banks as it is of credit unions, actually truer.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 2000

1762 Views
0
FEATURE Getting Politicians on Our Side

Happy New Year. Or should I say, Happy Election Year, because, like it or not, this is an important election year. The Presidency is up for grabs, and so, too, at least, the House of Representatives. If we are silent now, when the candidates are running, you can bet they will be pretty silent in return when we ask for their support on important legislative votes. We have to go to work now, and stay at it all the way through November so that when the persons who are elected assume office they will know who we are and what we need, and will respond in kind.

By Callahan & Associates

Jan. 1, 2000

1821 Views
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FEATURE Credit Unions: The New Page

Goodbye, 1900s. Hello, new. Here is what I believe lies ahead, and what I hope for. A new vision for credit unions. A new level of cooperation and interaction that will energize the movement as it has not been since the 1930s. Here is what I see…..

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 1999

1316 Views
0
FEATURE Dealing with the Torrent of Conferences

All managers know: There are too many conferences that beckon. Many are worthwhile; some are not. But the very torrent of them is causing a problem. CEOs are expected to know what is going on in the credit union world and what is likely to happen in the future that likely would affect their credit unions. So associations -- and vendors who see credit unions as cash cows -- organize conferences on technology, finances, CUSOs, SEG marketing and more; the list is indeed long. My guess is that if you compared travel and conference spending in 1989 with the same in 1999, you would find a significant increase. But what are we getting for the increase?

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 1999

1253 Views
0
FEATURE Creating an Advantage in the Era of E-Strategies

The Internet alters one of the fundamental laws of economics - it creates oversupply. While there was a geographic and convenience rationale for thousands of credit union charters and branches, why do we need thousands of Internet channels? All Internet delivery has the same 24/7 convenience. How does one digital loan, savings or other financial service product (e.g. insurance) distinguish its service from thousands of other choices?

By Chip Filson

Oct. 1, 1999

1706 Views
0
FEATURE Where is the Strategic Planning for Our Movement?

We are entering into the time of year when many credit unions assemble their best thinkers and do their strategic planning. This is all to the good. But where is anyone doing this for our movement as a whole? Would your credit union last very long if you abandoned strategic planning altogether? This is virtually what has happened to the credit union movement.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 1999

1573 Views
0
FEATURE Musings on Twenty Years of Creating a Community

I never intended to be a banker, and even with twenty years at this credit union, I'm still a passionate amateur, an amateur with experience, but decidedly not a professional. On reflection, it wasn't a bad way to spend twenty years.

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 1999

1545 Views
0
FEATURE Consortiums and “The Hiring Problem”

One of the main concerns of credit union executives is recruiting and retaining good employees. At a recent national credit union conference, for example, hiring and the cost of employees was trailing only the Internet and the Y2K problem in interest. This is not surprising -- the largest expense in our business, as with nearly all others and most certainly the service industries, is the cost of personnel.

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 1999

1903 Views
0
FEATURE Using the Internet to Good Effect

The Internet is changing America and it is changing us. And, as usual with change, there is a threat and an opportunity. People are re-evaluating how they want financial services. They want convenience; they want speed. The Internet can offer both. But people using the Internet sit at computer screens; they are not walking through doors in brick-and-mortar branches. The old image of service delivery as the work-site or neighborhood branch, the short line to the teller window or the friendly

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 1999

1859 Views
0
FEATURE Choosing the Right Partner

Summertime movies often dwell on romance. From "Notting Hill" to "Shakespeare in Love," the theme of many of this year's leading hits is about finding the right partner. The appeal is universal; we all want to find the ideal person with whom we can share our time and space. In the right situation we might also become more than we could hope to be by ourselves. In a different, but nonetheless parallel way, the fulfillment of the organizational destiny of credit unions may lie in choosing the rig

By Chip Filson

July 1, 1999

1959 Views
0
FEATURE We Won! (Didn’t We?)

A few months ago we were victorious in overcoming the biggest political challenge ever faced by credit unions...defeating the Bankers and winning the decisive passage of HR 1151. Now multiple common bond credit unions can begin adding new SEGs and serving additional employers, their employees, and their families, who have been waiting, some for over two years, for access to credit union service. Right? Not so fast!

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 1999

2062 Views
0
FEATURE Getting “Delled” in Credit Cards

At a recent planning session I attended, the loan officer talked about the decline in the credit card program from 26% of the total loan portfolio to just over 22%. In addition to this loss of outstandings, the delinquency had risen almost threefold in the last two years. The credit union's analysis showed that the best members were being lured away by very targeted offers from large credit card specialty companies such as Providian, First USA and MBNA. The credit union had a one-size-fits-all product that did not meet the needs of its better-qualified members. The credit union, I suggested, was getting "delled" by the competition.

By Chip Filson

June 1, 1999

1927 Views
0
FEATURE NMEFCU’s Office Park Will Create “Pathway” to the Future

New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union is breaking rank with old fashioned back-office business environments and creating a new team work center that will consolidate workforce space and bring its employees closer together. The new "Pathway" administrative office park will consolidate the Credit Union's administrative staff and training facilities.

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 1999

2782 Views
0
FEATURE Buying a Pre-Exisiting Business

Citadel Federal Credit Union in Thorndale, PA, recently took a novel approach to starting our credit union service organization (CUSO), Citadel Financial Services - buying a pre-existing business. We at Citadel have already had experience with CUSOs. We have long had a 60% ownership of a check processing organization and 100% ownership of an indirect lending CUSO that works through 165 auto dealer

By Callahan & Associates

May 1, 1999

1775 Views
0
FEATURE Creating Organizational Mobility

Questioning the suitability of the credit union charter as sufficient for serving member needs became a very public topic as the AT&T Family FCU banker's lawsuit wound its way to the Supreme Court. Conversions to state charters from federal -- or in a few cases to mutual savings banks -- reflected judgments about the adequacy of the legal framework in which the credit union movement would operate in the future. Once HR 1151 passed, some observers felt the major concerns over charter flexibility, especially at the federal level, were over. Instead the issue of whether the credit union charter, state or federal, is sufficiently adaptable to the changes occurring in the market are accelerating, not diminishing. More and more credit union managers are looking for ways to enhance their "organizational mobility" in response to the new business challenges from Internet-based services. But often the solutions contemplated are outside the legal confines of the credit union's charter.

By Chip Filson

May 1, 1999

2014 Views
0
FEATURE How to Make a Broker-Dealer Part of Your Credit Union’s Strategic Plan

In 1987, US Alliance Federal Credit Union's Board of Directors authorized the formation of a CUSO for purposes of buying and selling securities for its members. Concurrently, they hired me as the person to implement the process. Starting from scratch in the summer of 1987, a corporation was formed pursuant to the CUSO Regs in effect at that time. We also approached the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) and began the process of qualifying the newly formed a Broker-Dealer corpor

By Callahan & Associates

April 1, 1999

1932 Views
0
FEATURE How Do Credit Unions Compete in the Mutual Fund Market?

Since 1990 the total assets of all mutual funds have grown over five fold to a total of $5.0 trillion. Many credit union members use mutual funds as part of their savings or through 401K plans. But few credit unions have been able to develop programs that serve either a significant percentage of these members or their assets. If credit unions aspire to follow their members into non-insured financial services, finding a strategy to compete in the mutual fund business is critical.

By Chip Filson

April 1, 1999

2069 Views
0
FEATURE Critical Issues From the Yearend Data

As credit unions collectively take bows over the very good results from 1998, looking beyond the averages uncovers a number of crucial issues. But first, the averages. The share growth was the highest this decade at 11.1% or almost double the loan growth of 6.2%. Other highlights include:

By Chip Filson

March 1, 1999

1485 Views
0
FEATURE Meeting Our Year 2000 Challenges

For the past several years the focus of Y2K has been on the technical side of the problem. The problem, however, has a new twist. Now we are fighting waves of public perceptions about how well prepared we really are and if we'll be able to protect the money with which our members have trusted us.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 1999

1373 Views
0
FEATURE Where We Have to Go

Credit unions have traditionally held an enviable position: They are the most trusted entities in the financial services world. But our lives and working habits are changing so rapidly that this enviable position is in very real danger of being lost. Keeping it - or perhaps even now we have to talk in terms of regaining it -- is going to take an almost unimagined leap in thinking and structure.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 1999

1358 Views
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FEATURE Strategic Planning, A 4-Part Series

Our planning process for 1999 really began in 1997 as the board and management saw a revenue gap starting to widen. Our members are expecting more and paying less. We have seen our margin shrink 20% in the last 5 years from 544 bp to 435 bp while we have continued to respond to member needs by adding components to our delivery system. Internet home banking, debit cards, more ATM locations, all without surcharges, have been added for member convenience. Not only do our members have an enhanced delivery system, they pay no additional charge or fees for these new services.

By Callahan & Associates

Jan. 1, 1999

1564 Views
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FEATURE Words of Hope

One of the joys at the close of the year is meeting with colleagues to share views about the future of credit unions. Recently, I was in Seattle with a group of my consulting peers. Like other roundtable meetings, the goal was to sharpen our understanding of credit union issues, including how to compete better. The following are some ideas from that dialogue that I found insightful and encouraging.

By Chip Filson

Dec. 1, 1998

1798 Views
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FEATURE A Plan for the Corrective Action Regulation

The prompt correction action regulation now being contemplated by the NCUA will make the earlier HR 1151 controversies seem mild. The history of recent regulatory initiatives by NCUA -- such as the FOM proposal which contained many questionable restraints or constraints on FOM activities, and the earlier regulations such as the Investment (703) and the Corporate (704) which showed a lack of sensitivity to credit union needs -- paint a predictable pattern of NCUA's promulgation and issuance of regulations. Unfortunately, these, coupled with HR 1151's disregard of credit union professionalism by setting into law that no more than one person with credit union experience can serve on the NCUA Board, call into question the neutrality of the federal government regarding credit unions. There are no comparable restrictions on appointments by bankers to the Treasury Department, the FDIC or the Federal Reserve.

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 1998

2256 Views
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FEATURE It’s Not Over ‘Til It’s Over

Like that irrepressible scary-movie character Freddy Krueger, the bankers will be back. They have not finished with us. They have not gotten what they wanted. Our association execs can pop the champagne corks and pat themselves on the back on account of our recent legislation. The bankers, however, are not calling it quits. We may have won a battle this year, but we did not win the war. The war is still going on. We are having our party inside the tent, while the bankers are circling on the outside and sharpening their weapons. Why?

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 1998

3307 Views
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FEATURE Strategic Planning, A 4-Part Series

At Xerox Federal Credit Union, our service philosophy, Member First, is clearly aligned with the Customer First philosophy of our primary sponsor Xerox. Likewise, our strategic planning process is patterned in part on the successful models and practices employed by our sponsor. Preparations for a successful session require planning that begins months in advance. This preparation paves the way to an off-site long range planning meeting that brings our Board of Directors and other key volunteers together with the management team for a strategic planning session. The result is a plan where volunteer leaders and the XFCU management team define a shared vision for the organization and a strategy for the future.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 1998

1730 Views
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FEATURE Grow What?

During my fall odyssey of planning meetings, I received a voice mail asking if I was aware of any credit union that had defined a growth strategy. This new CEO was putting the credit union's plan together using the concept of Major Improvement Opportunities. The first of these was to make a case for growth and then to define the components of the strategy. Was I aware of any templates or other examples that he might use to jump-start this process?

By Chip Filson

Oct. 1, 1998

1867 Views
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FEATURE Strategic Planning, A 4-Part Series

The annual planning process is a time to review successes, take a reality check of the progress of the current year's plan and identify key issues or challenges for the coming year. Currently, our planning process covers a three-month period. It begins in early June when our facilitator meets with the Senior Management Team to review our current business plan, develop key issues, discuss the external environment and competition and many other things going on within the credit union and our industry. I would like to address two issues that evolved from this year's planning session:

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 1998

1704 Views
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FEATURE Volatile Times

During my fall odyssey of planning meetings, I received a voice mail asking if I was aware of any credit union that had defined a growth strategy. This new CEO was putting the credit union's plan together using the concept of Major Improvement Opportunities. The first of these was to make a case for growth and then to define the components of the strategy. Was I aware of any templates or other examples that he might use to jump-start this process?

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 1998

1647 Views
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FEATURE The Calm After the Storm or Before It?

Very recently we have weathered some considerable storms. As I write this, I feel some sense of calm but I can't be sure if it's a calm in the wake of our past storms or the calm before the next one. Here are some things on my mind.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 1998

1602 Views
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FEATURE Strategic Planning, A 4-Part Series

Our strategic planning philosophy is rather fundamental: anticipate the future and prepare for it. Some say we are experiencing the biggest change in our culture since the industrial revolution. Electronic commerce is here. The Internet, ATMs, PC home banking, debit cards, and a raft of other evidence clearly demonstrate the demand for electronic services. In our strategic planning, we attempt to address how Nevada Federal Credit Union can best meet member needs in this rapidly emerging environment.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 1998

1532 Views
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FEATURE Demutualization

In addition to escaping from the daily pressures of work, vacations often provide new perspectives. This event is even more likely if one spends time in another culture where contrasts are part of everyday life. I just returned from 12 days in England. One example of this cultural divide is that the English think 100 miles is a great distance whereas Americans believe 100 years is a long time. Even though both countries use the same language, we often have different meanings for our words. While driving across the south of England I saw frequent signs for "boot sales". I thought it unusual that there would be that many people seeking shoes at a market, but assumed it was the British taste for tailor-made products. Then I learned that boot sales are the equivalent of our "flea" markets where persons come with their car trunks (boots) loaded with second hand goods to sell in a temporary market in an open space. The Financial World of Conversions

By Chip Filson

Aug. 1, 1998

1859 Views
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FEATURE The Use of Outside Investment Managers

In times when it becomes more difficult for credit unions to fully lend their available funds, investments become an increasingly larger part of earning assets. The time and skill requirements needed to properly manage this portion of the balance sheet are considerable. Investment managers are specialists in managing portfolios and have immediate access to market information and analysis that are unavailable to most credit unions. Credit union personnel, on the other hand, are generally much more capable of managing the risks of lending to members than they are of managing the vagaries of the bond market.

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 1998

2315 Views
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FEATURE Investing in Agency Securities

Agency securities, debt issued by U.S. Government Agencies, have many characteristics that appeal to investors. Because they are guaranteed by a U.S. Government Agency, these securities are rated AAA by the rating services. Agency Securities trade at a spread above U.S. Treasuries of a comparable maturity. In addition, Agencies such as FNMA, are now selling large new issues every month. This provides great liquidity for these bonds. Finally, in addition to bullet maturities, many different structures are available to meet investors' specific requirements.

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 1998

2071 Views
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FEATURE The Strategic Value of One CUSO

Members' First Financial Services was incorporated as a CUSO in January, 1993, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Memphis Area Teachers' Credit Union (MATCU). It has been successful, but we learned some of our lessons the hard way. Members' First provides financial services only; there is no operations division, although it is permitted by regulation and done successfully by other CUSOs. From our five-year experience with this financial services CUSO, we offer our thoughts on how CUSOs can be use

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 1998

1997 Views
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FEATURE Cutting Through to the Essentials

There is a lot of shifting going on in the financial services field. Citicorp's merger with Travelers and banking legislation moving through the Congress are only two manifestations of an industry in turbulence. In these times, it is all too easy to get caught up in the details and not appreciate some of the larger developments. One that is especially telling is what is happening to charters.

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 1998

2012 Views
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FEATURE Personnel Management in an Era of Full Employment

Finding good employees is never an easy task. One need only scan the expanding pages of classified ads in the Credit Union Times or Credit Union Journal each week to see how great the need is. In an age of full employment and changing work expectations, the challenge is even greater. Anecdotal evidence suggests the situation is becoming serious.

By Chip Filson

April 1, 1998

1461 Views
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FEATURE Response to the Supreme Court Decision

The waiting is over. The Supreme Court has spoken, and the words are grim. But the verdict is even more dire than as reported in the press. The banks seem to be saying publicly that they are not going to press the divestiture issue, but in fact, in their formal pleadings before the Court, they asked for divestiture. If nothing changes, they could force it. Make no mistake, our movement is very much wounded and the hyenas are circling.

By Callahan & Associates

March 1, 1998

1739 Views
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FEATURE Moving To a New Strategy--Before We Expire

Most managers and boards see the future of financial services, but are unable to move their credit unions there. The jump we need to make if credit unions are to survive is from a model of member relationships built around Funds on Deposit (FOD) to one based on Assets Under Management (AUM). Managers and directors know this, especially in larger credit unions, because this is how their own financial affairs have evolved. For example, rarely does the credit union have the majority of its own top management and directors' savings. Like many households, the retirement dollars are resting in mutual funds, annuities, and other non-insured "investment" products, if not directly in individual stocks and bonds. Unless credit unions can make this transition to serving members as measured by Assets Under Management, the credit union's role as a payment provider and short-term savings place will cause us to slide into irrelevance. What's Stopping Change?

By Chip Filson

Feb. 1, 1998

1782 Views
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FEATURE Time for a Credit Union Modernization Bill

Jim Leach, the Republican Chairman of the House Banking and Financial Services Committee, believes the banking and financial services industry is in desperate need of reform (see sidebar). In his recent comments, he may not have been thinking about credit unions -- his attention seems to be focused on banks -- but in general what he is saying about the need to rewrite banking law to the realities of the 21st century is as true of banks as it is of credit unions, actually truer.

By Callahan & Associates

Feb. 1, 1998

1690 Views
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FEATURE Messages at Christmas

Men should come with instructions was the saying embroidered on a pile of Christmas throw cushions in a department store I visited recently. Nearby were other pillows, ones with snowy scenes of winter and bright Christmas colors that would make better decorations. Obviously the designer of the first pillow knew that Christmas is a time for sending messages, so rather than the traditional holiday pictures, this pillow held a broader purpose. Many of the expectations of the Christmas/Hanukkah season are about meaningful messages: hope, light, peace, love. These themes are renewed again and again. Holiday cards are selected for their words. Gifts are often symbols of deeper relationships. Many of the office parties end with the common send off of "Have a very Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays." Sometimes, though, the messages aren't what we want to hear. They do not seem uplifting. They may even challenge the spirit of joy and goodwill that we seek at this season.

By Chip Filson

Dec. 1, 1997

1725 Views
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FEATURE Bankruptcy: A Disaster Waiting to Happen…And, Unfortunately, Congress Doesn’t Have a Clue

Bankruptcy as a national trend is a disaster waiting to happen. A principal reason is that bankruptcy law no longer serves the people for whom it was written. The law -- and the handling of it -- has evolved to where it is something used by people as a retirement or welfare program, like an entitlement. Their attitude is: "We're entitled to it, so we'll do it."

By Callahan & Associates

Dec. 1, 1997

2861 Views
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FEATURE The Opportunity of a Lifetime

Death and taxes are two sure things in life. Now Congress has granted a reprieve to the second. It is called the Roth IRA. This new and unique product could be the cornerstone of a member's plan for lifetime financial security. For the credit union, the product could be the best opportunity to secure the loyalty and funds of the generation that will be essential to our future as member based cooperatives.

By Chip Filson

Nov. 1, 1997

1531 Views
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FEATURE Getting Up to Speed for the Roth IRAs

In this issue, Chip lays out the case of attracting as many Roth IRAs as possible. Indeed, Roths are the essence of what credit unions are all about. They promote consistent savings over a lifetime so that a family can have security. They can help a youngster get on the path of self-sufficiency and fiscal discipline. They are an excellent match with credit union philosophy in other ways as well. People trust their credit unions, trust them far more than any other financial provider they work with. Credit unions have always been the source of sound advice about fiscal responsibility and saving. Who better then to advise people on Roths, to help set them up and service them than credit unions? Roths offer a tremendous shot in the arm to credit unions.

By Callahan & Associates

Nov. 1, 1997

1458 Views
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FEATURE Our Smart Card Pilot Project

About two years ago Lansing built a new minor league baseball park, and State Employees Credit Union obtained an exclusive contract for ATM services there. The manager of the park had been affiliated with a Jacksonville, Fla., ball club that issued the highly successful disposable card series. But our interest was in a rechargeable card for our members instead of a disposable card. We worked with MagicLine, our regional ATM switch, on developing a proposal. As it turned out, the Lansing ballpark

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 1997

1896 Views
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FEATURE The Canadian Experience: Lessons for U.S. Credit Unions?

The Age of Global Economics has arrived. "WWW" is not just a technical prefix for access to instant world-wide communication; the World Wide Web also brings global markets to local firms and global competition to local markets. The credit union movement also extends beyond national boundaries. For U.S. credit unions, one of the most valuable connections we may wish to make may be with the Canadian credit union system, and not just because they are close at hand. Although Canadian credit unions do not record the same financial outcomes as U.S. credit unions, I believe that in their business plans, the largest Canadian credit unions are "getting to the future" faster than their American counterparts.

By Chip Filson

Oct. 1, 1997

1842 Views
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FEATURE Chairman D’Amours Should Go

Norm D'Amours should be relieved of his powers as chairman of the NCUA. If he does not have the decency to resign, President Clinton should replace him as chair with either of his other two appointees. The President should also ask for D'Amours' resignation from the Board -- it is time for him to leave the federal regulatory body of the credit union movement in this country.

By Callahan & Associates

Oct. 1, 1997

3050 Views
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FEATURE Stimulate Your Board to Do Its Best Job

The strategic planning season is upon many credit unions. In order to get the best results from it, the board should be fully engaged, critical and creative. Too often this is not the case. All too often the board is the mere recipient of information, rubber-stampers of management initiatives.

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 1997

1975 Views
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FEATURE A Turbo-Charged Credit Union

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery. But what happens when a mega-competitor claims to have reinvented your business and then turbo-charged it? That is the claim of Merrill Lynch, which has launched its Employee Access Account in May and now has some results to crow about. Their product, offered through employers, provides unlimited check writing from a money fund and is designed to encourage direct deposit. The yield on the money fund is around 5%. The lineup of other Merrill products includes a debit card, access to 65 Merrill no-load funds, discounted stock trades and a gold credit card with no annual fee.

By Chip Filson

Sept. 1, 1997

1900 Views
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FEATURE How Things Were, Are, and Will Be

Our future will be more than uncertain if we fail to learn from our past. The article "Seeing Things as They Really Are," in Forbes magazine, March 10, 1997, served as a wake-up call for me. Just a couple of weeks before the article was published, I phoned Bucky Sebastian to discuss what may have caused our failure to recognize the need to modernize the Federal Credit Union Act in the late 1980s. Our discussion led to Bucky's well considered assertion: "We were too internally focused." The "Seeing..." article is an insightful, brief review of Peter Drucker's genius and foresight. Drucker is a hero to many managers. The Forbes article declares: "He writes and thinks with exquisite clarity -- a standout among a bunch of muddled fad-mongers."

By Callahan & Associates

Sept. 1, 1997

1585 Views
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FEATURE Fields of Membership: Squabbles at the Wrong Level

There has been a great deal of discussion and argument lately over fields of membership. The AT&T case has accelerated this, but the basic issues already existed and were ready to emerge. At the heart of discussions are "overlaps." For decades there have been "incidental overlaps," situations in which a number of members could join more than one credit union. They were held to a minimum, though.

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 1997

1679 Views
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FEATURE 99% Perspiration

Genius, said Thomas Alva Edison in an oft-quoted phrase, "is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." While this statement is probably correct, it still leaves open the question about the manner in which we need to perspire if we are to succeed. I am reminded of this critical choice as the planning season approaches for many credit unions. Working hard isn't going to guarantee survival, but working hard on the right projects will certainly increase one's chances.

By Chip Filson

Aug. 1, 1997

1790 Views
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FEATURE Refreshing Your Internet Presence

Several years ago, a number of credit unions created Internet home pages to provide information about their products, services, and interest rates. As the Internet has become more mainstream, many credit unions are learning that they need to improve the content and constantly refresh their web sites.

By Callahan & Associates

Aug. 1, 1997

1963 Views
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FEATURE A Credit Union's Balance Sheet in 2000

The balance sheet is the embodiment of a credit union's strategy. Should loans and shares grow and if so, by how much? What product changes are needed? How should investments compliment the gaps in asset-liability management? If credit unions are truly changing to better serve members, then the first place to look for this change is in the balance sheet.

By Chip Filson

July 1, 1997

1913 Views
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FEATURE Data: We Can Do Better With Cooperative Effort

Financial data is very useful material. We can react to emerging trends by taking advantage of beneficial ones or correcting harmful ones. In our individual credit unions we analyze the data of our last month or quarter or year in order to make our institution a more efficient servant of our members. We work to assemble that data as quickly as we can into understandable format. We emphasize timeliness -- like some foods, data has a "freshness" date beyond which they are of little use.

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 1997

1281 Views
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FEATURE Helping Board Members Understand Investments

The Federal Credit Union Act charges a credit union's board of directors with responsibility for the credit union's investments and permits the board to delegate this authority to an investment committee. However, the draft of the new Rule 703 covering investments for natural person credit unions, appeared to require the board to have a thorough knowledge and more direct involvement in investment decisions. This was the intent attributed to phrases in the proposal such as "consistent with NCUA's intent to place more responsibility with credit union boards ..." and requiring that "board of directors fully understand the potential risk characteristics of its investment options." This wording prompted concern among credit union staff and boards. How much knowledge did directors need? Would volunteer directors have to follow the markets daily and master the lingo of bond traders?

By Callahan & Associates

July 1, 1997

1826 Views
0
FEATURE Do Nothing

Sometimes the best advice is to do nothing.

By Chip Filson

June 1, 1997

2087 Views
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FEATURE What Stands in the Way of the Drive to Monopoly in Our Economy?

I feel the wind blowing, and it's blowing in favor of monopoly. You can feel it in telecommunications; you can feel it in banking. It's an ill wind. Look at telecommunications.

By Callahan & Associates

June 1, 1997

1844 Views
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