The Federal Credit Union March-April 2014 - (Page 48)
Is It Time to Grow Your Credit Union?
By Dan Berger, NAFCU President and CEO
ne of the perennial questions
for business owners and
CEOs is when to hire more
people. Strategists will tell
you many different things about how
to know when your business is ready
to grow or when to wait a little longer.
But every organization has its own
unique tipping point; you just have to
know how to recognize it. In a recent
New York Times article on hiring, the
founder of a company in Nebraska
that digitizes old family photographs
and slides said he knows to start hiring
when his supervisor starts yelling from
the production floor: "Hey! We need
serious help down here!"
NAFCU is here to help you find that
tipping point and identify that common-sense voice saying, "Hey, we need
more help!" One of our goals as an association is to identify credit union growth
strategies and loan growth tools, and
then bring these ideas to our members.
In December, third-quarter call report
data showed that federally insured credit
unions grew lending by 2.9 percent.
This was the 10th consecutive quarter in
which the industry increased lending. All
kinds of loans were up, from new auto
loans to first mortgage loans and student
loans. Loans are a vital way credit unions
connect with their communities and
keep the country's economy moving.
It's always a good time to be thinking
about growth, but it's a particularly hot
topic now for NAFCU in light of our
annual Strategic Growth Conference,
which will be held March 4-6 in sunny
Venice Beach, Calif. Every year, NAFCU
staff and other expert speakers come
together to offer strategies for innovation
and growth to keep your credit union
ahead of the competition. The conference
focuses on creative lending programs
that boost income and on the best marketing and digital communication tactics
to get your message out to current and
Particularly in this day and age, growth
can come in unexpected ways: One of
this year's conference topics, for example, is credit union mergers - a reality
for many institutions in the wake of the
financial crisis. Credit unions didn't
cause the crisis, and they certainly don't
need the tidal wave of regulation that
has followed. But while we're working on
stopping that regulation in Washington,
we also want to help you with strategies
and problem-solving at home.
Even if you're not attending the conference, there's no reason to not set aside
some time right now to think about your
credit union's growth strategy. What
progress have you made with online
lending? Are your members aware of
all the loan services available to them?
In every community, there are always
young people getting ready to go away to
school or families looking to settle down
in a new home. Credit unions also have
a strong history of serving small-business owners' needs - even during the
financial crisis, credit unions didn't stop
lending. That focus on community development and perseverance is part of the
credit union identity.
Credit unions serve their communities
best when they help those borrowers
achieve their life goals. In focusing on
that kind of lending, credit unions can
achieve a few growth goals of their own.
Every organization has its own
unique tipping point; you just have
to know how to recognize it.
THE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION MARCH-APRIL 2014
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Federal Credit Union March-April 2014
Voices & Opinions
From the Chair
100 Ways to Grow
Getting to Know...
Inside NAFCU Services
From the President's Desk
The Federal Credit Union March-April 2014