Lifecycles Transcend Generations

I was attending my daughter-in-law’s Executive MBA graduation last Friday and I could not help but think of the time that separates us all and the experiences that bind us together. Even though that graduation hall had every age segment in our population, from the very youngest to the very oldest, the graduates skewed young, as in older Millennial/youngest Gen X young. If you are in those age segments, you will be excused for rolling your eyes back in your head. But a graduation event, ... Continue Reading

The 9 Traits Of CA’s Highest ROA Credit Unions

You’ve probably been in enough management meetings to hear concerned comments when your credit union’s return-on-assets (ROA) are not meeting goal. This invariably leads to discussions about how to turn things around. Hopefully, no one is pointing a finger at marketing. But if they are, today is your lucky day. On a whim, I decided to compare the Top 10% of California ROA in 2014 with the remaining Bottom 90%. What I discovered might get some approving nods in that management meeting ... Continue Reading

A Gutsy Marketing Move That Paid Off

“Pssst, buddy. How about a quick 10 grand? Here, take the check. Go ahead, take it.” OK, so it did not actually go like that. But what Tim McAdam, Vice President, Director of Sales and Marketing at Pacific Community Credit Union did was a close representation. It was Tim’s first letter check promotion, which for the uninitiated includes direct mailing micre encoded (read live) checks to members. The target market was members 21+ years of age, with a FICO score as low as 549. The ... Continue Reading

2014’s Top Bang for the Marketing Buck Credit Unions

In my April 24th post, I suggested there was a way to use the NCUA 5300 reports to quantify marketing performance. While there are a lot of potential ways to do this, I was looking for the most efficient new business acquisition cost. After all, spending next to nothing and getting exactly that bottom line result is hardly good business. So, here’s what I did. I added together the net annual change in number of share accounts with the net annual change in number of members and the ... Continue Reading

A Gooey Great Point of Sale Idea

Here’s the scenario. It’s late 2013. You’re in a county with 1.9 million people, living in 626,000 households. The county’s median household income is $93,500, which is the highest in the US. At $766,718, median county home values are up 21% from 2012. But with unit sales basically flat, values are growing faster than you’d think they should. A robust job market will do that and in this county, it leads the US in employment. Besides the usual banking suspects, your county is ... Continue Reading

The 5 Months When You Must Sell Consumer Loans

I can hear you over the Internet waves. “What, just five months? I need to sell loans every month.” That may be true, but whatever you do, don’t miss the months of May, July, August, November and December. Why? Because our friends at the Federal Reserve say so, that’s why. The Federal Reserve G.19 historical data clearly shows the consumer loan activity. Below is the net monthly change chart, indexed to total 1.0 for the year, showing how each month contributes to the total year. I ... Continue Reading

Fed Data Shows Credit Unions Leading the Pack

This just in from the Federal Reserve: US credit unions are kicking it. OK, well that’s not the exuberant tone you might wish our safe and sane central bankers would break out now and again. But the data they provide should come with some well-placed exclamation marks. Exhibit #1 is the Fed’s G.19 Consumer Credit report for February 2015. While more than a little clunky (or get our version by clicking here), this multi-time period report shows that credit unions have had higher rates of ... Continue Reading

M is Today’s Scarlet Letter for Credit Unions

The scarlet letter. What a concept. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, The Scarlet Letter, written in 1850 by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is basically an expose on the Puritan ethic. In the book, those convicted of adultery are branded with a red (scarlet) "A" and they are forced to display it in public. What the heck does that have to do with a credit union, you rightfully ask. The concept of the scarlet letter is that you are being branded for doing something very wrong, deemed ... Continue Reading

Will the US Really Break Up the Big Banks?

OK, there a couple of sacrosanct topics you are never supposed to discuss in a business context. You know the drill: religion, politics and sex. Funny, but this stuff is all over the news all the time, so to say they are overexposed topics is a gross understatement. And while I don’t advocate breaking the rule in this business-oriented blog, there is a political drumbeat starting about breaking up the 11 largest banks. And this beat is surprisingly heard from both sides of the political ... Continue Reading

Credit Unions Remain Popular for Mainstream Media

Let’s face it, most of what is the mainstream news can be pretty grim. That’s why everyone loves a feel-good story in the news. And credit unions look to be another one of those populist “everyday person gets a break” story news editors like to slip into their news cycle. The latest one I saw was this morning from The Los Angeles Times, entitled “Many credit unions offer tempting mortgage deals” by Kenneth R. Harney.  This is actually a pickup from an April 19th story published ... Continue Reading