Despite gloom and doom headlines, there are sure signs our nation’s economy is improving, says Callahan & Associates’ executive vice president, Jay Johnson.
Economic trends indicate a slow but sustainable recovery in manufacturing, auto sales, and home purchases. Against this background, an analysis of the industry’s first quarter performance shows credit unions are gaining strength in key areas such as net interest margin, expense management, and asset quality.
“Indications are that credit unions reached a turning point as 2010 began, and they are continuing on the road to recovery,” Johnson says in the newest issue of Credit Union Strategy and Performance (CUSP).” Credit unions have managed through the worst of the economic downturn and can now turn their attention to opportunities in the market.”
The first quarter issue of CUSP, Callahan & Associates’ quarterly compendium of credit union industry performance data and commentary, shows how increased earnings, improved asset quality, and share growth among the nation’s credit unions signal economic improvement within the industry. And one particularly successful credit union, Wright-Patt in Ohio – shares tactics and best practices to support a multi-faceted, ongoing branding effort.
In addition to credit union analysis and peer group comparisons, the issue also examines the financial benefit – especially as it relates to non interest income – behind CUSO participation and highlights the role CUSOs have played in advancing the industry. To round out the issue, credit union senior management from around the country – CEO Gary Oakland and SVP Tom Berquist from BECU, CEO Leslie Ellis from CU 1 of Alaska, and SVP D.G. Markwell from MAX CU – share their thoughts on the importance of community outreach for credit unions.
“CUSP brings to surface important issues credit unions are wrestling with, as well as the fruits of their efforts,” Johnson says. “For example, credit unions managed through the Great Recession while posting record increases in shares and lending activities – a testament to the industry’s continued focus on the long-term wellbeing of its 91.5 million members.”