It’s Good To Be A Credit Union

This financial cooperative decided to stake its future on hiring a new leader based on mission, credit union experience or not.

From the benefits of going to the cloud,to lessons in outsourcing,this week, is all about core processing.

Here are six data points you need to know:


Fiserv is the most popular core provider among credit unions with $100M or less in assets, counting 1,289 clients. FedComp, Inc., CompuSystems, Inc., Shartec Systems, Inc., and FIS are the next most popular core providers for credit unions in this assetclass.

To see which providers are most popular among larger credit unions, or which providers serve the largest numbers of credit union members, check out Numbers Matter When It Comes To Evaluating Tech Relationships


This is the number of mergers and data conversions Xceed Financial Credit Union’schief technologist, Mark Coudriet, has undertaken in his six years with the institution. The latest, a transition from an in-house core to service bureau environment, was both familiar and foreign to the credit union.

To learn more about the change and what lessons the credit union learned, check out How To Outsource Credit Union Core Processing


That’s the number of branches that Lutheran Federal Credit Union operates. Chartered in 2014 and officially opened for business in early 2016, the credit union has posted 12-month share and loan growth of 1,068% and 4,302% respectively thanks to anearly 1,800 person membership that primarily transacts online.

Learn more about how the credit union’s embrace of an omnichannel approach has allowed it to operate a nearly branchless environment since its inception in A Leap Of Faith In Branchless Banking


As the result of a 2015 conversion to a cloud-based core, core-related functions at Minnequa Works Credit Union now move 60%-70% faster, including screen response, through cable-based connections averaging 100MB a second downloading and 20MB a secondgoing back up.

To learn how this credit union and three others chased cost savings and operational efficiencies, read How Four Credit Unions Seed Their Future With Cloud Core Processing


That’s the number of people ultimately responsible for the design of core systems, saysRandy Karnes, president and CEO ofCU*Answers,the Michigan-based CUSO and provider of the CU*BASE platform:you, the credit union executive.

See what other core system platform CEO’s are saying about the evolution of the core in The De-Commodization Of The Core Processing Platform


That’s the number of tips Callahan & Associates offers credit unions looking to find the right core provider to meet business model and need.

See the tips in >3 Ways To Identify Core A-Players

Happy Reading!

One of the best things about consulting with credit unions is spending time with volunteer boards who are committed to the idea of being a member-owned cooperative.

And one of the times that are most fraught with temptation for those volunteers to give up the fight is when a longtime leader of that institution moves on and it’s time to find someone who shares that zeal.

Callahan & Associates had that experience recently with a credit union of less than $100 million whose CEO of more than 35 years was retiring. This is the point where many smaller credit unions choose to turn in their charter and merge.

It’s understandable why. It’s hard enough keeping up with the products and services demanded in today’s market, but then there’s the challenge of finding someone to fill that top job hopefully for a long time to come.

Why not take the easy road out, wave the white flag, and call it a day? Thousands of small credit unions have done that over the past several years.

But not this outfit. The outgoing CEO gave two years’ notice, and the board members allowed us to share some ideas for how to move forward. The board also had one idea of its own: find a new CEO with experience leading mission-driven organizations,whether or not that’s a credit union.

In other words, this board decided a commitment to the mission shown by experience successfully leading a not-for-profit for the benefit of the people it serves is more important than the financial services experience itself.

It’s an unusual path, but when you think about it, it makes sense. This particular credit union primarily serves a local school district and a parochial school along with some business SEGs in its hometown, a community of approximately 6,500 people.

This financial cooperative also is a Community Development Financial Institution; it’s 100% mission focused.

The board members recognize this is probably a risky direction to take … But, ultimately, they decided they are a mission-driven organization that delivers on its mission through a credit union charter.

It’s also performing adequately right in line with its asset-based peer group nationally in terms of loan and share growth and ROA and has solid management in place. It offers mobile banking, financial education, and loansand savings accounts and checking options the majority of consumers expect.

Why not stay the course?

The board members recognize this is probably a risky direction to take, compared with finding someone from the financial services business or merging. But, ultimately, they decided they are a mission-driven organization that delivers on its mission througha credit union charter.

We’re glad they decided to keep it.

December 6, 2016

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