Hello, Again

Credit Union Strategy & Performance is in new, but familiar, hands.

Its been a few years since I had a hand in the development of Credit Union Strategy & Performance, and year-end 2015 was a great time to return.

In the third quarter 2012 issue of Strategy & Performance, my last as managing editor, I talked about the Dec. 21, 2012, end of the Mayan calendar and the resulting speculation of our imminent demise. The Mayans might not have predicted the end of the world, but economically speaking, they certainly predicted a fresh start, I wrote then.

And credit unions have certainly made the most of that fresh start. Membership now exceeds 100 million and share balances top $1 trillion. The industry lent more than $1 billion per day on average in 2015 and set records in originations and market share. I could go on, but see for yourself in the Industry Performance section starting on page 13.

As we continue through 2016, keep looking to Callahan for fresh ideas from across the industry.

For those of you who subscribe to the philosophy that you belong to a movement more than an industry, check out our 2015 Annual Report. This years installment includes leader tables that demonstrate not only how credit unions are succeeding in the financial services space such as share draft and auto loan penetration and first mortgage growth but also how they are performing as a cooperative such as CUSO investments and our proprietary Return of the Member scores. (For even more inspiration on how to make a member feel like an owner, check out the Certificate of Ownership example in this quarter’s Diversions). Our 2015 Credit Union Impact Report is a great resource to share with anyone who questions whether credit unions have lost touch with their people-helping-people philosophy, and our forward-looking features shine a light on the challenges, opportunities, and priorities for credit union executives in 2016.

The data youll find throughout this issue is impressive, but where does the industry go from here? Thats a big question for 2016, and weve answered it with 6 Big Ideas, our theme for this quarters Ideas In Action. Youll see these ideas represented throughout this publication as well as on CreditUnions. com and in other Callahan & Associates communications for the coming year. I have my favorites, and Id love to hear yours (reach me at editor@creditunions.com).

As smartphones g row in sophistication, the nearly two-thirds of Americans who have one expect greater utility. This is especially evident in the evolution of mobile banking, but are credit unions up for the challenge? Thats a question we explore in Technology@CU. From onboarding to youth outreach, security features to payment options, youll find great strategies and best practices vetted by peers and ready to inform your own plans for 2016.

Finally, in the vein of fresh starts, I am excited to introduce a new approach to our quarterly Anatomy Of A Credit Union profile. Instead of bringing together a handful of shorter stories about a credit union, were digging deep to explore a single theme across multiple areas of business at an exemplary institution. The end result is a step into longform writing that tells the story you want to hear while preserving the Callahan voice you trust. A big thank you goes to the folks at Langley Federal Credit Union. Their helpfulness and thoroughness allowed us to present the kind of piece that will serve as inspiration for other credit unions building out their own strategies.

As we continue through 2016, keep looking to Callahan for fresh ideas from across the industry as well as performance analysis to help you make better-informed decisions. And dont forget, you can find great content like you read here in Strategy & Performance online at CreditUnions. com.

I look forward to seeing you there. Thank you, and hello again.

April 30, 2016

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