“The Big Short” Is Required Watching For Credit Union Leaders, Or Should Be

Why the Oscar-nominated Great Recession-era flick strikes a chord, especially for those in financial services.

Last week, CreditUnions.com ran down some of the year’ best articles in lending, HR, compliance, and mobile. This week, the hits keep coming as Erik Payne and Marc Rapport recap reader and staffer favorites in Gen Y, auto lending, vendor management, and deposits.

Young Adults

Credit unions want millennials because aging down is a long-term survival strategy. But millennials, easily the most scrutinized generation ever to mature, are influencing widespread change throughout the credit union industry, from university partnerships and marketing segmentation to a quicker adoption of technology. The credit union average member age remains in the mid to upper 40s and this generation is maturing quickly. If there’s ever a time to develop relationships with this generation it’s now. In How To Grow Younger, writer Erik Payne recaps nine strategies that will help credit unions do just that. Read more.

Auto Lending

The credit union auto loan portfolio is booming. At third quarter, U.S. credit unions as a whole posted 15.29% year-over-year auto loan growth, a rate actually down four basis points from the same period one year ago but still quite robust. Auto loan penetration is increasing as well, at 18.27% as of third quarter, compared to 17.33% a year ago. It’s a fruitful time to make auto loans. Credit unions looking for inspiration will definitely want to check out these 10 auto lending strategies that worked in 2015 and should again in the year ahead. Read more.

Vendor Management

How credit unions select and manage third-party vendors has been a hot topic growing hotter as the need to quickly add products and services while controlling costs and risk increases the demand for those outside specialists. Regulator scrutiny of those relationships is also growing, especially in the area of information security. That includes the NCUA, which is continuing its drive to win congressional permission to directly examine vendors themselves.

Credit unions have been taking a variety of approaches to the vendor management challenge, including using in-house specialists, consultants, and CUSOs. This week, senior writer Marc Rapport takes a look at seven innovative approaches underway in the past year. Read more.


The new year is nearly upon us, and as the first quarter comes into view, so does the expectation of deposit growth, the annual influx of funds needed to buttress loan growth and the critical income it produces, even in this decade-plus stretch of narrow loan margins.

As Callahan Associates co-founder Chip Filson notes, Most of the share growth for credit unions occurs in the first quarter of each year. And, he adds, With one minor exception, the first quarter of each year is the only quarter from 2012 through 2014 when shares grew faster than loans.

Total shares in the credit union system, meanwhile, crossed the trillion dollar mark for the first time in the third quarter, as noted in our latest Trendwatch, with share growth even surpassing member growth. Regardless of size, everyone needs deposits, and ways to attract them are myriad. How to attract deposits, in fact is a popular subject at CreditUnions.com. Check out these five articles that offer an in-depth looks at how different credit unions took different approaches to deposit growth in 2015. Read more.

Happy Reading. And, of course, Happy New Year.

January 21, 2016

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