The Importance Of Finance In Financial Services

This week, offers practices, lessons, and educational resources for the men and women charged with managing the financial risks of their credit unions — the CFOs.

Credit union chief financial officers have complex, highly demanding jobs. In addition to managing their own daily tasks and the credit union’s performance they often must educate C-suite executives and other employees who do not have the level of financial acumen required of a CFO. That’s why this week, has dedicated itself to making their lives easier if only for one week.

CFOs that are tasked with showing credit union staff members how to analyze and interpret various financial benchmarks and metrics should check out 4 Ratios All Staff Members Should Know. The featured benchmarks are ones that CFOs use daily. Combined with easy-to-understand outlines and descriptions, this week’s Graphic Of The Week makes a great primer for nonfinancial employees.

During the recession, when lending margins got squeezed and net income became hard to come by, many credit unions that sold their credit card portfolios in the mid-2000s started looking for ways to re-enter the market. That gave Suncoast Credit Union’s vice president of card services Jon Rasmussen the idea to launch a credit card loan participation model. For a fee, the Florida-based credit union does the heavy lifting and the participating cooperatives share profits and risk. This week, Suncoast shares the benefits and drawbacks of its unusual cards plan with

Across the county, Seattle-based BECU is learning firsthand how to work under the oversight of both the NCUA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The $13 billion institution has more than 1,200 employees, 40 branches, and 886,000 members. It is a complex organization in every regard.

The brunt of managing the balance sheet responsibilities as well as the institution’s accounting, planning, corporate insurance, fraud department, records, and much more lies with Kathy Elser, the credit union’s senior vice president of finance and administration, corporate treasurer, and CFO. This week, Elser talks about market positioning, innovation, and member service, and how to work with examiners. Read all about it in A CFO’s Lessons From $10 Billion And Beyond.

Credit unions can learn from one another when it comes to preventing internal fraud. Affected credit unions can pass along lessons in security practices and procedures as well as vendor management, says Wayne Hood, senior vice president and chief legal officer at ORNL Federal Credit Union. To balance risk and responsibility in its own vendor dealings, ORNL has designed a hybrid solution that centralizes all 212 contracts from core processing to janitorial services within its legal department after individual departments sign off of them. Learn how this Tennessee credit union does that in A Hybrid Approach To Vendor Management.

Finally, building a leadership team that is good with people, numbers, and technology is an admirable goal for any institution. But that’s exactly the kind of team Frank Carter has strived to shape since taking the helm at Member One Federal Credit Union in 2008. The philosophy of the Virginia cooperative is one of strategic action. Carter and his team seize every opportunity to ensure the credit union remains a thriving institution today while laying the groundwork to achieve ambitious goals for tomorrow. Understanding the inner workings of this organization requires taking a close look at its people, its balance sheet, and its operational strategies. That’s what does this week in A Lesson In Strategic Aggression.

Happy Reading.

February 23, 2015

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