Which Picture Will CUs Paint?

People flock to the safety during times of volatility.

March 20, 2012
KEYWORDS business , credit , market , matz , unions
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +

The economy is recovering and the worst appears to be behind us, but the world is still unsettled, NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz told conference attendees Monday.

“In times like these, people flock to institutions they trust—institutions that will be there for them through changing times,” she added.

Matz asked attendees to envision the year 2034—the centennial of the first federally chartered credit unions. What will the credit union industry look like?

Matz says it could be one of two pictures:

1. A credit union industry struggling to hold onto a shrinking share in a growing marketplace.

She compared this scenario with that of the Beta VCR. Beta may have been the best alternative to the VHS cassette, but it never became dominant in the market. Eventually both options became obsolete.

In this scenario, members pass their prime borrowing years and the next generation finds new ways to conduct financial business. Millions of young borrowers never see, or hear about, credit unions, and they shop for loans through online portals.

The credit union market share erodes, as does the number of credit unions.

2. A picture of credit union growth and strength: Americans agree that credit unions offer better products, better services. Young members believe credit unions provide efficient technological offerings.

The credit union industry embraces safe and sound business practices and smart, sensible, up-to-date business regulations.

Losses to the share insurance fund remain low and dividend growth increases, leading to satisfied members. As a result, membership grows well past one million, and assets exceed $1 trillion.

Matz encouraged credit unions to:

Conduct basic due diligence. Make sure the loan originator’s underwriting is consistent with your own. Validate third parties with whom you do business.

Make sure board members have the background, up-to-date training, and support they need to fulfill their duties.

Undertake serious strategic planning to help assess where you want your credit union to be in five or 10 years and what it will take to get there.

Adopt new technologies such as mobile banking and online bill payment, online loan application and approval, 24/7 service, and smartphone transactions.

Will your credit union be capable of serving the younger generation and future younger generations? Matz asked.

“Some things make our heads hurt to think about, but they are the very things we need to embrace.”

Post a comment to this story


What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Your Say: Who should be Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive