The president/CEO of a large Michigan credit union has some advice on handling allowance for loan loss calculations: "use a 12-month rolling average instead of 36."
It's better to protect against problems later on rather than posting results with some very good months, suggested Stephan Winninger, who heads up the $850 million NuUnion.
He described the plight of his Lansing CU in trying to keep a lid on loan losses and still show growth. Winninger said many of his Michigan peers have relied on the 36 month rule but he said NuUnion has found 12 months more realistic.
The Lansing CEO explained that NuUnion has managed to show 5% loan growth and a small increase in membership to 90,000 despite a rather grim economic environment with 15.4% unemployment.
He said attention to member needs has paid off for NuUnion by sticking to good underwriting standards and distinguishing "between extending a $250,000 RV loan to someone who has been laid off and helping some guy with extra cash to feed the kids."