Consultant: Be Proactive to Increase Noninterest Income
In the current climate of rising delinquencies and tightened regulation, credit unions need to be smarter to find opportunities to improve noninterest income.
At CUNA Mutual Group's first-ever online Discovery Conference today, Financial Support Consultant Bob Larson presented data from the NCUA that showed that credit unions are only recently able to cover operating expenses from net interest margin alone. He attributed a recent dip of 10 basis points in non-interest income not to Reg E, as might be expected, but to reduced real estate loans.
Larson suggests that credit unions form task forces to compare their own non-interest income statistics with national averages, seeking areas with potential for additional revenue and diversifying sources of income.
As for more specific opportunities to generate more non-interest income, Larson mentioned credit protection, GAP coverage and debt protection, but emphasized especially the importance of sales and marketing. Many credit unions were only able to get 60%-80% of their members to opt in after Reg E, he said, but others managed to market it to their advantage and actually make money.
Larson recommends that credit unions be proactive about making changes to noninterest income strategies, and espouses communication, accountability, and tracking as critical to making sure spikes during marketing promotions are more than just temporary.