Citing urgency in finding new income sources for member credit unions, a group of four state leagues – California, Texas, Georgia and Ohio – announced Thursday they are organizing a new Dallas-based firm, CU Partner Link, to come up with state-of-the-art products and services.
Details on the exact shape and form of the service/product menu are still in the working stages “but we hope to have something to show in the third quarter,” said Richard Ensweiler, president/CEO of the Texas Credit Union League and chairman of CU Partner Link
One area being looked at for added income is imaging technology, said Ensweiler. The decision to collaborate comes as CUs confront an array of financial challenges “requiring them to come up with sources of revenue and we believe we are in a position to be of help,” he said.
The new company’s board also includes Diana Dykstra, vice chairman and CEO of the California Credit Union League; Michael Mercer, secretary and CEO of the Georgia Credit Union League; his brother, Paul Mercer, treasurer and CEO of the Ohio Credit Union League, and Darren Herrmann, CEO of San Francisco Fire CU, and Paul Trylko, CEO of Amplify FCU in Austin, Texas.
"Credit unions have rarely faced a more challenging operating environment than they do today ... a multi-year economic downturn, stagnant loan demand and an ever-increasing regulatory burden are just a few of the headwinds the industry faces," Ensweiler said.
“With most credit unions having spent significant energy over the last few years on finding ways to reduce operating expenses, CU Partner Link believes the best prospects to improve financial performance will be realized from helping credit unions to focus on growing top-line revenue,” the new firm’s announcement said.
To that end, CU Partner Link “will identify and deliver innovative financial products, focused on growing revenue and enhancing business development efforts, to credit unions across the United States,” continued the statement.
Eric Jenkins, senior vice president and head of CU growth services at the Georgia League, has been recruited to run the operation out of a Dallas site, Ensweiler said.