Member Focus Makes Corporates Strong
I recently started in my fourth decade in the credit union movement (20 years at natural person credit unions and 13 years at Corporate One FCU). During that time, I've seen my share of regulation changes, legislative mandates and economic cycles.
There have always been those who have predicted that “this or that” will result in the demise of credit unions. Yet, credit unions are still here and still thriving. Sure, we've had tough times, but we've also had great successes. That's the strength of credit unions; we turn adversity into opportunity by the thing we hold dear–keeping the focus on the members.
Aren’t economies of scale required to make it in the new competitive environment?
Strong, disciplined management focused on running an efficient business model beats out bigger any day. Today, being bigger alone does not create economies. It is innovation, the application of technology and staying focused on what you do well that create the greatest economies.
First and foremost, tomorrow's strong corporate will be focused on creating value for their members and providing them with the solutions they need to be successful. They also will be well-capitalized, not adequately capitalized. (How many of your examiners are happy if your credit union is just adequately capitalized?)
A strong capital position allows corporates to use their balance sheet to provide solid returns on their members' excess funds, and most importantly, provide members liquidity and lines of credit, which was the reason corporates were set up in the first place.