GTE FCU Embraces Simplicity for Growth
GTE Federal Credit Union, a $1.5 billion, Tampa, Fla.-based credit union, likes to keep things simple in its quest to grow loan activity, assets and net worth ratio, said Vice President of Member Consumer Lending Tina Narron.
“At GTE FCU, we have three priorities: get members, get loans and get lean,” Narron said. “If we’re successful in all those areas, everything else will fall into place.”
Since February 2011, GTE FCU has seen an asset size increase of $40 million and a net worth ratio change from 7.11% to 7.2%. In the second half of 2011, the credit union grew its average number of loans funded by 83%.
GTE FCU’s loan activity growth was in part due to its April 2011 implementation of a new consumer loan origination platform from the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based MeridianLink, Narron said. After speaking to other CUs about their origination platforms and learning that several employees had used MeridianLink’s platform, the credit union chose to make the adoption.
The MeridianLink platform is integrated to GTE FCU’s core processing system, powered by Open Solutions Inc., and allows members and nonmembers to apply online for auto loans, credit cards, and secured and unsecured personal loans. It’s also designed to cross-promote additional products to nonmember borrowers during the application process.
“When someone applies for membership, the system is set up to read and integrate live credit data, which can be used to qualify and offer additional financial products–all automatically,” said Edward Guerin, vice president of credit union development for MeridianLink.
While the new platform’s automated workflow management capabilities and ease of use helped build GTE FCU’s lending business, the credit union also spurred loan activity growth through staff training and marketing initiatives, Narron said.
“During the recession, we pulled back, and as we got healthier, we realized there were gaps in our lending business,” Narron said. “We had to change the mindset of our staff to get back into lending. We did a lot of staff training, and our marketing department really helped us out by letting members know we were back in business to lend.”
Working toward its goal to build membership in 2011, Narron said the credit union’s branch staff actively promoted new membership in their communities. GTE FCU also implemented a “Member Advantage” program, which rewards members utilizing multiple financial products with lowered rates, waived fees and other perks.
To improve operational efficiency and get lean, the credit union evaluated its business processes and made a number of changes, such as cutting expenses and automating tasks that were once done manually, Narron said.