The pursuit of quality loans in the midst of tight margins and a stepped-up merger scene presents a challenging environment for both West Coast credit unions and community banks, according to Oregon CEO Ron Barrick, who holds a leadership role on a key Federal Reserve regional panel.
Barrick, president/CEO of the $904 million Advantis CU of Milwaukie, said he’s found some comfort in knowing that financial institutions of all stripes are finding a tough climate in generating good loan volume.
And as for the spate of recent merger activity in his region, Barrick said, “Yes, there could be more of it down the road.”
Current deals include the planned $1 billion combination of Harborstone CU of Tacoma/Lakewood, Wash., and Prevail of Seattle and the takeover of Montana First CU by Horizon CU of Spokane Valley, Wash., to form a $510 million CU.
Barrick made his comments as the Fed panel he serves as vice chair – the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco –
prepares for its fall meeting Sept. 25.
The district bank Fed panel, with a heavy preponderance of community bank CEOs as directors, deals primarily and mostly privately with economic and payments issues in the Fed’s vast West Coast district, which also includes Alaska and Hawaii.
Barrick said he feels privileged to serve on the San Francisco Fed panel and has found it particularly useful in guiding policy and gauging how to deal with internal marketing, management and payment issues as he rubs shoulders with CEOs from major regional banks from Idaho to Arizona.
“I’ve found serving on the CDIAC a great opportunity to share ideas and compare notes,” Barrick said.
Also serving on the San Francisco Fed’s CDIAC is Darin Moody, president/CEO of the $246 million Utah First FCU of Salt Lake City.