Lending Growth in the Midwest via Cultural Change
A radical culture change in the workplace and a shift in how collection efforts are carried out have helped two credit unions in the Midwest grow their loan portfolios well above the industry’s national average.
For the $1.5 billion Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union in St. Paul, Minn., the collections department became the “solutions department” a few years ago, said Dave Larson, senior vice president.
“Quite frankly, if you worked for a bank, that was a deterrent. We looked to industries like health care, and we got rid of a number of system controls,” Larson said. “We opened up our systems to do what’s right for the member. It became a trust-based culture.”
One of the new initiatives was the implementation of MOE, or member, organization and employee. Aligned closely with the cooperative’s mission, the way it works is if a service or product benefits the member, it trumps the organization and employee, he explained.