VIEW FROM THE CROW’S NEST: Don’t Throw the Small Fish Back in the Ocean!



Is your credit union casting back the little minnows, thinking they are too much of a lending opportunity challenge? It might be time to rethink your big fish mentality. Find out why the best may be yet to come when it comes to the CU ocean’s smallest sea life.

The remarkable growth in the average-size loan being pulled into the credit union portfolio these past several years is not just a “fish tale.” Both the total number and volume of larger loans (typically mortgage and MBLs) are swelling the nets of lenders. This has been an exciting season of the big fish all but jumping out of the water into the boat, keeping institutions so very busy with managing that challenge.
With margin compression and so many other challenges to profitability, does the modern-day helmsman dare to also cast a net into the flickering schools of little minnows? Is it time for your institution to reconsider the potential of those borrowers who come to a branch needing assistance with loan processes and general banking support? Or is it time for some members to “simply walk the plank”? The smaller fish in the sea often are cast back into the ocean by lenders who find it tedious to build up and work these smaller and often more challenging loan applications. Meanwhile, they are allowed to continue diving into the bountiful ocean of opportunity. Joe Hearn, President and CEO of the very successful Dupaco Credit Union, truly believes the very best is yet to come for those financial institutions that do not forget the value of the “little fish.”
Joe shares his fresh view from the Crow’s Nest after taking on the top post at Dupaco following many years of service there and as a national leader in the industry.
“From the Dupaco perspective, the most effective way to build strong and profitable loan portfolios is through deep
member relationships. Our vision is to be our members’ lifetime financial home, and as such, we seek to be the primary source for their saving and borrowing needs. In order to do this, we must first have a full range of lending products that meet the needs of our members. This involves risk-based pricing on our personal credit card and home equity products so that we can accommodate members of all credit scores. It also involves strong mortgage lending.

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