Discover the power of loyal members

first_imgSixty percent of members say they’re “highly loyal” to their credit union, according to CUNA’s 2015-2016 National Member & Nonmember Survey. That’s equal to the proportion of highly loyal members found in last year’s survey.The persistent strength of members’ loyalty level is good news, considering that today’s members have numerous and ever-expanding choices in the financial services marketplace.Loyal members aren’t just recurrent users of credit union products and services. They’re also ambassadors who bring in new members. And they speak up for the credit union cause on issues on Captiol Hill or in the statehouses (“MAP links loyalty and advocacy,” p. 34).“But what members say is not always a predictor of what members will do,” says Jon Haller, CUNA’s director of corporate and market research. “When members have so many other options, it takes more than loyalty to keep them going back to their credit union again and again. Top-notch, convenient products and services are crucial.” continue reading » 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Bon appetit, credit unions!

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Brian Hague Brian has more than 25 years’ experience in financial institutions and the capital markets, and has devoted 21 years to serving credit unions through various roles at CNBS, LLC, a … Web: www.rochdaleparagon.com Details It’s that time of year again, when many of us pledge to live a healthier lifestyle. In order to do that, we need to plan our meals according to our appetite – not for how much we can eat, but for how much we should eat in order to avoid the consequences of overdoing it.Likewise, to ensure the health of our credit union, we have to not only assess and measure the amount of risk we take, we have to know how much risk we’re willing to take in the first place. In other words, what is our appetite for risk?Risk appetite is the amount of risk we’re willing to accept in pursuit of our strategic objectives. Assessing risk appetite is a critical first step that will guide our enterprise risk management (ERM) and strategic planning efforts at a broad level, and our daily activity at a more narrow level. Our appetite for risk will shape our decisions and actions, align organizational performance, and identify inconsistencies within our decisions and actions.By its nature, risk appetite is strategic, while risk tolerance – the application of our risk appetite to our operations – is tactical. Risk tolerance is generally stated in terms of the metrics we use to measure performance, as either a specific target level or a range of acceptable outcomes. For example, if part of our risk appetite is a general unwillingness to let capital levels fall below targeted levels, even temporarily, we might see a relatively high minimum threshold, or a tight range, for our net worth ratio. The cost of that will probably be some foregone strategic opportunities that would require capital investments, but it’s important to be true to our risk appetite.Figure 1 below illustrates risk appetite within the broader context of the universe of all possible risks, and our capacity for risk, which is a function of our capital and the regulatory landscape. As a credit union, there are some risks we simply can’t take, so our risk capacity is narrower than the risk universe. However, there are some risks that we could take that we might not want to take. That attitude toward risk defines our risk appetite, which will be narrower still than our risk capacity. Note also that by avoiding a certain level of negative outcomes, we give up some level of positive outcomes; such is the nature of the risk/return tradeoff.How do we apply risk appetite in a strategic planning context? First, let’s consider the typical outcome of the planning exercise. We begin with where we are today, and we cast a vision for where we want to be at some point in the future. Then, we need to create a “road map” of how we’re going to get there: our strategic objectives. Risk appetite provides the boundaries of that road. If the things we’d need to do to achieve our objectives would violate our risk appetite, we need to either re-think where we want to be in the future, or come up with a way to get there that won’t fall outside our appetite for risk.Given that risk appetite guides our organizational performance, then, how do we assess it in the first place? We at The Rochdale Group conduct an online survey of management and the board, asking 22 questions across five general areas of a credit union’s operations. Each question assesses the respondent’s willingness to assume risk by doing a certain thing within each of those areas. The response is based on a scale from one to ten, with one representing a strong unwillingness to assume risk, a ten indicating a strong commitment to assume risk, and a five indicating an average willingness to assume risk for each question. The surveys are typically anonymous, but each group (management or board) is identified.Armed with the results, we graph the distribution of responses to each question from each of the two groups – management or board – showing the mean and plus or minus one standard deviation. Then we line up the management and board graphs for each question to identify the degree to which the two groups are aligned in their attitudes toward risk. In some cases, the alignment is very strong, and in others, there is greater variation between management’s and the board’s risk appetite, but common ground can typically be identified as we facilitate a discussion of the results.Finally, we draft a series of risk appetite statements for each of the five areas covered under the survey that describe, in general terms, how much risk the credit union is willing to take in that area, guided by the questions asked. These statements are strategic in focus; think of them as mission statements for risk. Those statements will then drive the metrics we select for each of those areas as risk tolerances, to ensure that we don’t violate our risk appetite.It’s critical to engage the board in this exercise. Using an analogy similar to our strategic “roadmap” discussed earlier, the board’s job is to place the curbs on the track, while management’s job is to run the race. And the value of the exercise is obvious: as executives, we want to know whether our board is highly risk-averse, or more aggressive in their willingness to assume risk. And directors should want to know whether they’re potentially holding the credit union back, or whether management is. Both groups will be interested to see how well aligned they are (or not!). We typically find that the strongest alignment is found in credit unions whose management has already done a thorough job of educating the board regarding risk.A few important considerations are in order. First and foremost, risk is not a bad thing for credit unions. We are in the risk-taking business. By definition, as financial intermediaries, our role is to intermediate risks on behalf of our members that they themselves are unwilling or unable to take. If we don’t do that, we don’t bring value to our members. The key is to know how much risk we’re willing to assume in the pursuit of serving them.Second, it’s important to re-visit risk appetite periodically. We recommend the appetite statements be reviewed annually, preferably at the beginning of each strategic planning session, and that they be validated or revised as appropriate. It isn’t necessary to repeat the survey process more than about every three years.Finally, while the risk appetite may change as market conditions, the regulatory landscape, the composition of the board, or of management undergo changes, we must avoid “appetite creep.” This occurs when we change the risk appetite (usually toward a greater willingness to assume risk) because we’re approaching the limit of the risk tolerance used to ensure we don’t violate that aspect of our risk appetite. For example, we might have a limit on the amount of mortgage risk we’re willing to assume, measured using an upper limit of 600% of capital in first mortgage loans and mortgage-backed securities. If we move that limit to 700% just because the actual ratio hit 590% and we want to keep making mortgage loans, that’s appetite creep.A person trying to eat healthy must first and foremost understand his or her appetite, in terms of what they can eat in order to attain their health goals, vs. what they’d like to eat. Likewise, credit unions must understand their risk appetite before engaging in the risk-taking activities that define their purpose in serving their members. Total risk-aversion is neither possible nor strategically sound for credit unions, but neither is gluttony advisable. As a former colleague once said, “The greedy become the needy.”For more information regarding risk appetite assessment, please contact the author at [email protected] or 913.890.8022.last_img read more

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Van Gaal can spend again in January

first_img Van Gaal was by far the biggest-spending manager in the Premier League this window, splashing out just short of £150million to sign six players. The United manager hopes Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, Angel di Maria, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao will help him achieve the first goal in his three-year plan – Champions League qualification. Louis van Gaal will have money to spend in January if he still believes his Manchester United squad is not up to scratch. But senior figures at the club insist United are not going down the same ‘Galactico’ route as Real Madrid, who regularly spend exorbitant fees on players like they have done recently to sign Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez. The club’s hierarchy are assured by the fact that Van Gaal has already promoted the likes of James Wilson, Jesse Lingard, Reece James, Tyler Blackett and Sam Johnstone to the first-team squad. Van Gaal has also been told by the United board he will have the final say on whether the club takes part in exhibition games this season. The Old Trafford hierarchy were considering organising money-spinning one-off matches across the globe during the season due to the midweek windows created by the club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League. With United already out of the Capital One Cup, yet more gaps are available in the schedule. But it is understood the board are happy for Van Gaal to decide himself whether any exhibition matches should take place. The board anticipate discussing the topic with the manager in the near future. But Press Association Sport understands Van Gaal has already been told there is yet more cash available to him if he feels his squad is still too short on quality come January. United have shown they are prepared to spend big to land their targets this summer and there is a feeling that the same rule applies for January, even though the winter window rarely throws up opportunities for clubs to sign the best players in Europe. Van Gaal has told his scouts to monitor Kevin Strootman as he recovers from a serious knee injury. But a representative of the Roma midfielder, Fabio Parisi, said no bids have been received for the 24-year-old, who Van Gaal knows well from his time with Holland. “There is no kind of interest on Strootman. He is recovering from his injury and will be available soon to contribute to Roma’s cause,” Parisi said. “For the rest, I say that is just talk and there is nothing, it’s all just speculation from England.” Some were shocked by the decision to let Danny Welbeck leave for Arsenal given that he had been at United since he was eight-years-old. Former assistant manager Mike Phelan said United’s “identity has been broken” with Danny Welbeck’s departure to the Emirates Stadium. Press Associationlast_img read more

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