Recently, I had the privilege of attending the 2012 CUNA Lending Council Conference in Miami, FL, and represented both Piedmont Advantage Credit Union (Winston Salem-based CU) and young CU professionals from NC. I say it was a privilege because where else can you network among top lending CU peers nationwide in mid-70 degree weather all week and not care about coming back to NC with a tan! I think the conference planners strategically placed us in conference rooms without windows so we would remain engaged and not daydream about the crashing waves and palm trees outside our hotel in beautiful South Beach.
Speaking of Crashers, it was refreshing to see a great representation of YP’s at the conference led by Sean Flynn (Tampa-based, GTE Financial) and Mike London (Atlanta-based, Delta Community CU) who are members of the Cooperative Trust, which is a grassroots group of young CU professionals that started from their efforts with Crash the GAC a couple of years ago.
Sharing among peers is invaluable, but in addition to networking there was an all-star lineup of keynote speakers and presenters giving high-level relevant information impacting our industry and highlighting the conference theme of Innovate, Collaborate & Grow. If I had to sum up everything I learned from the conference, my top 10 highlights and musings would be:
10. In your mobile banking and social media strategies, do not assume only younger members use these channels. Brett King, author of Bank 2.0, says “70% of Gen Y will be mobile banking first by 2015; half of all customers will be by 2016.”
9. CU’s not offering private student lending is losing opportunities to forge a 10- to 15-year relationship with young members and their parents.
8. 47 is average age of a CU member. Business will fail without acquiring the next generation of consumers in next five years. How do we overcome this as an industry and as an individual CU?
7. What happens in an Internet minute? 100k tweets, 1.3M video views & 6M Facebook inquiries. Do you think your CU needs a social media strategy?
6. “Banking is no longer a place you go; it’s just something you do” says Brett King. There is a major shift from physical product bought in a physical store to digital product bought in a digital store. Did you buy your iPhone app in a store?
5. 2013 is the year of Mortgage Compliance with more than 3,500 pages of regulations comprised of seven major proposals heading our way. Bill Klewin, CMG’s Compliance Leader, says you must “Build, Borrow or Buy compliance staff to survive upcoming regulatory changes.”
4. “The U.S. Economy is heading in the right direction, just at the wrong speed” says CUNA Economist, Mike Schenk. Consumer confidence is up and that’s good news for loans. How can we jumpstart it?
3. Make sure your CU’s lending strategy includes ways to minimize friction (hassle factors) to make member experience easier and in real time.
2. Find ways to get members to say “yes”. Brett Christensen, Owner CU Lending Advice, discusses how CU’s were formed to serve the under-served. These are the members with the greatest need and have the fewest options.
1. Regardless of your field of expertise, there is a CUNA Council for you to join and actively participate in to ensure the future success of our industry.