Don't Plan For A Loan Boost

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SAN ANTONIO-SWBC's strategic planning advice to credit unions: You can't put too many eggs in the lending basket to drive ROA next year.

SWBC is warning credit unions that while lending needs to be a focus, CUs have to concede they will have to look to other products, as well, to drive needed revenue. "SWBC is not really seeing any real turnaround in terms of lending portfolio growth for credit unions," said Mark Hein, CEO of SWBC's financial institutions group. "You have pockets and certain credit unions doing well, but as a whole the market is underperforming and not growing as it needs to. From a strategic-planning perspective I would be really cautious about being optimistic with lending in 2012."

What will make it another tough lending year is that the mortgage market has "a ton of players" starting back into the mortgage business, plus demand for new car sales will not be back and competition for the business that is there will be great, stated Hein. "You have all the captives wanting to play and the big banks with deep pockets that are buying deep and cheap. That's going to make it more difficult for credit unions to compete and to make their margins."

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