Need For Innovation Is Stressed

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Credit union bottom lines should improve over the next 18 months as rates steadily rise, according to CUNA. But the trade group's Center for Research & Advice is cautioning that healthier performance will not be had if credit unions don't continue to be innovating in lending. CUNA is forecasting loan growth increases of 12% for 2004 and 10% for 2005. At the same time, investable funds will shrink, CUNA said, as it is forecasting deposit increases of 6% and 7% for 2004 and 2005, respectively. Credit unions will need to find innovative lending strategies to attract borrowers, says an updated economic forecast from CUNA.

These and other observations for the economy and credit union outlook; anticipated use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs); the credit union advantage; and matriculas and regulatory relief are all covered in the first periodic update to CUNA's 2004-2005 Credit Union Environmental Scan (E-Scan), recently e-mailed to credit union and other E-Scan purchasers.

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