Operations, Sales & Service All Will Be Hindered By Interchange

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VACAVILLE, Calif. — The "Sand States" continue to lag behind the rest of the United States, meaning the credit unions in those markets will be more impacted by loss of income due to regulations than others.

Steve Langley, who serves as secretary/treasurer of the CUNA OpSS Council [Operations, Sales and Service] and who is also VP of sales, service and training for Travis Credit Union, joined others in this issue of Credit Union Journal in noting that "interchange income will be impacted by Reg E, so credit unions will be looking for alternative sources of income. The economy is still weak, especially on the West Coast. I interact with folks around the country through the Councils, and some areas never really had a slowdown. But in Arizona, Nevada, California and Florida, there is a regional recession that has affected credit unions and their members."

Revenue losses, delinquencies and mergers have been a noticeable problem in California and Nevada, Langley continued.

While Travis CU was able to post a profitable year, the bottom line was "nowhere near" what it was three or four years ago, he said.

Is there any good news to share? "I'm no economist, but it seems as if things are turning around," he assessed. "We all understand it is not over; there might be more regulations that impact the way we do business, so we should expect the unexpected. 2011 will be an interesting year for credit unions, especially depending on where in the country the credit union is and how it is doing."

To help credit unions comply with the many new regulations, Langley said the CUNA OpSS Council provides white papers, virtual roundtables and podcasts throughout the year for its members on such topics as enhancing revenue streams.

"We think we are helping empower our members to deal with the situations they are facing," he related. "In 2010 we offered white papers on credit card pricing strategy, how to prevent members from being scammed and how to keep members from scamming the credit union, and implementing business services. Virtual roundtables covered loss of income from regulatory changes, membership recruiting and onboarding."

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