Pay rising fastest for credit union CEOs, chief lending officers

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Credit union CEOs saw total compensation rise by more than 7% in the last year, according to the 2020 Executive Compensation Survey from the Credit Union Executives Society.

The study breaks down increases in base salary, base plus bonuses and total compensation for a variety of senior-level positions. At the top of the ladder, CEOs saw base salaries rise by 6.4%, CUES reported, the only position to see raises crack the 6% mark. Once bonuses are accounted for, chief executives saw a 7.1% increase in pay, and total compensation rose by an average of 7.4%.

As in previous years, the top factors contributing to bonus pay for CEOs were earnings, board evaluations, and loan and membership growth.

The report also outlined median CEO compensation across the industry, broken down by asset size. Across all asset classes the average total compensation — including base pay and bonuses — was more than $329,000, but the credit unions with assets of $99 million and below saw a median of less than half of that, at $144,700. More than 3,500 institutions fall into that asset category, according to first-quarter data from the National Credit Union Administration, about two-thirds of the total industry.

CUs with assets from $100 million to $500 million reported total median compensation of $239,100, while that figure rose to $436,300 for those from $500 million to $999 million. However, median compensation of base plus bonuses was markedly higher for those above $500 million — a difference of $20,000 from one asset class to the next — reflecting greater opportunities for bonus pay at larger institutions.

Credit unions with assets of $1 billion or more reported median total compensation of more than $709,328, a 62% increase over those in the preceding asset class.

Pay continues to rise at lower levels of the organization. Positions below chief executive saw base pay increase between 5.2% and 5.9%, depending on the role, and total compensation maxed out at 6.3% for those employees.

CUES queried credit union leaders between January and June, with this year’s deadline extended in order to allow for changes that took place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The data only includes executives at natural-person credit unions and does not take into account corporate credit unions or credit union service organizations.

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Compensation Industry salaries Bonuses and incentives Credit unions
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