December 30, 2016 12:17 PM
Looking Back to Move Ahead
As we prepare to close the books on another momentous year for credit unions, CU Journal revisits some of the years biggest and most interesting stories to look at the lessons they might hold for 2017.
Without a doubt the years biggest story, the rise of Donald Trump from unlikely presidential longshot to President-elect has major implications on credit unions. From reg reform to cabinet picks, economic policy, the make-up of the NCUA Board and more, the Donald is set to be one of the biggest factors facing CUs in 2017.
As the movement to establish a nationwide $15 minimum wage gains steam, many credit unions across the country are already raising their entry-level wages well above state and federal minimums. But questions remain about whether or not smaller, less profitable institutions will be able to do the same, or if better wages will be just one more perk large CUs can offer that their smaller counterparts cannot.
Crowdfunding, CU Style
With crowdfunding gaining popularity as a way to fund a variety of causes everything from helping pay for cancer treatments to making a potato salad credit unions have found a way to capitalize on the trend in a way that benefits members and the communities CUs serve. One Vermont credit union took the opportunity in 2016 to partner with a crowdfunding resource and helped members raise capital for five local businesses, to the tune of more than $70,000 total. And the credit unions CEO says this is just the beginning.
Even as some expect the debate over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's proposed rule aimed at curbing predatory payday lending to heat up, one possible credit union-based solution is picking up steam.
2016 was a good year for credit unions, continuing a run that has lasted for several consecutive years. But just how long can the industry's hot streak last? CU Journal asked a variety of experts to weigh in on whether credit unions will be able to continue building on this success or if there are serious headwinds coming in 2017.
Membership Has Its Privileges
This summer, BECU reduced its minimum required balance required for membership from $5 to $0 as a means of attracting new members. To say the move was successful would be an understatement, according to the Tukwila, Wash.-based credit union.
Bubble? What Bubble?
This year was another record-breaking year for auto lending, following on the heels of 2015s record breakers. Rising numbers of delinquencies, however, has created a belief that a bubble may be about to burst particularly among borrowers with less-than-perfect credit. But CU analysts arent buying it.