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Our weekly blog addresses issues and topics of interest for Montana credit union board members. 

We've Come A Long Way, Baby

by Donya Parrish, MCUN

The phrase "We've Come a Long Way, Baby" might conjure up varying images for each of us; but today, I am referring to the strength of the credit union industry in Montana. Just five years ago, the economic downturn was hitting our state hard and many credit unions were feeling the pinch of low rates and cautious consumer behavior. In fact, looking back at the July 1, 2011, President’s Report archive shows that NCUA was working on a program for voluntary prepayment of the corporate assessment. Ouch. We sure are glad those days are in the rearview mirror!

Fast forward to mid-2016 and a recent report on the Montana credit union economy. The numbers are interesting, especially when compared to mid-2011. Take a look:

Number of Credit Unions    52    57
Avg Assets per Credit Union     $89.5 mil    $74.8 mil
Loan Growth    6.8%    -2.7%
Loss Provisions    16    57
Operating Expenses    294    309
Net Income (ROA)    62    28
Net Worth/Assets    11.3    10.4
Delinquencies (60+ day $)/loans (%)    0.55    3.24
Net Chargeoffs/Average Loans (%)    0.25     0.70 
Bankruptcies per Credit Union    5.8    8.6

In the words of the great Yogi Berra, “You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there.” While I know many of you have plans and know exactly what the future of your credit union holds, you also need to contend with the uncertainty of elections, technology, young people’s perception of traditional financial institutions, and more. 

My perception is that the mood is very positive across our state, and credit unions are back to concentrating on what they do best -- serving their members! Thanks for all your commitment to improving the financial lives of so many Montanans. I can’t wait to look back at 2016 and see how far you’ve come!

Donya Parrish is the VP-Risk Management for the Montana Credit Union Network. She would welcome any questions or comments on this material. You can email or call her (406-324-7374).


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