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L-R: Rick Schmidt, CEO of WestStar CU; Richard Holloway, CEO of Alta Vista CU; and Ray Shams, Chief Lending Officer for Xceed Financial FCU

LENDING'S NEW AGE: BEYOND THE SCORE
updated 01/28/14 09:05 AM
A 'Huge Potential' for CUs
“It’s a vastly different world out there,” said Rick Schmidt, CEO of WestStar CU. “We have to look beyond our members’ past and focus on where they’re going in the future.”

Hailing from Las Vegas, where the bulk of his members are gaming employees, Schmidt’s perspective illustrates a phenomenon gaining speed across Nevada, California, and the nation. Tarnished by the Great Recession, many borrowers are still too risky to lend money to, or too young to show established credit.

That’s on paper. The reality is, several of these individuals are just as creditworthy as their peers with higher or established credit scores, for various reasons. Credit unions have an opportunity to fill this gap, a fact that many CEOs and lending executives are starting to realize.

“About 70 percent of people who apply for loans at our credit union have a credit score under 650,” Schmidt said. “Does this mean they’re not worthy of borrowing from us, or they’re bad people? We can’t completely use the past to judge their future because the past is so, so skewed.”

Research points to the same conclusion. A migration toward “holistic underwriting” by some credit unions and banks is stirring in the ranks, according to a white paper released in August by the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Lending Council. Folks who had good credit are now seemingly subpar due to financial setbacks during or after the recession—usually the loss of a job, home foreclosure, or sometimes both. They are “still willing to pay their debts,” the council’s research states. “There is room for loosening some underwriting standards while still being prudent lenders.”

A commentary published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in November 2010 reminds lenders that consumers’ credit scores aren’t “totally within the individual’s control.” The odds of someone repaying a loan aren’t completely dependent on his or her score, but rather “their translation into the level of riskiness they represent at the current time.”

Further research issued by the Applied Research Institute—a consortium of credit unions in California, Nevada, and other western states—validated this point in a September 2010 analysis, entitled New Consumer. “Standards need to be adjusted,” it states. “If not, credit unions are likely to unnecessarily over-tighten and damage the service they provide their members, and lose out on potential loan opportunities.”

This forward-looking approach of seeing consumers in a new light goes even deeper. Technological improvements to underwriting and so-called “behavior profiling” and “big data mining” are vetting the right opportunities for lending at some financial institutions, said Karan Bhalla, managing director of IQR Consulting, a firm serving both credit unions and banks.

“Behaviors tell a lot,” Bhalla said. “They tend to be very strong indicators of loan performance.”

Studying payment behaviors and decision habits isn’t new. But in this day and age, larger amounts of information and analysis on credit union members and bank customers is helping anticipate the exact moment they’ll need a loan or credit, along with their chances of default. Banks, especially the large ones, are ahead of the curve on this trend.

However, even the smallest of credit unions have enough data to start crunching numbers and charting possibilities.

“In many cases, you can still lend to someone even if they don’t have a good FICO score,” Bhalla said. “There is huge potential for credit unions of all sizes, a few of which are at the beginning stages of this. For many, it will be a leap of faith.”

Click here to read the full perspectives of WestStar CU CEO Rick Schmidt, Alta Vista CU CEO Richard Holloway, and Xceed Financial FCU Chief Lending Officer Ray Shams within the latest News and Views column on Pages 6-7 in the February/March edition of Credit Union Digest!

 
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CA ASSEMBLY BANKING CHAIR SPEAKS updated 02/08/16 09:50 AM
So. Cal Leaders Meet with Dababneh
As reported in the California and Nevada Credit Union League's Advocacy Blog, Southern California credit union leaders met with Assemblymember Matt Dababneh (D-Encino) last Friday at Wescom Credit Union.

THINK 16 CONFERENCE SPEAKERS updated 02/04/16 09:19 AM
May 3-6 in San Diego
CO-OP Financial Services has announced eight featured speakers for THINK 16, focusing on leading social, consumer and technology trends to help credit unions re-envision what “People Helping People” means in 2016 and beyond.

FIELD OF MEMBERSHIP (FOM) RULE updated 02/04/16 09:12 AM
More Congressional Action
As reported yesterday in the California and Nevada Credit Union League's Advocacy Blog, Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Chico) has sent the attached support letter to the NCUA for their Field of Membership rule.

ONLY 7 DAYS TO COMMENT ON PROPOSAL updated 02/02/16 07:04 AM
NCUA's Field-of-Membership Rule
The countdown is on as the Feb. 8 (Monday) deadline approaches for federal and state chartered credit union leaders to submit comments supporting the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) Field-of-Membership (FOM) proposal.

CEOs SOUND OFF ON NCUA'S PROPOSAL updated 02/01/16 03:36 PM
Urge Peers to Comment on FOM
California credit union CEOs are sounding off as the deadline approaches (Feb. 8) to comment on the National Credit Union Administration’s Field-of-Membership (FOM) proposal—one that will update rules to reflect marketplace changes and give the industry a broader menu of flexible options for remaining competitive.

UNCLAIMED PROPERTY AND 'PACE' REFORM updated 02/01/16 01:47 PM
Rounding Out CA Legislative Goals
Threats to credit unions are already being spotted on the horizon by the California Credit Union League’s advocacy team as the state legislature’s Feb. 19 deadline to introduce new legislation looms.

ANNUAL PRIVACY NOTICES updated 01/29/16 11:47 AM
Federal-No; State-Maybe
As reported in the League's Advocacy Blog, after the release of the NCUA Letter to Credit Unions, #16-CU-03, about privacy notices, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues took action to clarify applicability to state laws. The NCUA letter addressed the recent federal law change on annual privacy notices related to Gramm-Leach-Bliley that states that when a financial institution meets certain statutory requirements, it no longer must send annual privacy notices.

CU LEADERS MEET WITH LEGISLATOR updated 01/29/16 05:09 PM
Asm. Kim Tours Credit Union
As reported earlier today in the California and Nevada Credit Union League's Advocacy Blog, Southern California credit union leaders met with Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton).

CU LEADERS MEET WITH ASSEMBLY MEMBER updated 01/28/16 01:47 PM
Portantino Running for Senate
As recently reported in the Leagues Advocacy Blog, credit union leaders met with former member of the Assembly, Anthony Portantino, who served from 2006 until being termed out in 2012. Prior to his time in office, he spent many years working in film and television production and is currently is a Visiting Fellow teaching Values Based Political Leadership at USC.

COMMENTS NEEDED: NCUA'S FOM PROPOSAL updated 01/26/16 10:06 AM
Deadline is February 8
With less than two weeks until the comment deadline of Feb. 8, it is crucial the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) hear from credit unions in support of the proposed chartering and field-of-membership (FOM) amendments.

LEAGUE'S 2016 CA LEGISLATIVE AGENDA updated 01/26/16 09:10 AM
Charter Modernization, CUSOs, LICU
The final year of the two-year state legislative session (2015-2016) in California is here, and the California Credit Union League’s advocacy team is primed to roll out a robust legislative package.

ANAHEIM DUCKS HONOR RICHARD JOHNSON updated 01/21/16 03:09 PM
Recognized For Military Career
Before Richard Myles Johnson was a credit union industry icon, he was a Marine. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1941. He ended his military career as a colonel in 1972. Along the way, he amassed a vast number of ranks, honors, and awards, including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

FINANCIAL OPPORTUNITY: TWO TALES updated 01/19/16 10:40 AM
CUs Can Take Pulse of Econ. Mobility
As financial “opportunity” for low and middle-income Americans is debated leading up to a national election this November, many within the credit union industry can take a pulse of their members’ financial health and how economic changes are shaping that opportunity.

ROYCE HELPS FORM COOPERATIVE CAUCUS updated 01/19/16 07:18 AM
Business CO-OP: Focus on Legislation
Last week Rep. Ed Royce, R-CA (Brea), joined Rep. Mark Pocan, D-WI, to found the Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus. With Royce’s dedication and expertise in credit unions, it comes as no surprise he is chairing a new caucus to focus on legislation that impacts cooperative businesses.

FIELD OF MEMBERSHIP RULE updated 01/13/16 10:53 AM
CA Congressman Gives Support
California Congressman Ted Lieu (D-El Segundo) has just sent the NCUA a support letter in favor of their Field of Membership Rule. In his letter, Rep. Lieu endorses for several of the provisions in the rule (letter linked below).The League has been working with our congressional delegation to ensure there is overwhelming support for this rule.

RMJ TO BE HONORED AT HOCKEY GAME updated 01/13/16 01:59 PM
Recognized as Armed Services Vet
Richard Myles Johnson— who joined the credit union movement after finishing a 30-year career in the United States Marine Corps, where he retired as a colonel—is scheduled to be recognized as the honored armed services veteran by the Anaheim Ducks hockey team at its home game Wednesday, Jan. 20.

FHLB MEMBERSHIP updated 01/12/16 12:51 PM
Final Rule Issued
Today the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued their final rule on Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) membership. After receiving over 1,300 comment letters—an unprecedented amount, with most in opposition—the FHFA’s final rule does not include two provisions for which the Leagues strongly opposed. That is, the final rule does not require financial institutions to hold one percent of their assets in home mortgage loans and 10% of assets in residential mortgage loans (RML) on an ongoing basis.

TARGET SETTLEMENT DETAILS updated 01/12/16 10:34 AM
Available on New Website
Credit unions have begun receiving email and paper mail directing them to a dedicated website that offers information on the Target data breach litigation, including settlement terms, important dates, frequently asked questions, information on filing a claim, directions for opting out, court and settlement documents, and contact information.

CO-OP CEO STAN HOLLEN TO RETIRE updated 01/12/16 09:39 AM
More Than 10 Years at CUSO
In a landmark moment for the nation’s largest credit union service organization, CO-OP Financial Services (based in Rancho Cucamonga, CA) announced this morning that President and CEO Stan Hollen will retire on May 31, 2016.

MATZ TO MEET CA-NV LEADERS AT 'GAC' updated 01/12/16 08:05 AM
Plus, Upcoming Regulatory Webinar
California and Nevada credit union leaders will have the opportunity to engage with National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Chairman Debbie Matz during an exclusive meeting arranged by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues at the upcoming 2016 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).

CA CONGRESSMAN PREPARES TAX REFORM updated 01/11/16 02:59 PM
Credit Union Tax Status Honored
As first reported on the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Advocacy Blog last week, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-CA (Tulare), has been drafting a comprehensive tax reform package which will honor the credit union tax status.

CUs4KIDS 20 YEAR CMN PARTNERSHIP updated 01/08/16 01:40 PM
Raised $150M in Donations
This year, Credit Unions for Kids celebrates 20 years of fundraising for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals), a collaboration that has yielded more than $150 million in donations.

CA-NV LEAGUES CELEBRATE ANNIVERSARY updated 01/05/16 10:40 AM
Successful Partnership of 20 Years
A strategic partnership beginning Jan. 1, 1996 is still proving to be a “win win” for credit unions in Nevada and California as the collaboration’s anniversary was recognized this past Friday.

FinCEN RULE COULD COST CUs MORE updated 01/05/16 07:55 AM
Submit Comment Letters by Jan. 25
In 2014, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a proposed rule to “clarify and strengthen customer (member) due diligence (CDD) obligations” of financial institutions, including credit unions.