Posted by Amanda Dawson, Sr. Staff analyst, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 10/7/2015

Did you know that this is the year that Marty McFly went back to the future? For those of you that are not Back to the Future movie fans you are probably wondering why I am referencing time travel.  It’s pretty simple really: I want time.  No, I do not mean I want a time machine; I just want enough time to get everything accomplished each day.  So let’s ask ourselves a simple question:  What does time mean to all of us and how do we handle our time?

First off what type of time personality are you?

There are many types of people when it comes to time management.  A majority of individuals can be placed in the five following time management personalities: The time martyrs, overachiever-do-it-alls, the procrastinators, the under-estimators, and the anti-committers.

Time martyrs are individuals that focus on everyone else’s time and never focus on their own job.   These are also the individuals who love gossip; they get lost in all the weeds and forget about the roots.

Overachiever-do-it-alls are the ones who take a day on like a marathon getting as much done in one day as possible. They work off a tight schedule and hate their time to go to waste.

Under-estimators are people who overload their schedule making outrageous goals that are impossible to accomplish in the given time.  Therefore, pushing back all other assignments they take on and always running behind.

The Procrastinators find lots of ways to waste time and wait until the last minute to complete the task at hand.  These individuals get pleasure from the pressure of working against the clock.  However, many times missing opportunities and even undergo high anxiety or guilt.

The anti-committers avoid being tied down.  They are very free-spirited and like to play everything by ear.  It is hard to lock these individuals into a schedule.

Not everyone falls into just one of the above categories.  Some may even change their time management personality depending upon how much the job at hand means to them personally.

Here are some great tips on how to help manage your time:

  • Lock yourself in: Focus on the task and eliminate all distractions
    • Phones have become a large part of our society.  To the point that people have their phone physically attached to their palm.   
    • Emails alerts can also be distracting.  Think about turning your notification off and designating only certain times of the day to emails.
    • People and side conversations.  Some people can mutli-task and talk at the same time.  However, not everyone works this way.
  • Create an organizing system: Make a daily goal checklist
    • Staying organized is highly important when it comes to time management.  Making a list can help you see where you are in your daily assignments.
    • Satisfaction of crossing items off the list can also be rewarding and give you a sensation of accomplishment.
    • Do not get overwhelmed. Take on one item at a time.
  • Learn to say “no”
    • You are not superman/woman only take on what you can handle.

Last thing to remember about time is to enjoy yourself.  Work can be play too.   You only live once and as of right now time travel is not possible, so make the best of it.

Categories: Education & Training
Posted by Mr. Dean Borland, SCMS, CUDE, VP Product Development, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 10/5/2015

In the just-released white paper “The Next 10 Years: Credit Unions in 2025[i],” the Filene Research Institute’s Ben Rogers and Manny Nat observed that the number of U.S. credit unions has declined 36% since 1998, and estimates predict the loss of an additional 150-200 credit unions per year in the future. While it is true that some credit unions close due to financial hardship, most of the attrition in the number of credit unions in recent years has been a result of voluntary mergers involving small credit unions who have lost primary sponsor subsidies or who were unable to replace the loss of a long-time CEO or directors.

Future decline in the number of credit unions will likely be attributable to a variety of factors, not the least of which is the anticipated retirement of a significant number of credit union CEOs. However, in almost every case, mergers are influenced by a credit union’s inability to identify, articulate, and sustain its value proposition to members.

In the future, value will likely be closely aligned with how EASY it is for members to conduct business. Credit union “winners” will leverage remote delivery to provide instant gratification for all types of product and service interactions, from new account opening to payments and even mortgages. Credit unions who do not adapt will suffer diminishing value as consumers (think Gen X and Gen Y) migrate toward providers who offer ease, convenience, and instant gratification of needs.

All credit unions will be challenged, both technologically and financially, as operational processes and remote delivery systems are reengineered to serve the preferences of Gen X and Gen Y (Millennial) consumers. Scale (asset size) will definitely have a positive influence on credit union success. Unfortunately, few, if any, credit unions have the scale or financial capacity to be everything to everybody. As a result, credit union “winners” will likely be those, large and small, who identify a niche, something that consumers (members) want, and deliver on their promise better than any competitor.

As the future unfolds, some credit unions will survive, others will not. According to the Filene study, “Every credit union should have the hard discussion about whether to remain independent in its niche, seek acquisitions, or be acquired.” The discussion is a strategic imperative, one that focuses on the value provided to members, one that needs to involve senior leaders and directors, and one that needs to happen sooner than later.


If you need assistance with Strategic Planning, Succession Planning, policy development or board member education, OnBalance is here to help.  To learn more about all of the products and services we offer visit us at or contact Karen Houston-Johnson at, Howard Bufe at or Dean Borland at


[i] The Next Ten Years: Credit Unions in 2025, Filene Research Institute, Ben Rogers and Manpreet Nat, September 2015

Categories: Strategic Planning & Consulting, Succession Planning
Posted by Ms. Pamela Blevins, Remote Financial Services Manager, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 10/2/2015

Back in 2012, credit unions could rely on the RegFlex exemption to have the freedom to prudently make their own business decisions when determining the amount of fixed assets to acquire in order to improve services or establish expansion for their credit unions.  When the RegFlex exemption was no longer available, it left many credit unions with the burden of applying for annual fixed asset waivers to justify their business decisions made prior to 2012; and even more unpleasant was the need to obtain pre-approval for future purchases and expansion.  Many credit unions responded and asked for regulatory relief from this additional burden and requested more liberties when making choices regarding their credit union’s future. 

These concerns have been heard and relief is on its way.  NCUA has approved the Fixed Asset Rule which goes into effect October 2, 2015 and it will completely reform the fixed asset process for federally chartered credit unions. 

What are the major changes?

  1. Removal of the five percent (5%) aggregate limit on fixed asset investments for all federally chartered credit unions that exceed $1 million in assets
  2. Pre-approval fixed-asset waivers will not be required for new purchases.
  3. Annual fixed asset waivers will not be required on exisiting purchases.
  4. The current rule requires documented Board resolution that details definitive plans for partial occupancy on new property if partial occupancy did not occur within one year of the acquisition of the new property.  It also included a deadline of 30-months for partial occupancy to occur. Under the new rule, only a single six year requirement has been set for partial occupancy from date of acquisition. 
  5. New requirement for a Fixed Asset Management Program and Policy must be in place to monitor fixed assets that exceed the prior established five percent (5%) limitation. 

What should the Fixed Asset Management Program (FAM) include?

Be conscious that if a credit union’s fixed asset ratio exceeds 5% of total equity, NCUA will more than likely evaluate that credit union’s FAM program to see if it justifies and properly monitors the fixed asset’s risk versus reward.  The FAM program should include a FAM Policy that should be established by the Board and should include limitations that meet the size and complexity of the credit union and should be in line with the credit union’s established strategic plan.  The FAM Program should also include an ongoing analysis to evaluate the impact on earnings and net worth levels.  The credit union should be able to support that its need to run at a higher level of fixed assets, in order to expand its services, is providing the credit union with additional income and projected growth.  This might be very similar to the process included in the annual fixed asset waiver projections required in the past.  If a credit union cannot prove that the additional fixed assets are actually a benefit to the credit union’s operations, potential growth, and/or income be aware that NCUA can still consider the fixed asset program to be unsafe and unsound and can determine the credit union to not be in compliance with the new Fixed Asset Rule.  It is also important to note that if a credit union is subject to a current fixed asset restoration plan from a Document of Resolution (DOR) or Letter of Understanding (LUA), this rule does not supersede those plans.  A credit union should continue to work with their Examiner to ensure their FAM Program is safe and sound.  

Are there resources available to help create and monitor the FAM Program?

Level 5, one of Credit Union Resources’ Premier Partners, offers a program called FxAMP that has been developed to provide solutions for analytical services credit unions could utilize to manage and monitor their FAM Program!  Here is what FxAMP does for credit unions.    

  • Provides a prudent management process using “real world” analysis and financial modeling.
  • Allows fixed asset investments by proving the credit union is conducting prudent planning and analysis.
  • Evaluates fixed assets’ impact on the credit union’s balance sheet, income statement and ratios.
  • Forecasts the overall efficiency ratio, ROA, and net worth ratios.
  • Quantifies fixed assets’ influence on the credit union’s non-interest expenses.
  • Provides a report for internal use by the credit union’s senior management and Board to develop a growth strategy that ensures proper management of any ongoing risk to earnings and capital.
  • Informs examiners of the credit union’s fixed asset management strategy to ensure that earnings and capital do not encounter undue risk.

What to learn more about FxAMP?

To learn more about this new tool, follow this link to FxAMP:

What about State Chartered Credit Unions?

Although this rule only affects those credit unions that are federally chartered and exceed $1 million in assets, many state statues have also granted some regulatory relief.  State chartered credit unions should follow up with their state regulators to get more information regarding possible fixed asset requirement changes. 

Texas State Chartered Credit Unions:

Texas has seen some relief as well; however, not as significant as at the Federal level.  The regulatory limitation has changed from 70% of net worth or six percent of total assets to the limitation of not exceeding the credit union’s net worth.  Although this is great news for Texas state chartered credit unions, the Credit Union Department will still require prior approval for purchases that will exceed this new threshold. 


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