The 2020 CUNA Lending Council Virtual Conference featured innovations in mortgage, consumer, and business lending; loss control; and strategy.
Other highlights included a 2021 lending outlook, a “fireside chat” with CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle—and an inspiring message from the nation’s first African American female combat pilot.
Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour kicked off the event by recounting the chaotic details of a mission during the Iraq War as a U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot and sharing the professional challenges she faced.
“We all have challenges and obstacles,” she says. “Some are more unique than others. The key is to acknowledge the obstacles but not give them power.
“Get back on course and accomplish the mission,” Armour says.
Through their collaborative and relationship-based approach, credit unions can “raise the bar for the entire country” on consumer financial well-being, says CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. He participated in a “fireside chat” with Jim Block, executive vice president/chief operating officer at BCU in Vernon Hills, Ill., and chair of the CUNA Lending Council.
Nussle says the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created a “tipping point” for financial well-being that credit unions can influence through their high-touch value proposition with members.
“That high-touch value will probably be the difference in connecting with people on this issue going forward,” Nussle says.
One fact is clear in the face of uncertainty presented by COVID-19: Credit unions shine in their efforts to support members, says Mike Schenk, CUNA’s chief economist and deputy chief advocacy officer.
More challenging economic times ahead mean many members will require credit unions’ continued assistance, Schenk says. The surge in COVID-19 cases and uncertainty related to additional stimulus payments put the recovery at risk.
When COVID-19 struck earlier this year, lending departments across the country found themselves pivoting to remote work environments that still allowed them to engage with members and meet their borrowing needs.
Responding to COVID-19 was one of many trends discussed during a series of panel discussions on consumer, mortgage, and member business lending.
►Learn more about the CUNA Lending Council, a member-led professional society for credit union executives, at cunacouncils.org.