During 2008, New Orleans Firemen’s Federal Credit Union’s loan portfolio was mired in a slow decline. Loan application volume was healthy, but too many loans didn’t close due to inadequate employee follow-up, long decision times, and overly stringent lending guidelines.
|CU: New Orleans Firemen’s FCU
Challenge: Declining loan portfolio
Solution: Embrace every loan opportunity
Result: Biggest loan volume increase in 75 years
Award: Consumer lending (less than $250 million in assets)
Add to that a lack of cross-selling and low loan yields, and the credit union concluded something had to change.
Enter Jeff Caire, who brought a fresh perspective as new lending director for the $127 million asset credit union. “Our new lending strategy became very simple: We wanted to generate as many loans as we could by looking at every opportunity,” he says. “We didn’t want to lose any more loans due to decision timing and follow-up issues. We also needed a better pricing strategy that would increase our yield.”
After meeting and working with lending specialist Brett Christensen, NOFFCU management team developed a plan of action. Under Jeff's supervision the credit union initiated the following changes:
The result: a $9 million increase in its loan portfolio during 2009—one of the worst lending environments in decades.