Reg. burden continues to weigh on CEOs: Cornerstone

February 10, 2016

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (2/10/16)--Regulatory burden remains the biggest concern among credit union CEOs, according to "What's Going on 2016: Cornerstone Advisors' Take on Community Bank and Credit Union Priorities and Technology Plans."

Sixty-one percent of credit union CEOs identified regulatory burden as a chief concern. The next highest concern was the interest-rate environment, with 40% of CEOs citing it as a concern.

Concerns regarding efficiency, non-interest expense or costs was mentioned by only about a third of the credit union CEOs surveyed; however that was a significant jump from the prior year, when just 15% of respondents mentioned this as a concern.

Growing consumer loans was the most-frequently cited growth priority. Nearly half of credit union CEOs plan to grow by improving sales and marketing methods, up from 39% in 2015.

In addition, merger opportunities are on the radar of an increasing number of credit unions. Nearly four in 10 said finding merger or acquisition opportunities will be a top growth priority. In 2015, just a quarter said that would be a priority.

For both credit unions and banks, streamlining workflow is the top priority to gain efficiencies and cost savings. There are, however, two areas where credit unions and banks differ significantly. A substantially larger percentage of credit unions consider streamlining workflow a higher priority than banks do. On the other hand, almost a third of banks plan to cut costs by reducing headcounts, whereas only 7% of credit unions plan to do this.

“Many bankers think that they’ve done all the cost cutting they can do,” the report said. “Credit unions haven’t addressed those opportunities, but will do so in 2016.”