The groundwork has been laid for a great year and my anticipation is starting to bubble over!
Ok, 2007 is nearly over and I’ve been looking forward to 2008 since I started the forecast process back in August. The fun thing about the forecast process is that it let’s me look into Verity’s future and see some of the exciting things that will happen in the coming year. Without trying to sound too much like a Verity commercial, here are 5 reasons to be excited about Verity for 2008:
1) Velocity Checking Are you kidding me…6.01% for a checking account and ATM surcharges refunded! I’ve already opened my account and then moved most of my liquid funds from my online savings account (with another financial institution) and my brokerage account. This account will be in the limelight all year long and if Verity has success like other credit unions across the country who have launched similar products, we and our members will be very happy.
2) Partnerships with other credit unions. I am a strong advocate for partnering with other credit unions to achieve more than could have been achieved going it alone. Verity has been working on a couple of partnerships for the past several months and it looks like some of those will be launched next year. First, Verity is launching CU Home Loan Solutions, LLC, which will be a mortgage origination and servicing partnership with other credit unions. Credit unions currently get around 2% of total mortgage business nationally and would like to be closer to 10%. The formation of CU Home Loan Solutions will help Verity and other credit unions get closer to that goal by leveraging the Prime Alliance technology platform and Verity’s expertise to make offering mortgages more realistic for our partners. Second, Verity will be partnering with several credit unions led by Harborstone CU to offer commercial real estate loan processing and underwriting. Harborstone is a leader in CU business lending in the Puget Sound, and we are excited to be working with them next year.
3) Taking Member Service to a new level. One of our top priorities is to ensure that our members receive consistent, excellent service whenever they transact business with Verity. Next year, we will be measuring our service using the Net Promoter Score methodology and setting a very high goal for service using that tool. We will continue to survey members to get their feedback and proactively implement changes based on that feedback. We will also open our Call Center on Saturdays so it will be easier for members to obtain service when it is convenient to them.
4) The end to those lousy car loans! It’s no secret that some of the car loans that we made in 2002-2005 were not good and we’ve taken heavy losses as borrowers chose not to pay us back. While Verity has remained profitable, the profits have been slim, which means less funds available to invest in products, services and pricing. 2008 will be the year that these loans will put behind us. Most of the loans that were going to go bad, have and what we have left are very high quality. This means that we can do more things like #1, #2 and #3 above.
5) Branching and Technology. Verity has a long-term branching strategy that it is strongly committed to and I was glad to see that another branch made it into the 2008 forecast. We are actively searching for the location for this branch and have been very pleased with the community’s support of our newest branch in Wallingford. We also have a number of very exciting technology upgrades in next year’s forecast. It’s great to work for a place that is so committed to bringing the best technology has to offer to its members and staff.
I hope that didn’t seem too commercial-ly. The groundwork has been laid for a great year and my anticipation is starting to bubble over! Happy New Year!
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