Support of their local communities has long been a focus of community lenders. Credit unions and community banks across the country are known for their reinvestment into the towns and cities they serve. Charitable giving can take a variety of forms – many times focused on causes and organizations unique to each area of the country. Especially during these difficult times surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, support of these local organizations and charities is of the utmost importance. This fact has not been lost on credit unions and community banks, and many have stepped-up remarkably in this support during these challenging times.
There has been plenty of discussion over the last many months about how the community banking world might look when we come out of this pandemic. Speculation and opinions are all over the board. The economic fallout is of great concern, and community lenders find themselves juggling priorities and recalibrating for the future. On the consumer-facing front, digital banking and technology are hot topics, ‘strategic innovation’ is a focus, and customer relief and mediation tactics are a balancing act. Inside the lending operations, there are concerns about PPP loan forgiveness, increased delinquency and default impacting collections staff, and continued remote workplace struggles with administrative workload balance adjustments across operational teams.
The COVID-19 pandemic has uprooted our way of life. The impact of this contagious virus can be felt through all aspects of our daily living. The public health crisis is of the utmost importance right now, there is no disputing that fact. But as our medical and scientific communities continue to develop therapies, vaccines, and public health solutions to combat the virus going forward, there comes a time to reflect on how the pandemic is impacting different segments of our lives and our economy.
Targeted growth in home equity lending for a community lender can be a daunting task. The “big banks” dominate as they control roughly half of that market. If a community lender isn’t actively marketing home equity loans and lines of credit offerings, they are giving up potential market share to a handful of banking giants.
Even in today’s dynamic environment of increased regulations and lending oversight, many community lenders remain committed to some old-school processes within their loan operations. In some cases, inefficiencies and frustrations can be common issues that are connected to these burdensome administrative processes. In a time when many community lenders are adopting a “get lean” approach to their operations, for some reason, these old-school philosophies remain entrenched. The phrase, “but that is how we have always done it” is uttered often. Why is it that simple change can be so difficult to embrace? Why, from the executives to the loan operations staff, is it often difficult for a community lender to let go of these old-school processes?