You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2013.

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

I was thinking this morning that I should write a year in review and I’ll be darned if WordPress didn’t do it for me. Enjoy. Happy New Year!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

This is the time of year when you cannot avoid the movie It’s a Wonderful Life and are reminded what a credit union used to look like.

Times were so simple then. We had shares and we had loans. And then along came the share draft account. The Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act signed into law by President Carter in 1980 did not say we HAD to offer checking. It merely said we could.

What if you had never offered checking?

Seriously. Think about it.

  • According to the American Banker article published in December of 2011 the average checking account costs around $350 a year and fee income averages around $150 per account.
  • PFI (primary financial institution) indicator? Think again. In August of this year Cornerstone consulting reported the median products per household dropped by 28% to 2.52 per household. And one of those is checking.
  • Two words: call center. They didn’t exist until we offered the checking account. What percentage of incoming calls are tied to checking? Even though you’ve spent hundreds of thousands on devices to keep them from calling.
  • One word: Target. I feel bad that the second largest security breach in US history happened to a retailer I love, but it did. And it’s going to cost some credit unions tons of money to make sure their members’ checking accounts are secure.

Raddon has done the math on this for years. A single service household (checking)  is unprofitable. Period. It’s a black hole of expense if you don’t do something with the relationship. PFI doesn’t just happen. You have to be willing to lend to these new unknown entities. 

Bank of America, in the wake of the backlash over their proposed $5 a month debit card fee,  admitted to being “okay” with single service households moving to a credit union.

What if you dumped checking? Told all of your checking account holders that you were going to help them move to the credit union down the street. Maybe even offer them an incentive? Then show them your interest rates on savings? You could probably pay 50 bp or more. And your loan rates? You guessed it – you could beat everyone.  Think of the staff you could reduce. The regulation headaches you could eliminate. The fraud you would avoid.

It’s a wonderful life.

There is nothing more trying on the human spirit than airline travel. What once was considered luxury and only for the very privileged is now a hostage like humiliating experience. Yesterday I was to board a 5:27pm flight from ABQ to DIA, spend a luxurious 30 minutes in the United Club (at $500 a year membership fee) and then off to SEA for business/family/friends/fun long week-end.

Instead I write this from the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott in Denver compliments of United Airlines in yesterday’s clothes.

It had nothing to do with weather which is why I was labeled a distressed passenger and provided with complimentary lodging and a $7.00 meal voucher. It was “crew delay.” Not sure if that meant the pilot wasn’t sober or a flight attendant overslept….nevertheless it provided me with less than ten minutes to run the 1/2 mile from Gate B71 to B25 in heels. I have flown 1.2 million miles with the Friendly Skies. I know they use computers because I can see them. I know they have the ability to communicate from the air to the ground because I have heard them. But by the time I got to the gate the door had closed. The airplane was still there. I have been on United flights where we reopened the door for a distressed passenger. So UAL, a question. How many miles do you have to fly for this privilege?

My guess is it is up to the crew. As are most customer service experiences. How do they feel about their employer at that moment of truth? Time to viciously comply with the rules or make a loyal customer’s day? Thanks for subsidizing my $12.95 breakfast buffet. This experience only cost me $5.00 plus tip, $90.00 in cab fare, a business meeting and a chunk of my soul. Keep up the good work.


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December 2013