Abound Resources Survey Finds Efficiency is the Common Denominator in Community Bank and Credit Union's 2010 Plans

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Community bank CEOs focused on balance sheet clean up, credit unions on consumer loan growth, but both have efficiency as their #2 priority.

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Top Priorities for Community Bank and Credit Union CEOs in 2010

"This disconnect simply must be resolved or the business goals won’t materialize, resources will be wasted and technology executives will continue to have difficulty getting their projects approved" - Brad Smith, President of Abound Resources

The top priority for community bank CEOs this year is balance sheet clean up while credit union CEOs are more focused on consumer loan growth. Both community bank and credit union CEOs, however, rank efficiency improvement as their number two priority.

According to Abound Resources newest survey results (Download Whitepaper), CEOs generally feel that the worst is over for community financial institutions (CFIs). With 2009 behind them, this group is fairly optimistic about the year ahead. Credit union CEOs are particularly positive, with more than half of them (52%) feeling somewhat optimistic. About 40% of community bank CEOs' expressed optimism about the upcoming year.

This general outlook on 2010 carried over to each CEO group's priorities for the year. The survey finds that community bank CEOs are largely focused on cleaning up their balance sheet and improving their efficiency ratio. On the other hand, credit union CEOs clearly have their eye on growth, with consumer loan growth first and online expansion third on the list, but efficiency also came in as their second priority.

With technology such a focus area, we polled operations, technology, and financial officers regarding their technology concerns and project plans.

Overall, the survey finds that COOs, CIOs and CFOs at credit unions share very similar views to their CEOs. These executives will focuse their new purchases on loan origination and online account opening systems - in line with their CEOs to-do list. However, community bank COOs, CIOs and CFOs have a potential disconnect with their CEO's priorities. Mobile banking, customer relationship management (CRM) and online account opening systems top their list of planned bank technology purchases, yet their CEOs are focused on balance sheet clean up and efficiency improvement.

"As always, but particularly when resources are tight, technology plans must be aligned with the business plan. If efficiency is the focus, technology plans need to focus on efficiency. If growth is the plan, technology needs to focus on growth. This disconnect simply must be resolved or the business goals won't materialize, resources will be wasted and technology executives will continue to have difficulty getting their projects approved", said Brad Smith, president of Abound Resources.

Other key technology findings:

  •     In terms of improving their technology utilization, consumer Internet banking systems rank as the highest priority at both community banks and credit unions.
  •     Core processing, ATM/EFT systems and services, and bill payment appear to be the most likely targets for contract renegotiations with vendors for these institutions.
  •     Along similar lines - when asked about their primary concern regarding technology - institutions overwhelmingly pointed to getting better value out of their existing technologies and vendor relationships (ranking ahead of information security and compliance issues).

The complimentary survey results of CEO priorities and planned community bank and credit union technology priorities can be downloaded at: Survey Results

ABOUT ABOUND RESOURCES
Abound Resources helps community banks and credit unions grow, become more efficient and save money, and make the right technology decisions - Guaranteed. As an advisory services firm, Abound Resources provides the following solutions:

  •     Growth solutions:
  •     Maximize commercial cash management opportunities
  •     Improve new account and loan origination turnaround times and cross selling
  •     Develop retail and alternative delivery strategies
  •     Design products and a delivery strategy to attract Gen X/Gen Y customers    
  •     Efficiency and Cost Saving solutions:
  •     Redesign back office processes for improved efficiency, risk management, and customer service
  •     Negotiate next core, EFT, Internet banking or bill pay contract for big savings
  •     Help prepare for next acquisition or integrate recently acquired institutions
  •     Technology Decision solutions:
  •     Decide whether to replace core, EFT, Internet banking and bill pay systems
  •     Research online account opening, mobile banking or CRM
  •     Improve the utilization of existing technology investments
  •     Develop a technology plan to support business strategy

CONTACTS:
Kimberly Williams, Marketing Coordinator, 512-351-3703, kwilliams@aboundresources.com
Ryan Esquell, Sales Manager, 512-351-3702, resquell@aboundresources.com

For more information on Abound Resources' bank consulting, bank technology consulting, credit union consulting, credit union technology consulting, vendor evaluation services, vendor contract negotiation services, etc., please visit Abound Resources

FREE RESOURCES:
The full survey results can be found at Survey Results

Additional free resources can be found at Abound Resource Library

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Kimberly Williams

Ryan Esquell

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