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CEO: Low interest rates a challenge, 2013 to bring opportunities
FARMERS  BRANCH, Texas (12/28/12)--Compressed interest margins stemming from the low-interest-rate environment is a huge challenge for credit unions in 2013, but there are also opportunities, according to the chairman of the Texas Credit Union League.

"We make most of our money on the spread, and it's important to maintain that income stream to better serve members," said Paul Trylko, league chairman and president/CEO of Amplify CU, a $612 million asset credit union based in Austin, in the league's newsletter, LoneStar Leaguer (Dec. 17).

The Texas league is asking CEOs in the state what they see as the biggest challenge and opportunity for 2013, said the Leaguer.

"We all need to manage, diversify our portfolios to better serve all of our members, effectively manage risk, and earn yields that support our long-term need to grow capital," Trylko said.

The biggest opportunity for 2013 will be attracting young people--both as employees and members, he said, noting that the movement has "a great group of next generation leaders already in our ranks that are invested in the cooperative credit union business model.

"We just need to ensure that they have the culture and environment that enables them to serve well, make a difference, give back to the community and be part of something bigger than themselves," Trylko told the league.

That means including a good compensation system and a progressive way of doing business. "Current leadership has to develop the next generation, give them guidance and get out of the way to allow them to grow," he said.

Having younger employees will make it easier to attract younger members, he said, but that isn't enough.  "We have to look to the trends and do business in a way that resonates with the next generation," Trylko  told the league.

"We have to bring innovation and new access channels to the table to attract and retain the member of tomorrow. The speed of change is increasing and we, as an industry, need to push forward and lead--opportunity awaits," he said.


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