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Mutual Savings CU turnaround faster than expected
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (5/9/11)--Mutual Savings CU, Birmingham Ala., has rebounded under the leadership of president/CEO Doug Key after being placed in conservatorship in 2009. The credit union had experienced more than $5 million in losses from bad business loans, prompting the state credit union administrator to seize its remaining assets, and replace the CEO and board of directors (The Birmingham News via al.com May 6). Key had served as an outside lawyer for the credit union before taking over its leadership in October 2009. Among Key’s first priorities was problem business loans, the articles said. With the support of the Alabama Credit Union Administration, Mutual Savings CU took aggressive write-downs on much of the portfolio, Sonja Purvis, Mutual Savings’ chief marketing officer and senior vice president, told the newspaper. Expenses also were reduced by $1.5 million. By last summer, Mutual Savings CU had climbed back to solvency, just a year after it had been placed under conservatorship. The credit union reported a profit of more than $700,000 for 2010. With a $169 million in assets, Mutual Savings CU remained profitable for the first quarter 2011. Another turnaround within the credit union was employee morale. Employees were nervous when the state took over the credit union, Purvis told The News, and they faced budget cuts under the conservatorship. Employees bought into a morale-building campaign that focused on the mythical Phoenix, the bird reborn from its own ashes. Key and Purvis even designed a pin to inspire employees. The key to keeping employees engaged was regular detailed communication on how the credit union would move forward and how the work they did was integral to turning those plans into reality, Purvis told the publication.


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