Credit Union Conversations

Mark Ritter

Welcome to Credit Union Conversations podcast with your host, Mark Ritter, a forward-thinking CEO, who excels in helping credit unions, small businesses, and real estate investors succeed. Join Mark as he explores current trends, interview industry experts, and get fresh insights on optimizing your lending operations and delivering the best possible services to credit union members. More about your host: Mark Ritter is the CEO of MBFS & Nu Direction Lending and an expert in credit unions and business lending. His primary role at MBFS is overseeing the strategy of helping credit unions assist members with business needs and consulting with credit unions on planning the delivery of services to their membership. In 2002, Mark started a large central Pennsylvania credit union’s business lending program as “one person and a desk” with no policies, products, staff, systems, or business members. That program grew to be one of the top ten in the nation. In 2012, he took on the challenge of being the CEO of a business lending CUSO. Mark was the fifth CEO in five years for the organization, which lost money every month of its existence. Since joining MBFS, Mark increased the number of credit unions the CUSO and revenue by over 10x and ensured positive cash flow every full year he’s been at the CUSO. More importantly, MBFS has helped countless credit union members gain the financing they need for business and investment needs. Mark is a native of Berwick, PA in northeast Pennsylvania, where he was a member of his high school’s nationally ranked and state championship football team. After high school, Mark hung up his cleats to work for the Penn State Nittany Lions full-time as a student assistant while attending Penn State as an undergrad. During this time Penn State transitioned to the Big Ten and culminated in Penn State’s first Big Ten Championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl. Mark remains an avid Penn State supporter. Today Mark lives in Bucks County, PA outside of Doylestown with his wife and two teenagers. read less
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Episodes

Utilizing A CUSO & Third Parties At Your Credit Union
Yesterday
Utilizing A CUSO & Third Parties At Your Credit Union
Craig and Mark talk about the old days of commercial lending in credit unions and how the dynamics between CUSO and CU’s have changed over the years. They also review the best practices in utilizing third parties to assist your lending operations. IN THIS EPISODE:[0:24] Mark discusses what MBFS does and how it can assist credit unions.[2:17] Craig describes his background and professional history. [3:28] Discussion of the history of CUSOs and how they have developed over the years.[6:04] Credit Unions require specialized guidance across various domains, relying on individuals who excel in specific areas rather than expecting one person to have expertise in all areas. [8:20] Benefits of having relationship managers and problems that arise when you don’t. [11:13] The advantage of third-party oversight who goes in and out when needed is that they can assist a credit union better and faster in reaching goals.[13:57] Craig shares the history of guiding credit unions and members through difficult economic years to the advantage of both parties and how annual reviews can prevent issues. [19:36] How a CUSO builds scale and neutrality, why examining policies once in a while is helpful and reaching out for non-judgmental help is wise.KEY TAKEAWAYS: CUSOs are specialized and have experts in many different areas that can speak specifically to originations, credit, closing of loans, portfolio management, SBA loans, etc., to ensure credit union partners receive the expertise necessary for the specific portion of their credit union that needs the assistance.It's hard to build relationships, but if you have worked with a borrower frequently, you know they will bring you a quality loan and have the financial wherewithal to back up their requests. If it's an SBA loan, you know they understand the intricacies of the paperwork involved. Don't be embarrassed if you need some temporary help. Loans can go sideways. There is help available, and it is nonjudgmental. RESOURCE LINKSMark Ritter WebsiteMark Ritter LinkedInBIOGRAPHY: Craig Page is the Chief Revenue Officer at MBFS. He joined MBFS after a long career of successfully leading CUSOs and as an executive in commercial real estate financing.
2023 Year in Review
06-02-2024
2023 Year in Review
Where has the time gone? Mark and Jeff look back at what they said a year ago to see how accurate their predictions were. They also take a look at how 2023 played out, both good and bad and what CUs should be doing to plan for the future.IN THIS EPISODE:[1:40] Jeff shares his duties and responsibilities at MBFS. [2:00] Mark and Jeff discuss how things shifted in 2023. The hope is things will stabilize in 2024, but most likely will not improve. [5:55] Discussion regarding credit quality and dealing with delinquency rising into 2024 if credit unions don’t take a proactive approach. [11:06] SBA loans will benefit credit unions. Credit unions should become familiar with these government-backed loans even though they are somewhat more time-consuming. [13:53] Discussion about how a credit union deals with higher interest rates impacting profitability. [17:01] What does the future hold in 2024, and why planning and communication are essential. KEY TAKEAWAYS: Planning for the possible ups and downs in the foreseeable future is critical. Communication with staff, members, and clients is essential to the planning for 2024. Good credit quality is necessary to maintain successful lending. However,  long before it becomes an issue that is difficult to deal with, delinquency is part of the process and should be addressed. Again, communication is key.Loans enjoying a low interest rate will be coming due, and refinancing those loans will create a hardship for the borrower. Higher interest rates have already impacted the housing market.RESOURCE LINKSMark Ritter WebsiteMark Ritter LinkedInBIOGRAPHY: Jeff Lyons is the COO of MBFS. In his role, he currently oversees the credit, loan originations, and SBA loan functions. Jeff has a long career in banking and a small business owner.
Residential Mortgages: Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow
09-01-2024
Residential Mortgages: Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow
After talking about John's background in the mortgage business, Mark and John talk about the boom times over the last few years and low-interest cycles. John talks about the current regulatory climate today and what he expects the mortgage market to look like over the next few years.IN THIS EPISODE:[2:22] John describes how First Heritage operates and his professional background[5:52] John explains how he evaluates and reacts to the ups and downs of interest rates[9:19] What makes a credit union successful in the mortgage business as opposed to those that are not[12:45] John discusses government loans and how interest rates during the pandemic have affected the housing market[17:18] John talks about the reasons that apartment and condo construction is up, the shortage of new homes and the amount of down payment required to purchase[21:54] John discusses retaining mortgages, selling the mortgages, and liquidity solutions overall for credit unions [25:22] John gives his short and long-term mortgage predictions KEY TAKEAWAYS: First Heritage provides services and skill sets unavailable within most credit unions. There has been a housing recession since June of 2022. Home prices increased in value at a steep rate, and mortgage rates followed, resulting in a problem with the housing cycle and a lack of inventory. The average down payment required to purchase a home is $60,000.FHA, VA, and USDA can assist with lower down payments, making it possible for first-time home buyers to purchase. RESOURCE LINKS:Mark Ritter WebsiteMBFS - WebsiteMark Ritter - LinkedInFirst Heritage - WebsiteJohn Giordano - EmailBIOGRAPHY:John Giordano is a longtime mortgage industry veteran and is currently the CEO of First Heritage Mortgage Services. First Heritage assists credit unions nationwide with all things residential mortgages.
Alisha Martin: Talking About Life's Journey and Business Development
12-12-2023
Alisha Martin: Talking About Life's Journey and Business Development
Joining Mark today is one of his favorite people in the credit union space along with being the most inspirational. Alisha Martin's journey is one of resilience and perseverance. Today, Alisha runs the business development efforts at Suncoast and Mark and Alisha talk about what works and what doesn't in today's marketplace to acquire new members.IN THIS EPISODE:[01:54] Alisha introduces herself and shares her background and work story. [5:19] Alisha explains what Suncoast does and how they are customer-friendly.[9:09] Alisha describes her role as Vice President of Development for Suncoast Credit Union. [13:00] Mark asks Alisha to share a personal story that might have been devastating; however, Alisha has determination and overcomes. [22:46] Alisha discusses the importance of aligning yourself with individuals you want to work with. [28:09] Alisha shares her approach to her position as Vice President of Development for Suncoast Credit Union.[32:57] Alisha admits that she is shy and tells how she finds balance in her position. KEY TAKEAWAYS: Suncoast is the largest credit union in Florida, having just crossed 14.4 billion in deposits. Suncoast Credit Union is customer-friendly and tries to do whatever it takes to work with its members.When life takes you in a direction you never saw coming and wouldn’t wish on anyone, attitude, determination and inner strength can turn it around for the better.RESOURCE LINKS:Mark Ritter WebsiteMBFS - WebsiteMark Ritter - LinkedInAlisha Martin - WebsiteAlisha Martin - EmailBIOGRAPHY: Alisha has lived in Lakeland for the last 20 years. 15 of those years have been focused on banking and commercial real estate. With degrees in Business Administration, Business Management, and International Business, she has originated, syndicated, and serviced commercial loans with credit unions nationwide. As the Vice President of Development for Suncoast Credit Union, she is focused on growth opportunities and relationships in the surrounding areas in Central Florida.
So You Say You Need Deposits?
28-11-2023
So You Say You Need Deposits?
Deposits. Everyone is looking for them, and no one seems to have the magic bullet---except John Ballantyne. Mark and John discuss the benefits of a commercial deposit focus and strategies to succeed in this line of business. IN THIS EPISODE:[0:44] Mark explains what today’s episode is about. [2:12] John discusses his background and how he became CEO of Tru Treasury, and he talks about being a Blackhawk helicopter aviator. [4:43] John goes into the details of starting Tru Treasury during Covid.  [8:59] Mark and John discuss why knowing which core system is used is important. [13:58] John and Mark reflect on how in 1998, the rules changed to permit credit unions to engage with businesses and what makes a credit union successful in meeting the needs of a business member. [20:17] John says credit unions are about people helping people and how if you have the right services, the deposits will follow.[27:03] John advises credit union executives on the best opportunities over the next few years and taking advantage of low-hanging fruit.KEY TAKEAWAYS: [4:51] John describes how he had time to figure out the treasury management services and be a third-party provider to credit unions.[9:16] John discusses why you need to know the core system the credit union is using.[15:29] John describes what makes a credit union successful when serving the complete business member.RESOURCE LINKS:Mark Ritter WebsiteMBFS - WebsiteMark Ritter - LinkedInTru Treasury - WebsiteJohn Ballantyne - Tru Treasury LinkedInBIOGRAPHY: John Ballantyne has been the CEO of Tru Treasury since its founding. After a distinguished career in the US Army, John spent several years working in the treasury management area for a large bank and owning his own financial services firm.
Connecting Credit Unions and America's Small Businesses
14-11-2023
Connecting Credit Unions and America's Small Businesses
If you like college football talk sprinkled in with your credit union talk, this is the episode for you. Mark and Andy catch up on Penn State football before a deep dive into how LoanStar helps credit unions and the current lending/regulatory environment.IN THIS EPISODE:[02:32] Andrew shares his background before starting Lone Star Technologies. [5:18] Andrew explains what Lone Star does. [8:14] Mark and Andrew talk about Penn State football. [10:26] Andrew discusses what surprised him about working with credit unions. [13:39] Andrew explains how he flips around the conversation with a credit union to include what kind of portfolio they are looking for. [19:53] Andrew discusses the diversity and expertise his firm brings to the table. [23:45] Andrew talks about his business during the pandemic. [28:29] Andrew predicts opportunities that could evolve in the future. KEY TAKEAWAYS: [6:14] Lone Star Technologies partners with credit unions to provide a transparent product everyone understands. [16:17] Andrew describes what sets people in the merchant lending business apart to make them more successful than some peers.[19:53] Andrew discusses the diversity and expertise Lone Star Technologies brings to the tableRESOURCE LINKS:Mark Ritter WebsiteMBFS - WebsiteMark Ritter - LinkedInLone Star Technologies - WebsiteAndrew Turner - WebsiteBIOGRAPHY: Andy Turner has been the CEO of LoanStar Technologies for the past seven years. LoanStar works with credit unions and small businesses to bring merchant financing to lenders nationwide. Prior to founding LoanStar, Andy was an executive for financial services software companies.
Yes, Loans Will Go Bad. Let's Start To Plan
17-10-2023
Yes, Loans Will Go Bad. Let's Start To Plan
Your portfolio is clean now, and "everyone is paying." Good loans sometimes go bad, and it will undoubtedly happen to your portfolio at some point. Craig and Mark talk about the history lessons of the Great Recession and how to tackle your portfolio in the future when bumps in the road happen.IN THIS EPISODE:[02:58] Craig shares his background and history working in the financial industry.[04:57] Craig reflects on the recession when they had many coastal properties and being aware of the warning signs.[07:03] During the recession, there was a lack of awareness that the market wouldn’t bounce back in a few months.[11:02] Many people feel that real estate only goes up, and Craig also points out that commercial property still has many vacancies.[15:12] Craig shares his feelings on commercial real estate, and his biggest concern is office space.[17:47] The red flags of not paying property taxes and deferred maintenance.[21:07] Craig explains how he would approach delinquency with a commercial property.KEY TAKEAWAYS: During the recession, borrowers were unwilling to admit they were having problems. When visiting with a borrower about a delinquency, make sure you know the laws governing the situation.Lenders must be proactive in annual reviews to ensure all is well with their properties and borrowers.Three red flags that a property owner may be in trouble are them not paying their property taxes, property insurance and deferred maintenance.RESOURCE LINKS:Mark Ritter WebsiteMBFS - WebsiteMark Ritter - LinkedInCraig Page - LinkedInBIOGRAPHY: Craig Page is the Chief Revenue Officer at MBFS. After a long career as the CEO of two business lending CUSOs, Craig joined MBFS to lead the national loan originations at the CUSO, along with helping guide the strategic direction of the organization.
Great Works of the Credit Union Industry
03-10-2023
Great Works of the Credit Union Industry
Let's talk about some of the great things credit unions do every day! The CrossState Foundation executes the playbook on many of the wonderful initiatives for our industry. Sue and Mark talk about what goes on behind the scenes carrying out this crucial mission of credit unions.IN THIS EPISODE:[02:46] Sue shares her journey to her current position at the CrossState Foundation[05:27] Sue reflects on her surprise when starting her job. She learned how credit unions nationwide work together[08:04] Sue explains how her foundation focuses on promoting financial credit union certification, reality fairs and financial wellness workshops[10:49] Sue talks about the National Credit Union Foundation hosting what is called prom night [12:24] Sue shares information regarding CU Kind Day[15:34] Younger adults are helping propel focus on serving the community [17:43] Sue explains how Financial Reality Fairs work[23:36] Sue gives an example of a teenager who had been to a Reality Fair[27:06] Sue encourages listeners to participate in programs that promote education and their communitiesKEY TAKEAWAYS: Many people do not know how Credit Unions are committed to helping people in the community Financial Reality Fairs are beneficial to high schoolers by assisting them to plan and stay on a budget,The National Credit Union Foundation promotes prom night, providing gowns for girls who otherwise could not afford them.RESOURCE LINKS:Mark Ritter WebsiteCrossStates - WebsiteBIOGRAPHY: Sue Ward-Diorio is the current Executive director of the CrossState Foundation. CrossState Credit Union Association is the trade association for all Pennsylvania and New Jersey credit unions. Sue joined the credit union industry in 2022 after a long career in non-profits in central PA.
Checking In With Launch CU's Joe Mirachi
19-09-2023
Checking In With Launch CU's Joe Mirachi
Joe and Mark talk about the state of the industry and what we see on the horizon. Joe also gives a profile of his strategy for investing in CUSOs and what he looks for in a CUSO investment.IN THIS EPISODE:[01:51] Joe shares his background and journey to where he is today. [04:01] Mark and Joe agree that it is a disservice to an employee to specialize in an area as opposed to learning the entire strategy of a Credit Union. [06:30] Joe says being flexible in mindset and where you live expands your opportunities. [09:20] Joe discusses CUSOs and why he sees it as a growth strategy. [14:25] Joe explains why the business units and other interdepartmental teams are so important.[19:34] Joe shares the importance of constant learning and integrity and how he would advise someone who desires to be a CEO.[24:29] Joe talks about his experience moving to Launch and discusses liquidity in the industry and how to rectify that problem. [31:33] Joe makes guesses on interest rates; he discusses the shrinking labor force and states that succession planning is critical for the organization. KEY TAKEAWAYS: CuSOs allow you to compete with larger competitors and are a way to scale business.A CEO must communicate to their team that when they propose an idea, it doesn't automatically require execution; instead, it's something they wish to deliberate with the team.Understanding the culture of a new office you transition to is essential. Inquire about the reasons behind their established practices rather than making immediate changes because they differ from your previous approach. RESOURCE LINKS:Mark Ritter WebsiteJoe Mirachi - LinkedInBIOGRAPHY: Joe Mirachi is a credit union veteran who has served as the CEO of Launch CU in Florida for the last eleven years. Before Launch, Joe served as the CEO and held other executive roles at credit unions in New Mexico. Launch CU, and Joe is an industry leader in investing and assisting in CUSOs.
Talking Compliance with Rick Wargo
05-09-2023
Talking Compliance with Rick Wargo
Mark & Rick travel down a compliance journey today to talk about best practices in compliance and some of the pitfalls of not keeping on top of it at your organization.  Connect with Rick and his team at https://compliance4creditunions.com/IN THIS EPISODE:[02:47] Rick shares his background and current position at Compliance 4 Credit Unions.[07:56] Rick discusses what has surprised him as the credit union space was developing. [10:56] Expertise in the field, as opposed to being a generalist, has made a difference in the operation of credit unions.[12:55] An explanation of the new NCUA rule. [22:17] Rick talks about the difference between having expensive staff and hiring outside help. [26:13] What hot buttons does Rick see coming, and what items need monitoring? [30:43] Rick refers back to his best crazy stories. [33:55] Rick invites listeners to check out the references for Compliance 4 Credit Unions and to feel free to contact him. KEY TAKEAWAYS: The NCUA rule will make significant changes, resulting in a better working atmosphere at the credit union site.Make sure you remove private information when sharing document templates.The new NCUA rule will assist credit unions in dealing with difficult members. RESOURCE LINKS:Mark Ritter WebsiteCompliance 4 Credit Unions WebsiteRicks EmailBIOGRAPHY: Rick Wargo is the Chief Operating Officer of Compliance 4 Credit Unions, a collaborative compliance consulting CUSO.  Rick has nearly 30 years of experience working with financial institutions, chiefly credit unions.  He started his career with the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and then devoted 24 years to the credit union movement, serving in compliance and advocacy roles for the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association.  Rick also gained valuable transactional experience as an Assistant Counsel for PHEAA, a student loan servicing organization.Rick re-entered the credit union space in 2017, serving as an independent consultant.  That journey spawned the creation of Compliance 4 Credit Unions in 2019.  Rick continues to build the CUSO’s infrastructure while advancing the compliance interests of participating credit unions.
PPP Loans Unfiltered: Part II
08-08-2023
PPP Loans Unfiltered: Part II
It's time to take a walk down memory lane and review the wackiest and wildest loan program ever: the Paycheck Protection Program. Omar Shute of DFTC and Jeff Lyons of MBFS joined us for a topic that we couldn't fit into just one episode.IN THIS EPISODE:[00:31] Mark gives an overview of Part One.[01:35] The expectation of how long the PPP loans would last. [03:36] Jeff describes the second round of PPP loans, and Omar shares his view of Part Two of PPP loans and how technology assisted the process. [11:22] Jeff and Mark talk about the eligibility for the second round of PPP loans. [18:23] Jeff reflects on how business owners admittedly stated they didn’t need the money, but it was free. [20:37] Omar suggests which industries should have received the money, and Jeff talks about the forgiveness process. [26:50] What worked well on the PPP and what didn’t work. KEY TAKEAWAYS: The PPP Loan Round One wasted a lot of taxpayer dollars.By the time Round Two of PPP Loans began, institutions could make more money because they had worked out the kinks they experienced in Round One.The PPP loans are responsible for the inflation we have today.RESOURCE LINKS:Mark Ritter WebsiteDFTC Inc. WebsiteBIOGRAPHY: Omar Shute is the Senior Vice President of Commercial Services at Development Finance Training and Consulting Inc. (DFTC). In this role, he oversees commercial underwriting and participates in all the related suites of services offered by DFTC. Omar has 20 years of commercial lending experience, and his career background encompasses commercial loan origination, relationship management, commercial loan underwriting, credit administration, commercial portfolio management, policy generation, and senior leadership experience, including working with boards of directors.
PPP Loans Unfiltered: Part I
25-07-2023
PPP Loans Unfiltered: Part I
It's time to take a walk down memory lane and review the wackiest and wildest loan program ever: the Paycheck Protection Program. Omar Shute of DFTC and Jeff Lyons of MBFS joined us for a topic that we couldn't fit into just one episode.IN THIS EPISODE:[02:31] Jeff and Omar introduce themselves and share their responsibilities at their respective firms. [04:24] Jeff’s view of the history of PPP loans and Omar reflects on the beginning phase of PPP loans. [08:12] Mark remembers the chaos, Jeff shares his perspective and Omar talks about rules changing three times a day. [13:34] Mark and Jeff speak about the bad actors, fraud and loan farms. [19:31] Omar reflects on how the credit union prevented fraud. [21:33] Mark tells about the largest fraud case. [26:07] Jeff and Omar discuss the systems in place to make the program work. KEY TAKEAWAYS: The PPP loan program was vulnerable from the start because it was rushed, and there were no clear guidelines.The government was just asking for fraud because the regulations were so loose, and unfortunately, FinTech wasn’t doing its job.The credit unions stepped up and did what was necessary to care for customers while protecting the taxpayer.RESOURCE LINKSMark Ritter WebsiteBIOGRAPHY: Omar Shute is the Senior Vice President of Commercial Services at Development Finance Training and Consulting Inc. (DFTC). In this role, he oversees commercial underwriting and participates on all the related suite of services offered by DFTC. Omar has 20 years of commercial lending experience and his career background encompasses commercial loan origination, relationship management, commercial loan underwriting, credit administration, commercial portfolio management, policy generation, and senior leadership experience including working with boards of directors.
Why Are We Over Budget On Credit Reports?
11-07-2023
Why Are We Over Budget On Credit Reports?
Sean and Mark hit up a variety of topics to talk about the state of the mortgage industry today and how lenders can keep up with all the necessary compliance. Also, why have credit unions gotten so complicated? Mark and Sean take a deep dive into credit reporting and where it was, and where it is going.IN THIS EPISODE:[01:44] Sean describes his role at United One, the areas of service United One provides, and the current state of the mortgage market. [12:05] How are appraisers dealing with values in the marketplace, how does an automated valuation tool come into play, and why is it difficult to become an appraiser?[21:39] How the credit report has changed over the years. [26:02] Explaining the difference between Credit Karma and other reporting agencies and Sean's opinion of a non-traditional credit scoring system. [30:54] Sean explains credit leads versus retention triggers. [38:25] New changes coming in the appraisal regulation process. KEY TAKEAWAYS: It is a tough market for lenders in the residential sales market. The problem is they need more inventory, and buyers need to be able to find an affordable house and win the bid. Because home sales are scarce, lenders must work hard, align themselves with the right partners and real estate agents and continue growing their base. Many people may not sell their homes for a long time because of the low-interest rate they have.RESOURCE LINKSMark Ritter WebsiteUnited One - WebsiteSean's Phone Number: 570-706-2830Sean's Email: shiggins@unitedone.comBIOGRAPHY: Sean Higgins is the longtime executive of United One Resources in Wilkes-Barre, PA and the current Executive Vice President of the organization. For over 100 years, United One has supported the lending and real estate communities with a variety of solutions and services, including credit reports, appraisal management services, property reports, flood zone determinations, fraud reports, tax monitoring, title insurance and settlement services. United One provides a competitive advantage for lenders to move quickly from approval to close with confidence.
Do you REALLY Want To Help Businesses Grow?
27-06-2023
Do you REALLY Want To Help Businesses Grow?
We all say we want to help small businesses but sometimes struggle to help growing businesses meet their cash flow demands. Mark and Pat talk about the challenges of wrapping your head around the credit culture, risk, and management of properly funding small business owners at the credit union.IN THIS EPISODE:[02:27] Pat shares his banking and credit union background. [04:08] How were people trained in the ’80s to learn commercial lending from the ground up? [07:44] How did Lendovative get started, and what is the vision? [10:56] What are the statistics that support opportunities for credit unions to service small businesses? [17:07] Pat discusses the funding of small businesses and finding the middle ground of overseeing lines of credit and how meaningful the relationship between the borrower and the lender is. [25:21] Lendovative will  partner with MBFS to provide new technology to assist credit unions in their day-to-day practices. KEY TAKEAWAYS: Lendovative is a company that puts lenders and borrowers on the same page, and they can increase transparency and communication.The growth in small businesses from 2019 to today went from 31 million to 33 million.The goal of a credit union should be to have a complete relationship with a client. That is achieved by having their checking, savings, and loans all serviced by the credit union.RESOURCE LINKSMark Ritter WebsiteLendovative WebsiteBIOGRAPHY: Patrick TrueAfter a long career helping financial institutions at Jack Henry, Patrick True has transferred to become the President of Lendovative. Lendovative's mission is to support community-centered financial institutions in the United States by empowering them to enhance business-client relationships while reducing credit risk.
Talking Credit in 2023 and Beyond
13-06-2023
Talking Credit in 2023 and Beyond
What's changed since the last time Kristina was on the show? A lot. Mark and Kristina talk through what it is like to analyze and decide on lending in today's "new normal."IN THIS EPISODE:[00:35] Mark explains what MBFS or Member Business Financial Services does, and Kristina explains her role at MBFS and how the company has grown since its inception. [08:19] Kristina explains the pros and cons of working from home.[13:32] Kristina discusses how the higher interest rate is impacting the lending business and how those rates are impacting the economy in general. [19:30] Kristina talks about the affordability of real estate and how the value of the real estate and its cash flow could be devalued. [21:46] Kristina believes that credit unions should get back to basics and inform, educate and give options to borrowers who may need to renew a loan. [25:28] Discussion of the lack of residential apartment units and low inventory of homes available. [28:05] Discussion of warehouse space compared to office space and shopping malls and location, location, location. KEY TAKEAWAYS: Interest rates have affected the housing market; however, a credit union is still a great place to visit to obtain financing.The necessity for office space is declining because of employees working remotely.Destination malls are still thriving; however, many malls are nearly vacant.RESOURCE LINKSMark Ritter - WebsiteBIOGRAPHY: Kristina Paulson is the AVP of Credit Services at MBFS. After a career in banking, Kristina shifted to credit unions to assist in credit analysis. Today she leads the team's credit analysis on new loans, annual reviews and portfolio management.
Talking Lending in 2023 and Beyond
30-05-2023
Talking Lending in 2023 and Beyond
After talking about the boom times in the pandemic, Mark and Dustin reset about what it takes to manage the sales and strategy for a large credit union in 2023 and beyond. Mark and Dustin do quite a bit of prognostication in this episode, so we will revisit it next year to see if they are right!IN THIS EPISODE:[02:20] Dustin shares his working history through the banking field to the Credit Union industry. [07:10] Dustin tells the genesis of Clearview Federal Credit Union, where he is the VP of Lending. [09:18] Dustin talks about the differences between living in Albuquerque and the PA area. [12:53] What is the outlook for the liquidity situation in attracting deposits in 2023, and how do geographic limitations affect the Credit Union? [19:13] Dustin discusses the car lending aspect of the Credit Union. [23:53] Discussion of the home equity and mortgage markets and how homeowners may be staying in their homes just to keep the low-interest rate. [31:32] Discussion of the commercial real estate market and the challenges that exist, and Dustin reveals the message that can be sent to the marketplace. [36:37] Dustin talks about the solicitations he receives as the VP of Lending and how he screens those in or out. KEY TAKEAWAYS: Attracting depositors is more challenging than it used to be.  Credit unions need to target ways people think about their investments and develop creative ways to attract electronic deposits back into local branches.The biggest obstacle for Credit Unions is that they have local parameters fencing them in, whereas big banks and neo-banks do not.A Credit Union shouldn’t tie up all their lending power to vehicles only, which can hold you captive to the ebbs and flows of the car market.RESOURCE LINKSMark Ritter - WebsiteClearview Federal Credit Union - WebsiteDustin Holmberg - LinkedInBIOGRAPHY: Dustin Holmberg is a longtime credit union executive currently the VP of Lending at Clearview FCU in western PA. In this role, he leads all consumer, business, and mortgage lending for Western PA's largest credit union. Dustin is also a board member of MBFS.
Attracting & Retaining Talent At Your Credit Union
16-05-2023
Attracting & Retaining Talent At Your Credit Union
Kirk and Mark talk about the state of today's credit union industry and attempt to solve all the current climate issues. Kirk talks to Mark about the challenges for credit unions today in attracting and retaining the best talent. IN THIS EPISODE:[03:19] Kirk shares his employment background and what he is currently doing. [10:22] Kirk discusses how he came to know the right questions to ask as a leader. [12:03] The concept of national credit unions and the complexity of that operation. [15:22] Ai technology has exploded and will change the way we do business. [19:57] Liquidity pressures and how credit unions need to adapt quicker. [24:55] Kirk explains what the job market is like for positions in the industry. [27:53] Salaries are up in the industry, so other credit unions can take your talented employees and long-term, the agency suffers. [31:06] The benefits of a 457f plan and a split-dollar-based insurance program.  [39:23] Kirk shares his contact information and welcomes the contact. KEY TAKEAWAYS: Knowing a credit union's functions from the ground up can not be overstated as you move into a leadership role. Ai technology is the pivotal point that will change how credit unions function, and they must adapt.It pays to take care of your employees if you want to retain them. CEOs can work from home and only go into the office a few times a month and, therefore, can be recruited and work for anyone.RESOURCE LINKSMark Ritter - WebsiteOM Financial - WebsiteKirk Kordeleski - EmailOM Financial Group - WebinarKirk Kordeleski - LinkedinKirk Kordeleski - 516-528-5057BIOGRAPHY: Kirk Kordeleski is well-known in the credit union industry as a longtime executive at a large organization. These days, Kirk assists credit unions in retaining talent through OM Financial, an executive benefits consulting firm.
So You Want To Do Construction Loans?
02-05-2023
So You Want To Do Construction Loans?
Mark and Mike try to demystify one of the complex and rewarding lending areas that can also be filled with pitfalls and peril if not done properly. Learn a bit about Mike's construction management history and what support exists for construction lending at credit unions.IN THIS EPISODE:[01:50] Mike shares his education and professional background. [03:14] Mike outlines the various services LCS provides. [09:52] What was the construction industry like during peak-pandemic? [13:43] How does the construction industry handle inflation uncertainty and the different types of construction management agreements? [19:13] Mike describes the steps LCS takes to produce a risk report on the construction project and discusses difficult conversations when the review substantiates that a project cannot be built for the bid. [24:41] How do draw management and a draw inspection protect the owner? [30:10] Mike explains why a property condition report can assist lenders.  [33:16] Mike relates a nightmare story costing $200,000. KEY TAKEAWAYS: Construction lending creates value for a community. At the same time, properties in disrepair define that community. New construction projects contribute to society.Some people are intimidated by construction lending because they are risk-averse. However, with proper oversight, many problems can be avoided.Lenders should get assistance from a lender consulting firm at the project's conception and before funding to avoid costly mistakes.RESOURCE LINKSMark Ritter WebsiteLender Consulting Services WebsiteBIOGRAPHY: After a long career in construction management, Mike Kosmoski joined Lender Consulting Services in 2020 to head up the construction lending management division.Lender Consulting Services, Inc provides Risk Management Solutions for Environmental, Construction, and Valuation Due Diligence to Lenders nationwide. Headquartered in Buffalo, NY, the firm has assisted Banks, Credit Unions, Pace and Alternative Lenders, Developers and Corporations for almost three decades.
Best of the Best in Loan Software
18-04-2023
Best of the Best in Loan Software
What is the one system used by the majority of the 20 largest banks in the USA and MBFS? It's nCino. They are a longtime partner of MBFS, and in this episode, Will Cameron and Mark catch up on the latest nCino news and what is happening in the loan systems industry today.IN THIS EPISODE:[02:14] Will Cameron shares his job history and talks about skills veterans bring to an organization. [06:50] The growth of nCino from 150 to 1600 employees. [12:24] Will explains how the level of technology has changed and how the mindset needs to change accordingly. [16:04] The two key factors when choosing a technology investment. [19:13] Select a software system that grows with your organization. [23:39] nCino partners with organizations that have a limited number of employees through its support staff. [28:11] Why the nCino support staff is effective and how they are building intelligence into their products for both the institution and the member. KEY TAKEAWAYS: It’s critical to involve the stakeholders, employees and IT personnel when shopping for a software system.Evaluation of software by cost alone is foolish. Instead, it should be viewed as an asset to grow the business.Don’t automate your inefficiencies. Rethink what the right software can do for your company.RESOURCE LINKSMark Ritter WebsitenCino Website BIO:Will Cameron is the SVP of Community and Regional Banking for nCino. nCino's Bank Operating System is a comprehensive, fully-integrated bank operating system that was created by bankers, for bankers, to drive increased profitability, productivity gains, regulatory compliance, and operating transparency at all organizational levels and across all lines of business.