Because it's Monday and I'm a "Little Miss Sunshine" kind of guy, the kind of guy who wants every bank executive to get off on the right foot each and evey week, I need to pass along an upbeat article that was sent to me today by a credit union industry representative. As this correspondent said so well, "You can substitute 'community banks' for 'credit unions' in the article and it works just the same."
It's a cheery little piece by Credit Union Times Executive Editor Heather Anderson. She's been in the credit union business for her "entire career" (and although she won't confirm how long that might be, we assume it's at least "a while") and she thinks that credit unions are headed the way of the Do-Do Bird and Vanilla Ice: into oblivion. Why? Here's her reasons:
- Breakdown in barriers to entry into the business. She mentions prepaid debit cards as spelling the end of checking accounts as we know them.
- Check cashers and payday lenders sucking NSF and overdraft income wells dry.
- Free spending (and investing) baby boomers dying off and being supplanted by Gen Y scrooges who won't borrow to buy cars or houses and will live in Mom's and Dad's house until they move into the retirement home.
- The good times are gone and they ain't never coming back, no how, no way.
- The regulators need to help credit unions be innovative with "new" products and services, which is like telling Elizabeth Warren that an unaccountable giant federal bureaucracy may morph from the New Sheriff into the New Caliphate. It simply doesn't compute.
So, all-in-all, Heather thinks credit unions, and by analogy, community banks, are toast.
I was going to get Heather a tasty box of almond toffee for the holidays, but I may change that gift to a lump of Anthracite. She may need it to warm the cockles of her disheartened heart.