Credit Union Recession Guide

As of this writing, the COVID-19 quarantine appears to have flattened the curve somewhat and discussions have shifted to how things will reopen. Many credit unions have been in crisis management mode for many weeks, and while they have felt the impacts on day to day operations with branch closures and remote workers, the financial and budget impacts are just now beginning to be felt.

The immediate future is uncertain, and yet credit unions must plan and execute to keep our business, communities, and members’ lives moving forward. Many of the credit union leaders have spoken about the stressful challenges of balancing member, employee, and credit union needs in this chaotic time.

This guide has some suggested methods that we have found in various circumstances and organizations over many years at credit unions, startups, and mature companies. These approaches have helped us navigate previous recessions as well as other business interruptions or market changes.

There are four main sections to this guide:

  1. What are the Likely Macro-Economic Scenarios?
  2. Likely Credit Union Revenue and Profit Paths during a Recovery.?
  3. Suggested Approaches to Maximize Revenue, Profit and Safety
  4. Advice for Leaders during this Event.
  5. Appendices: Getting Free PR and the “Break Glass Scenario”

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