Before he was 40, Ralph Swoboda was named CEO of CUNA in Washington, DC. That was in 1986 and he held the job until 1994. That was when CUNA was a big association, with a head count upwards of 1400 because it provided a lot of assistance for credit unions with back office operations.
His next job after leaving CUNA was chairman of the management committee of the Association of British Credit Unions, based in Manchester, England.
Later, he moved to CUNA Mutual where he was head of international operations, directing operations in some 30 countries, from China to the Caribbean.
Now Swoboda is managing director of CUFA Ltd., a fintech based in Dublin, Ireland which creates lending analytics software running on big data for credit unions in Ireland but expansion into the United Kingdom and the United States is afoot.
Buckle your seatbelt for this wide ranging conversation that covers upwards of 35 years of high level involvement with credit unions, literally in dozens of countries. You will hear about differences between Irish credit unions and American credit unions, about the importance of community banks to US credit unions, and how the US payments system is something of a Third World embarrassment.
We wind up discussing the lending analytics tools Swoboda now is involved in and the timing could not be more ideal as many credit union executives awaken to the reality that lots of once solid loans on their books may be turning bad as Covid-19 takes its toll on many national economies.
Probably no podcast in this series covers so diverse a range of topics, countries, technologies.
You may not always agree with Swoboda. But you will definitely have fun listening in on this conversation.
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