Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lend Me Your Ear

Over the last year our economy has been plagued with bank failure, rising unemployment, looming national debt and social unrest. Even in Omaha, which is typically insulated, we have felt the effects of deteriorating markets to the east and west. Many people speculate that the underlying cause of all the gloom and doom stems from greed found at the highest levels of industry. I would have to agree.
Almost daily Gallup associates ask me the question “What is the benefit of joining the Credit Union? “
Of course I have a typical response that emphasizes the amount our members save on loans and our higher dividend rates on deposits, however, just in the last several months I have realized that the benefits we offer to Gallup employees and their families is much greater than just dollar savings.
I am employed by Gallup; in fact, all of the associates in the credit union are employed by Gallup. This is part of the reason why our business is able to offer services at reduced cost. More importantly this is why I don’t have to worry about hitting monthly loan processing metrics.
You see, a typical banker is paid according to how many loans he writes, no matter how good or bad they are. This is one of the major reasons that the mortgage industry is in such a predicament and is sinking the entire financial industry. The more loans the banker pushes through the system, the more he makes. It costs the same to process a $100 loan as it does to process a $1M loan, so every banker who works on a retail floor will try and sell as many $1M loans as possible because they get paid more. Is this system evil or bad? Not inherently, but truly the system is flawed. It’s flawed because the banker does not have any reason to care whether or not the customer can repay the loan, it simply does not matter to him; he is getting paid either way.
I am paid by Gallup to provide our members and non-members with honest, accurate, applicable information to help them make decisions with their best interest at heart. I am not paid to push loans or drive up volume. I have the privileged of knowing many of our members personally and I see them on a daily basis.
If you are still reading this article you must like the idea of working with people that have your best interest in mind.
The bottom line is, if you are tired of being worried about whether or not you are getting a good deal at your bank, or if you feel like you are not getting the straight talk (to steal a line from governor Palin) you want at your financial institution; I can guarantee you that you will get a good deal and the honest truth at Gallup FCU.

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