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|Articles - June 2014|
|Thursday, May 29, 2014|
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BY KIM MOORE
OB: How has the economic recovery affected your lending strategy?
RC: After the downturn, consumer loan demand decreased. Now that the economy has recovered, we have seen the pent-up demand by consumers lead to a robust recovery in the auto-loan industry. Our auto portfolio increased by 71% last year. We also saw an increase in homeowner refinances, but that seems to be slowing a bit. With real estate values once again moving in a positive direction and with rates still relatively low, we have turned our focus toward the purchase market for mortgage loans.
OB: Are more businesses coming to you for loans because of the economic recovery?
RC: Yes. Our commercial-loan portfolio grew 41% last year. During the downturn, as commercial banks backed away from the market, we experienced an increase in demand for commercial lending and are still seeing robust activity. Predominantly, we are a commercial real estate lender; however, we are looking at additional opportunities to better serve the small-business community.
OB: How do you distinguish yourself from other financial institutions?
RC: Our biggest challenge isn’t differentiating from other credit unions — it’s simply creating awareness of credit unions in general. There is still an education gap as to what credit unions are and what services we provide. When we are trying to distinguish Advantis, we like to rely on the fact that we have served the Portland area for more than 85 years, are stable, are financially sound and are consistently rated as a best value for consumers.
OB: Why do you think there is not much public awareness of credit unions?
RC: Nationally, there have been efforts to increase public awareness of credit unions. However, we still have work to do. I think of how the “Got Milk?” campaign raised awareness of the benefits of milk, and I think the credit union industry could benefit from the same type of campaign. The overall message of credit unions formed as cooperatives and returning earnings to members in the form of lower fees and better interest rates is a positive one.
OB: Credit unions still represent a small section of the financial services sector. Do you see any potential for future growth?
RC: There is significant opportunity for growth, particularly as consumers are looking for other options and a better value after the financial crisis. However, the nature of our cooperative model puts a restriction on our growth. Credit unions must maintain appropriated levels of capital and can only increase capital through earnings. This restriction is both a plus and a minus, as it ensures financial stability but limits how quickly we can grow.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.
Monday, June 22, 2015
The Clean Fuels/gas tax trade off will go down in history as another disjointed, on-again off-again approach to city and state lawmaking.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
A conversation with Greg Lambert, president of Mid Oregon Personnel Services.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Jeff Lang and his wife Rae used to dole out campaign checks like candy. “We were like alcoholics,” Lang says. ”We couldn’t just give a little.”
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Uncertainty in Greece and China, along with potential interest rate hikes mean investors are looking at the market and nervously questioning where they should be invested.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY SAM BLACKMAN
Storyteller-in-chief with the CEO and co-founder of Elemental Technologies.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
We asked readers to weigh in on the fossil fuel-green energy equation.
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