OVERLAND PARK, Kan.-For many credit unions, growing in 2013 will come down to not "standing in their own way."

Tony Ferris, managing partner for the Rochdale Group, said that just as people use a new year for self-reflection, so, too, should CUs. "It is a time for optimism and opportunity, but much like in our personal life, what we should and what we actually do are often two different things," he assessed. "Mediocrity remains our Achilles heel. The ability to quickly identify, mobilize and secure opportunities is paramount to our future success, but we often stand in our own way."

Moving roward in 2013, he said, will require "significant leadership" related to "internal organizational capabilities."

"Much of our research and experience reflects a growing gap in internal capabilities that are central to the future success of the credit union," he said. "Statistically through our experience, credit unions possess 4% to 5% of total assets in unmitigated risks" over and above expected loan losses.

These risks can more appropriately be viewed as potential opportunities, particularly in talent management, analytics, data mining and enterprise risk management.

"However, almost universally, credit unions struggle to identify and invest in these capabilities," he said. "To secure these a CU must take a step back and solidify its internal capabilities or these opportunities will remain just that-unrealized potential."

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