NEW YORK-The recession confirmed to Actors FCU the old adage that prevention is better than a cure.

Director of Marketing Steven Sobotta said belt tightening and alternative income strategies were discussed right before the economy tanked. "Unlike banks, there was a bit of a pre-recession period during which credit unions were able to see trouble coming and prepare for the worst."

The $160-million CU quickly discussed reassessments regarding employee salaries and overall budgets, adjusting projections for income and expenses. "Our marketing budget was reassessed, which proved especially challenging-trying to keep our name out there and moving forward, but being mindful of a need to reduce expenses in this area," said Sobotta.

Although income projections were tempered, Actors was able to offset reduced income from traditional sources-such as mortgages, credit cards, and auto loans-with income from its ATM, money transmitter, and check casher programs. "Having these programs in place prior to the worst of the recession allowed us to stay the course and remain competitive in areas of loan and savings rates."

Given the impact of the NCUA assessments, however, Actors paid special attention to reducing savings rates to temper deposit inflows to maintain net-worth ratio.

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the credit union industry

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.