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Lending advice from the USA


12 Jan 17

A leading lending expert from the American credit union movement travelled to Manchester this week to share his knowledge with British credit unions.

Mike London (pictured) is Senior Vice President of Lending at Georgia United Credit Union. The Atlanta-based credit union serves over 150,000 members from its 19 branches. It has more than 200 employees and assets of around US$1 billion. Mike is also Vice Chair of the CUNA Lending Council Executive Committee, and a member of Experian’s Credit Union Advisory Board.

Mike was in Manchester to speak to some of Britain’s largest credit unions about risk-based pricing of loans. ABCUL has identified increasing lending as a proportion of assets as one of the key challenges for the country’s credit unions over the next few years, and the session considered what we mean by “fairness” in loan pricing, the pros and cons of charging all members the same interest rate versus risk-based pricing, and how to build a loan pricing model that works for your credit union.

ABCUL last year entered a World Council International Partnership with Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA), and Mike London’s arrival to share his lending expertise followed a trip by a delegation from Georgia to last year’s ABCUL Annual Conference and a reciprocal visit to Atlanta by a number of British credit unions last October.

ABCUL’s member credit unions with over £10 million in assets get together every few months to share ideas and experiences and to hear new insights from invited speakers. This week’s meeting also heard inputs from the Fairbanking Foundation, Bayberry Consulting and Fiserv on topics including ethical sales processes and options for the development of a credit union credit card product.

ABCUL Chief Executive Mark Lyonette said: “Britain’s credit unions are lending more than £780 million to their members, but we want to do even more to help people from all walks of life access fairly priced credit through credit unions.

“We can learn a lot from the success of the American credit union movement, and we’re very grateful to Mike London for sharing his considerable lending expertise with our larger members this week. Our partnership with GCUA is stimulating new ideas and delivering learning which will benefit all our member credit unions.”

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