The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

In The Right Context—No Change Is A Good Thing

On February 23rd, 2009, posted in: Uncategorized by

If you love change then this is your time. It could be argued that we’re in the “Super Bowl” of change. Surely, lots of good will come from the change we witness today. That is our hope. Unfortunately, most of today’s change comes on the heels of more bad news.

Folks are busy pulling the levers of change at a break neck pace—trying to right the upset in the economy. At the eye of this storm lies a banking industry (read literally—not credit union industry) in turmoil. Behemoth banks may well be on their way to nationalism while running a close race with the automobile industry to see who’s going to get the top prize in government bailout monies.

Given that all of the change is being propagated by the “piling on” of negative news, it is no wonder that many folk’s attitude toward change continues to sour. Unfortunately, change is getting a bad name. Maybe now is the time to take an antithetic approach—in other words, what hasn’t changed.

As a credit union, SLCCU is still the single best provider of financial services on the planet. In addition, SLCCU’s capital (rainy day fund) is stronger than most. We have sky high service ratings—much higher than the banking industry. There’s three examples of no change being a good thing. Let’s continue.

The credit union serves members not customers. SLCCU has no credit crisis—we’re making loans every single day. St. Louis Community Credit Union exists only to serve our members—we have no Wall St. interests or stock market ties. SLCCU continues to grow at a rapid pace. SLCCU has great rates and low fees.

Sometimes “no change” is a breath of fresh air. We continue to support our members during these tough economic times. There is no changing our commitment—and that’s great news in such volatile times.

A Valentine’s Day Greeting

On February 17th, 2009, posted in: Uncategorized by

Well, 2008 has folded into 2009 without much change in economic news. Hopefully, we’re on the cusp of some positive changes. But if nothing else has been learned from the “goings on” in recent times, it has been to not shoot from the hip. A wait and see approach is much more prudent and practical. Given that St. Louis Community Credit Union is located in Missouri, we have adopted the state nickname as our official position on economic improvement: “SHOW ME.”

Whatever the circumstances, the calendar turns over this time of year to reflect the holiday of love. That’s right…Valentine’s Day was this past Saturday. I put aside the economic turmoil and the plethora of ugly news to think “love.” I spent time expressing how much I care for so many great people in my life. My wife, my kids, my family, my friends, and the many great employees I work with at the Credit Union. I love them all. And, of course, I love our members…so much so that Cupid struck and I wrote all 33,000-plus members the following poem:

St. Louis Community’s Favorite Valentine

We love our members – and to serve their needs;
To make their lives better, we always lead
With great rates, great service and low, low fees.
Then add lots of convenience – we aim to please.

In 2009, we want the best for each of you.
We pledge “excellence” in all that we do.
These few words are just our way to say,
Thanks for your business and Happy Valentine’s Day.

True enough, I’m no Maya Angelou, but that doesn’t diminish how much we appreciate the relationship that you have with the Credit Union. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

Know that you are loved.

The Credit Union Story Has A Happy Ending

On February 9th, 2009, posted in: Uncategorized by

It’s Oscar time. In less than two weeks we’ll find out the winner of Hollywood’s most famous piece of hardware. I have to tell you…I don’t have a clue which movies or actors are even up for the awards. If you forced me to pick a favorite entertainment genre, first it would be TV (specifically sports); followed by classic cowboy movies that show up years later on AMC (The American Movie Channel). Going to the movies is probably one of my least favorite things to do – second only to going to a bank!

I’ve seen some Oscar-winning movies over the years. Yes, in the theater. One of my all-time favorite winners was “Rocky,” which won best picture in 1977. You remember the story…unknown club fighter gets a shot at the big time, and gives heavyweight champion Apollo Creed all he can handle. (Sort of like St. Louis Community Credit Union delivering some gut punches to the city’s big banking giants.) It was an awesome movie with that classic “underdog succeeds” storyline. I’m a sucker for such a storyline…both in the movies and in real life. Be honest…in that soft spot in your heart, didn’t you want the Cardinals to win the Super Bowl? Me, too.

The only problem with “Rocky” was “Rocky II, III, IV, V, and VI.” I vividly remember leaving the movie theater after “Rocky” being pumped out of my mind. I drank two raw eggs, did 50 push-ups, and ran around the parking lot five times. I told you…that movie pumped me up. After Rocky VI, I went to Krispy Kreme. Quite a difference, don’t you think? The pizzazz was lost. The storyline was stale. You knew the ending before the movie started – sort of like using a bank.

We know that you use other financial institutions – you’ve told us in surveys over the years. But why? You know that the pizzazz is gone. You know the storyline. You see the final scene unfolding. Banks are known for mediocre rates, higher fees, and poor service. That’s where the movie ends.

Get your pizzazz back…bring ALL of your business to St. Louis Community Credit Union!

We’re Focused On You During These Tough Economic Times

On February 2nd, 2009, posted in: Uncategorized by

Short-term, we’re focused on you. Long-term, the focus is much the same. I bet you’re thinking that you must be the most important thing in our daily planner. If that’s what you guessed, you would be 100% correct. Nothing matters to us more than you, our members.

Short-term, the economy is ugly. You read, hear and see the same newscasts that I do, and admittedly there is a lot of pain in our community. While many businesses offset their problems by passing them on to the consumer, St. Louis Community Credit Union attempts to absorb the difficulty within our corporate structure. In other words, rather than penalize you by passing on the market discord, we “crawl in the foxhole” with you and help fight the battle.

As a result, our rates remain great; our fees are some of the lowest you’ll find anywhere; the office hours are the same; our products continue to expand; and there are no service cut-backs. In business terms, we call this exercise “return” to you. Short-term, we’re in this together.

Long-term, we have a strong capital position. That’s a business term for a “rainy day” fund. Yes, we have a substantial “rainy day” account – more than most other financial institutions. It currently represents just over 16% of our assets. We haven’t used a dime of it. We are as safe and sound as it gets. But, if we had to dip into the “rainy day” monies, we would do so for the long-term benefit of you. And that’s the point.

Rather than heap the problems of the economy on you and your family, we’ll help shoulder the burden for as long as we can during these tough times. Short-term, our bet is that you would rather not pay higher fees; earn below-market rates; pay higher loan rates; and/or have limited access to our many convenient services. Long-term, we’ll remain safe and sound at the highest level, but we may seek help from our “rainy day” fund when needed. Now that’s a great plan – all with you in mind.