The banking business is a lot about numbers. Credit unions get caught up in all of the numbers, too. Honestly, I could fill up your living room wall (from corner to corner) with numbers, ratios, statistics and analysis all meaning something to someone regarding our financial stability and strength. Now don’t get me wrong, numbers matter and are important, and SLCCU’s numbers are some of the very best. But on a wall filled with numbers, amidst mounds of paperwork and spreadsheets, my favorite number for 2015 was 207. That’s the number of kids at Lexington Elementary School who received coats, hats and gloves from SLCCU. Match that with 207 smiles, and you’re doubling your investment.
Isn’t this thing we signed up for all about people? I mean really. If I may borrow from a distant Seinfeld episode of years past, an obviously impatient George Costanza, dealing with a guy in the airport who wouldn’t give him the time, blurted out in frustration, “We’re living in a society here!” Well, George is right. We are living in a society and St. Louis is ours. And for all that’s wrong in our community that has been documented throughout the world, it is our community and we have to take care of each other first and foremost. Put the wall full of numbers aside for a second. What would SLCCU be if we weren’t doing our part to make this city and region the best it could possibly be? HMMMM?
We made 20% more loans than the average credit union throughout the state of Missouri during 2015. Pretty impressive number. More importantly, these loans created opportunities for many people to get a better job in order to increase their standard of living and better their lifestyle. Our new member growth was 150% better than credit unions across Missouri — another impressive number. Again, more importantly, we gave mainstream banking opportunities to thousands upon thousands of people who otherwise might be losing their wealth to check cashers. That’s the real story here.
Car loans create opportunities for single moms. Alternatives to payday loans create savings and wealth for our community. Second-chance checking creates security and peace of mind for hardworking people who need a helping hand to get started again. And home loans answer prayers for people who otherwise are stuck in a world of rising rents with nothing to show for it. That’s what motivates the SLCCU board, leadership and staff. The numbers are just a byproduct.
Our Board of Directors defines our pathway by setting policies and strategic direction. I’m reminded every day that people come first. We are blessed to have such wonderful leadership.
People come before profit. Look it up. Even in the dictionary, you’ll always find people first, then profit. We are successful because we adhere to this very simple principle. We are living in a society here, and SLCCU does our part every day to make it better.