Planning the New Normal

Our first all-online conference was a great success, with excellent presentations, panel debate and breakout discussions. The programme can be viewed here, and presentations and videos can be downloaded here too – see below. Please note: the videos are mp4 files which will open in DropBox, and they include slide presentations where these were used. The two excellent breakout sessions were an opportunity for attendees to share thoughts and ideas freely and were not recorded.

A big Centre thank you to all presenters and attendees.

Here are the materials by session (also gathered in this Proceedings document):

  1. Dr Paul Jones’ Introduction, presentationPaul, Reader in the Social Economy at Liverpool John Moores University and Director of Research at the Centre, noted the objective for the day – to look and plan ahead now some stability has returned after the immediate economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on credit unions and their members.
  1. Brian Corr on Economic Outlook, presentation and video. Brian, Head of Credit Union Policy at the Department of Finance within the Irish government, used data primarily from Ireland but also the UK to consider the impact of the pandemic to date and potential trends for the future. He concluded by noting that although there were considerable negative effects, there were also some identifiable positives, such as the acceleration of digitisation in the sector and considerable collaboration.
  1. CEO Forecasting Roundtable (Ruth Dorman, Anne King, Seamus Newcombe, Paul Norgrove, Marlene Shiels, Sean Staunton), video. Brian Corr facilitated this discussion by CEOs from five credit unions and one CUSO (credit union service organisation), reflecting on the challenges in 2020 and considering the threats and opportunities ahead. Among the diverse views shared, the panel identified that in additional to commercial stresses for credit unions and financial strain on many households, credit unions have a real opportunity to meet emerging saving and borrowing needs, notably through collaboration.
  1. Declan Mooney on Credit Riskpresentation and video (part a and part b). Declan, Business Development Director at CUFA Ltd, used data from CUFA’s database (60 Irish credit unions and €2.75bn of gross outstanding balances) to draw some immediate conclusions about the impact of the last six months of turbulence. The clear peak of adverse indicators was in June, with modest improvement since. Declan offered some ideas for where credit unions can seek advantage in the coming months.
  1. Matthew Vernon on Declines Managementpresentation and video. Matthew, CEO at Quo Money, summarised the findings of a research project undertaken in collaboration with CFCFE, looking at current practice in loan declines management in GB credit unions. Matthew considered the possible opportunities for giving more help to members so they can be successful applicants in future.
  1. John Gregoire on Revolving Credit, presentation and video. John, founder of The ProCon Group, offered straightforward advice on the effective management of revolving credit for the benefits of members and credit unions. Based on long experience in the movement, John identified described some “common sense realities” in lending, based on members’ character, capacity and collateral.
  1. Lending Post-COVID19 Panel (John Gregoire, Declan Mooney, Matthew Vernon), video. Nick Money, Director of Development at the Centre, facilitated a panel discussion, where panellists considered how to ensure consistency in lending while managing the individual characteristics of members, how to help members out of a decline situation without weakening the commitment to responsible lending and what future lending trends might look like.