Thursday, July 14, 2022
During economic upheavals, like rising and falling rates, inflationary pressure, and future uncertainty, we sometimes receive questions from our members about how this will affect them and the services we offer. As you know, we are currently navigating a tumultuous economic environment. In our desire to deliver the highest level of transparency, we want to answer the “most asked” question from members right now – and with our answer you will find more insights into our exciting future.
Although we receive relatively few questions from members each day, the question we hear most often now is this: “FED rates have increased. When are you going to raise the rates on my savings and certificates?”
Lending rates have almost doubled in the past year. Yet, deposit rates remain virtually unchanged. How can this be so? In truth, if loan volume were constant, this would certainly mean greater profitability for us (and others!). However, there is a “psychological” effect that causes consumers to all but stop borrowing when there is a sharp increase in interest rates (as we are experiencing). Just think about the increased costs of everyday goods - people are slowing their buying especially where borrowing is concerned. Therefore, while there is a larger gap between stated deposit rates and stated lending rates, the coinciding reduction in loan volume provides little, if any, gain.
That said, we are gaining increases in income with our investment portfolio (the money on deposit that is not funding loans). We have options available thanks to this income source. We could increase deposit rates incrementally, which would result in some members earning pennies in added interest income on their savings. However, instead we are using this added interest income to invest in ALL members by adding value, with products and services for all our current and prospective members. This is what we choose to do to best serve ALL of our members.
You may have noticed recently that we added a new Bill Payer service to e-branch and enhanced our RDC (Remote Deposit Capture) product. We are now reengineering our lobbies to support greater member service & convenience. We will be introducing a NEW online system that will allow people to apply for membership and loans online, as well as access their information anytime, anywhere…safely and conveniently. We are also working to implement a Retirement/Financial Advisory service for our members. These are just a few of the major initiatives we are working through on your behalf.
As you can see, we are being proactive and investing in your FINANCIAL FUTURE! We continue to offer better than market loan rates and are expanding our loan product portfolio. You have our word that we will continue to work hard for you and invest prudently in a convenient, safe, and profitable manner for everyone we serve. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let us know. We are here to serve YOU!
Anthony L. Emerson
President & CEO NHFCU