Greater Ne­vada Credit Union lend­ing for a greater… Louisiana

CREDIT UNION: GREATER NE­VADA CU CAT­E­GORY: SMALL BUSI­NESS LEND­ING NOM­I­NATED BY: GREATER NE­VADA

Credit Union Journal - - Special Report - BY MICHAEL BARTLETT

AS ITS NAME IM­PLIES, GREATER NE­VADA CREDIT Union tries to stim­u­late the Sil­ver State econ­omy.

But the $729 mil­lion CU, based in Car­son City, Nev., has a small busi­ness lend­ing pro­gram that is book­ing loans in Louisiana — far from Ne­vada’s deserts and moun­tains.

GNCU has had much suc­cess par­tic­i­pat­ing in a lend­ing pro­gram through the U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture. Not only did the USDA pro­gram grow Greater Ne­vada’s loan port­fo­lio, the CU said it con­trolled risk be­cause the USDA typ­i­cally guar­an­tees up to 80% of the loan. The loans are rev­enue gen­er­a­tors, GNCU added, car­ry­ing in­ter­est rates be­tween 5 per­cent and 6 per­cent.

GNCU launched its USDA pro­gram in 2013 and grew it to fund more than $120 mil­lion in 2016, mak­ing it the first credit union rec­og­nized as the USDA’S Lender of the Year.

The pro­gram is on pace to fund more than $200 mil­lion by the close of 2017, and GNCU said this rate of pro­duc­tion can gen­er­ate $10 mil­lion in an­nual in­come for the credit union and its par­tic­i­pants.

GNCU said it has funded so many USDA loans, it launched a par­tic­i­pa­tion pro­gram for other credit unions in 2016. Par­tic­i­pat­ing CUS re­ceive a “qual­ity loan to hold,” a piece of the un­der­writ­ing fee and a pro rata por­tion of the premium from the sale of the guar­an­teed por­tion. The pro­gram al­lows CUS to earn rev­enue with­out hav­ing to hire a full-time un­der­writer and de­velop years of mar­ket ex­per­tise.

One of the Louisiana com­pa­nies that has ben­e­fit­ted is C-dive LLC in Houma, La. Rob­bie Cham­pagne, the mar­itime-sup­port com­pany’s pres­i­dent, said, “thanks to the fi­nanc­ing that GNCU and its part­ners pro­vided, sales and net op­er­at­ing in­come are the high­est in the history of our com­pany. We have cor­nered the mar­ket and are book­ing work well into next year to meet de­mand.”

Jeremy Gilpin, GNCU’S VP of com­mer­cial ser­vices said the C-dive loan is a per­fect ex­am­ple of how the part­ner­ship — which in­cluded a lo­cal con­sul­tant, a Lousisana-based CU and a Louisiana-based com­mu­nity bank — works, adding, “suc­cess­ful com­pa­nies cre­ate more jobs and a bet­ter qual­ity of life for fam­i­lies,”

Greater Ne­vada CU won the 2016 Lender of the Year award from Louisiana Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment and the U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture for the CU’S role in sup­port­ing small busi­nesses and Louisiana’s econ­omy.

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