Half a billion dollars goes to CU Strategic Planning clients in one day; more than all historical and outstanding secondary capital combined
December 14th was a history-making day for the entire credit union system, for individual credit unions and for one credit union consultancy. CU Strategic Planning, a firm that exclusively serves credit unions, was responsible for obtaining $500 million in secondary capital for 21 credit unions through Treasury’s Emergency Capital Investment Program.
According to Callahan & Associates, between 1997 and 2019, $50 million was deployed by Inclusiv, the largest provider of secondary capital to credit unions outside of the federal government. Inclusiv’s advocacy on behalf of its members supported the Treasury’s ECIP in the CARES Act. In 2010, credit unions received $70 million from the Treasury’s Community Development Capital Initiative. In February 2021, Catalyst Corporate Credit Union reported that 75 credit unions had $344 million in outstanding secondary capital.
The achievement of 100% approval for 21 credit unions is also a significant accomplishment for CU Strategic Planning because historically NCUA approval has been difficult to obtain. CreditUnions.com reported that the NCUA denied 15 of 18 secondary capital requests made by CU Capital Market Solutions between 2017 and 2019.
“This a wonderful accomplishment for our amazing credit union clients, and our team led by CFO Sharon Hall,” said CU Strategic Planning CEO Stacy Augustine. “Hall’s leadership in this historic achievement comes from decades of deep experience with CDFI and low-income designated credit union financial projections. She led the team to accomplish what has never been done before.”
This good news for CU Strategic Planning and its clients came days after the U.S. Treasury CDFI Fund announced the FY2021 FA/TA Awards, which resulted in CU Strategic Planning’s clients receiving $20 million in grants, with an average client award more than $100,000 more than peer credit unions.
“This was a big year for CDFI-certified credit unions,” Chief Strategic and Advocacy Officer, Mike Beall said. “We knew our team needed to step up to the plate as the only consultancy experienced with Treasury’s prior CDCI in 2010 and the largest writer of CDFI grants for credit unions. There’s never been a year like this. Funding for CDFIs was 50 times greater than any year prior—reaching $12 billion.”
To prepare for the increased volume of work, CU Strategic Planning nearly doubled its number of employees. Augustine credits rigorous process documentation, a partnership with TransUnion, thorough training, mentoring and investment in tools as allowing the firm to maintain its quality of work while increasing the number of credit unions it serves.
CU Strategic Planning’s credit union clients receiving ECIP funding ranged in assets size from less than $5 million to more than $10 billion in asset size, and the investments deployed range from $900,000 to $175 million. In total, $8.7 billion in ECIP investments were approved by Treasury, including $2 billion to credit unions.