Technology, Partnerships Can Help Small CUs Provide Full-Service
As the CEO of a very small credit union, I wish to comment on Mike Welch's Jan. 12 column, "Waving the Flag for Small CUs Not Smart." While I agree 100% that Navy Federal is just as much a "credit union" as we are, I believe very strongly that there are important services being given by the smallest credit unions that wish to serve their own members. As a side note, I have been a member of Navy Federal for 35 years, since the day I reported to my first duty station wearing my dress sailor suit! With the technology available today, small credit unions can automate processes that were manually done in past years. Monthly dividends can be posted to accounts with a few keystrokes on a personal computer. Electronic transfers to and from other institutions are available to the smallest of credit unions with the affordability of high speed Internet in most areas. An informational Internet site is a slam dunk today. As for a $1 million credit union not being able to offer mortgages, we now offer a referral service to the very same mortgage organization used by many of the large credit unions in the area. Assistance and advice is readily available from many state leagues, NAFCU, the NFCDCU and from NCUA. NCUA Board member Deborah Matz has shown a great and genuine interest in the needs of small credit unions and her efforts should be applauded. NCUA Board Chairman JoAnn Johnson is also very interested in the issues small credit unions face as well. I have spoken with both of these board members personally on several occasions about the issues we face. Chairman Johnson even made an informal visit to our credit union last May to see a Financial Literacy Train the Trainer class being given by NFCDCU. Is there any "guarantee" that all of Ms. Matz's ideas and initiatives will be 100% successful? Of course not, anymore than 100% of all of Credit Union Times' initiatives are a success, or that Mike Welch's predictions every New Year are 100% correct! I commend Ms. Matz and her willingness to try programs and initiatives that will assist small credit unions better serve their members. I believe it has been the small credit unions that have been in the lead with alternatives to predatory lending, services to non-English speaking populations and providing services to underserved populations. Can big credit unions do a good job as well? Of course they can - and most do a very good job. I can assure you that the Queen of Peace Arlington FCU will continue to serve our members and will not be connected to life support systems and be trotted out and put on display. Dan Morrisey Treasurer/Manager/CEO Queen of Peace Arlington FCU Arlington, Va.