I enjoyed Mike Welch's publisher's column on Dick Ensweiler's dilemma about using the word "bank." It is difficult to define us by our competition. What credit unions do is handle money, savings, and lending. Everything else is just about how credit unions facilitate members putting money in and getting money out. Reminds me of a problem a group of economists had with the word disintermediation. Seems they felt it was too cumbersome and people needed something that described the process more completely. Their answer was this gem, "circumfiduciation." Much better, no? Maybe we should just call CUs "cooperative bank," "peoples bank," or why not something radical like "money place," or "money tree?" If we look at how credit unions translate into other languages, the word bank is clearly evident. "Caisse populaire," "casa popular," "genosenshaftkasse"-People's Banks in three different languages. Our distinction is really membership, not what we do. How about "Member's Money Place?" Good luck to all you wordsmiths. Wylie Dougherty Retired CUNA Executive Peoria, Ariz.
Call CUs Cooperative Banks?
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