Credit Union Movement Must Maintain its Identity
After reading the story on Cliff Dias' retirement in the Aug. 31, I think maybe you should point Mr. Dias to Texas in case he hasn't read about Community Credit Union and OmniAmerican Credit Union. Obviously, he hasn't completely thought through the ramifications of having a handful of mega credit unions. What say we obliterate the credit union movement by the process of elimination! Here's a game plan, first we merge the little ones instead of partnering with them so they too can serve their members better in this changing environment, then we sweeten the merger deal for the medium-sized credit unions to a point where they simply can't refuse. The handful of credit unions that survive can simply convert to banks. That should work and what-the-heck we can finally rid America, and maybe the world, of that silly notion of people helping people. The credit union philosophy goes far beyond the size of assets and the products we offer and fortunately the movement still has an abundance of CEOs and volunteers that believe it. It's proven every day in the 9,000-plus credit unions left in our ranks. Your paper often reports of those special services we do, which remind us of what it means to truly serve people. Let me give an example of an off balance sheet special service we offer. At my credit union we believe in the power of prayer and it's not uncommon for us to pray with our members that are going through tough times, in addition to helping them financially. I know we're not unique, there are many special services offered by a multitude of credit unions in our movement that can't possibly have a dollar value placed on them. The more credit unions there are, the more diversity and success in offering those special services. Is it possible that the mentioned fictitious game plan could come to fruition? I think so, if we in the movement don't do something to reverse the trend. It's time for us to value something beyond size and financial services and let the movement know about it. What do you value most about our movement? Don't just sit back in silence, speak up and reverse the trend! Terry L. Denmark CEO Dearborn Village CCU Dearborn, Mich.