Going into 2006, there were many of us who were very concerned about the outcome of the various studies and initiatives on credit union service to members of modest means.
In 2007, many of those concerns have lessened. A combination of a thoughtful and well-documented study by the NCUA coupled with strong support by CUNA have put our credit union movement in a much better position than any of us would have thought possible a few months ago.
While a solitary focus on service to members of modest means is both unsupported in the law and obviously a business model which simply cannot work, there is no question that the mission of our movement as a whole should be focused, at least in part, on addressing this issue. It is therefore gratifying to see the leadership of NCUA, through the offices of Board Member Gigi Hyland, continue to focus on these issues and to do so in a thoughtful manner. These NCUA-led efforts will also help remove this debate from the clutches of a banker-led lobbying campaign, which cynically demands credit unions do more in this arena, all the while throwing up legal and legislative roadblocks against our efforts to improve this area of service.
The town hall-styled meetings that Member Hyland and her Task Force are starting are a great way for our movement to come together on these issues, and to examine how we can make even more improvements in this service. The NCUA has one scheduled for the Mountain West region in Denver on Aug. 15. We will be working to ensure that as many credit unions as possible can attend this event and, in the spirit of our movement, work together to address one element of our national mission. John Dill President & CEO Credit Union Associations of Colorado & Wyoming Arvada, Colo.