Credit unions could use a charismatic leader right now. Who is going to rallies the troops to get this splintering industry to-well-cooperate?
Certainly there are leaders in the credit union industry who could probably fit the bill. (This song keeps running in my head as I'm writing this.) Executives who know their business, are great speakers and can get people to follow them exist.
Credit union executives are not lemmings, and no one expects them to be. But when all is said and done, there needs to be a unifying force and someone needs to represent that force. An industry leader doesn't have to come from the trades or consultancies; in fact, it shouldn't. If true prosperity is to come to a cooperative industry, cohesion must reach a critical mass and it must build from the grass roots level on up. And the rest must realize that you don't have to agree with every word out of that person's mouth or every action the person has ever taken to stand behind a great leader.
A unified rallying cry is necessary for a truly grass roots effort. Right now there are factions that just want to eliminate the NCUA or scuttle the trades or ignore Washington and keep within the four walls or their institution or merely stir the pot for personal gain (even if it's only their own amusement). All of this nonsense is just a distraction from moving forward; it's not conducive to future success.
Sept. 24 was a huge day for credit unions. After the conservatorship of three corporates, the new regulation and the legacy assets plan, credit unions didn't have time to breathe (though there may have been a collective sigh of relief following two-plus years of great uncertainty). None of it was unexpected, but the NCUA taking the actions all at once did surprise some. As Ann South, CEO of $128 million Novartis FCU, described it, she felt "side-swiped." She said she expected to have to manage through the new regulation to decide the next course of action for her credit union, which has $20 million tied up Members United. But to also be explaining to her board members that their corporate was conserved was a bit of a shocker. As many in the industry have said, she was surprised it hadn't happened already, but she questioned timing all the actions simultaneously. In a reasonable manner, South added that she figured the NCUA had its reasons. Thinking things through and believing their might be more to something than you are aware of is what is needed in the credit union industry.
Griping about the corporate debacle and who should have done what is yesterday's news. Who is going to make tomorrow's?