The president/CEO of the $770 million Seven Seventeen Credit Union in Warren, Ohio added his voice Monday to the chorus of credit union CEOs eager to become enthusiastic advocates for the industry on the newly formed Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve.
Gary Soukenik, a past director of the Ohio Credit Union League, said all of those Federal Reserve District banks “will be gaining a different perspective from the financial cooperative as compared to what they are used to receiving, hearing just from banks and others.”
It is heartening that credit unions are being recognized at a higher level in the Fed, said Soukenik, who said he expects to attend the first meeting of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s CDIAC on March 16. Also named to the 11-member Cleveland Fed panel is Patrick Ferry, senior vice president of Members Heritage FCU of Lexington, Ky.
Soukenik said he expects to bring up interchange and conditions for improving small business lending at the March 16 meeting and on that “I’m certain the community banks share our views on interchange but on business lending they may not be on our side.”
Like other CDIACs created by the Fed last year, the chairman or a representative from each regional bank is asked to advance the local views before the Fed Board in Washington and in Ohio, Soukenik noted, it will be a banker, Howard Boyle, president/CEO of Home Savings of Kent. The other eight members of the Cleveland Fed are CEOs from regional or community banks in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.