Re: the Editor’s Column in the June 20 issue [“Let’s Silence the Violins for Small CUs.”]
I have heard this “grow or go” advice for the last 20 years from different credit union people–usually large credit union executives. Small credit unions are an annoyance to them until they need to hold us up in front of politicians like cute puppies to protect themselves from taxation.
That’s mostly due to the fact that large credit unions have left the fundamentals of what credit unions were established for. All I read about in newsletters, news articles and on the Internet are the latest large credit union initiatives like small business lending–a distinctively banking area. But the size and scope of large mega-million credit unions has led them to move into these areas because of their oversize. If size makes right, then merge them all together and give them a bank charter.
I think the biggest problem for small credit unions is the lack of a voice. CU conferences are like Amway meetings. All the little producers desire to be like the big producers. I have felt for 25 years, we needed our own voice and some pride in serving the people we serve.
Don’t bother looking Northland CU up. We lost our sponsor in 1995 and have struggled along. The current economy and competition–credit union competition–is kicking our ass. Even though we have kept up with technology and other services and products, I have a feeling we are finally beaten. I will be playing taps on my violin for my small credit union in a year or two if things don’t change.
Obviously, I did not appreciate your condescension or hostility toward small credit unions.
Northland Credit Union