An Internet trailblazer and former banking executive are the unusual pair behind the chartering and eventual launch of the newest federally chartered credit union.
NCUA announced the chartering of the Internet Archive Federal Credit Union on Aug 24. It will be headquartered in New Brunswick, N.J.
Jordan Modell has had experience working with Citibank, American Express and the Bank of New York. Brewster Kahle is an Internet pioneer who helped develop precursors to the World Wide Web and Amazon.com and sold them for millions of dollars that he has used to form a foundation which supports the Internet Archive, an effort to digitally record everything that has been on the Internet since 1996.
The pair decided they wanted to found a credit union after coming to the conviction that the existing financial services industry had largely stopped working for lower income and middle class people and that a bank was not the best vehicle to use to meet the needs of those populations.
“[A credit union] is not for profit, so has no motive to see you fail, and cannot be bought so it does not need to pad its balance sheets with risky investments'” Modell wrote on a weblog that he has used to document the effort. 'Thanks to my friend Brewster Kahle I have been given an opportunity to help right my country by starting a totally transparent credit union.”
Modell, who is CEO of the new effort, reported having received help and encouragement from credit union leaders as diverse as Clifford Rosenthal, former CEO at the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and now with the CFPB, Paul Gentile, CEO of the New Jersey Credit Union League, and Debbie Matz, chairman of the NCUA Board.
The new credit union is also receiving full back office support from the Grand Rapids, Mich., CUSO CU*Answers and all of its furniture, carpeting and older ATM from the Affinity Federal Credit Union in Basking Ridge, N.J.
“I want to make sure all of these folks get recognition because they have all played a role in helping us make the progress we have,” Modell said.