In Defense of Small Credit Union Help: Letter to the Editor
This is in response to the letter to the editor from Glendale Area Teachers FCU CEO Stuart Perlitsh, titled the “Questioning Cost of Small Credit Union Initiatives” (CU Times, April 16, 2014).
We initiated the Faith Based Credit Union Alliance in 2010 to provide support and resources to faith-based credit unions. These credit unions are 99.9% totally voluntary. All of these credit unions serve minority and low-income members. Many of the members of our credit unions previously had no mainline financial services and would have had to depend on predatory lenders. Without our credit unions, and many other small credit unions, there would be a financial void in member communities.
The Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives and the Illinois Credit Union League have come alongside the Faith Based Credit Union Alliance to provide needed support, training and expertise. Services provided give huge benefits and have tremendously helped the Faith Based Credit Union Alliance and its small member credit unions stay alive and vital.
Since the credit union theme is “People Helping People”, how insightful of the NCUA, a regulator, to develop an initiative that helps small credit unions.
OSCUI does sessions throughout the country. We and many members of our alliance attend these meetings. They provide information and training that is very important to small credit unions.
They coordinate the distribution of grants that have helped our own credit union (Israel Methcomm) and other alliance credit unions. These grants have helped Israel Methcomm provide financial education materials for all ages to our members and partners. They have helped us develop new products and services as well as upgrade technology.
They provide consulting services that help put and keep small credit unions on the right track.
Other financial institutions are trying to curtail and kill off credit unions. I think it strange that a larger credit union would begrudge smaller credit unions support services that they so desperately need to stay open and compete. If we kill off each other, none of us will survive.Dr. Joronda CrawfordSupervisory CommitteeIsrael Methcomm Federal Credit UnionChicago