ARLINGTON, Va. – They admit that there's a bit of a learning curve to get up to speed on corporate credit union issues, but NAFCU Economist Jeff Taylor and NAFCU Associate Director of Taxation and Accounting Bill Hall say they're willing and able to do it. NAFCU announced plans for an official corporate CU committee earlier this year to meet the needs of its growing corporate CU membership (seven at press time). The trade association wanted two staffers to be liaisons to that committee and to do any leg work they ask for. Taylor and Hall were selected. The two novice corporate watchers say they're going to learn from the true experts, their corporate members. "We're getting to know these members better. They're the experts. The more we talk to them, the more we visit with them, the more we can learn," said Taylor. NAFCU's seven corporate members are the following: *Corporate One FCU *EasCorp FCU *Empire Corporate FCU *Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU *Mid-States Corporate FCU *Southeast Corporate FCU *WesCorp FCU In some initial meetings with members of the new corporate committee, Taylor said he's learned that most of them think there's enough CU business to go around. "We hear a lot about competition and consolidation. An interesting thing we're finding is while one member had a little concern about the cooperative nature being diluted, the majority say the network is cooperative. You can't claim there's no competition, but they feel there is plenty of business out there," said Taylor. Hall said he was surprised to learn that many corporates are active in their communities similar to natural person CUs, even though they don't touch the consumer directly. "Corporates are looking to enhance their community as well. They're involved in community development. They are concerned about the credit union mission," said Hall. Hall said he's also finding that corporates are very concerned about adding member value, and they expect NAFCU to do the same for them. "They say `if NAFCU treats me as a vendor, we're out of here,' " said Hall. Every other month the corporate committee will have a conference call, and they hope to meet twice a year in person. The NAFCU committee will also consist of some natural person CUs to give corporates a window into what they are looking for from their corporate.

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