WILLIAMSBURG, Va.-Three credit union CEOs who compete within San Diego County, Calif., explained to NACCU Annual Conference attendees how they all compete and cooperate. With 900 community charters, "I think overlapping is becoming more the rule than the exception," Financial 21 Community Credit Union President and CEO Gene Roberts observed. "The benefits to consumers with credit unions competing with each other is absolutely huge," Marla Shepard, president and CEO of First Future Credit Union said. However, in the negative column, credit unions are not sharing ideas as they used to, she said. The more secretive attitudes are a direct result of the more competitive atmosphere, California Coast Credit Union President and CEO Jim McPheters explained, because it drives down each credit union's bottom line. To cope with the highly competitive environment in San Diego, the credit unions formed the Credit Union Chief Executive Association, which recognizes competition but also furthers the overall credit union cause in San Diego and raises funds cooperatively for the area children's hospital. Each credit union in the group only pays two pennies per $1,000 in assets for dues. Credit unions interested in starting a similar group may get tips from creditunionalliance.org. [email protected]

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