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Mike Welch’s Nov. 17 column on our old pal Norm D’Amours brought back some not so fond memories. D’Amours continues to sing the same old tune that small credit unions are the backbone of the industry and must survive. But what about the rest of us? First of all, kudos to Credit Union Times. You know you’ve arrived when D’Amours specifically excludes you from the audience when he’s speaking, like he did to Credit Union Times’ reporters at the Iowa Bankers Association Annual Meeting. I guess now that he’s discovered the bankers’ speaker circuit, his next move will be to hang out his “bank consultant” shingle. Fortunately D’Amours is now a nonfactor. He can continue his small credit union diatribes without causing the industry much harm, but NCUA still has a small credit union champion. Recently at Southwest Corporate’s Economic Forum luncheon NCUA Board member Debbie Matz was extolling the virtues of small credit unions. When did the world change? I was taught that if you served your members well, and managed your credit union properly, growth would follow. Since we’ve only chartered a handful of credit unions in the past few years, they are the only credit unions with an excuse for being small. However, according to Matz small credit unions represent nearly 50% of all credit unions – if that’s true, what’s the problem? That means there is still close to 5,000 small CUs. And what exactly is a “small” credit union these days? Twenty million in assets? Fifty million in assets? Matz is worried about the “steady” decline in the numbers of small credit unions. Maybe some of them just happened to do well and have grown into larger credit unions! Is that so bad? I’ve been in this business for 25 years. When I began there were over 22,000 credit unions. Today there are a little over 9,000. In my book that indicates a “steady decline” in credit unions, regardless of size. Chris Lindelof CEO Shell FCU Deer Park, Texas

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