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I felt compelled to respond to Mike Welch’s Jan. 12 column, “Waving the Flag for Small CUs Not Smart.” Seems to me that Welch has appointed himself judge, jury and hangman with the fate of smaller credit unions. I serve approximately 3,800 members and they certainly haven’t lowered their expectations of this smaller asset sized credit union, and I’m sure we are not unique. My members want mortgages, consumer loans, business loans, charge cards, money market funds, certificates of deposit, IRAs, audio response, home banking, ATM/Debit cards, service centers and on and on and on. And guess what, they get it, and not from a bank! But, if it were up to us to do it on our own resources it wouldn’t happen. We need and accept the help of larger credit unions that have developed CUSO, loan participation and partnering relationships here in Michigan. Thank god they haven’t decided to take on the roll of judge, jury and hangman. It would be an absolutely devastating loss to allow smaller asset size credit unions to become a thing of the past. Democracy operates best with more decision-makers not less. To intentionally or inadvertently reduce the number of credit unions in our movement to a hand full of large credit unions would serve the bankers far greater than purposefully trying to expand the players in our movement. Welch states the only measuring stick that can be accurately used is how well a credit union serves its members. However, he fails to quantify how a credit union serves its members well. As I’ve read some articles in the Credit Union Times about conversion attempts of credit unions to banks I couldn’t help but wonder how well the management was serving their members in the cases of a successful vote to convert charters. Is it products and services, profit, convenience, low rates and fees alone that measure how well a credit union serves its members? I think not, if it were why would a membership vote to convert to a bank? No, I think in those well-run credit unions the management failed to develop relationships with their members and inform them of the value of having their own credit union. The purpose of our movement far outreaches dollars and cents and that goes for all credit unions regardless of size. Mike, since you took the liberty to make assumptions about the value of smaller credit unions let me take the liberty of making a prediction about those same folks. I believe smaller credit union will survive well past 2020 because I think astute CEOs at the helm of larger well-run credit unions are visionaries and realize the importance of fostering our cooperative movement. There is one point you state in your article that we agree on, “Size has nothing to do with how legitimate a credit union is.” Terry L. Denmark CEO Dearborn Village Community CU Dearborn, Mich.

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