I enjoyed Mike Welch’s publisher’s column on Dick Ensweiler’s dilemma about using the word “bank.” It is difficult to define us by our competition. What credit unions do is handle money, savings, and lending. Everything else is just about how credit unions facilitate members putting money in and getting money out. Reminds me of a problem a group of economists had with the word disintermediation. Seems they felt it was too cumbersome and people needed something that described the process more completely. Their answer was this gem, “circumfiduciation.” Much better, no? Maybe we should just call CUs “cooperative bank,” “peoples bank,” or why not something radical like “money place,” or “money tree?” If we look at how credit unions translate into other languages, the word bank is clearly evident. “Caisse populaire,” “casa popular,” “genosenshaftkasse”-People’s Banks in three different languages. Our distinction is really membership, not what we do. How about “Member’s Money Place?” Good luck to all you wordsmiths. Wylie Dougherty Retired CUNA Executive Peoria, Ariz.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to CUTimes.com, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited CUTimes.com content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical CUTimes.com information including comprehensive product and service provider listings via the Marketplace Directory, CU Careers, resources from industry leaders, webcasts, and breaking news, analysis and more with our informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and CU Times events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including Law.com and GlobeSt.com.

Already have an account?


Credit Union Times

Join Credit Union Times

Don’t miss crucial strategic and tactical information necessary to run your institution and better serve your members. Join Credit Union Times now!

  • Free unlimited access to Credit Union Times' trusted and independent team of experts for extensive industry news, conference coverage, people features, statistical analysis, and regulation and technology updates.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Credit Union Times events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including TreasuryandRisk.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join Credit Union Times

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.