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As a credit union CEO, I am hard-pressed to envision circumstances that would cause me to recommend to my board of directors that we convert to something other than a credit union charter. However, having read the June 29 article entitled “CUNA Adopts New Conversion Policy,” I am disappointed that the group of my peers directing our largest trade association decided to adopt a policy on this issue. Although not a financial cooperative, CUNA is a membership organization formed to serve the needs of its members. As such, some valid parallels exist between an individual credit union and CUNA. Just imagine a scenario where a credit union board issues a decree to its members on how to run their lives. The response from even the kindest member would probably be something akin to “Have you forgotten who serves who in this relationship?” Likewise, it is equally preposterous for CUNA’s Board to make the same type of dogmatic statement to its member credit unions. Yet it has now adopted a policy that: *Tells its members what criteria they should use to make decisions, *Seeks to impose CUNA’s interpretation on those who govern and operate individual credit unions as to their fiduciary responsibilities, *Makes a unilateral judgment about the appropriate distribution of proceeds from a transaction of an individual credit union. (By the way, exactly which body gets to determine when the enrichment to certain individuals becomes “unjust”?) Going even further, the policy also implies that CUNA will work with regulators against the interests of individual credit union boards and managers with which it does not agree. How can such a stance possibly be reconciled with the fundamental advocacy role of this trade association? But perhaps the biggest question of all is, how can a document claiming to support democratic ideals simultaneously attempt to dictate how individual credit unions conduct their own affairs? Please do not get me wrong, as I personally share feelings similar to those espoused in CUNA’s new Principles Regarding Credit Union Conversions. However, our trade organization is way out of bounds in taking an official position on this matter, especially when it puts it directly at odds with some of its own dues paying member credit unions. Wally Murray President/CEO Greater Nevada Credit Union Treasurer Nevada Credit Union League Carson City, Nev.

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