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When volunteers started their own credit union they formed a group to make up the Board of Directors, Credit Committee and Supervisory Committee, and contacted a state or federal agency to receive licensing for a Field of Membership. They volunteered their time to meet with members in order to receive deposits and give loans. They met monthly as a board and sometimes twice a week as a Credit Committee and once or twice a year as a Supervisory Committee. This was during the formative years when a credit union was more susceptible to market conditions and competition, but there are some qualities that volunteers had that maybe people who are converting to a mutual bank have lost, compassion and empathy toward their membership. Before decisions were made, they would ask themselves if it was really in the best interest of the membership and if all members had a voice in making regulatory or major changes in the credit union. It bothers me that I see a preoccupation with financial ratios in the credit union to the exclusion of the membership. What does the member think about the credit union and would these past volunteers vote to merge into a mutual bank? Ten or 15 years ago the MBA program at Harvard University received an endowment to the tune of over $1 million to teach a course of Ethics to all potential MBA graduates. Maybe we should re-visit our roots and find out if we’ve missed something in our travels. Bob Adams President/CEO Catholic Federal Credit Union Saginaw, Mich.

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