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I found the recent article on Wescom Credit Union’s plan to purchase an industrial bank to serve other credit unions wishing to sell their credit card portfolios very interesting, and I believe it is a significant event for three reasons: 1. It updates a precedent for credit unions owning banks or other financial institutions to better serve members. While this is not the first credit union owned bank, it brings an innovative option to the entire movement. 2. It demonstrates the value of the dual chartering system. This ownership initiative is available primarily to state chartered credit unions as NCUA has yet to update its regulations in this area. 3. It shows the capability of the credit union charter to initiate change and bring new resources into the credit union system. This is a clear alternative to those who believe charter conversions are the only way forward. Creating options that bring value to members is what keeps the credit union system relevant. This effort illustrates how credit unions can be entrepreneurs within their regulatory system and, at the same time, use resources outside the cooperative model. Chip Filson President Callahan & Associates, Inc. Washington, D.C.

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