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I just read Paul Gentile’s Aug. 2 column where he states that there’s a need to consolidate for more brand continuity and economies of scale. As he said, “It’s a clear example of how CUs need more brand continuity in their areas. It’s also a great example of why this industry needs to consolidate.” Paul let’s make this simple, kind of a one plus one equals two example. Which credit unions are attempting most of the conversions to banks? Larger ones! What helps make credit unions larger, quicker? Mergers! What’s the best way to exterminate the credit union movement? Following bad advice of high-profile credit union movement leaders that have the power to influence, but lack foresight!!!!!!!! Paul, come back to earth man! If anything will preserve and protect this great movement it will be more decision makers guiding it, not fewer. Greed and egos are powerful forces that easily creep into boardrooms and CEO offices in any arena, including the credit union movement. One example is a headline from the same Aug. 2 issue, “View Point Bank Sets Reorganization and Stock Issuance Plan in Motion.” Hmmmm, I wonder what’s driving that decision! There’s no law or regulation capable of curtailing greed or encouraging the leaders of this movement to be steadfast in fulfilling our mission of people helping people. What does work and will continue to work is peer power. What we need is more and more of the credit union leaders (including you Paul) to proudly stand up and recount our past, re-focus on our purpose and project our future by embracing singular vision (people helping people) with plurality of leadership. Credit unions and trade associations must do more to encourage the cooperative spirit within the movement and to keep our numbers strong.

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