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Paul Gentile asked some very interesting questions about the future of small credit unions in his Aug. 30 column.

I think his idea about common compliance resources is an especially good and important one. Regarding technology and mortgages, these are precisely the areas the Federation began exploring several years ago. Our research (which by the way was assisted by Navy FCU and others) resulted in the Federation launching our CDCU Mortgage Center, LLC and special secondary market for nonconforming affordable housing loans. I believe that the industry is beginning to respond more to the needs of small and low-income credit unions. The Federation’s Community Development Partners program is a focused effort to engage large credit unions in assisting CDCUs and using their capacity to serve more underserved low-income people. We’re pleased that 36 mostly large credit unions have rallied to this banner, including half of the top dozen in the country. Yet, especially among our long-time members, we hear often about the changed relationship in the credit union movement over the decades, that the cooperative spirit has diminished, and that mentorship relationships are not what they used to be. How do we reconcile these perspectives? We think the answer is that the needs, especially around compliance and technology, are far greater and have grown faster than ever before. More is being done to help–but a lot more needs to be done. So, to answer Gentile’s questions: Should more be done to help small credit unions survive? Absolutely.

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