In reading Paul Gentile's Aug. 30 column about small credit unions, I could not agree more that small credit unions taking proactive steps to survive should be supported by the credit union movement at all levels–from peer credit unions, larger credit unions, and state and national trade associations. To me, this does not constitute an act of charity, rather the spirit of cooperation that differentiates us as a credit union movement. Paul suggests that instead of raising funds for such worthy causes as Children's Miracle Network, our movement might do well to put that money "to work in a productive manner, such as creating some sort of compliance help center in each state that could greatly reduce the regulatory burdens of small credit unions." In Pennsylvania, we have 629 credit unions, more than half of which are less than $7 million in assets. Like most state associations, one of our top priorities along with advocacy is compliance assistance for credit unions of all asset sizes, including small credit unions. As part of their membership in our association, credit unions receive regular compliance updates, gain access to our online policy library, can take advantage of periodic compliance town meetings and can access our toll-free compliance hotline for personalized, issue-specific compliance assistance.


In addition, Pennsylvania has partnered with seventeen other leagues in InfoSight, an extensive online compliance manual that provides state and federal compliance information on virtually any topic a credit union could think of. Credit unions can search InfoSight by topic or by key word and it is updated by the staffs of all 17 participating Leagues and by CUNA almost daily.


Paul, while the operating environment for credit unions, both large and small, continues to present new challenges, we in the state associations and CUNA will continue to provide and promote programs and services, including compliance assistance, that are designed to help all credit unions succeed. James J. McCormack President/CEO Pennsylvania Credit Union Association Harrisburg, Pa.

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