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In his letter to the editor in the Aug. 30 issue, Alan Theriault contends that some credit unions need to convert to a bank charter to “keep pace with their members’ changing needs.” If my credit union were to propose changing to a bank charter, I would want to know how the conversion would affect me, the member. If I were a saver, how would I be better off with a mutual or stock bank? If I were a borrower, how would I benefit from the conversion? What would I, the member, lose if my credit union became a bank? What would make “my” newly chartered bank any better for me than any other bank? As a longtime credit union member and volunteer, I know about times when credit unions could not satisfy their members’ needs. When I joined, credit unions could not offer checking accounts. When I bought my house, my credit union could not finance it. So, I had a checking account at a local bank, and I got my mortgage at a savings and loan. I preferred dealing with my credit union, so as soon as I had the opportunity, I opened a checking account there and closed the one at the bank. Now my credit union also has my mortgage. I have no financial needs that my credit union doesn’t meet. Members of credit unions today have the same options that I had. If their credit unions cannot meet their financial needs, numerous banks and other financial institutions are standing by waiting to be of service. Mr. Theriault refers to conversion to bank charter as a credit union “charter option.” I disagree. A credit union’s charter options are federal versus state charter, community charter versus occupational charter. Conversion to bank charter isn’t a credit union charter option because the credit union ceases to be a credit union. Ben Freudenreich Director BMI Federal Credit Union Columbus, Ohio

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