Amidst all the talk and stories surrounding theWings-Continental hostile take-over fight and the continuing sagaof the Lafayette credit union conversion soap opera, Coloradocredit unions took one important step at their recently-concludedannual meeting to send a clear message to any credit union thatwould abandon their credit union charter: “please find anotherassociation to call your home if you choose to convert to a mutualsavings bank.” In 2000, Colorado became the first and only leagueto allow a credit union that converts to a mutual savings bank(MSB) to retain its membership in the then-Colorado Credit UnionLeague, now the Credit Union Association of Colorado (CUAC). Thereasons for this 2000 bylaw change are a bit murky, but at thetime, there was a feeling that we might find common advocacypurposes with MSBs and that allowing those entities to remain partof the Colorado credit union family might make sense, both from anassociation perspective and that of our league service corporation.How time has altered those views! It's probably no surprise whatcaused our members to repeal this provision. It starts with theunwarranted and unrelenting campaign in Washington, D.C. by thebank lobby to destroy the credit union movement through its cynicaltax, contain and convert strategy. Then there is the duplicitousand unctuous efforts by a number of groups represented bydisgruntled credit union-lobbyists-now-turned-banker shills whomasquerade as “friends of credit union choice,” all the whilepushing conversions that serve to line their own pockets anddestroy our movement. Even where a genuine decision–free ofmanipulation or greed– might be made to convert a credit union to aMSB, our members felt that such an entity had no place at ourAssociation's table.

So far, Colorado has not been a hotbed of conversions, hostiletakeovers or other shenanigans that have played out on the nationalstage. By pulling up the association welcome mat for credit unionsthat convert to mutual savings banks, hopefully we've added onemore reason for credit unions to remain as credit unions and focuson growth strategies, not ways to escape to the world of banking.John Dill President/CEO Credit Union Association of ColoradoArvada, Colo.

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