Credit unions, generally speaking, tend to be fairly conservative in most everything they do. The reasons for this are multifold. They have a fiduciary duty to the members who build the capital in the organization so it can function and continue operating for years to come; they aren’t looking to make a quick buck for shareholders. Credit unions can also focus on bettering the financial lives of their members because they are nonprofits.

Being conservative is not always best, but it has helped credit unions maintain the integrity and dignity of the industrywide brand. Those that have strayed too far from their roots or put all their eggs in one basket to chase the almighty dollar, like Norlarco Credit Union and Cal State 9 Credit Union, have been harshly hammered by reality. The Centrix fiasco is another prime–no pun intended–example of credit unions having their eyes on the prize rather than solid due diligence and being sent through the ringer.

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