The U.S. economy, while showing some signs of improvement, remains lackluster. The credit union industry and your credit union specifically are faced with a variety of economic and legislative challenges. Concerns with loan demand and loan quality may be dominating your ALCO discussions. Let’s face it; these are tough times to be a strategic leader at a credit union. It makes you wonder why you got into this business in the first place. But we all know it comes down to one word: Passion.

For more than 10 years I’ve heard credit union executives talk about positioning credit unions as “financial advocates.” After all, we’re supposed to be about “people helping people.” Certainly these philosophies are byproducts of our passion to provide the utmost in member service. However, when you look at sentiment toward the financial services industry as a whole, the gap between what consumers and FI executives think, has widened. And I don’t think we can just blame it all on the big banks.

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Peter Westerman

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