Scott ButterfieldI’m a small-credit-union guy and I’m proud of it. I spend a good portion of my consulting and volunteer time working with and supporting a very diverse group of smaller credit unions: rural, urban, single-sponsor, community, low-income, etc. It’s the most rewarding work of my credit-union career.

Dennis Fisher’s comments in the Jan. 27, 2015, CU Times article, “CEO Worries Industry Ignoring Loss of Small Credit Unions.” fairly represent a common theme that I frequently hear from smaller credit unions. Small credit unions, the majority of total credit union shops, are frustrated. They feel overlooked and undervalued. They frequently feel like they are “trotted out” to the spotlight whenever the taxation issue rears its ugly head; then, when the fear has passed, they overhear comments from credit union folks that smaller credit unions should just go away.

I agree with Dennis that healthy small credit unions are very important to our movement and deserve greater attention. Fighting the tax threat is important, but I believe their most important role is that they are most frequently the credit union located within a community that is still very actively involved in serving the underserved market. More than a tax argument, the impact these smaller credit unions have on people of modest means in their local areas is the true benefit.

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