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field of membership, common bond, credit union , clifford rosenthal

The Feb. 4, 2015 issue of Credit Union Times, both in Sarah Snell Cooke’s editorial and a letter from Tom O’Shea she quoted, echoed themes we heard in the early 1980s: We’re too constrained, we can’t grow the way we want, we need broader powers.

Such issues under the administration of the late Edgar Callahan some 30 years ago led to the power to add SEGs, select employee groups which had no obvious common bond with an established credit union, but had their own common bond. This led, of course, to the addition of hundreds of SEGs by ambitious, expansion-minded credit unions. The core rationale, for which Callahan argued, was that in the face of economic contraction, mergers and the disappearance of many companies which had served as the sponsors of credit unions, diversification of the membership base was required for the survival of hundreds of credit unions.

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