Posts Tagged ‘merger’

Dropping the words Credit Union

August 29, 2012

Yesterday, Sarah Snell-Cooke, Editor-In-Chief/Publisher of CU Times wrote an editorial titled Sometimes the best thing a credit union can do is give up ‘Credit Union’. This was brought to my attention in an excellent discussion topic started on EverythingCU.com.

Ms. Snell-Cooke’s editorial concludes with, “Get the consumers in the door first, and then explain to them about credit unions. The name on the door doesn’t matter – it’s what is on the inside that counts.”

Here’s the problem with this statement. As Snell-Cooke concedes, most of the general public have no idea what a credit union is. In addition to that, most staff working in a credit union don’t know what a credit union is. So CU staff are even LESS likely to educate people walking in as to what it is when the words are not even over the door.

Here is an imaginary conversation for credit unions who have dropped the words ‘credit union’ from their name:

Customer/member: “Hi I’d like to open a checking account. Do you have those here?”

Staff: “Why yes, certainly, I can open that for you. While we do the paperwork, can I tell you about what a credit union is?”

Customer/member: “Onion soup? I thought you guys were GTE Financial. Why would you tell me about onion soup?”

When the name is not over the door, mentioned nowhere, then starting a conversation about what it means to be a part of a credit union is as relevant to this new member as having a conversation about onion soup, which is what he thought he heard the staffer say.

Therefore I can not see the logical connection between dropping the words ‘credit union’ from an F.I.’s name as being a route to educating more people about what a credit union is.

Credit union merging into a bank

August 25, 2009

I just had a conversation with Ms. Debra Trautman of the Maine CU League/Synergent, and she reminded me that the CU-to-Bank Conversion of Kennebec Valley FCU (KVFCU) is coming to a conclusion soon. I was first alerted to this conversion by Christian Mullins at BarCampBank NewEngland 1.5 years ago.

Here is Christian’s blog on it

Here’s a Kenebec Journal article (Jan 09)

Some passionate debate on The CU Loop’s blog

Recent news about the battle from members not to merge KVFCU into a bank from Morning Sentinel

Lucille Cloutier’s Letter to the Editor questions what members get in the merger

Web site created by the Members Matters Group (with assistance from the Maine CU League) to help the members save their credit union

If you know someone in Maine who is a member of this CU, please let them know about this situation! Ballots were mailed to members today!

Let’s not let another angel (in Maine) lose her wings

October 21, 2008

At EverythingCU’s open house last Thursday, we had the pleasure of a visit from Christian Mullins. I got to meet Christian when he attended the inaugural BarCampBank NewEngland. Christian is one of the most well-versed people I know when it comes to credit unions and mergers. He has spent significant time in Mad-town, and now lives just outside of Portland, Maine. By virtue of his knowledge and location, he has a front row seat to the proceedings of KV FCU trying to merge itself into a local bank, Kennebec Savings Bank in Augusta (ME). I haven’t heard much attention so far in the CU blogosphere about this issue, so I recommend that you take a peek at Christian’s latest CU Potential blog post.

Should we get fired up every time a CU merges out of existence? (Even if into another CU?) Yes. Because the entire POINT of a credit union is to bring YOUR money, and YOUR financial institution under YOUR local control. Every merger is a step away from the goal. Every time a credit union is merged out of existence, an angel loses her wings.

That’s my take. What’s yours?