Concern Over Lost Exclusivity

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One person says that credit unions racing to convert to community charter may be losing a precious commodity: exclusivity.

"My board asked me about converting to a community charter, and I just don't think that's the right move for us," said veteran Langley FCU CEO Jean Yokum, during a conversation with The Credit Union Journal. "I think having a selective membership is a good thing. When the board asked me about the community charter, I said, 'If we opened up our membership to everyone, do you think we could continue to serve our members as well as we do now?' They said no. And I said, 'Well, when you think we can serve the whole community, come back to me then.'"

The billion-dollar credit union was established to serve the military.

"When I started out, I was apprehensive about [being a female CEO) at a credit union that serves the military," the current Defense Credit Union Council chair confessed. "But I have to say, I love the military. This is who we serve, and I'm proud of that."

Yokum added that when her board brought up the idea of changing the credit union's name, she had a similar response, insisting that when a CU has a good name and a good image serving a great membership, there is no need for a name change.

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