Lessons For America's Credit Unions

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Consultant and former Australian CU exec Mark Lynch says U.S. credit unions could learn the following from their counterparts down under:

* Don't see the campaign to retain tax-free status as a nuisance, build it into core strategies.

* Value and practice credit union principles.

* Educate members on the benefits of cooperative ownership.

* Retain fields of membership and communities of interest

* Look for strategies to avoid mergers

* Stay a united and cooperative movement. "That has been lost in Australia," said Lynch.

* Retain broad-based structures.

* Communicate, communicate, communicate.

* Don't see the threat only coming from one direction.

* "Credit unions in Australia looked at the money and didn't look at the implications," he observed.

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