8 Simple Ways to Tell If You're a Banker Instead of a Credit Unionist

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I read with interest the ending comments by Rosie Holub where she stated that our charter will not allow us to reach our growth potential.

There's the rub...we never used to be about growth... just member service. That was and still is our charter. Once we lose track of that, and it's easy to see how bank-like CU's hiding behind the CU charter would keep pressing their Leagues for more ways to fatten the pig, it's off to the banker business model.

I've put together a litmus test for CU folks to determine if they are still a credit union or a bank-in-sheep's clothing. See how you match up:

• If the CEO's bonus is the driving force of your operations, you might be a Banker!

• If you take on any and all business ventures because of the backing of share insurance, you might be a Banker!

• If you spend an inordinate amount of time trying to maximize fee income, you might be a banker!

• If collaboration is anathema, you might be a Banker!

• If you can't get your real work done because of those pesky members, you might be a Banker!

• If you are more concerned about hitting your numbers than changing lives, you might be a Banker!

• If you view your employees as an expense and not a resource, you might be a Banker!

• If you're not worried about your current organization because they always merge anyway, the insurance fund will pick up the pieces, and you can probably find another job making the same mistakes, you are definitely a Banker!

We need more CU people, not bankers!

Taking on [the member business lending cap] at this time is the most bank-like thing we could do. We haven't even seen the total losses from the corporate debacle, and the losses are ever-increasing. Add to that, the mortgage losses, and most shops in my area are crippled for some time to come. Does anyone think that the NCUSIF is even remotely risk-rated for MBL?

We need to get back to doing things right before we consider taking on more wrongs. My members can't afford to pay for your reckless risk taking!

Gregg Stockdale, CEO
1st Valley CU, San Bernardino, Calif.

Credit Union Journal encourages reader feedback. Letters to the Editor can be sent to Managing Editor Lisa Freeman at lfreeman@cujournal.com. Letters can also be faxed to 561-832-2939.

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