Not Everyone Has Forgotten Cooperative Spirit

Register now

I believe Fred Becker made some thought-provoking comments about the need for all of us in the credit union community to stay close to our cooperative roots and pay attention to what our industry colleagues are doing (referenced in Frank Diekmann's column, "A Reminder CUs Are All Strapped To The Same Deck," Credit Union Journal, Aug. 16). But I disagree that credit unions, as a whole, have "forgotten we are a cooperative community."

Becker brought up the principles of cooperation in response to some credit unions questioning their participation in corporates over the past couple of years. That's an understandable concern, given the serious losses some have had. But at Mid-Atlantic Corporate Federal Credit Union, we see no evidence that credit unions have forgotten their roots. In fact, I would say our member credit unions clearly do understand both the value and responsibility of owning a cooperative organization. Nearly 650 members voted with their dollars to commit to and continue strengthening the corporate credit union they built three decades ago.

Why? Because despite current issues, they believe the "credit union for credit unions" model still works. They know they can benefit from the "group buy" that comes with cooperative ownership; and they know credit unions still profit from using our credit, liquidity and payment services.

As Becker said, hindsight is 20/20, and I suppose all of us will wonder for a long time about decisions made before the financial crisis. But I prefer to look forward. Working together, our members and the corporate they own and support will continue to enrich the lives and financial wellbeing of ordinary people.

Jay R. Murray, President/CEO
Mid-Atlantic FCU, Middletown, Penn.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.