Small credit union leaders have taken it upon themselves to band together and try to push back against the trend of mergers and acquisitions.
Three years ago, Joy Cousminer, president/CEO of $32 million asset Bethex Federal Credit Union, Bronx, N.Y., helped start an organization called We Care for Credit Unions.
"We watched what was going on with anger and fear,” Cousminer says. “As each credit union disappeared we said, ‘soon, we will be next.’ "
The alliance, which includes more than 30 New York metropolitan-area credit unions, brings credit union leaders together to collaborate. The organization is seeking 501c3 status to be able to work as a nonprofit that can receive donations.
Small credit unions must fight to stay alive—and they need to do so together, Cousminer says.
"Remember how hard it was to get your charter? That is how hard you are going to have to fight to keep your charter now," Cousminer says.
With CUNA’s Bank Secrecy Act Conference, hosted in conjunction with the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors, coming up next month, CUNA’s compliance staff went into detail of the NCUA’s BSA compliance program in a recent CompBlog entry.
The NCUA’s Tuesday announcement that it will repay the U.S. Treasury in full is a good sign for credit unions, said CUNA Chief Policy Officer Bill Hampel. The agency will repay the $1 billion outstanding balance before Oct. 31.
President Barack Obama sent greetings Thursday to those celebrating International Credit Union Day. CUNA worked closely with the White House on the statement, and a number of credit union-friendly legislators also weighed in with the White House.