WASHINGTON (2/25/13, UPDATED 10:45 a.m. ET)--Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney today presented a bold new, overarching strategic vision for the credit union movement: A vision in which "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner."
Outlining this strategic vision, and how credit unions can "Unite for Good" to achieve it, was the focus of the CUNA leader's remarks this morning to the 4,200 participants at the opening general session of CUNA's 2013 Governmental Affairs Conference.
Cheney stressed that developing a vision where Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner stemmed from more than one year of discussions with credit union and league leaders, credit union system partners, and CUNA's own leadership.
All agreed a new vision must be rooted in credit unions' shared values, including collaboration, a focus on members, community involvement, and a dedication to financial well-being. Cheney told a packed GAC audience that he is presenting a broad vision for the movement now because the time for credit unions has never been better.
Cheney explained that a cultural shift is happening in America that aligns perfectly with the credit union movement. "People want to do business with people who have their best interests at heart...This cultural shift is right in our wheelhouse." People are interested in more values-based decision-making and there is a move away from big corporations and big banks, he said.
The CUNA CEO cited Nationwide Insurance, which now touts "doing what's right for our members" in ads, as one prominent example of this cultural shift toward values-based businesses. Bank Transfer Day in late 2011 was another example, one that grew out of consumer frustration with new fees from big banks and prompted consumers by the thousands to discover credit unions through aSmarterChoice.org, the new CUNA/league consumer web site.
"Our advantage is a values-based business model of credit unions…People over profit, banking with a conscience, focusing on members, an organization that's built around your needs," Cheney added.
To realize a vision where Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner, the credit union system will need to work collaboratively to advance three broad goals:
Cheney said these efforts can create a major accomplishment for the credit union system over the next decade.
Two key measures of success, he offered would be to:
CUNA will be working with leagues and credit unions in the coming weeks and months to advance this common vision. And Cheney announced that a new web page, uniteforgood.org, has already been launched with an overview of the initiative and a video on why the time is so right for credit unions to unite for good, with more resources and key information still to come.
"We need to unite for good. We need to unite for the good that credit unions do. Unite for good, so that Americans will choose credit unions as their best financial partner," Cheney told the GAC audience.
For the new web site, use the resource link.