During a “21st Century Collaboration Roundtable” Sunday, speakers explored efforts to advance a “Network Credit Union” concept.
The Network Credit Union is an alternative to traditional mergers, said Bob Hoel (above), a Filene Scholar with the Filene Research Institute. Its goals are to enable credit unions to merge without fear of losing their local identity; enable credit unions to merge, but maintain a permanent voice in the leadership of the Network Credit Union; empower credit unions to be more competitive in the financial market by delivering products and services under the co-op model; and to elevate credit union market share.
“Let’s change the structure of the credit union,” he said, “but let’s keep the identity.
The Network Credit Union Board is elected by members of Divisional Credit Unions, Hoel explained. “It’s one credit union with a CEO, with four divisional credit unions, for example, each with its own CEO. It’s an institution that truly reflects the community.”
CUNA's Small Credit Union Committee has been discussing this idea, and the NCUA and the agency’s legal counsel has indicated the concept would be permissible under the Federal Credit Union Act.