Q: What would be your advice to the CEO of a small credit union?
A: I would advise them to have a viable strategy to attract millennials as members, because that’s their future.
I would advise them to take advantage of all the free assistance that NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives has to offer, such as webinars and training videos.
Maybe most importantly, they need to make sure their board of directors and supervisory committee understands their fiduciary duties, and they need to have effective internal controls.
Q: What have you seen during your time at NCUA that makes you think credit unions are the best option to serve the un- and underbanked?
A: In some cases, credit unions are the only insured financial institutions in a particular area, particularly a low-income area, so they serve a particularly important function.
I hope that those credit unions continue to grow and thrive because if they leave, they merge, or go out of business, those members might not any other insured financial institution with which to do business.
Q: How does the idea of not-for-profit, member owned financial institution stay at the top of mind for people looking for options in the financial services market?
A: I think what is on top of people’s minds is affordability and accessibility. That structure, the not-for-profit, member-owned structure, permits credit unions to provide affordable credit to their members, and I think that’s the attractive part.
I really don’t think most people outside of credit unions and people who are credit union members have a sense of the member-owned not-for-profit aspect of credit unions. What they do know is that they like doing business at credit unions because they’re treated well, and they frequently get loans at lower interest rates and deposits at higher rates. I think that resonates with them.