Gary Grinnell and Lisa Ginter, chairs of the NAFCU and CUNA Boards of Directors, respectively, spoke with CUToday to share insights into the proposed merger and address questions related to America’s Credit Unions.
Grinnell and Ginter shared that most feedback has been supportive and positive. They addressed questions about membership dues, representation on the Transition and Continuing Boards of Directors, and ensuring the new organization is neither CUNA 2.0 nor NAFCU 2.0.
“I think it’s an opportunity for us as the two trades to learn from each other, to take the best of each other and build on something that is going to be so powerful,” Ginter said. “This transition board will hold Jim Nussle accountable to build something new. We are all in this and doing this for the same reason; it’s about members and putting our members on a path to thrive. We want our industry to be strong and growing.”
The vote on the proposed merger opened Monday; member credit unions have until 5 p.m. ET Nov. 1 to submit their ballots to CUNA and NAFCU. Credit unions are encouraged to continue providing feedback and asking questions throughout the process and can do so online. Dates for virtual listening sessions will be announced soon.
“[O]ur movement, the industry, the financial services sector is evolving and we have to evolve as well,” Grinnell said, explaining how the associations got to this point. “It started as a networking conversation between the two executive boards and it quickly turned into ‘We want to collaborate,’ and that collaboration quickly turned into ‘What could be for our movement if we became one?' …[I]t really began to build momentum in talking about what we could do for all credit unions in building this notion of having a stronger advocacy voice on the Hill and being united in telling our story. Credit unions have a great story.
“I think there is a time now to unite and share what it is that makes credit unions so powerful for the consumer. It felt right on both sides,” Grinnell said.