Nevada Business features ‘white hat’ CUs

August 4, 2015

LAS VEGAS (8/4/15)--Anyone who came across Nevada Business’ recent article on credit unions could hardly have come away with a better picture of the movement.

Featuring credit union leaders from across the state, the article extolled the advantages of joining a credit union, delved into how credit unions plan to grow into the future, and illustrated how credit unions behaved responsibly before and after the recession.

Not only were credit unions able to survive the downturn, the article found, but many credit unions, even in hard-hit places such as Nevada, even expanded their membership bases.

“We had member growth during the recession,” Dennis Flannigan, president/CEO of Great Basin FCU, Reno, Nev., told Nevada Business, a business magazine associated with the Nevada Business Journal. “Credit unions never took (Troubled Asset Relief Program) funds so we were the ones wearing the white hats.”

In addition to detailing the success credit unions had in navigating the crisis, the article also outlined the advantages of credit union membership.

Affordable services, unparalleled member service and ATM access were among the many perks listed.

“We’re not-for-profit so we should be able to be better than our competitors,” said Andy Hunter, president/CEO, Silver State Schools CU, Las Vegas.

Increased competition in the financial services marketplace, both from traditional institutions and nonfinancial newcomers, of course poses a threat to the movement, but several leaders said that credit unions can grow if they remain focused on their members.

“The big picture is that we have to provide good value to our membership,” Hunter said. “We’re very optimistic about the future. All our data seems to support good performance.”

Added John Lund, president/CEO, America First CU, Riverdale, Utah: “It takes good people. (We) can’t be successful without great people who love serving other people. We’re really in the people business.”