Cornerstone of Change: Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma League Merger Seen As Inevitable

by. Peter Strozniak

When credit union members of the Texas Credit Union League were presented with the question whether to merge with Arkansas Credit Union League and the Credit Union Association of Oklahoma to form a new regional cooperative organization – the Cornerstone Credit Union League – there was a sense of quiet inevitability in the air.

“There was no debate, no questions or anything,” said John Lederer, president/CEO of the $1 billion Credit Union of Texas in Dallas, who voted for the proposal Wednesday during a TCUL special meeting in Austin. “I think it was a no-brainer, slam dunk kind of thing.”

However, in January and February, the TCUL held town hall meetings throughout Texas to inform the state credit unions about the formation of Cornerstone Credit Union League, so perhaps all of the questions had already been asked and answered, said Lederer.

Only 114 of the state’s 535 credit unions that attended the special meeting voted.  The final vote count was 109 in favor, five, against.

“I have no idea who voted against it,” Lederer said. “I talked to a few people and if anybody did, they were not willing to admit it.”

Lederer believes the consolidation of the leagues is inevitable because of the many mergers that are occurring among credit unions across the country. With less dues-paying credit union members, it becomes increasingly difficult for smaller leagues such as Arkansas and Oklahoma to keep up with rising costs and to deliver the products and services credit unions need.

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