Credit unions and transparency: Obligation or risk?

The credit union, at its very foundation, has an obligation to include, educate, and be open and transparent with its members. After all, the credit union member is the physical owner and investor in the institution. Being open, direct, and transparent to those members really gives that true ownership translation to the marketplace.

While there is certainly an opportunity for open and direct sharing in all aspects of the credit union, where does one begin? What facets of the credit union offer the largest amount of benefits for both the member and the institution and what is the ultimate goal of this openness?

Share what makes your credit union unique

First, while being transparent is a credit union’s obligation, it is also what sets credit unions apart from the crowd. A clear differentiator in credit unions versus what a consumer might see at a bank or other financial institution is the latter often does not publish their general information for consumers to understand what they do and how they do it. Whether it is a business plan, a prospectus on what the future looks like, or how they might invest as an institution, all of this clarity makes a consumer either feel better about their financial choice or inspires them to look for another credit union that might better match what their desires and life approach are.

 

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