Co-Ops for Change keeps focus on regulatory leadership & cooperative principles

WASHINGTON, DC (January 6, 2014) —  In one year’s time, Co-Ops for Change has made its mark by leading the debate about the unique capabilities of the cooperative business model and the critical role of regulatory leaders who understand it.

Co-Ops for Change is comprised of credit union and CUSO leaders from throughout the country.

According to Co-Ops for Change Founder Chip Filson, who served as former NCUA Director of the Office of Examination and Insurance and is currently Chairman of Callahan & Associates, it’s vital that the regulator of cooperatives support the mutual self-help philosophy that is credit unions’ hallmark.

“Cooperatives are different by design. A vital strength of this structure is the democratic involvement of member-owners,” said Filson.

Supporting this principle, Co-Ops for Change’s first initiative was a White House petition drive in February to encourage President Obama to nominate NCUA Board candidates who understand the cooperative model. It collected more than 6,000 signatures from all 50 states, and served as a springboard to discussion about regulatory priorities.

Co-Ops for Change expanded its role during 2013, serving as a public forum for vital industry issues. Among its 2013 projects were:

  • Industry Survey and Agenda

In April, Co-Ops for Change launched a nationwide survey, open to all credit unions, to collect opinions on regulatory examinations and policy priorities. Results reflected several areas needing attention: more innovative approaches to examinations; more objectivity, clarity and consistency in examination standards; and the need for an independent ombudsman to whom exam issues can be referred.

Following the survey findings, Co-Ops for Change offered a regulatory agenda in May. Priorities include ensuring a comprehensive, cooperative liquidity solution for the industry; development of a network-wide, real-time examination of regulatory findings; and greater transparency for all regulatory decisions. 

  • Analyses of Conserved Corporates

Over the summer, Co-Ops for Change worked with the Callahan & Associates analytics team and a credit union brokerage firm to track the actual investment the losses of the five corporate credit unions conserved by the NCUA. According to Filson, the reviews provide credit unions with a factual starting point for evaluating NCUA’s past actions and future projections.

Co-Ops for Change also created interactive spread sheets that allow the industry to update numbers to review the performance of the conserved corporates’ legacy assets and the current principal value or any loss.

  • Narratives on NCUA Actions

Throughout the year, Co-Ops for Change released a series of articles reviewing NCUA’s decisions on credit unions. Topics include the impact of the new corporate assessment, a call for a moratorium on new rules, the new CUSO rule’s uncertain foundation, and the need for more effective management of the Agency’s resources.

“While Co-Ops for Change has accomplished a great deal its first year, the work is ongoing,” said Filson.

In 2014, Co-Ops for Change will expand its contributors, track the corporate recoveries and advocate for regulation based on cooperatives’ distinctiveness.

To learn more about Co-Ops for Change and its latest activities, visit

About Co-Ops for Change

Co-Ops for Change is a grassroots movement to increase awareness both within the credit union community and among elected policymakers that our regulatory leadership should understand and support the seven cooperative principles. The regulatory process should consider credit unions’ cooperative character, as well as the shared economic value they create for people and communities. Credit union members, volunteers, professionals and industry supporters can learn more about the campaign at

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