Delaware Credit Unions embrace Cooperative Credit Union Association’s merger message at 58th Annual Meeting
MALBOROUGH, MA (April 18, 2016) — During the Delaware Credit Union League’s 58th Annual Meeting and Convention held this past weekend, member credit unions heard a powerful message about their future.
Earlier this month, the Delaware Credit Union League Board of Directors unanimously selected the Cooperative Credit Union Association as its merger partner. CCUA represents and serves credit unions from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
At the conclusion of DCUL’s 58th Annual Business Meeting, CCUA President/CEO Paul Gentile gave an overview of the Association and the proposed merger. Also in attendance were CCUA Chairman/Boston Firefighters Credit Union CEO Bernie Winne and CCUA Vice Chairman/People’s Credit Union CEO Ellen Ford.
In his presentation, Gentile focused on three areas: advocacy, local brand/presence and member value.
“First and foremost our core role is advocacy. There are three vital aspects of advocacy: legislative, regulatory and consumer. Each of those three areas has its own vital importance for the future of the credit union system,” said Gentile.
Gentile stressed that legislative advocacy starts locally in the state and carries forward to Capitol Hill.
“How many times have you seen your local state reps move on to Capitol Hill? It is the path for many. We need to get to them early, ensure the state operating structure is strong and ensure they know our story as they join Congress,” he said.
Gentile also urged credit unions to embrace a new world of regulatory advocacy. “Many of the things we need on the regulatory front don’t require legislation. Some do, but certainly there is an administrative framework for our state and federal lawmakers to work within to improve the regulatory environment. We need to continue to press hard for those items.” He cited an extended exam cycle, a more favorable call report schedule, true risk-based exams, and a fair and consistent exam process as examples of administrative areas that regulators can tackle.
Gentile then described CCUA’s intense focus on consumer advocacy through its “Better Values. Better Banking.” consumer awareness campaign.
“The credit union story is powerful, especially with young people. When you explain how a credit union works, they get it. It sells itself compared to the traditional banking model where profit is weaved into bank operations,” he said.
DCUL President/CEO Pat Mahaney said that CCUA’s model will preserve the local culture of Delaware Credit Unions while adding core services DCUL could not provide on its own.
“The Cooperative’s model is much like a cooperative structure. Local control, local branding, but with the support of the Cooperative’s resources providing a strong menu of core services,” he noted.
Key immediate benefits for Delaware Credit Unions will be a comprehensive suite of compliance services, education offerings, member-value free benefits, a diverse suite of vendor services, and launch of “Better Values. Better Banking.” in the Delaware market.
One critical component of CCUA’s structure is local state advocacy committees that ensure the local credit unions control their state’s advocacy efforts. “Credit unions know their market the best. They know their needs the best. We want them to drive the key local advocacy decisions and the Association puts all its efforts behind them,” said Gentile.
That same local control is seen with charitable endeavors. Each of the Association’s states has a long, proud history of supporting three different charities. Local state social responsibility committees drive those efforts and ensure all funds are directed for their cause and stay local to their state.
CCUA Chairman Winne noted that the governance structure of CCUA is designed to be fair and equitable to all states in the Cooperative. Each state has seats on the board and there are super majority board voting provisions in place to ensure major decisions such as mergers, dues, etc. have the supermajority support of the board. All key issues then move on to the membership for approval.
Vice Chairman Ford, who hails from Rhode Island, which is similar in size to Delaware, stressed that CCUA’s model honors local brand and control. “Your local networking and culture doesn’t go away. If anything, it’s enhanced,” she pointed out.
Delaware member credit union members and CCUA member credit unions will likely be voting on the merger proposal sometime in June.
About Cooperative Credit Union Association
The Cooperative Credit Union Association is a regional trade organization serving as the voice for nearly 180-member credit unions located throughout Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. CCUA member credit unions hold combined assets in excess of $73 billion and serve a collective membership base of more than 4.7 million consumers. For more information, visit www.CCUA.org.