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Why small credit unions have some unique advantages today

June 28, 2007

Tim has forced me to respond to his comment on Cuesskybox’s entry for Small Credit Unions. So maybe there are 10 good reasons on why ‘Small is Beautiful’ for credit unions.

  1. Relationships – smallness dictates that the number of relationships between members, staff and board is manageable for all parties. There is a quality, not quantity, in relationships.
  2. Communication is quick and inclusive.
  3. Transparency. There is always an understanding on why things are happening.
  4. Challenges that are healthy. Being small means you can’t take anything for granted.
  5. Agility in being able to move and respond quickly to any circumstance.
  6. Planning that is truly dynamic. You have a plan but you are constantly reviewing and upgrading it based on any and all communication received.
  7. Teamwork. Everyone can participate in the continuing sense of accomplishment.
  8. Managing your own destiny. There are market conditions and circumstances beyond anyone’s control but you can steer and manage quickly and precisely. You aren’t a 53 branch credit union so can manage in a much different direction.
  9. Technology is cheap. If you put the pillars you need in place to use technology as a strategic advantage, today’s hardware prices and work tools have never been cheaper or more powerful. You can build what you need.
  10. Politics don’t get in the way of accomplishing what needs to be done.
  11. Members, members, members. The always come first.

I haven’t posted in a week with all the family events recently (niece from Denmark, youngest son moving to Denmark). When the weather is good computer screens look a little gruesome.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 28, 2007 7:33 pm

    Nice job. You’re welcome!
    Tim

  2. July 9, 2007 10:20 am

    This is so true. Something I miss about one of my credit union is that as they have grown, their employee turnover has increased. I hardly ever see the same faces on the other side of the counter. They don’t know me either. I am staring to get that “Number” feeling that I got from my bank.

    As credit unions grow, they seem to lose the “Small Town Bank” feel that made them appealing to their members in the first place. It makes me think of my 16 month old daughter. I look at her and know that she will grow up soon and no longer need me like she does now. That makes me sad, and I sometimes feel the same way about my credit union. When will they get big enough so that they wont need me anymore?

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