TUKWILA, Wash. (5/24/10)--Gary Oakland, BECU president/CEO in Tukwila, Wash., shared the credit union difference Friday with a local newspaper, The News Tribune. In a question-and-answer format, Oakland talked about some of the things that separate credit unions from banks. First, credit unions are cooperatives and don’t have stockholders to pay. “We want members to see what value the co-op has that benefits them and their community,” he said. Service also sets credit unions apart. “There was a time when banks forgot about consumers, and when they came back, credit unions had a foothold,” he added. He also said BECU doesn’t have teller lines. “We don’t do transactions, we do conversations,” he said. “We have neighborhood financial centers.” BECU plans to open three to six financial centers per year and is planning growth in concentric circles. Business at the credit union is also good--it’s seeing a decline in write-offs and is well-capitalized, he said. BECU has $8.6 billion in assets.