ST. LOUIS (2/11/08)--Vantage CU President/CEO Hubert Hoosman Jr. turned a personal profile into an opportunity to tout the credit union difference in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
(Feb. 8). Friday's article, "Credit union chief follows a democratic formula," started with the personal background, including Hoosman's leadership in the $2 million statewide campaign for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. But he was soon talking about what makes his credit union unique: its not-for-profit, member-owned structure. "It doesn't matter if you have $1,000 or $1 in your account, you have the same right as other members of the credit union," Hoosman told the newspaper. "You have the ability to take major action on decisions of the credit union. With a bank, you don't." A bank, he said, is "all about the bottom line and returning a profit for its investors." Among the points he made:
* Credit unions have the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund and have never had to ask the government for anything while banks and savings and loans have had bailouts on several occasions. * Community banks are the main competition. "With community banks, you get four or five investors who pool their money and open a small bank. They want to build their assets for a major bank to buy them out in five years." A director wanted to know why the credit union didn't have such a plan. "Because we are not setting ourselves up to be bought. We can't be bought. Our charter doesn't allow it." * The volunteer board structure means board members have "no advantage over other members. No perks, no year-end bonuses, nothing. I think it's the best model of democracy that exists in the country. We walk the walk."
Hoosman told the newspaper that credit unions "are the Southwest Airlines of the consumer financial world." Vantage CU is a $509 million asset credit union in Bridgeton, Mo. Use the link to access the full article.