MINNEAPOLIS (12/3/13)-In a publication filled with ideas from the movers and shakers in the Twin Cities area, Minnesota Credit Union League President/CEO Mark Cummins had the chance to reinforce the credit union difference.
Cummins challenged the misperception that credit unions are less sophisticated than others in the financial services industry. A credit union may not have a national bricks-and-mortar presence, as does an entity such as Wells Fargo, he said, but credit unions have the reach of a nationwide, surcharge-free ATM network and the unique services provided by shared branching (Twin Cities Business Nov. 22).
Additionally, credit unions have deposit insurance protection for members that is equivalent to the banks and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. "We're very safe," he told the magazine. "We're conservatively managed, and we take good care of people."
Cummins called the "unfair tax advantage" claims, bandied about by banks, "inter-institutional propaganda," noting that the federal income tax exemption is the only one credit unions have and it's based on the not-for-profit, cooperative structure of credit unions.
He concurred with the interviewer's comment that 2012 was a "pivotal year" for credit union growth. Cummins said that consumers are choosing credit unions because they align with the values Americans are seeking. It's a fundamentally different way of treating people-you maximize the benefit to your membership instead of maximizing the benefit to the stockholder, he said.
According to the league, Minnesota credit union membership grew by 12,000 to 1,591,000 through the second quarter of 2013, which is a 0.8% growth rate.
The special Nov. 22 edition of Twin Cities Business included one-on-one interviews with 28 of the area's business and community leaders.