CU Creationism Vs. Darwinism: Do You Believe?

Draw a line in the sand, run to your corner, and pick a flag to wave. Are you a Credit Union Creationist or Darwinist?

The Creationist: Say “customer” in her presence and she’ll quickly correct you. It’s not an industry, it’s a movement. In her mind, bankers are deviant evil-doers just lurking around the corner to prey on her member. She speaks the CU gospel, not only to her staff, but to neighbors, friends, and anyone who will listen – even those who don’t. If you don’t belong to a credit union, she has a sermon ready in hand. (You will be healed! OUT “for-profit” demons!) Most everyone in her life is a credit union member. They were likely converted thanks to her. If you work for another credit union, she’ll share with you her business plan, her deepest secrets and quite possibly the shirt from her back. Madison, WI is the Holy Land and taxation is the apocalypse. The bumper sticker on her car reads “What Would Filene Do?” She believes that the good and purity of credit unions will save the financial world.

The Darwinist: He believes that if the credit union industry doesn’t change, it will die of extinction like the dinosaur. He thinks credit unions are one heartbeat away from taxation and he’s prepared for the moment. The sustainability of this industry is his favorite debate. The last time he ate Chapter chicken was in 1994 and he’s quite proud of that fact. He thinks that credit union collaboration is fluffy and unnecessary. In fact, he’d rather sing Kumbaya at Girl Scout Camp. He eagerly watches the Call Reports of smaller credit unions with baited breath for his next merger opportunity and touts the merits of “economies of scale”. Bank has never been a 4 letter word in his opinion, but he’ll hang on to the benefits of this non-profit gig as long as possible. He sees the credit union almost like a stock company, where his real responsibility is to return the most profit to its owners – aka “the members”. He watches ROA like a hawk, and believes only the best of the best will survive.

Want entertainment? Get these two in a room. I guarantee fireworks, bruises, tears or some combination thereof. And our movement or..uh..industry is loaded with both. While I’ll admit I probably fit the description of the CU Creationist, I think we can each stand to bend a little to the middle. {Ultimately it will be our member-centric principles from our past combined with our willingness to adapt to the future that will make us sustainable in the end.}

No matter which bandanna you choose to wear, I hope there is one fact we can all agree on come judgement day: The member deserves better.

Can I get an Amen?


About giraphcu

Greetings and salutations! Welcome to gira{ph}, a strategic marketing firm that helps credit unions amplify their greatness to create chemistry with consumers. The credit union movement has given so much to us. This is our way of giving back. Enjoy!
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