Thursday, January 10, 2019
Credit Unions. Banks. In a lot of ways, there are more similarities than differences. We both offer similar products and services: chequing and savings accounts, loans and mortgages, investment products, and online and mobile banking options. But there are several key differentiators that set credit unions apart from chartered banks….
Hi, I’m Cory Munden, CEO of YOUR Leading Edge Credit Union. Did you notice how I said “your” credit union? That’s because, as a shareholder, you are also an equal owner. Credit unions are member-owned, democratically-controlled co-operative financial institutions. They are run by a volunteer board of directors elected by the membership. Each shareholder has one vote. By contrast, bank customers don't have voting rights, can't be elected to the board, and have no control over what the bank does. The governance of credit unions is in the hands of its members. In fact, it is one of the seven co-operative principles that guide the operations of all credit unions. The seven principles are:
à Voluntary and Open Membership
à Democratic Member Control
à Member Economic Participation
à Autonomy and Independence
à Education, Training and Information
à Co-operation among Co-operatives
à Concern for Community
I could go into detail about how Leading Edge Credit Union lives each of these principles, but perhaps that is a topic for another time. For now, I’d like to focus on one: democratic member control. This brings me to the reason for this message to you (thanks for reading, by the way). With our annual general meeting just around the corner, between now and January 25th, Leading Edge Credit Union will once again invite our membership to consider serving on the board of directors. “What do the directors of a credit union do?” you might ask. Well, as policy makers, directors are instrumental in effecting positive changes, which ensure growth and development for their Credit Union and community. Directors often provide a fresh look from a different perspective, assisting a credit union in being responsive to member needs and leading to technological innovation and new services. It is important for a Credit Union to have a strong board consisting of a diverse group of people. Directors come from all walks of life... teachers, trades people, homemakers, farmers, nurses, and business professionals — just to name a few. If you believe financial institutions best serve the people who use their services every day and the communities in which those people live, you can make a real contribution; you can help your community prosper!
Board service is not without its benefits to you, the individual. It offers excellent professional development opportunities, the ability to personally contribute to enhancing your community’s own financial institution, the opportunity to participate in local, regional, national and international networking opportunities, and training through an accredited national directors training program. At Leading Edge Credit Union, we can also do our very best to accommodate your busy schedule. Many of our directors take advantage of technology to participate in meetings. As a director, you would receive an annual remuneration, and all board related expenses are covered at no cost to you. You would also benefit from insurance coverage to protect against personal liabilities.
Credit unions are driven by both economic and social concerns. They are community-based organizations that care not only about the bottom line of their business, but also the needs of their members and the quality of life in their communities. I strongly urge you to consider the role that you could play in guiding Leading Edge Credit Union into the future. For more information on our upcoming election, please call our corporate office at 695-7065 or visit our website at www.lecu.ca. I look forward to hearing from you. Together we can ensure that Leading Edge Credit Union continues to be the best option for financial services for its member-owners!