Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Happy Credit Union Day

Credit Union Day

October 18th is Credit Union Day! So, what is the big deal? The credit union, after all, is simply a supplier of financial services in the banking industry; there is nothing sexy about that! Too often, the consumer’s focus is on comparing products and services of credit unions versus big bank competitors. Its natural to compare an interest rate or service charge when choosing a financial service provider but there is so much more to consider. Credit Union Day provides the opportunity to focus on the credit union difference, so consumers can see that it truly is better to do business with a credit union. This blog highlights a few key credit union differences.

An important distinction is the concept of ownership. A member of a credit union is an owner; they can contribute to the successful operation of the organization. Now, this might not be something most people are interested in.  When our members were polled only 21% agreed that this was important to them. This is fine, but the ownership concept extends well beyond credit union governance. Ownership means that the credit union works for you, the owner. When a typical business or a bank makes a decision, who does that decision usually benefit the most? The answer is the owners, the major shareholders, the people or companies who stand to make the most profit from the decision, not necessarily the customers. But in the case of credit unions, the owners are the customers. And because our customers control us, democratically, we ALWAYS act in the best interests of our members.

Leading Edge Credit Union actually embedded this focus in our vision which states that “we strive to assist all our members to meet their financial goals by providing advice and services with a focus on the members’ best interests.” When you deal with us, you can rest assured that our focus is on your best interests. But you don’t have to take my work for it! Our most recent member survey tells us that 92.76% of our members feel that LECU acts in their best interests. In fact, nationally, credit unions have placed #1 in customer service for 14 consecutive years. So, if you want honest financial advice from a financial institution that truly has your back, then seek out a credit union. Oh, and by the way, if the credit union is successful, you share in the success. LECU has returned over $644,000 back to our members in the form of dividends and patronage rebates. And that’s on top of offering great rates and banking packages! It’s really an easy decision.

Another feature that sets us apart from our competitors is our role in our communities. Community capacity building and support is in the DNA of credit unions. We are built on the foundation of 7 co-operative principles. One of these principles is ‘concern for community’. To illustrate our commitment to thriving communities, LECU operates in two communities where banks had closed branches deeming the community too “unprofitable”. . Leading Edge Credit Union instead chooses to focus on supporting the social-economic development of communities. This statement is supported by the many great things that LECU does within our communities such as volunteering, sponsorships and donations, educational programming, and environmental initiatives. We know that the well-being of your community is important to you; LECU has always and will always play a significant role in supporting strong and vibrant communities. To-date in 2018, our staff members have contributed 322 hours of volunteer time during work hours and a whopping 904 personal volunteer hours in their communities. LECU has also supported over 93 community organizations this year!
On this International Credit Union Day, we have a lot to celebrate! So if you haven’t done so yet, maybe it’s time to check us out and start your journey towards a better financial future for you while helping build a stronger community for everyone.