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The Credit Union Difference

Credit unions are cooperative, not-for-profit financial institutions organized to provide members with a place to save money and obtain a loan at a reasonable rate. Click on the following bullets to learn more about credit unions.

Overview of Credit Unions

The early history of the credit union movement began in Europe. Herman Schulze-Delitzsch organized cooperatives among craftspeople and others in Germany. These cooperatives later became known as “People’s Banks,” where the most basic tenant was that each member of the cooperative had a vote and control was democratic.

The First Credit Union

The first credit union was organized in 1864 as a rural cooperative by Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen. By 1888, there were 425 credit unions in Germany, and the credit union movement soon spread to Canada, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and France.

Credit Unions in the United States

Edward Filene first discovered credit unions in a village in India in 1907. As one of the founders of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Filene and other public-spirited citizens prepared legislation for what was to become the first general state credit union act in the United States – the Massachusetts Credit Union Act.

In 1908, the first credit union in the United States was formed in New Hampshire; it was called St. Mary’s “People’s” Bank.

Foundation of the Federal Credit Union Act

At first, credit unions did not meet with much success in the United States. In 1920, Roy Bergengren was the head of the Credit Union National Extension Bureau, and developed the following critical objectives that became the foundation of the Federal Credit Union Act:

  • Pass state laws that would permit chartering credit unions.
  • Organize individual credit unions.
  • Form state credit union leagues.
  • Create a national association to promote “credit unionism.”

Establishment of the FCUA, the NCUA and CUNA

In 1924, Bergengren launched a newsletter entitled, “The Bridge,” which was based on the concept that credit unions were the “bridge” to economic betterment for the common people. “The Bridge” went on to become the official voice of the credit union movement, and in June 1934, President Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act (FCUA).

The FCUA established the Federal Credit Union System and created the Bureau of Federal Credit Unions, which later became the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), to charter and oversee federal credit unions. Additionally, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) (a national credit union trade association) was organized as well.

Credit Union Principles

Lee Shapiro founded the first credit union under California law among the municipal employees in Los Angeles. His leadership inspired many of the early pioneers to believe in the basic principles of the cooperative spirit, such as: 

  • One Member, One Vote—Democratic voice of the people.
  • Open Membership—All people of goodwill can join.
  • Not-for-Profit—Any net income is returned to the member.
  • Limited Interest—Rates are set for the cooperative’s membership and not in favor of one class of members.
  • Member Education—Promotes the education of members.
  • Trading for Cash—Cooperatives strive to be “debt free."
  • Neutral—Neutrality in race, religion and politics.
  • Volunteerism—The board of directors and other board committees are made up of volunteers.

Definitions and Terminology

There are several terms that are used among credit unions that are not used in other financial institutions.

Charter
A legal document which gives a credit union the authority to operate. Credit unions may be chartered federally or through a state.

Common Bond
A unifying factor or characteristic among persons that simultaneously links them together and distinguishes them from the general public. For example, a credit union may have a certain employer (e.g., utility company) as the “common bond” of its membership group.

Compliance
All credit unions are subject to state or federal laws and regulations. Credit unions must comply with these laws and regulations or they will be warned and/or penalized in some way by a regulator.

Cooperatives
An enterprise that is owned jointly by those who use its facilities or services. The underlying principle of all credit union cooperatives is that they work solely for the benefit of their members.

Dual-Chartering System
Credit unions are organized under a dual chartering system of federal and state laws.

Field of Membership
A group of people who qualify as members of a credit union, limited by  law to those who have a common bond.

Federal Credit Union Act
A federal law enacted in June 1934 that allowed the organization of federal credit unions and established methods for their chartering, supervision and examination.

League
A membership group of credit unions in a given area (usually a state) formed to promote and develop the credit union movement in that area.

SEG
Also known as a Select Employee Group, a SEG is an employee group that is eligible to form a credit union but has not because of the group’s size or location, and is given full membership rights by an established credit union.

Share
A given amount of money a person deposits with a credit union to become a member that confers ownership rights, has a stated par value, and pays dividends.

Share Draft
A share draft account is just another name for a checking account, being that members have “shares” in the credit union.

Sponsor
An employer, labor union or professional group on which credit union membership may be based.

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Federally-Chartered Credit Unions

Credit unions are chartered to serve groups having a common bond of an occupation or association, or groups within a well-defined community, local neighborhood or rural district. Credit unions can either be chartered as a Federal Credit Union or a State Credit Union. Federally-chartered credit unions have the following characteristics:

  • Have the name “federal” in the title of its name; for example, XYZ Federal Credit Union.
  • Deposits are insured through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).
  • Must adhere to the Federal Credit Union Act.
  • Examined annually by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
  • Must adhere to the NCUA’s Rules and Regulations.
  • Must follow all Federal and State financial institution laws and regulations.

State-Chartered Credit Unions

State-chartered credit unions have many different characteristics than federally-chartered credit unions. In most instances, “federal” does not appear in the title of the credit union.

If the credit union is state-chartered and federally insured by the NCUSIF, it must show the NCUA logo on windows or stations where deposits are accepted. Approximately 95 percent of state-chartered credit unions have their deposits insured through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF); thus, they must adhere to the insurance guidelines of the NCUA.

State-chartered credit unions are examined and governed by the state regulator.  (NOTE:  The states of Delaware, South Dakota and Wyoming do not regulate credit unions at the state level.)

Differences Between Credit Unions and Banks

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Credit Union Organization

Credit unions are organized similarly throughout the nation. Credit unions are formed by any group that has a common interest recognized under State or Federal law. There are three main types of credit union common bonds.

  • Associational
  • Community
  • Occupational

Let’s take a closer look at each type of credit union.

“Associational” Credit Unions

Members of associational credit unions are members or employees of fraternal, professional, or trade associations, cooperatives, religious organizations or labor unions. In the case of federal credit unions, the common bond for an associational group cannot be established simply on the basis that the association exists; there are certain requirements that must be considered:

  • Whether members of the association pay dues;
  • Whether members of the association participate in setting the direction of the association;
  • Whether the members of the association have voting rights (whether directly or indirectly) through a delegate;
  • Whether the association maintains a membership list;
  • Whether the association sponsors other activities;
  • The association's membership eligibility requirements; and
  • The frequency of the association’s meetings.

Types of Associational Credit Unions

The following are some examples of different types of “associational” credit unions:

  • Educational groups, such as parent-teacher organizations, alumni associations, student organizations in any school. (NOTE:  Student groups may qualify as an associational or occupational common bond.)

  • Church groups, including youth groups, development or recovery groups, and adult groups.

  • Homeowner associations, tenant groups, consumer groups, and other groups of persons having an “interest in” a particular cause and certain consumer cooperatives.

Those eligible for membership in an associational credit union may include members of the association (e.g., members of a union or church) and/or employees of the association (e.g., employees of the labor union or the church).

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Examples of Associational Credit Unions

The following are examples of Associational Credit Unions:

  • Regular members of Locals 10 and 13, IBEW, in Florida, who qualify for membership in accordance with their charter and bylaws in effect on May 20, 2001;
  • Members of the Hoosier Farm Bureau in Grant, Logan, or Lee Counties of Indiana, who qualify for membership in accordance with its charter and bylaws in effect on March 7, 1997;
  • Members of the Shalom Congregation in Chevy Chase, Maryland;
  • Regular members of the Corporate Executives Association, located in Westchester, New York, who qualify for membership in accordance with its charter and bylaws in effect on December 1, 1997;
  • Members of the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association, located in Green Bay, Wisconsin; or
  • Members of the Marine Corps Reserve Officers Association.

Unacceptable Associational Credit Unions

The following are examples of unacceptable associational common bonds:

  • Alumni of Amos University (There is no formal association listed here.)
  • Customers of Fleetwood Insurance Company (Policyholders or primarily customer/client relationships do not meet associational standards.)
  • Employees or members of the Reston, Virginia, Chamber of Commerce (This is not a sufficiently close tie to the associational common bond.)

“Occupational” Credit Union Eligibility

Members of occupational credit unions are employees of a common employer. The NCUA permits a person's membership eligibility in a single occupational common bond group to be established in five ways:

  • Employment (including long-term contractual relationship equivalent to employment) in a single corporation or other legal entity;
  • Employment in a corporation or other legal entity with a controlling ownership interest (which shall not be less than 10 percent) in or by another legal entity;
  • Employment in a corporation or other legal entity which is related to another legal entity (e.g., a company under contract with another company);
  • Employment or attendance at a school; or
  • Employment in the same Trade, Industry, or Profession (TIP).

“Occupational” Credit Unions and Geography

A geographic limitation is not a requirement for a single occupational common bond. However, for purposes of describing the field of membership, the geographic areas being served may be included in the charter. Let’s take a look of a few examples of how this may work in a charter:

  • Employees, officials, and persons who work regularly under contract in Los Angeles, California for XYZ Corporation and subsidiaries.
  • Employees of XYZ Corporation who are paid from Chicago, Illinois.
  • Employees of XYZ Corporation who are supervised from Denver, Colorado.
  • Employees of XYZ Corporation who are headquartered in Casper, Wyoming.
  • Employees of XYZ Corporation who work in the United States.

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Unacceptable Occupational Common Bond Examples

Some examples of insufficiently defined single occupational common bonds are:

  • Employees of manufacturing firms in Seattle, Washington. (In this example, there is no defined occupational sponsor and an overly broad TIP)
  • Persons employed or working in Chicago, Illinois. (In this example, there is no occupational common bond established.)

Community Credit Unions

Members of community credit unions live within a well-defined rural or urban area. The NCUA recognizes four types of affinity on which a community charter can be based: persons who live in, worship in, attend school in, or work in the community. Businesses and other legal entities within the community boundaries may also qualify for membership.

Additionally, the NCUA states that community charters must include individuals with common interests and/or interact with each other.

Examples of Community Credit Unions

Some examples of community fields of membership are:

  • Persons who live or work in Green County, Maine.
  • Persons who live, worship, or work in and businesses and other legal entities located in Independent School District No. 1, DuPage County, Illinois.
  • Persons who work for businesses located in Clifton Country Mall, in Clifton Park, New York.
  • Persons who live, work, or worship in the Binghamton, New York, MSA, consisting of Broome and Tioga Counties, New York.

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Unacceptable Community Credit Unions

The following are examples of insufficiently defined community fields of membership:

  • Persons who live or work within and businesses located within a ten-mile radius of Washington, D.C. (Using a radius does not establish a well-defined area.)
  • Persons who live or work in the greater Boston area. (This is not a well-defined neighborhood, community, or rural district.)

Some examples of unacceptable local communities, neighborhoods, or rural districts are:

  • Persons who live or work in the State of California. (This does not meet the definition of local community, neighborhood, or rural district.)
  • Persons who live in the first congressional district of Florida. (This does not meet the definition of local community, neighborhood, or rural district.)

Multiple Group Common Bonds

There are also multiple group credit unions, which comprise several groups or types of credit unions, where no one group or type is predominant. For example, a credit union may have an associational and occupational membership, with neither one being predominant.

Framework of a Credit Union

Credit unions are organized similarly throughout the nation. Over the next few pages, we will discuss the general framework of credit unions in the United States, in the following order:

Members

Members are the most important part of the credit union organization. In fact, without them, the credit union would not exist. Members elect the board of directors and participate in membership meetings. They promote participation in and use of credit union services. They can remove any official for cause and can also expel members for cause.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors maintains the general direction and control of the credit union and acts as volunteers (as they are not paid). Board members are elected by the membership, and they establish operating policies for the credit union.

Additionally, the Board elects board officials and approves compensation of specified officers of the credit union. They also appoint the supervisory committee and other required committees of the credit union.

Supervisory Committee

The Board of Directors appoints the members of the Supervisory Committee with the purpose of examining and auditing the affairs of the credit union.

Credit Committee

The Credit Committee is appointed by the Board of Directors and acts on all lending decisions at the credit union. Some credit unions still maintain a credit committee; however, others allow their managers and employees to make credit decisions without the direct intervention of the credit committee. In some instances, a credit committee will be established to oversee certain aspects of the credit union’s loan portfolio.

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CEO/President/Manager

Depending upon its size and structure, every credit union has an individual “in charge” of the operations of the organization. This individual reports directly to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the positive performance of the credit union and its employees.

Smaller credit unions usually have a Credit Union Manager, while larger credit unions have a President or CEO of the organization.

Executive Officers

At most credit unions, Executive Officers consist of Executive Vice Presidents of the organization who report directly to the CEO/President/Manager of the organization. In some cases, the CEO is also considered to be an executive officer; thus, the title, “Chief Executive Officer.”

Examples of executive officers include the following: Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), and Chief Information Officer (CIO). In some instances, vice presidents are a part of the executive team.

Management Team

The management team is made up of administrative and operational managers who report directly to an Executive Officer. Examples of members of the management team include: Lending Manager, Card Services Manager, Member Services Manager, Branch Manager, etc.

In some instances, Vice Presidents will report to an Executive Officer as well.

Staff

The staff of the credit union includes all of its employees. It is important for employees to see that their ultimate supervisor is the member. The staff is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization and establishing positive relationships with the membership.

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Regulations, Insurance and Trade Associations

Credit unions must follow many different regulations at both the state and federal level. Let’s take a look at the critical rules and regulations all credit unions must follow, as well as the insurance requirements and trade associations available to assist them.

Regulations

The following lists some of the key laws and regulations credit unions must abide by without penalty:

  • Federal Credit Union Act - Provides for the chartering and supervision of federal credit unions by the NCUA and the insuring of member accounts of federally-chartered and state-chartered credit unions through the NCUSIF.  Click here to learn more about the FCUA.

  • NCUA Rules and Regulations - Under the authority of the Federal Credit Union Act, the NCUA’s rules and regulations are established for the organization and operating of federal credit unions. Click here to learn more about them.

  • State Regulations - State-chartered credit unions must abide by the regulations of their particular state. These regulations are outlined similarly with the Federal Credit Union Act, but are not the same.

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Consumer Laws and Regulations

Here are some of the key consumer laws and regulations that credit unions must follow.

Availability of Funds and Collection of Checks/Regulation CC
Regulation CC implements the Availability of Funds and Collection of Checks Act, which requires financial institutions to follow specific rules for making cash from a deposited check available for withdrawal. Regulation CC curbs abuse by financial institutions that were placing extremely long holds on deposits.It requires financial institutions to: 1) Develop and implement policies which satisfy specific time requirements for the availability of funds; 2) Provide public disclosures regarding the policies; and 3) Ensure the prompt processing of returned checks.

Check 21 Act
The Check 21 Act introduces the substitute check, which is a new negotiable instrument that permits checks to be truncated at any point in the process. The Act was created with the following objectives in mind: 1) To facilitate truncation by authorizing substitute checks; 2) To foster innovation in the check collection system without mandating receipt of checks in electronic form; and 3) To improve the overall efficiency of the Nation’s payment systems.

Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA)/Regulation E
The Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) was enacted in 1978, and provides the basic framework of rights, liabilities and responsibilities of the parties involved in an electronic funds transfer (EFT). It provides protection of any individual engaging in electronic funds transfers. Regulation E implements the EFTA.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act/Regulation B
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), implemented through Regulation B, states that credit unions may not discriminate against members in any aspect of a credit transaction on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, receipt of income from any public assistance program or good faith exercise of rights under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The regulation specifically outlines what can be included on a loan application, how it may be considered, and the content of notices required to be given following any action taken on a loan application.

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
The Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970, or the FCRA, was enacted with the purpose of promoting accuracy, fairness and privacy of personal information compiled by consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), which includes financial institutions. It regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer credit information, and sets guidelines for CRAs and information furnishers to follow.

Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACT Act)
The FACT Act amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as well as the Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 1996 (CCRRA). While the FACT Act maintains the existing credit-reporting protection of the FCRA, it also addresses new identity theft issues, privacy concerns and inaccuracies of the consumer reporting system, thereby giving greater consumer protection.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which is regulated through the Federal Trade Commission, requires debt collectors to treat people fairly and prohibits certain methods of debt collection.

The following bullets list more of the critical laws and regulations credit unions must follow.

Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA)
The Home Ownership Equity and Protection Act addresses certain deceptive and unfair practices in mortgage lending. It amends the Truth in Lending Act/Regulation Z giving requirements for certain loans with high rates and/or high fees. Because it is amended in Section 32 of the Truth in Lending Act, loans covered by this regulation are also called “Section 32 Mortgages.”

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)/Regulation C
The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) was enacted by Congress in 1974 and implemented by the Federal Reserve Board as Regulation C. The regulation was enacted because of concerns regarding discriminatory lending acts taking place in certain urban neighborhoods. Regulation C was implemented to:


1) Provide the public with information regarding a financial institution’s record of assisting in the credit needs of the neighborhoods and communities in which it is located;

2) Aid public officials in targeting public investments to attract investments from the private sector; and

3) Identify possible discriminatory lending patterns.

Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)/Regulation X
The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) is a consumer protection law designed to assist members become better mortgage loan consumers. It provides regulations for settlement costs and procedures in a mortgage loan transaction. RESPA is enforced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.

Reserve Requirement for Depository Institutions/Regulation D
Credit unions are required to set aside a certain portion of their deposits, generally in the form of cash or balances, at a Federal Reserve Bank (FRB). These “reserves” allow the FRB system to influence monetary policy more effectively. Regulation D is a monetary policy regulation, which specifies how credit unions must classify accounts to meet the reserve requirements established by the FRB.

Truth in Lending Act/Regulation Z
The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) was designed to combat the problems that existed in the credit lending industry. It allows consumers to shop for the best credit available in a manner that is easy to understand and make comparisons. Regulation Z implements the Truth in Lending Act, providing essential guidelines and regulations for consumer and mortgage lenders.

Truth in Savings Act
The Truth in Savings Act (TISA) requires credit unions to disclose fees, dividends, interest, rates and other terms concerning accounts to members or potential members before they open accounts. It also requires credit unions to provide statements to members with information about fees imposed, dividends or interest earned, and the annual percentage yield earned on their accounts. There are also specific regulations that describe the methods credit unions can use to determine how dividends can be calculated on a balance as well as advertising specifications.

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Other Critical Laws and Regulations

The following are other critical laws and regulations that credit unions must adhere to no matter what the circumstance (with few exceptions).

Bank Bribery Act (BBA)
The Bank Bribery Act prohibits gifts, offers or promises of anything of value to any person with the intent to influence or reward an officer, director, employee, agent or attorney of a financial institution in connection with any business or transaction of that financial institution. It further prohibits any financial institution employee or officer from inappropriate solicitation or acceptance of (or agreement to accept) anything of value from any person or entity as a means of influencing him/her in connection with a business transaction. The BBA applies to all financial institutions and is regulated by the appropriate supervisory authority.

Bank Protection Act (BPA)
The purpose of the Bank Protection Act is to discourage robberies, burglaries and larcenies committed against financial institutions. The primary purpose of the BPA is to ensure that federal financial institutions implement security procedures to protect them against burglary, robbery and larceny.

Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)
The Bank Secrecy Act was originally intended to aid investigations into an array of criminal activities, from income tax evasion to the laundering of money by organized crime. However, in more recent years, the BSA required reports and records have been utilized as tools for investigating individuals suspected of engaging in illegal drug activities. It requires each credit union to have a written Bank Secrecy Act compliance program approved by its board of directors.  Additionally, financial institutions must document and report suspicious transactions and other activities to the government, and provide protection for their members.

Flood Disaster Protection Act (FDPA)
The Flood Disaster Protection Act (FDPA) mandates the purchase of flood insurance for the protection of property located in special flood hazard areas.

Privacy Act, or Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
The GLBA requires companies and financial institutions to give consumers privacy notices that explain their information-sharing practices. In turn, consumers have the right to limit some or all of their “shared” information.

Right to Financial Privacy Act (RFPA)
The RFPA was enacted with the intent to provide members the right to be notified before their financial records are disclosed, and to provide members with the right and opportunity to object to the disclosure of their financial records.  Financial institutions, as well as government officials, must follow specific procedures concerning the disclosure of financial records in order to ensure that the member’s privacy is protected.

Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
The Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act, formerly known as the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940, is a federal law that gives all military members some important rights as they enter (or re-enter) active duty.

USA Patriot Act
Enacted by Congress on October 26, 2001, the official name of the USA Patriot Act (USAPA) is “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.” The primary purpose of the USAPA is to “deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world,” and “to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools.” More specific to financial institutions, this Act expands upon the Bank Secrecy Act, improving its money laundering rules and related measures.

Insurance

All federally-chartered credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) up to $250,000 per member. This insurance fund is administered and supervised by the National Credit Union Administration, or the NCUA. The NCUSIF is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government, and is there to protect member assets should something happen to the credit union.

State-chartered credit unions have the option to participate in the NCUSIF. In fact, nearly 95 percent of credit unions today have their deposits insured through the NCUSIF; others have opted for private deposit insurance for their members.

In addition, the NCUA operates the Central Liquidity Fund (CLF) which acts as a reserve to assist credit unions that have immediate cash flow problems.

Trade Associations – Credit Union Leagues

Credit unions have many resources from which to gain information and other assistance. Credit unions belong to “credit union leagues,” which are state-wide trade associations, which represent credit unions operating within a particular state.

Some credit union leagues have dropped the word “league” and now use “association” instead; however, the purpose of their existence has not changed. Some state leagues serve more than one state.

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Credit Union League Services

Credit union leagues are cooperative institutions that provide many benefits that go beyond basic products and services. Generally, leagues offer the following services to credit unions:

Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy
Leagues have experts on staff devoted to representing and protecting the rights and interests of credit unions in the area they serve. They also provide updated regulatory guidance on a timely basis.

Education, Training and Networking
Leagues provide seminars, webinars, meetings, conferences and other events to assist credit unions with the education and training of their employees, as well as to provide networking opportunities.

Consulting
Leagues provide credit unions with professional consulting services in a variety of areas (e.g., strategic planning, compliance training, etc.) for a fraction of what it would cost for them to find that same type of consulting on their own.

Public Relations
League professionals work hard to project a positive image for the credit unions in their state on a regular basis. They provide news releases, publicity, publications and other community relations programs designed to promote the image and visibility of credit unions at the local, state and national levels.

Service Corporations
Many leagues offer products and services through a for-profit service organization, which is usually wholly-owned by the league. These service corporations will offer such services as credit and debit cards, insurance products and share draft/check processing.

National Credit Union Associations

There are several different national associations that provide the same type of services leagues provide for credit unions throughout the nation. The following is a listing of the common national associations used by credit unions:

Credit Union National Association (CUNA)
Based in Washington, D.C., and Madison, Wisconsin, CUNA is a national trade association serving credit unions nationwide. The non-profit trade group is governed by volunteer directors who are elected by their credit union peers. CUNA provides its own services and also partners with many state leagues to provide some of the services listed previously.

National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU)
NAFCU is a respected and influential trade association that exclusively represents the interests of federal credit unions before the federal government and the public. Membership in NAFCU is direct; there are no state or local leagues, chapters or affiliations standing between NAFCU members and the NAFCU headquarters in Arlington, VA. It provides members with representation, information, education and assistance, and stands as a national forum for the federal credit union community. NAFCU is led by a board of directors that is elected directly from the membership by the membership of the association.

National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS)
The mission of NASCUS is to enhance state credit union supervision and advocate for a safe and sound credit union system. It is the only organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of the dual chartering system and the autonomy of state credit union regulatory agencies, and also represents the interests of state agencies before Congress and is the liaison to federal agencies. NASCUS is governed by a Board of Directors elected by NASCUS members who are state regulatory agencies and their personnel.

Credit Union Executive Society (CUES)
CUES is an independent, international membership association for credit union executives worldwide. Originally a division of CUNA, it now functions independently with the purpose of providing the highest level of professional development in the credit union movement whether by general membership conferences, executive education and other products and services. CUES has partnered with some of the most renowned business schools to keep credit union leaders abreast of the ever changing financial world.

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