Challenges and Opportunities
We are living in a difficult and challenging period for Michigan — but also one ripe with opportunity for Michigan’s credit union industry.
As is evident in the following pages of the 2006 MCUL/CUcorp Annual Report, Michigan’s credit unions are doing more than just weathering our state’s economic storm. We are stepping up to the plate, answering the call and enhancing our position as an important player in Michigan’s eventual economic renaissance.
Michigan credit unions are intensifying their community service activities through their support and participation in the MCUL Community Reinvestment Initiative (CRI), which encourages credit unions to raise their traditional community outreach efforts to a strategic level. We’re responding to job losses and buyouts through unique and innovative ways such as the Career Transition Program (CTP), which provides low-cost loans to displaced credit union members in need of education and retraining.
Most importantly, we continue to provide our members with the benefits of cooperative savings and credit — better service, lower fees and more favorable rates. And it is no exaggeration to say that every Michigan consumer benefits by our competitive presence in the financial services marketplace.
Finally, unlike profit-motivated banks, credit unions are committed to our state and are staying put in Michigan. We are not about to abandon the Great Lakes State for the sake of shareholder profits, a “more talented workforce” or perceived greener pastures elsewhere. We are devoted to serving Michigan and its citizens, and to doing our part to help make our state a better and more prosperous place to live.
CRI, our extensive cooperative advertising campaign and enhanced legislative advocacy efforts form the MCUL’s three-tiered strategy for promoting credit union success and growth and protecting the credit union tax exemption. This strategy is already paying dividends through increased awareness among consumers, lawmakers and the media about credit union uniqueness and the advantages of not-for-profit financial services.
In short, Michigan credit unions are on the right path and need only to persevere and stay the course. When we meet in Downtown Detroit’s Renaissance Center for the 2007 MCUL Annual Convention and Exposition (AC&E), let’s make the most of this opportunity to learn, network, re-energize our batteries and tackle the work ahead with enthusiasm. The combined strength of credit unions, linked together under the banner of the MCUL and CUNA, is captured in the 2007 AC&E theme, “Fusion: Credit Unions Together.”
I look forward to welcoming all of you to Detroit this month!
Michigan Credit Union League