Timeless Wisdom: The Impact of Federal Share Insurance On NCUA

“People tend to forget that only at the end of Bergengren’s career did he help foster the Federal Credit Union Act. For decades he worked on the local. He did what needed to be done to get people to come together for their mutual benefit, mainly around communities. . . Then came the federal insurance fund. The irony of this idea was that the bureaucrats were suddenly turning into the protectors of the people and hence kind of policeman. Soon the core of what credit unions are, began to get lost. The Federal vision went from one of creativity and growth (of charters) to jittery watchdog.”

Ed Callahan, Callahan Report, October 1995

2 Replies to “Timeless Wisdom: The Impact of Federal Share Insurance On NCUA”

  1. So true, Chip. That why I believe that credit unions are big enough and sophisticated enough to manage their own deposit insurance fund as a privately and credit union owned fund. The ASI model is a good example. Imagine if that fund had $19 B in assets, being managed by a credit union elected board with out all of the NCUA overhead and without it being viewed as a piggy bank for NCUA operations and without it being used as the authority for unnecessary governmental oversight. At the very least we need this private option as a competitive tool to give state charters an alternateoption and to compel NCUA to pay attention.

    If we are the model of democratic cooperative self help then we should be exercising that same principle without government interference.

  2. This reminds me of the butterfly effect. A butterfly flaps its wings and ultimately causes a tornado. Yesterday I read the story of the only credit union given a credit union charter in 2020. It was published on August 7, 2020 on creditunions.com. Growing Oaks Credit Union.

    Her story was both inspiring and heartbreaking. It took her four years to complete the arduous task. And yet yesterday you showed us how quickly the NCUA can act to eliminate a credit union through merger and the rewards that come with it. (From the Frying Pan into the Fire).

    Our measure of success has become one of size. And yet when the CEO of Growing Oaks FCU was asked to define the measure of success in her tiny credit union she said this, “We’ll look at our members, those people we hope to walk alongside as they rise financially. They will be saving, they will be giving back, they will be telling their story to other people. When we have folks helping other folks come to the credit union, when we have folks who can see their financial life is better, then I’ll feel like we’re having success.

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