Credit Union History for Understanding Today’s Cooperative System

America’s Credit Union Museum is collecting oral histories of system participants to help future generations understand their cooperative roots.

Fifteen videos are now posted. Interviews are from retired leaders such as Carroll Beach, Dick Ensweiller, Brad Murphy and John Tippetts. Persons still active include league presidents Tom Kane and Caroline Willard, and Sarah Canepa Bang, the senior policy advisor to NCUA Vice Chair Kyle Hauptman.

Episode 15: The Deregulation Era

My first contribution discusses deregulation. It describes how Ed, Bucky and I learned with credit unions in Illinois to navigate the disruptive economic changes occurring in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. We went to NCUA using these lessons on a national scale.

The talk is 24 minutes. If your time is limited, here are some topics to scroll to:

3:00 Where the cooperative model fits on America’s economy

5:00 Learning about regulation and credit unions at Illinois’s DFI

12:10 We take our experiences to NCUA

14:00 Communicating what deregulation was; why it worked

16:15 Upgrading the NCUA’s internal capabilities

20:20 the PennSq bank failure

The Value of Oral History

The museum’s initiative to record individual’s credit union experiences will be invaluable to visitors and scholars. They are easy and fun to listen to, especially if you know the characters.

Hearing these examples will stimulate interest in cooperative history; more importantly it can give perspective on today’s topics.

Deregulation was not a political ideology, strategic blueprint or onetime response to a changing economy.

In credit unions it was nothing less than building a better system of “cooperative credit in the United States.” It turned upside down the practice of government making everyday business decisions for credit unions.

Rather that responsibility was now in the hands of those closest to the members-management and boards.

Most importantly these changes were developed mutually with full dialogue and participation by all segments of the movement.

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