ST. PAUL, Minn. (11/17/10)--Focusing on credit unions’ cooperative roots, Minnesota Credit Union Network President/CEO Mark D. Cummins praised financial cooperatives in Monday’s Finance & Commerce newspaper, touting the cooperative characteristics that make credit unions unique and beneficial for consumers. Cummins is a regular columnist for the Twin Cities publication. The article, titled “Defining Credit Unions and the Cooperative Model,” defines how cooperatives differ from for-profit businesses. It informs readers of the strength of co-ops in the financial services industry, where more than 92 million consumers are member-owners of nearly 8,200 credit unions throughout the U.S.--including 1.5 million credit union members in Minnesota. “By working cooperatively, credit unions have successfully helped members around the world overcome financial challenges,” Cummins wrote, noting credit unions’ work to serve the underserved. “Credit unions offer financial counseling, provide foreclosure assistance, and make loans to the state’s small businesses, which are essential during this time of economic recovery.” Cummins also touted the credit union difference by noting the industry’s member-owned, democratically controlled structure. He referred to credit unions’ benefits--lower rates on loans, fewer fees, and higher savings rates--to consumers and encouraged readers to find a credit union they are eligible to join. To read the column, use the link.