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'Unite for Good' Prompting Discussion And Ideas
WASHINGTON (3/28/13)--More in the credit union community are commenting and offering suggestions on "Unite for Good," the new initiative to rally credit unions around a shared vision for growth and success. It's a development welcomed by Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney, who debuted the initiative at CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference last month.

This week, credit union consultant Scott Butterfield, principal with Your Credit Union Partner, discussed the Unite for Good initiative in a column appearing on the CU Insight news and opinion aggregation site. He agreed Unite for Good's service component must go beyond consumer satisfaction surveys and pricing advantages for credit unions to truly gain measurable market share.

"Seek out opportunities with the greatest potential impact, activities that improve the quality of life for consumers and communities," Butterfield advises credit unions, citing activities such as micro-enterprise lending, financial counseling for low- and moderate-income consumers, alternatives to predatory financial products, and programs that help members build financial assets.

"Unite for Good is spot on," Butterfield adds, "and I believe it represents the best opportunity to leverage our collective brand for advocacy, differentiation and growth. If we do this right, we have the opportunity to demonstrate in a very big way that the credit union brand is clearly different and better."

The Unite for Good initiative calls on credit unions to rally in support of a common vision where "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner." Achieving the vision requires working toward three key objectives: removing legislative and regulatory barriers that obstruct credit union progress; raising consumer awareness and understanding of credit unions; and fostering movement-wide service excellence.

CUNA's Cheney said ideas such as Butterfield's will add to and further enhance Unite for Good's list of specific actions that credit unions can pursue to advance the vision's three primary goals of removing barriers, raising awareness and fostering service excellence.

"Our list of actions for credit unions presents a range of important steps, but it's by no means all-inclusive," Cheney said. "In fact we hope our list prompts planning and discussions that result in new ideas coming forward for credit unions to consider. It is great to see that this is starting to happen."

For the list of Unite for Good action steps or to read Butterfield's full column, use the resource links.
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