WASHINGTON (11/16/10)--The future role of corporate credit unions in providing key payments, settlement, liquidity, and investment advisory services to natural person credit unions was addressed by nearly 80 attendees of the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Corporate Credit Union Summit, which took place in Chicago on Nov. 13. CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney on Monday said that the 80 attendees, who represented corporate and natural person credit unions, credit union leagues, trade associations, and third-party system service providers, “recognized there really is no more important issue facing the (credit union) movement today than the future of the corporate network and the services it provides to natural person credit unions.” Cheney reiterated that the goal of the summit “was not for CUNA to impose a solution,” but “to bring key participants together, have a dialogue, seek opportunities for coordination, and begin to chart a path to ensure all credit unions will have access to the critically important services they need to run their operations—especially payments, settlement and liquidity services.” “The system is in a state of flux, and the decisions the (credit union) movement makes in the next few months will have very long-lasting effects,” he said. Overall, Cheney said, credit unions are “a cooperative movement” and thus “need to find a system-based solution. “A cooperative solution and a viable business model are not mutually exclusive,” Cheney added. The attendees also agreed that greater back office consolidation and, potentially, front office consolidation would be helpful, but said that passive consolidation would not be a viable option. Increased, quicker consolidation and aggregation “needs to take place in the corporate system to provide the scale and scope needed to deliver payments and settlement services efficiently and seamlessly,” Cheney said. The summit attendees noted that a comprehensive external analysis of the corporate credit union system should be pursued, and should be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2011. CUNA has also formed a new working group, comprised of some members of its current corporate credit union working group alongside new additions.