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Thanks For Reminder On Conversions

Thank you to Frank J. Diekmann for jumping up and down and hitting us member credit unions over the head on charter conversions to mutual savings bank charters (CU Journal, Oct. 24). This is not about the affairs of other credit unions. It is about the integrity of the credit union name.

What should concern us all the most is the misinformation to members. I think of the conversations we have when considering adding or increasing a fee, raising loan rates or decreasing deposit rates.

As a business practice, a benefit to the member never faces the same scrutiny as introducing an extra fee, higher loan rate, or a drop in deposit rates. But that is OK; you don't make a bad business decision because of it. You do the right thing for the member. I am very sensitive to overused cliché, but our business is simple. We exist because of our members, so our business model is to take care of them. Misinformation and personal gain are not part of our business model.

Let us not forget, a charter change away from a federally insured credit union will impact everyone else's share of the NCUA Stabilization Fund. As it currently stands, a credit union that converts walks away from this. It's sort of like cheating on your taxes. You benefit at the expense of everyone else. But do not expect that to deter a conversion. Benefiting as the expense of others is the point of the whole thing from the beginning.

T. Scott Kreinbring, Executive Vice President
PrimeWay FCU, Houston, Texas

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