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NYCUA, MWCUA on Opposing Sides of Dual Membership Issue

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Two more state leagues have come out on whether credit unions should be required to belong to both CUNA and their respective state leagues.

The New York Credit Union Association's (NYCUA) board of directors passed a resolution that calls on the CUNA Board, which recently rejected the recommendation to do away with the dual membership requirement, to change its membership bylaws to allow credit unions to choose whether they wish to belong to one or both entities.

NYCUA said such a measure would empower credit unions with "options on membership requirements."

At present, NYCUA explained, credit unions which choose to be part of CUNA must also be a member of their local state association and vice-versa. As such, the NYCUA board has urged CUNA to "reconsider its position on the dual-membership requirement," citing recommendations made by CUNA's own System Structure and Governance Task Force.

As reported, in late September, CUNA's board rejected several recommendations related to the requirement of dual membership in both CUNA and a credit union's respective state league.

The latest resolution by NYCUA followed the results of a statewide membership survey of New York credit union CEOs and managers that was undertaken last month. According to that survey, almost 80 percent of respondents believe that credit unions should be given the choice to join NYCUA without necessarily being required to also join CUNA.

The NYCUA board added that it will meet again in December to review actions taken by the CUNA board and to make a "final determination on membership requirements."

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, another credit union association is taking the opposite stance.

The board of directors of Mountain West Credit Union Association (MWCUA), which represents credit unions in Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming, has expressed their support of the CUNA board's existing dual membership structure.

The MWCUA board stated that "the most effective model for credit unions is one in which credit unions are members of both their league/association and CUNA."

"Advocacy is at the heart of what we do for our member credit unions," said Scott Earl, president and CEO of the MWCUA in a statement. "Our efforts are championed by CUNA and together, we are able to present a united front that best represents the interests of our members and the credit union movement."

John Uchida, chairman of the MWCUA board and also president of the $109-million Space Age Federal Credit Union in Aurora, Colo., commented: "There is a long history of the leagues/associations and CUNA working together and we have accomplished a great deal to advance the credit union movement."

Uchida added: "Our unification and strength are critical as we continue to navigate the ever-changing world of financial services. We are absolutely better when we work together."

Earlier this year, the Michigan CU League said it would allow its members the option of joining the league without having to join CUNA, as well.

All of this action also comes on the heels of NAFCU's announcement in June that it would allow state-chartered credit unions to join.

In response to the NYCUA's resolution, Vicki Christner, a spokeswoman for CUNA, stated: "CUNA and the Leagues are local and national credit union advocates for removing barriers, creating awareness and fostering service excellence for credit unions."

She added that the unified CUNA/League System is "the best advocate for credit unions to mobilize our movement to achieve these goals. It continually demonstrates an unmatched record of advocacy on behalf of credit unions."

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