Credit Union Charters – Are They Recyclable?          

My tank is full. I am inspired. I’m ready to get to work on credit union strategic planning, not just for my clients – I mean a collective strategic plan. All thanks to the many conversations I had at the most recent GAC. The energy and ideas that were discussed in many meetings are now seeing some action. But there’s one that might be too big for just one person to accomplish.

“How do we avoid mergers?”

Ideas were plentiful, and of course, succession planning was discussed as an important matter. But what if…

What if every merger application to the NCUA was met with a list of things to be looked at before approving that merger to move forward? For example, prior to a merger being approved to proceed, what if it were a requirement to go to that community to ensure no one was left behind in terms of financial services. Perhaps the original group that chartered that credit union is no longer a growth opportunity, but I have to believe there are groups in every community that could benefit from a credit union. And if chartering a new one is such an uphill battle, let’s at least not kill off viable credit unions that could be re-purposed.

So, XYZ Employees Federal Credit Union is no longer truly affiliated with the XYZ company, however, a great need still exists for [fill in the blank with ITIN lending, affordable lending, etc.]. XYZ Employees FCU can change its charter to fulfill this new need within the community. This opportunity is brought to the city and county officials, local churches and other community organizations to make sure no stone is unturned before we euthanize another potentially life-changing credit union.

“It can’t be done,” will be the hue and cry of many.

If you are one of the many who have been a part of credit union strategic planning session with me, you know what’s coming: “Can’t never did a thing.”

I’m looking forward to collaborating with others who are passionately committed to the cause of preventing mergers of the lazy and selfish to instead preserve financial institutions that could play a part in changing a community and individuals for generations to come. This is just one way we could pump the brakes and rethink this mass exodus of credit unions from the world.

The story of Inspire FCU illustrates that there is a way. This credit union’s board was toying between finding a new leader who could grow the credit union and merging. The board decided to fight and picked the right leader to do it in Jim Merrill. During his tenure as CEO, the credit union has grown from $83 million in assets in 2014 to $265 million today, completely organically. Read the rest of his story at CUinsight! We’re helping Inspire FCU to thrive. We can help your credit union, too. Let’s chat!

Is It Time To Change?

From strat plans to rebrands, YMC President and CEO, Bo, is passionate about helping financial institutions come up with a winning formula. If you’re ready to go beyond the SWOT, you can email him at

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