Apr 18, 2017|
AN INTERVIEW WITH TROY STANG, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE NORTHWEST CREDIT UNION ASSOCIATION, ABOUT THE ADVANTAGES OF BEING A MEMBER OF A NON-PROFIT CREDIT UNION.
AN INTERVIEW MYRNA JENSEN, PUBLIC RELATIONS WITH OREGON FOOD BANK, ABOUT THE WORK THEY DO GETTING FOOD OUT TO PEOPLE IN NEED.
AN INTERVIEW WITH MAHALA RAY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF WILLAMETTE WEEK’S GIVE GUIDE, AN ONLINE COLLECTION OF NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS THAT PORTLANDER’S CAN MAKE THEIR CHARITABLE DONATIONS TO.
AN INTERVIEW WITH REBECCA BROWN WITH COMCAST AND TINISHA WILLIAMS, A CUSTOMER, ABOUT INTERNET ESSENTIALS, A SERVICE THAT HELPS PROVIDE INTERNET ACCESS AND LOW COST COMPUTERS TO PEOPLE IN NEED.
AN INTERVIEW WITH DENNISE KOWALCZYK WITH KINSHIP HOUSE AND DERENDA SCHUBERT WITH BRIDGE MEADOWS ABOUT THE WORK THEY DO WITH FOSTER CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
This is microscope and Entercom radio Portland public affairs program I'm Gary blocks. Did you know that there are six million people in the northwest tour members of credit unions. The northwest credit union association is the trade associations representing over 180 credit unions and Idaho Oregon and Washington. Wanted to go this time I would like to welcome Troy staying Troy is the president and CEO of the northwest credit union association Detroit. Gary thanks so much for your interest credit it and certainly I'm a member myself wonderful ax and a member of two credit unions and even better but that's so let's let's familiarize our audience with what he's credit unions. So Craig has came to this nation about a hundred years ago and the original purpose was to balance the credit structure United States and if you think back a hundred years ago and our nation and the challenges that were being. Faced by so many consumers in the business landscape. Did credit unions being not for profit member don't cooperatives. Ended up being a wonderful solutions for consumers and communities to really help themselves. Fast forward to today. And the cooperative charter is still such a viable solution to so many holes holds and so many businesses across the northwest. Come out these solutions it's who need to be doing their needs for capital and financial services on a day to day basis. And we're pretty excited that that. The he's not for profit member driven member owned cooperative umbrella. Really becomes that solution for so many north westerners. In fact the northwest. They are currently about 50% of the consumers. In the northwest. Are members of credit unions and and so it's the idea of cooperative finance sketching out. Jimmer find the people are suspicious of the idea of of your financial institution being not for profit. Well Sid it's probably an oxymoron in these days especially as we've we've gone through the headlines of of all of the economic downturn and recession and then in that you. The angst towards Wall Street in the end they too big to fail. And to understand I think there's just that realization by the consumer today that. Listen here is say here's a good solutions to financial services. That is local that is member owned that is not a Wall Street. And is owned by members of adapt customers that do business subject cooperative. I think they're oftentimes I get out what's the biggest challenge that we have this credit unions in our communities and it's it's frankly just getting that message out that these are remembered owned member driven not for profit cooperatives. And they only exist. To provide value and deliver value to their member owners. And what we think it's a great solution and as you become known to credit unions here in the northwest you've seen those credit units continue to revolve. To make sure that they are relevant. In the needs and serving the needs of both the consumer landscape. How have credit unions changed over the years and they used to kind of be like if you were a member of a of the telecommunications industry than you have a particular credit union that he would that you'd used as has that changed. Well what's what's interesting is it is that'd be fueled the membership for that Stanley focus that you usually hear references and being a Telecom employee and having a credit him for those employees. That was really it means to communication years ago. We did have what we have today. And frankly from a public policy perspective he was really good for credit unions to make sure they can diversify. Their portfolios and not just held. All the loans to a certain company segment we've seen. Corporate America change across the nation. And America's not made up of of as many big corporations today but rather small businesses on main street. And credit unions being able to serve those neighbors and friends and family members and and local community is a means not only to ensure that their portfolios that are diverse. But also means to making sure that the investments in the infrastructure. That are being made both we have these cooperatives. Can be used by everybody around the community sort of just makes good public policy center and a good it makes good sense to the consumer as well. Little known fact. Almost 50%. Of the Carter so our roads your local area are. Financed by a credit union. And so it is yet again just shows that the that the local choice of a cooperative. Does catch on in the northwest region of the United States house. What do what is every why why is that why do most people get their car loans through credit union. What think I think surface demand and price and place all the p.s of marketing almost certainly play into the into the mix. But I think in the northwest there is a this newfound understanding of cooperative values. And doing business with your own and within your own family your own community that's the DNA in the heart to prove credit unions aren't so. I think the awareness is much higher in the northwest back credence party's solution to what your needs are in your wallet and in your. In your household financially it's. Somebody who if you're talking to somebody and they were trying to decide between a traditional banking and credit union. What would you tell the difference is our. You're got pregnant have a home and become more of an obvious choice in the consumer market place and I think that is because the consumers. Is it because of these boot boot cycle that we've been through economically and our nation. People are positive and just a moment to ask themselves who is at what they're doing business where. And then being able to do business especially if something that is so important your own personal finances. Doing and what something that you know that you trust that small coal is so critically important minute and so I think the answer. Is in our structure and in who we are our DNA as an organization that. What happened with credit unions in the financial meltdown a few years back. Well what's interesting because of this structure again being not for profit cooperative school solely exists to provide value to their members. And not to enrich Wall Street stockholders. There is a different risk profile ball on the books of credit unions. And so the leading into the recession and number one pretty use more hedging on those types of markets and cause some of the the challenges. That led to the reception. And so. I'll say is our communities grow as our people go soared more cooperatives. Sort to our credit unions. And it would yes we certainly did see our members. Our neighbors our friends. With some unemployment. With playoffs where. Decreased hours and and as those members grosso do delinquencies and what have you on their loans. But what shall rewarding is is the ability to sit down with somebody that you know. Cooperatively owned not for profit institution. We we have had a lot of situations. During that time that certain we were able to work through. With the consumers to use of the people because this school work go to church where it. And ended in the end of the day will continue to be members of credit union and members of the community and so direct quote. Understanding it was certainly a benefit to help those individuals through some very troubling times in her post cold. So they'll all that is a credit unions you did not see the impact what you saw in Wall Street on. I don't institutional level just because the risk profiles and there. Our credit unions generally just more conservative. Couldn't really focused on the needs of the members of independent. For the years that I spent working in her credit union now oftentimes. Saying yes to a loan. Or an inquiry from your member. It is not always the best decision for the member in and I think what Joseph get any credit union that's different is instead of trying to quote unquote sell you a product. That you don't need to come there they're with services. In order to help you manage your life and navigate to the next stage voice. In so like I I think Japan I don't think I know that it's just wholly different pistons small. I can certainly attest to that they don't that's been my entire experience using your credit union I felt like they were there to help meet. As opposed to sell me something and while you need to get this credit card you need to get this loaner whatever I pick up the credit union. It just all seemed very helpful. So this slows we are cooperatives. And act that they eat. He promised that we make as cooperative which is to be able to pool C the resources of the membership. Great value real tangible value that shows up in things such as Laura owns more rates on loans. Lower fees on on a transaction accounts and higher rates on savings as a general rule from. With that said the we think it's critically important that we were able to continue to articulate what is your overall value. Of having credit unions in the marketplace. And to whip it at 50% of organs population being members of credit unions. And dual members receiving that valued day in and day out. If we just recently. Worked with a gun you could northwest to do a study. Indeed trying to erect member benefit. Being Ukrainian team member in this state. It's is to the tune of 459. Million dollars in trust member benefits. That is the the direct benefits going to cooperative members. Owners of credit unions and not to Wall Street. Doubt a walls balls consumers in this state to turn around and re invest spend save what have you. Which creates a report factor other economic value to the tune of 160. One dollars and and that's that is that is real economic value. Certainly include some pretty staggering numbers. They are there are an independent state local maps that's just the that this bill model network. You join a group. You know we we believe they're there should be ever always for everybody to have the choice of financial services whether that's. To do your business would say it on Wall Street banks handle war to do their business with a credit union and then and if you are not remember the credit union in court to re smarter choice dot org. And finder crediting that. Is able to meet your needs. So here in the news a lot about banks from getting in trouble for this are getting interval for that are having trouble. Of duke credit unions have those sorts of issues. We are in the business of financial services and and certainly I eye of that we do make loans and we hope that all the wounds that we do make are good bones but I mentioned earlier sometimes good consumer holes holds do come under stress because of employment or what have you. Into there are times that there is. And who only so many work up situations can be done and so yes credit means you have delinquencies on loans credit unions. Duet times need shoe. So worked with the borrower to move through every possession war it. Four quarter of a home in the end. Certainly there protecting the dignity of the individual in the end working with that's scenario all of case by case is so critically important. But I think what you see if you study and look at the overall impact of the economic downturn on the not for profit banking industry vs not a proper credit unions. There is again a different risk profile. And the deep is dead deeply cutting into that risk home just didn't take take place in an op profit cooperative. Like his toes and did in this for profit think. Other services offered both that a credit union and the traditional bank are they very similar. That they are in and we believe so important that the credit unions remain relevant to today's consumer. If we look back in time when financial institutions were operating in the 1930s. There were no such thing that's checking accounts there were no such things as. ATMs and and have those technologies continued to advance. According certainly have been able to bring those cutting edge services that technology and at home banking and mobile payments and mobile banking almost such services are critically important. Four members cooperatives members of credit unions to exclude you have access to their money. And to be a part of the economic exchange in our country has as you go about being a consumer. And the unique thing is. So that we also live by cooperative prince Sobel but there's a lot of cooperation amongst credit unions. And so using technology to credit unions in the United States. Have in many cases linked from the branches in the eighteen arms. To make sure it doesn't matter where you are you're on vacation or visiting family out of states. You can stop by equity means ATM. In the neighboring states to or on the East Coast and get direct access to your credit me back home. And so it's it's things like technologies that we continue to invest in to make sure we're as relevant as as the consumer needs us to be. That's pretty great because if you or if you're working with your local community credit union you might be a little worried if you end up in Texas and I need some money. Clearly did that how you define convenience the consumers is a critical area. It independence to the consumer but to have with the cooperation amongst credit unions and the ability is higher networks are ATM's are branches together. Brings the value proposition that and get everything it becomes in remains local to you as you travel about. Tell me about the days money insured with a credit union. You know we didn't you've got smoked these safety and soundness earlier in as to what happened to credit him during the recession. On the to politic credit unions are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration. Aisles polity sister agency to the FDIC. Which finished against you way insurers or only credit unions and insurers credit means depositors up to 250000. Dollars. So it's got the same parameters sort of speak that the FDIC insurance does. But the pool of insurance NC QA manager for us. As federal agency fumble all week covers credit union depositors sorts. It's important that took four process credit unions that that deposit pool. Deposit insurance pool is an independent pool or only ensuring the risk profiles credence. You talked a little bit about the DNA of credit unions over the hill to me more about the up. You know when you when you when you organize a business you you have to define why you expressed. And credit unions exist for the sole purpose of bringing the value to their members and that you can impact in the communities. And and that value shows up in the form of things such as lower interest rates on loans higher interest rates on savings. Lower fees and transaction account and what have you. And if that's the purpose that you. It's torture stake in the stands or. Some day in and day out management and it teams the board's staff at credit unions continuously focus on how can we. Be as effective and efficient. In serving the needs of our members. While ensuring that off as much of the corporate profits if you will get returned back to the members in peace such these sorts of things. It and that's why they exist and and that's the beauty effect cooperative model. And border they can't tell were really really passionate about that structure. And that structure and staying focused on that structure is so critically important. If if we don't take our eye off that ball. Of the structure that we believe we can continue to bring relevance to the consumer. Boom boom that will be relevant in generations to come. Do credit unions differ from each other and all are they all kind of similar. They know it when I think about credit unions and and the 6000 credit means we have across the nation I kind of think of a Baskin Robbins ice cream there is a eight tone and and coercion and brand for almost everybody in America and then we we believe that's a beautiful thing. Uh oh what's fundamentally does not change between the credit union brands that were familiar with here and it's in the northwest. Is the fact that their structure. Is how they are organized. That there are structure and purposes focused on generating as much value to the consumer the member. And ensuring that. These cooperatives. That function as businesses in these communities. Home that would become an already part of the fabric of the community is indeed in northwest credit unions. Really. Social and what they can do about making a difference in the impact in communities. Across the northwest by banding together. And partnering with organizations like junior achievement to do. Financial. Education training two high school students in grade school student sort across the northwest. Two partnered together to do fund raising or the children and and families. That get to use. And need to use organizations like the foreign darker hospital children's hospitals across the northwest. Column beat the millions of dollars in credit union members have given. The power line for her. So in buying coins are chocolate sir what have you every one of those dollars. Four children's miracle network has rolled up and it has helped some sick child or their family. Welcome as it needed treatment than that and we're really proud Apollo. While we have a broad variety of different credit union brands when they're comes to be its purpose and a need in the community. While they can band together cooperatively. And really deliver amazing heartfelt stuff. That's that's totally community that's wonderful. Yeah attitude and and so we believe that no one the business models got to produce value which are what better earlier in the foremost of the interest rates and fees. Fees that are a much more reasonable and not for profit environment but there's this impacts the community peace and that's. That's stuff is priceless and if you put if you pull. You know it did it she'd wake up one day in organ and there were not credit unions. Just think about all these things I would not be possible. Some sort of sit in the cranes fill a niche in our communities that is is very very special. In a part of the fabric. Cut the credit unions get started. You know Greg mentioned earlier agreement came to this nation back in there early part of the nineteenth hundreds and and they came up over. Actually from Europe as a part of a lot of the small businesses and started in small communities in the end employment groups and churches. And should it was a means of people pulling their money together and loaning it out to each other. You mentioned the fuel the memberships in the select groups. At that time we didn't have Twitter we didn't have the social media we didn't have email. Frankly we didn't have our US Postal Service and America. If and it was so important to make sure those individuals to share the good word. Uh oh what was possible when they when they pooled their money together and molded out to each other. And so as people went through that journey that was the bursts of of credit unions and before too long it was important that curtains had a formal. The law to function under so there was a federal credit union act. And then before too long. Throughout America state by state each state couple also passed a credit union actually you warplanes. I'd just like in the banking industry if these institutions either are federally chartered and in fact credit unions while federal and there came. Or they'll to have their chartered business from the state. End Slobodan chew. Structures credit means can function under today. Both equally important to to consumers probably not going to see a lot of difference. As they engage with the federal or state chartered credit union. Oftentimes the state term credit unions value the relationship with the state. Make ensure that server that examinations in the oversight happens. With the local departments versatile so Washington DC agency. He said earlier that 49% or millions blonde took credit union which pit that's astounding is that a consistent number has that gone up over the years. There have gone up but I significantly over the years and then what's interest being is. We will see spikes in credit union membership in the northwest and across the nation. Typically at times when. There are challenges in financial services and war and economy. And I think what sparks that primarily is its it causes at the dinner table. In our homes schools they conversation about who the heck are we doing business well. And recognizing that oh my gosh we've got it cooperative member owned not for profit option like credit unions. Having that option. Typically in those cycles people start acting upon. Making change in their wallet in hand. So for that reason that I passports today and you're right 50% of oregonians they choose Koreans as your primary financial institutions. What a way of Barry favorite parts about being a member of a credit union which won't come as a surprise to anybody is the fact there. Lower fees or perhaps no fees at all. Perfect for using ATMs in the click that and give Ku than traditional banks the feeder astounding. In the end the why behind that is. That is tied directly back to our structure being a not for profit cooperative we do not seem to enrich Wall Street stockholders. Deep pockets of the institution. At the end of the day gets divvied up amongst all the consumers all the members that it engaged and use the credit here. And it is true in a cooperative. There are members that engages more than others. And the members have found bill more as they engage. All with all pieces of their wallet. With a credit union with the cooperative the more they're going chew achieve. And realize that they paid true financial benefit from them that they here. The last minute or so we have here if somebody listening wants to join a credit union what's the best. A method for finding the right one for you. We have a web site called that a piece smarter choice dot org any smarter choice dot org world will. Bring you choose to choices of credit means that you conjoined. And we invite Jud built listeners to take a look at that. And certainly. Who are more credit union locally and then you should find somebody. It in the very near reached that you used to civil engagement. Certainly in the Portland metro area there are a lot of credit unions they're all over the place. Well it's it's access points for financial services we believe it's important to most people. Victor institution. Based on where they live or where they work and it so critically important that. You know we can do all these things the electronics today he can do mobile banking you can do. You can text verify your deposits what have you. And every once in awhile it's certainly nice to go walking your institution and how that bad console. That conversation we're with somebody at your credit union. Because financial services can be very intimidated him and be able other trusted partner credit union an access to a location. Especially in this region we're very proud. Good stuff Troy staying president and CEO of the northwest credit union association. It's a dilemma Costco today thank you didn't open. May microscope is an Entercom radio Portland public affairs program I'm Jerry blocks of if you're involved with a non profit but public affairs organization or you have an idea for an upcoming show I'd like to hear from you. Visit microscope PDX dot com and submit your ideas you can also go to the station's website can submit your information there. Thanks for listening to metals gold and enjoy the rest of your weekend.