By William J. Mellin, President/CEO
While many industries and organizations shut down as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, New York’s credit unions have remained open, ready and able to serve the state’s consumers.
Credit unions were founded over 100 years ago to provide the underserved and marginalized with a safe and affordable alternative to the for-profit banking system, and dutifully served U.S. consumers through two World Wars, the Great Depression and multiple economic downturns and crises.
Today, credit unions are a critical part of the modern mainstream financial system and uniquely positioned to help consumers navigate the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s International Credit Union Day theme, “Inspiring hope for a global community,” rings true as credit unions continue to be locally focused institutions with a global foundation – along with a laser-like focus on helping members navigate challenging times.
The ultimate goal of this week’s celebration is to raise awareness about the tremendous work credit unions and other financial cooperatives are doing around the world and give members opportunity – and financial hope.
Of course, I would be remiss to discuss the credit union movement, or the movement’s reach, without mentioning CUNA Mutual Group.
CUNA Mutual Group has been a prized partner of the New York credit union movement for many years, providing direct support to the Association and the credit union system. They sponsor many of the Association’s events, including EXCEL, our Annual Meeting & Convention, regularly provide valuable resources for credit unions and always answer the call for credit unions in times of disasters.
During the pandemic, CUNA Mutual Group has gone the extra mile providing a range of resources and support, ensuring the Association, the state’s credit unions and the greater credit union community worldwide have had the resources we need to succeed.
CUNA Mutual Group exemplifies the “Inspiring hope for a global community” idea, with their continuous support for the Association and the New York credit union movement, allowing us to expand our local services throughout New York to those who need it most. But their commitment to the credit union system overall ensures we maintain our global reach in good times and bad.
In short, CUNA Mutual Group has and continues to be a remarkable partner for the credit union movement, and they should be acknowledged during this remarkable celebration. They make the New York credit union community and global credit union movement a stronger and more vibrant industry.
As International Credit Union Week comes to a close, let’s show consumers that they can find hope during these challenging times. We’ve been here for consumers for over a century, to help and guide them along their financial journey. And fortunately, CUNA Mutual Group continues to be here for us.