Monday, June 17, 2013

1951 - Quote on the Purpose of the Credit Union "Common Bond"

The following quote is excerpted from Richard Y. Giles' 1951 history Credit For the Millions: The Story of Credit Unions, which bears the endorsement of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA):

The purpose of limiting membership is to create a little community in which people know each other well enough so that they can lend money to each other on character without paid investigators, collections agents, and the usual paraphernalia of the small loan business. Democratic control of the credit union is safeguarded by the fact that each member has only one vote, thus avoiding domination by a few large investors. This, too, helps make it intimate.
There are credit unions in large industrial plants with thousands of members and equally large credit unions serving municipal employees in big cities. Here the intimacy of the membership does not amount to much. Office space is rented, real estate taxes are paid, and paid employees may number several score. Still the credit union is able to charge the same low interest rates, pay reasonable dividends on saving, and provide insurance on loans and shares, simply because despite its size the credit union is motivated by the desire to serve its members rather than make a profit from them. The directors and officers continue to serve as volunteers out of the public spirit. Among the elected officers only the treasurer's work is paid. (25)

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