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Many of us share with our friends, family, and colleagues who might still bank at traditional financial institutions the more obvious advantages of credit union membership: great rates, more personalized service from a locally owned business, the emphasis on people over profits.
But do you know what else sets credit unions apart from larger, more traditional banking institutions? Credit unions operate under a code of ethics of sorts. It’s true. There’s no secret handshake, but there is actually a list of seven principles that we here at UFCU, along with most credit unions, conscientiously support:
1. Voluntary Membership — You are eligible, without discrimination of any kind.
2. Democratic Member Control — You influence policies and procedures through your elected officials.
3. Members’ Economic Participation — You contribute to and democratically control the capital of our cooperative.
4. Autonomy and Independence — You can trust us because we’re a self-help organization, controlled by you and independent from other entities.
5. Education, Training, and Information — We can help you improve your financial well-being and that of your community at large.
6. Cooperation among Cooperatives — You can rely on us to actively support and promote the greater cooperative movement.
7. Concern for Community — You may follow our lead as we work towards sustainable development of our communities.
At UFCU, we’ve taken to mapping these principles directly to the products and services we deliver to you. As the largest locally owned financial institution in Central Texas and with more than 81 years of service, we’re proficient in delivering on the first five principles. And we’re continually striving to broaden our educational offerings, products, and services to best meet your needs. We’re particularly focused on enhancing the quality, functionality, and ease-of-use of our entire digital product line.
So what about the last two principles? We’re always working within local, state, national, and international circles to strengthen the global cooperative movement. And the seventh principle, Concern for Community, is a principle we especially strive to champion. I’ve taken to describing our efforts in this area as a virtuous circle. We invest our resources — people, capital, influence, relationships, and assets — in our higher education partners and broader communities. As our institutions of higher education excel at what they do best (injecting talent into our communities), the residents thrive, positioning our cooperative to better serve you. We believe the health and economic vitality of our communities are critical to both your quality of life and the ongoing viability of our cooperative.
Because our cooperative is thriving by almost any measure, we have the luxury of asking ourselves how, through employment of these seven principles, we can become a multiplier for responsible business practices and sustainable community development. Our hope is that every individual has an opportunity to succeed. Through your membership, you’ve joined us in these efforts. Thank you for your collaboration and for your business. We appreciate you very much!
Tony C Budet