Claudia Visits Manchester
Immediately I was impressed by the similarities shared between UK and US credit unions, including their holistic approach to lending. Although their regulation practices differ, the underlying principles are similar to ours. At the end, we are not that different from the other side! I was happy to see how eager they were to learn how we do things in America since we have many believers in the credit union movement.
Ian Brewer from Bradford District CU, Manchester
Gregg Brown, Southside FCU, Chicago
Vanessa Kuduk, Members Credit Union, Connecticut
Pearl Wicks, Hope CU, Mississippi
Claudia from BCoop
One of the highlights of my experience was meeting Pearl Wicks from Hope Credit Union serving the mid-south (Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas & Tennessee). She told a story that expressed how Hope CU makes a difference for their members, many of whom face the challenges of poverty, low education level, health and housing issues. Tom is a retired grandfather on fixed income. His granddaughters would play on his front porch every day after school and he worried for their safety due to the poor condition of the porch. Tom tried to obtain funding from local banks, however all his efforts were in vain, every request ended up with a denial. Through a referral, Tom joined Hope CU and took out a small loan to fix the porch. The difference between the automated approach the banks use and the more personal approach of the credit union resulted in totally different outcomes! Both Tom and the credit union benefited.
The message resonated throughout the venue. One cannot let their environment define them; if you want change you must take it upon yourself to inspire it. This is the mechanism that drives most CU’s…DO MORE!