Have you seen credit unions put out a notice for an “Annual Meeting”? Have you ever stopped to think about what it is? Knowing the difference between how credit unions and banks operate will help you understand why credit unions hold annual meetings.
Bank vs Credit Union: Ownership and Membership
Banks operate as for-profit institutions and are owned by investors. They have an obligation to their investors to make a profit. They know a larger profit equals happy investors.
Credit Unions are not-for-profit institutions and are owned by their members. They have no need to make a profit for their members. Instead, they use their profits to provide better services for their members like lower fees, high savings interest rates, and low interest rates for loans.
So, how does this information apply to annual meetings?
The Annual Meeting
Since credit unions are owned by their members, the annual meeting is actually the annual meeting of the membership. This is when the credit union conducts Board elections, votes on any pertinent changes, and shares the state of the credit union. All members are encouraged to attend since the information that is shared impacts dividends, changes in products and rates, investments in new technology, and so much more. Attending the annual meeting allows members to have a better understanding of what’s available for them. Also, it gives you an opportunity to mingle with our Management Team and Board of Directors.
With all that said, remember credit unions exist to serve the needs of the people who do business with them. These people are members and part owners who have the ability to experience more benefits and stronger relationships. Even if you don’t have interest in running for the Board of Directors, the annual meeting provides an opportunity for members to obtain performance based financial information about their credit union. It also allows you to share your input on credit union operations and strategy for the current year ahead.
At a credit union, your voice is heard, and your opinions really do count. For more information surrounding the ALLIANCE Annual Meeting, click HERE.