Sticking By Our Principles As financial cooperatives, Credit Unions operate under a different set of rules than for-profit banks.
Here are 7 principles of cooperatives, as explained by the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) that make them stand out:
Voluntary and open membership Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and are willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination. As not-forprofit institutions, Credit Unions are devoted to their members’ financial wellness, and not to make a profit. Democratic member control Cooperatives operate on a democratic platform, meaning one vote, one member no matter their financial status. Each Credit Union has a board of directors that serve on a volunteer basis. Member economic participation Members are both owners and customers. The more members that participate, the more can be given back in the form of more products, lower loan rates, higher savings yields, and fewer fees. Autonomy and independence Cooperatives are owned by members, not shareholders, making each member an owner. Financial education, training, and information Credit Unions are committed to providing financial education/literacy to their members and to the community at large. From budgeting basics to retirement planning and how credit works, Credit Unions do all they can to ensure that the community—particularly young people and opinion leaders— is informed. Cooperation among cooperatives Working together, financial cooperatives are there when you need them. For example, Credit Unions collectively provide more ATMs than the world’s largest bank.
Concern for the community Credit Unions are passionate about serving their members and about making an impact in the community. Credit Unions volunteer for local charities andparticipate in numerous causes to make a difference.
2017 Erie FCU Annual Report