Friday, March 23, 2007

Stephanie Willson's Financial Industry Blog: New Blog Site

Stephanie Willson's Financial Industry Blog: New Blog Site

Here is the link to my Financial Blog Postings

New Financial Industry Blog Page

I really enjoy blogging about the financial industry, especially credit unions. Since posting on credit unions has deviated from the purpose of my course at American University, I have decided to start a new blog decidated to the Financial Industry that will be kept seperate from my course blog which is I have copied over the credit union posts from my other blog and pasted them there. I am also creating a link between both blogs to further authenticate the origional postings. Thank you!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What's the difference: credit union vs. bank?

I came across this great blog posting called Communicating the "Difference" by John Cote which can be found at:

It's about explaining to people the difference between a credit union and a bank. I myself have had to explain this one several times to many people. Usually I give the quick, "A bank was originally formed to invest and lend money to commercial businesses who at a much later time began investing and lending money to regular people through it's retail branches. A credit union is a membership of regular people investing and lending money amongst each other, the regular people, instead of primarily targeting commercial entities."

I still get blank looks at the end of that explanation which is why I enjoyed John's entry so much when he said,'How is a credit union different from a bank? These and other cosmic queries are often met with a shrug, a vacant stare, and if the questioner is lucky in the latter case, a quick “I’m not sure, let me get somebody else that can help you.'"

Here are a few of many items that differentiate a credit union from a bank:
  • They don’t have customers - instead they have members
  • Money deposits are considered shares into the financial institution.
  • Tax-exempt
  • Not-for-profit
  • Volunteer and unpaid board of directors.
Clearly - this cannot be recreated by a bank.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Reputation soured by hostile takeover?

Reputation is everything, especially for an industry trying to define itself from another which is especially the case between Credit Unions and Banks. Credit Unions strive on being cooperative with each other and putting people and members first as a way to distinguish themselves from a bank. This distinction and reputation helps credit unions maintain their tax-free status. The industry is now scrambling to recover from an attempted hostile take over by Wings Financial Federal Credit Union over Continental Airlines Federal Credit Union as can be seeing in the following LA Times news post:,1,3175489.story?coll=la-headlines-business&ctrack=1&cset=true

There seems to be a lot of activity amongst credit union advocates where such avid postings about this sort of behavior can be found at many sites including Trey Reeme's Opensourcecu blog and DougTrue's blog:

Thank you Trey and Doug for bringing this issue to everyone's attention!! How will the credit union movement ultimately respond to this sort of behavior? What do you think they should do to salvage their reputation that they have painstakingly built for years?

Perhaps Wings Financial Federal Credit Union should lose their status as a credit union and be turned into a bank or better yet Wings Financial FCU should get a hostile takeover instead. What is the best remedy for the industry in this instance?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Something Important to Me

My hair got smashed in this picture and my shawl is covering my delicate dress. This is a picture of me and an attendee at a Gala to provide jobs and assistance to victims of domestic violence. Dr. Ludy Green, CEO/President of Second Chances Employment is one of the most incredible friends, and clients, to have and know. This fall Ludy invited me to be her guest of honor at her gala called Last Kiss of Summer. It was an increidble and moving event in which I had the privelage of hearing many empowering stories in getting women back into the workforce after leaving their abusive relationships. I met many wonderful people and made new friends who are an inspiration. God Bless You Ludy!