This message was originally published in our 2016 Annual Report released earlier this year in April. It is authored by the Chairman of Truliant's Board of Directors Greg Thrush.
As we reflect upon our success in 2016 and look forward to 2017 with a new president in place, many Americans are optimistic, while others are not. As Board Chairman, one of my main roles is to advocate for credit unions and ensure harmful legislation does not get passed that keeps us from doing what we do best: helping our members build strong financial futures. There is hope that future public policy will correct regulatory burdens that have made it more difficult for smaller financial institutions, like Truliant and other credit unions, to easily serve their members.
Each year, we voice our concerns on Capitol Hill to protect and keep the credit union charter strong, while the big banks continue to challenge our not-for-profit, member-owned structure. Our profits are returned to you, our members, in the form of higher interest rates on savings, lower rates on loans, lower fees and with new products and services. This enables us to better serve your individual needs with your best interests at heart.
I shudder at the thought of the credit union model possibly going away. What would our members do without Truliant to look out for them, to make sure their needs are met, to help them reach their goals and to help them build strong financial futures?
Without credit unions, more of our members’ hard earned money would go to paying more fees and higher interest rates at banks. Some members may not have access to credit to make larger purchases. Many may not be able to realize the American dream of owning a home or may have to forego their dream home to settle for a smaller, less expensive home. Some members may not be able to finance a reliable vehicle to easily get to and from work.
Without credit unions, our members’ interests would take a back seat to making a profit as for-profit financial institutions focus on making the most money for their shareholders. Who would be there to help our members through their potential hardships? At Truliant, we make every effort to assist our members through tough financial challenges. We work hard to find alternatives to foreclosing on homes and repossessing vehicles. We help our members restructure their debt and position them for a brighter financial future. The bottom line is, at Truliant, our members always come first. They are our sole reason for existence.
Without credit unions, small businesses who are instrumental in building our economy may not get the credit they need to expand their organizations, or for startup costs. During the 2008 financial crisis, banks were not lending to small businesses. Thankfully, many credit unions were there to help.
Consumers need a choice. As your Board Chairman, I promise you that your Board of Directors, Senior Management, and Truliant’s workforce will work hard to ensure credit unions maintain their not-for-profit structure. At times, we may even ask you to weigh in with your national legislators on how Truliant has helped you financially improve your life as many of you have done in the past.
We are committed to you, our member-owners, and to our mission to improve your lives. Thank you for putting your trust in Truliant.