Creating Organizational Mobility

Questioning the suitability of the credit union charter as sufficient for serving member needs became a very public topic as the AT&T Family FCU banker's lawsuit wound its way to the Supreme Court. Conversions to state charters from federal -- or in a few cases to mutual savings banks -- reflected judgments about the adequacy of the legal framework in which the credit union movement would operate in the future. Once HR 1151 passed, some observers felt the major concerns over charter flexibility, especially at the federal level, were over. Instead the issue of whether the credit union charter, state or federal, is sufficiently adaptable to the changes occurring in the market are accelerating, not diminishing. More and more credit union managers are looking for ways to enhance their "organizational mobility" in response to the new business challenges from Internet-based services. But often the solutions contemplated are outside the legal confines of the credit union's charter.