May 21, 2007


  • We have a couple of groups in the Washington, D.C. area that are working on democratizing credit unions. Last weekend we attended an annual meeting, and this issue was raised. There was intense pushback by board and management, with board alleging that they themselves don't even know the top salaries. I've been on a food co-op board, and have seen this separation of board and management used to push owner/members farther and farther away from involvement. At the credit union meeting, the only vocal opposition from the floor was from an angry employee who, I suspect, were in fear of losing his job. I like the approach in this article - knowledge can lead to an increased competitive edge. I know I'd feel more comfortable knowing what the top brass makes. Not knowing makes me want to find a credit union that is more open.
    Dan Robinson
  • Our CU management doesn''t even let the Board know what management salaries are.
  • If there was not such a big jump in compensation from frontline employees to managers then managers to VP''s and finally VP to CEO -- then it should be disclosed. Unfortunately for those who would like to continue having these salaries/benefits remain transparent-- with large pay comes accountability! How many CEO''s of credit unions live in houses supplied by the CU and are privy to other benefits unimaginable to staff or members. It should be known to each member where their share money is going. “Compound interest – the only thing that Einstein could not understand!”
  • Credit unions are behind the times in "hiding" management salaries. All publicly owned companies are required to advise their owners of the "Top 5" salaries. Why not credit unions?
  • Transparency on this issue is needed. It is another incentive for senior management to earn their keep.
  • I didn''t realize that CU managers'' salaries and member knowledge thereof was an issue, and, in fact, of course, it is not. But put them out there for the uninformed to scrutinize and you can bet your last dime it would be. Why, in the name of all that is rational and at least semi-intelligent, would anyone want to stir up such a hornets nest as doing something totally stupid like this would? Do you really think that most of us have that little to do? Go peddle your philosophiocal BS somewhere else. I''ve read a lot of stuff through the years that I thought was illogical, without basis, and devoid of merit, but this absolutely takes the cake. Congratulations.
    Larry B. Davis
  • As a senior manager, why should I have my salary disclosed to the membership or to other employees? I have worked hard to achieve my position, taking the time and effort to educate and improve myself in IT arena in which I would be generally considered UNDER compensated in the For Profit arena, but would be in the top 5-10 of our credit union''s compensation scale. It really is no one''s business what I make.
    Anonymous Coward
  • All management should have compensation disclosed. It''s funny how credit unions are "for the member". My guess is member''s would be sick if they knew how much like a bank their credit union really was. Plus adding "incentives" to management compensation packages (cars, trips, expense accounts) shows you just how much these management teams don''t care about "member''s" but money in their pockets.
  • Honestly, there are so many ways to "hide" compensation, that, for me, it makes many of these disclosures superficial and irrelevant. I tend to keep my salary private for the most part because I don''t want it to cause any feelings like resentment among my co-workers. Having said that, if it became required to disclose, I don''t really have a problem because we all know that we''re paid less than bankers. So it would reflect positively on us in that aspect.
    John Godwin
  • I personally don''t think it is necessary at this point in credit union history. From my experience, most credit union CEOs and management teams work hard to return to member, a metric that is published. As long as members continue to benefit from good leadership that translates into lower interest rates on loans and higher interest rates on deposits, along with a host of other personalized services, I see no purpose for disclosure. And let''s face it, credit unions may pay to retain highly skilled leadership but they certainly don''t get the short and long-term stock options and golden parachutes public companies do. These are the numbers that astound and outrage the public, not credit union payrolls.
    Patricia Ryan
  • As a member/owner of a credit union, I''''m not allowed to know what the most highly compensated staff is being paid or what other benefits they derive from their employement with my credit union? Smells like something to hide. Whether or not there is may be a different question, it still smells like there is. With disclosure comes accountability, with accountability comes risk.
    Witheld By Request
  • Editor''s note: Chip Filson has posted a follow-up to this article titled Salary Disclosures Are the Tip of the Spear

    Take a look at different credit union approaches to executive compensation disclosures. The ultimate goal of disclosure is to sustain members’ trust with the credit union. read more Editor
  • As an CU executive that came from a private firm, I would have certainly thoutht long and hard about working for a credit union if my salary were to be under public scrutiny. I think the industry would be even more hampered by the inability to attract and keep experienced talent than it is now.
    CU Exec.
  • I''m on the fence here. If it weren''t for the handful of "alleged" credit unions with overpaid CEOs, this would be a non-issue. However, there are an awful lot of banks in credit union clothing, and if the member could see that part of the reason he or she is receiving bankish rates is bloated executive compensation, it would provide a greater level of transparency. I understand not wanting each employee knowing what his or her peers are earning, but for the topmost level of management, this is a good idea. The only people really concerned about this are people who are afraid of being labeled as "overpaid". Let''s get real -- if you feel you''re overpaid, you probably are!
  • In reference to Comment 5, dated 5/29; it seems you forget WHO you work for - -the membership! You appear to really have a self serving view on this topic.