My favorite holiday movie is the classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” by Frank Capra. A major theme of the movie is that each person’s life touches so many others. The Bailey Brothers Building & Loan is a mutually owned financial cooperative (structured exactly like a credit union) that is a vital source of financial services to the community of Bedford Falls. Without the BBB&L, people wouldn’t have access to affordable mortgages and other loans, and would have to patronize Potter’s Bank, whose sole objective is to maximize profit at the expense of its customers.
The show starkly depicts the difference between a for-profit bank and a mutually owned financial cooperative. When George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) is given the chance to see the world as if he had never been born, he finds the BBB&L closed and the town a far less desirable place to live as a result. Clarence the Angel (Second Class) gives Bailey a clear view of the impact he has on the lives of others around him as well as the impact the BBB&L has on the community.
Much as the BBB&L in the movie is purpose driven, your Credit Union is purpose driven. As a member, you are an owner of your financial cooperative. There are no stockholders who receive excess profits. All profits generated are returned to members in the form of lower loan rates, higher deposit rates and lower fees. The more business you do with your Credit Union, the greater value you receive.
As the year comes to a close, we were recounting stories of various members helped throughout 2014. Some members received their very first home loan, others received a small business loan to make their dream come true. Many members obtained a car loan, allowing them to get to work. We helped keep members away from predatory payday lenders by granting small dollar StretchPay loans. We opened checking accounts for people turned away by banks. Many members received financial counseling and advice on how to increase credit scores.
All activities on the part of your Credit Union are purpose driven. The mission of Day Air is to enhance member’s financial well-being. Your Credit Union tries its very best to do just that, day in and day out. All of you who are members of your Credit Union come together to represent the George Bailey within each of us; to help and serve each other and our community. To all of you, I wish a joyous holiday season and a prosperous new year!
President & CEO