As we navigate through the local impacts of COVID-19 and the acknowledgement that inequities reside in our communities, I thought it valuable to share the cooperative principles that guide the credit union movement. In addition to our commitment as an industry to the philosophy of people helping people, these principles help to keep us grounded and driven to Enrich Lives in remarkable ways at OCCU.
- Voluntary and open membership. Credit unions are voluntary, not-for-profit financial cooperatives, offering affordable financial solutions to those eligible and willing to accept the responsibilities and benefits of membership.
- Democratic member control. Cooperatives are democratic organizations owned and controlled by their members, with equal opportunity for participation. Each member has one vote.
- Members’ economic participation. Members are the owners of the cooperative. They contribute to and democratically control the capital of the cooperative. The greater the member participation, the greater the return in the form of additional products, preferred loan rates and savings yields, and lower and reduced fees.
- Autonomy and independence. Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If the cooperative enters into agreements with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, it is done so based on terms that ensure democratic control by the member and maintains the autonomy of the cooperative.
- Education, training, and information. Cooperatives provide education and training for members and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of the cooperative. Cooperatives also recognize the importance of ensuring the general public and policy makers are informed about the nature, structure and benefits of cooperatives.
- Cooperation among cooperatives. Cooperatives serve members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together.
- Concern for community. Cooperatives are a reflection of those they serve. While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of all communities.
OCCU is committed to these principles and to working to help our communities thrive. Now more than ever, we need to come together and work cooperatively to make a positive and meaningful impact.
Thank you for your investment in OCCU. We hope that you will allow us the honor to continue to serve you for many years to come.
President & CEO