The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Insignificant Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

On March 25th, 2013, posted in: Uncategorized by

Small is not insignificant.  The terms aren’t always synonymous, especially when one speaks of acts of kindness.  Small gestures tend to have great meaning.  When we do small things, the impact always seems to be a multiple of the act.  That’s true in our personal lives as well as at work.

When I am debating over whether I should do something small, I regularly remind myself that what is small to me might mean the world to someone else.  Literally, I think…  “Hmmm, well it’s not a big deal to me, but it may be huge to the other party.”

Why not charge more than $15 for courtesy pay or returned checks?  Years ago – I mean many years ago – every bank or credit union charged $15 when a check would bounce.  Today, that number rivals $30 – except at St. Louis Community Credit Union.

Going to $30 makes sense, right?  No big deal?  After all, most of our members don’t use this service and, if a member can’t manage their money, why not be as penal as everybody else?  Nope, that’s not how we think.  Our fee is still $15.  For us to raise the fee from its current level, even just a few bucks, seems like a small thing for us to do.  After all, everybody else has done it for years and years.

While it may be a small thing to us (even a small amount), it is not insignificant.  In a world where the middle class is losing traction, paying $15 is a far cry from paying $30.  Especially when you need to fill your prescription but you have no money.  You know, it may be one of those times where the money runs out before the month does.  In those cases, paying less is a blessing.  Saving $15 is not considered insignificant.

The same holds true for the price of money orders and ATM fees, both of which cost less at SLCCU than the going market rate.  Insignificant is in the eye of the beholder.  When gas prices are going up literally daily, and tuitions keep skyrocketing, and the costs of health insurance are uncertain, (but leaning to being higher sooner than later), the small savings the Credit Union provides is truly meaningful.  Insignificant?  I think not.

St. Louis Community Credit Union was one of only a handful of the 7,000 credit unions nationwide to recently be honored for how much we return to our members.  We give our members back somewhere around $357 per year more than other financial institutions in the St. Louis region.  I guess all those small things must add up.

Yep, we’re not as big as most banks.  Heck, we’re not even the biggest credit union in the region.  Actually, we’re not even close.  We barely crack the Top 10.  Yeah, I’d call us small in stature, but a powerhouse in the world of making peoples’ lives better.

What’s the old saying, “great things come in small packages?”

By the way, the award we received was a small plaque.  It wasn’t ornate and is dwarfed by the other plaques in the trophy case.  Oh yeah, it’s small, but not insignificant.

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