FOTCM credit union


The Living Force
Saw this:

It basically is a recommendation to dump banks and join up with a credit union. I noticed a comment there that credit unions are often associated with churches, which made me wonder if FOTCM could ever either create or somehow be affiliated with a good and honest credit union? Or if not, if it would be a good idea to leave a bank and join an existing credit union as the above link suggests? The basic concept of a credit union sounds appealing according to the official definition here:


What is a Credit Union?

A credit union is a member-owned, not-for-profit, cooperative financial institution.
Credit unions:

Provide the same products and services—including surcharge-free ATMs, online financial services, and free savings and checking accounts—as other financial institutions
Return their profits to their credit union members by providing better services, better rates, lower fees and special discounts
Operate under the philosophy of “people helping people,” allowing their members to pool their savings, lend to one another, and own the organization
Follow conservative investment practices and lend responsibly

Federal credit unions are chartered and supervised by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Through this federal agency, savings in federal and most state-chartered credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), a federal fund backed by the United States government. The funds in some credit unions are privately insured.

Easy to Join a Credit Union

Anyone can join a credit union—because each credit union serves a "field of membership" which is made up of people who all share a “common bond.” You may be eligible to join one or more credit unions based on your:

Geographic area
Place of worship
Membership in an organization

Just ask anyone at your local credit union what their requirements are. You might be surprised at how many credit unions you can join!

Members Own the Credit Union

A credit union is a democratic, member-owned cooperative. So when you join a credit union, you’re more than a member; you’re an owner—and that means you have a say in how your credit union is run.

A volunteer board of directors, elected by the members, governs a credit union. With their vote, each member has a direct impact on the direction of the credit union. As part of the democratic process, each credit union holds an annual election where members select candidates for the Board of Directors. This is very different from a bank, where stockholders vote according to the number of shares of stock they own.

Credit Unions are Non-Profit

Credit unions provide the same products and services as other financial institutions—but credit unions are non-profit and exist to help people, not to make a profit. As such, all earnings are returned to their members in the form of high-interest savings and low rate loans.

This also enables credit unions to operate at a lower cost than many for-profit institutions, and helps them to offer competitive loan and savings rates to their members.

Credit unions follow conservative investment practices and lend responsibly and live within their financial means, so you can trust your credit union's decisions.

Credit Unions Put People First

Credit unions live by the philosophy of "People Helping People.”

Credit unions across the country are committed to their communities, offering financial services to underserved populations, engaging youth in financial education, and returning profits to their members.

While they are not mandated to do good works, as banks are, by the Community Reinvestment Act, credit unions serve their communities to strengthen the connection with members and improve the quality of life for those in need of financial services. The National Credit Union Foundation coordinates the “Real Solutions” program, which supports community reinvestment programs in 33 states.

You can also use the above website to find credit unions in your area by zipcode, etc.

Granted, "on paper" even the US government sounds like a good idea, but as we know, in practice any system or good idea can be completely taken over and twisted by psychopaths. So I just thought I'd open it up to discussion, since I know so little about this, and perhaps there are glaring issues with credit unions that someone with experience in the area knows. But perhaps those could be fixed if FOTCM has the funds/resources/time/reason to create their own.

However, in light of comets, the ice age, and the resulting food prices and perhaps complete economic meltdown, this might not make any difference or be worth the time/effort. But it kinda reminded me of this bank system I read about on SOTT a few years back where people just traded goods and services with each other. So the idea of having non-profit "bank of the people, by the people, for the people" sounds really good, and may even be a very handy thing in a collapsed economy - since money isn't the only thing that can be traded and shared. Any thoughts?


FOTCM Member
I don't know much about credit unions.
but it's sounds interesting to me !


The Living Force
Pashalis said:
I don't know much about credit unions.
but it's sounds interesting to me !

Me neither. In the reddit thread someone provided this link to an article that promotes credit unions:


In fact, now that I think about it, any non-profit "bank" with much lower rates and few fees would be instantly targeted by the big banks. So just as anything in this world, anything that threatens the status quo is either dismantled or twisted to service the status quo. So we must tread carefully as we research this and look for any hidden catches and indications of who the real owners of these things are. Even in the official definition I quoted above, it mentions affiliation with the US federal government for at least the "federal credit unions", which raises a red flag for me.


FOTCM Member
Maybe there is someone in FCM in the U.S. who can do some quick and thorough research and suggest how it could be done. I'm sure it would need a company formation, board of directors, and so forth. So if there are any financially savvy folks, they would be the ones to spearhead something like this.


The Living Force
I am no tax/banking/CU expert, but I am a member of two
CUs, and never again will be a bank customer. Many reasons,
but #1 being they used to charge for everything until TBTB
(The Banks That Be) saw significant loss of revenue and tried
to get TPTB to put the CU's feet into the fire with more regulations.

TBTB failed to wipe out CUs, so grudgingly added services in
attempts to gain back the customers they lost. The two CU offers
different benefits and interest rates, offer no fee ATM access,
no fee overdraft checking, free callbaks on suspicious internet
withdrawals, online access, auto-bill-pay and other services,
such as fee based tax preparations and much more.

Anyway, gooberling for "Credit union IRS tax" or
"How to form credit union" gives many links and I
culled for these:

+ Wiki: Credit union (Description & history. Says in here, that donations cannot be accepted? Check IRS rules)

+ Credit Unions: 10 steps to starting your own credit union: (links, references, & info)

+ Starting a credit union from scratch: what would it look like? (Different approach... "piggy backing")

With IRS tag:

+ Publication 598 (Rev. March 2010)
_ (Info regarding tax exemptions, includes credit unions)

+ A Review of the Credit Union’s Internal Revenue Code Obligations for Reporting Bonuses, Promotions, and Awards

That's all for now folks!

Edit #1: added more info


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I'm no expert either but here are the steps from one of Dan's links (I found these on several websites):

1. Find something in common. Credit union members are a collective group having a common bond:
• Occupation -- Employees of the same company.
• Association -- Members of a professional and trade association, fraternal order, labor or church group.
• Community -- Residents of the same well-defined neighborhood, community or rural district.

• Income -- Low-income members can contact the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. Click here for more information.
2. Get together. As a rule, a "yes" vote by 500 potential members warrants continuation of the process to form a credit union. The National Credit Union Administration requires that a credit union with fewer than 3,000 potential members provide more evidence of support, since only about one-third of potential members will join and credit unions with less than 3,000 members may not be economically justified. Survey your potential members to determine whether they have an interest in supporting a credit union.

3. Do the paperwork. You should order the Interpretive Ruling and Policy Statement 98-03, which redrafts the NCUA's Chartering and Field of Membership Manual. The NCUA also has material on how to start a credit union. You may obtain this document from the NCUA's Web site.

4. Meet the membership requirement. If you want to discuss your potential field of membership, you should contact state or federal regulators. You must ensure that your survey covers a defined membership group and meets the definitions as required by state and federal regulations. It is suggested that you get your proposed FOM in writing.

5. Find a financial expert. A CPA or a person with a strong financial background needs to be on your organizing committee. This person will be responsible for developing realistic pro forma financial statements based upon your survey responses and the degree of sponsor assistance you will receive.

6. Form a committee. Your organizing committee should be comprised of individuals with very good credit. Both the state and federal regulators will obtain a current credit bureau report on each organizer and will take a dim view of a bad credit bureau report. Furthermore, the state will not allow someone who has had a bankruptcy within the past seven years to participate on the organizing committee or in the future operation of the credit union.

7. Set up a board of directors. The board is responsible for the general direction of the entire credit union, and its members should be able to understand the general and social environment in which it operates.

8. Collect some money. To help the credit union offset the cost of enrollment forms, a membership fee (typically $5) is charged. Additionally, each member is required to purchase at least one share (usually at a cost of $5 to $25) to help provide a base from which loans can be made.

9. Get by with a little help from your friends. It is recommended you obtain assistance from a credit union consultant in your area. This service is provided free of charge and, by utilizing this service, it will make the chartering process simpler and less time-consuming, since the consultant will be familiar with the necessary paperwork that must be completed.

10. Apply for status. Petition your state's Comptroller's Office or the National Credit Union Administration for official status.

It is possible to start a web-only CU, but the major steps are probably the same.

More info:

Starting Up a New Credit Union
First, know that this is not a casual undertaking. You are establishing a bona fide financial institution that exists to provide valuable financial services over an indefinite period to an ever-growing group of individuals.
Accordingly, the organizing and chartering process alone can take months --and even years-- so philosophical and financial commitment is essential on the part of all sponsoring groups.
Also, having a potential membership base of at least 3,000 individuals is strongly suggested.
If you are interested in organizing a credit union, please take the time to review the following:
• Facts About Credit Union Management
• Type of Charter - State or Federal
• NYS Banking Department Chartering Information
• NCUA Chartering and Field of Membership Manual

(This file is in Portable Document Format (PDF) which can be read by Acrobat Reader.)
We also recommend that you contact the following credit union regulatory agencies explaining your desire to start a credit union. They will send you additional material regarding start-up procedures.

Mr. Mark Treichel
Region I Director
NCUA, Region 1
9 Washington Square
Albany, New York 12205

Ms. Diana Taylor
Superintendent of Banks
New York State Banking Department
One State Street
New York, New York 10006-1894

Facts About Credit Union Management
A credit union is a member-owned, not-for-profit, cooperative financial institution formed to permit those in a specified field of membership to pool their savings, lend them to one another, and own the organization where they save, borrow, and obtain related financial services. Members are united by a common bond and democratically operate the credit union under state or federal regulation.
A credit union may be organized by members of a particular group in any of the following categories:
• Single Common Bond: Occupational or associational
• Multiple Common Bond: More than one group, each with a common occupational or associational bond.
• Community: A single, geographically well-defined local community, neighborhood or rural district where individuals have common interests or interaction.
A credit union is owned by its members. The credit union is a separate legal entity and a sponsoring company or organization has no jurisdiction or authority over the credit union. The sponsoring company or organization is simply the “pool” of consumers from which credit unions get members.

To operate, a credit union must have a board of directors, a credit committee (or loan officers) and a supervisory committee. The credit union members elect these officials at an annual meeting.

The board of directors consists of an odd number of at least five volunteers who manage the business affairs of the credit union and set policies for its operation. When a credit union is organized, board members are elected by the organizers to serve until the first annual meeting of the membership. At that time, those directors are either re-elected for specified terms or replaced with other members. The board is composed of a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and a minimum of one director or board member without an officer title.

The credit committee is composed of at least three people who meet as required to act on loan applications submitted by the members. Committee members are also elected at annual meetings. (In a federally chartered credit union, loan officers may be used instead of credit committee members.) The credit committee is made up of a chairman, secretary and a member without title.

The supervisory committee consists of at least three members. This committee is required to conduct periodic audits of the credit union books or to ensure that this is accomplished. The committee makes certain that the credit union operates within the applicable laws, regulations and established procedures. It has the power to suspend other officials for suspected or proven unauthorized acts. Committee members are appointed by the board of directors in a federal credit union and elected by the membership in a state-chartered credit union. The officers are the chairman, secretary and a member without title.

The treasurer is a key member of the board of directors. He or she has the responsibility for either managing the credit union or supervising the person that does (unless such authority is retained by the board). In federal credit unions, only one board officer (usually the treasurer) may be compensated and then only when the credit union is financially able to provide such compensation. State chartered credit unions may not compensate any officers.

The manager (President/CEO) is the person that carries on the day-to-day operation of the credit union. He or she must perform or supervise the employees in signing up new members, posting transactions to members accounts, processing payroll deductions, posting the journal and cash record and general ledger, accepting money for deposit and loan payments, processing loan applications, writing checks, preparing monthly financial statements, preparing tax forms and many other administrative duties.

Type of Charter - State or Federal
In New York State, credit unions have the advantage of a dual chartering system. That means that there are two charter types from which to choose: state or federal. Both types of charters have perceived advantages and disadvantages, depending on the group starting the credit union. Neither charter is “better” than the other.
State Charter
• Credit unions with a state charter are regulated by the New York State Banking Department.
• State-chartered credit unions must qualify for federal share insurance through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund that is administered by NCUA.
Federal Charter
• Federal credit unions are regulated by the NCUA, an agency of the federal government.
• Shares in federal credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund that is administered by NCUA.
• Starting a credit union from scratch: what would it look like?
• April 9, 2007, 12:31 pm

• Many people have expressed to me that one of the problems that credit unions face is that there aren’t that many new ones being formed. I think this is mostly because: 1) it’s not that simple and 2) there are many existing credit unions with fields of membership that overlap with people wanting to start new credit unions. I’ve had a couple of people approach me who initially said they wanted to start a credit union, but when I explained it to them, what they really wanted was a captive financial institution for their own business purposes. That’s not really the credit union model.
• But if I could start from scratch and create a credit union myself, what would it look like? The other day, a co-worker said to me that she really liked her credit union, but that she wished that they had debit cards. This particular credit union picks and chooses what type of member services it buys into. They didn’t want the expense of supporting debit cards.
• Recently, on my trip to Dayton, there were a number of credit union people who said that they don’t do cash transactions. These are small financial institutions that, by necessity, meticulously control costs.
• A start-up credit union would really have to watch costs. One might wonder how a credit union can survive without being full service. It is possible. In fact, it is smart. A small credit union that tries to be all things to all people without matching growth with the expense is engaging in risky behavior. Also, the credit union must ask itself: what are the services that make the members put money into the credit union?
• There’s frugality, however, and then there’s spending a little bit of money on technology to add services. A no-cash credit union, for example might do well to set up home banking. There are big players in the financial services world that don’t have branches at all. They use the Internet to offer other services and then piggyback onto banks and credit unions via ACH. When you want money out of an internet bank account at these no brick and mortar places, they just ACH it to your normal account. Some of them offer debit cards so you can use other financial institutions’ ATMs as well.
• If I were starting a credit union today, I would think very seriously about the Internet bank model. I would not have any branches at all. I’d have debit cards and ATM network memberships for people to get cash in and out. I would use home banking and also ACH services to allow members to move money. Maybe I’d have shared branching for people who really need the brick and mortar (but that would be pretty harsh on the other credit unions because I’d have no branch to share).
• Honestly, putting as many services as possible online and then ruthlessly cutting traditional real estate would be effective. That would be the mission statement of my new, web 2.0 credit union.
• I ask you credit union folks and blogosphere junkies: if you were starting a credit union today, what would it look like?

A web-only CU sounds good and could also serve as a Coop for goods that can be shipped. The CU could be a central Coop member of various suppliers and coordinate the ordering and shipping to more local groups of members. Just an idea for value-added ...

D Rusak

Jedi Council Member
I joined a credit union when I moved cross-country because of all the fees if one did not have a certain (increasingly higher and higher) minimum balance, which I knew I might have trouble with. One nice thing about it is that even though it only has two physical branches, currently located about 3,000 miles from me ( :scared: ) I can use other atm's (usually other credit unions) to deposit checks in. They also have internet services so I can check balances and transfer funds.

For instance, in the US you can find participating ATM's here:
It looks as though there may be some other services that company provides for credit unions. Worth a look.


The Living Force
So it looks like 3000 people (or is it 500?) are required at minimum and a financial expert, and all members need to make a small investment to create a money base for loans. This looks like a full-time obligation for anyone attempting to create something like this so perhaps it would be easier to research existing credit unions to see which one, in our local area, may be a good one to join, if any.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
SAO said:
So it looks like 3000 people (or is it 500?) are required at minimum and a financial expert, and all members need to make a small investment to create a money base for loans. This looks like a full-time obligation for anyone attempting to create something like this so perhaps it would be easier to research existing credit unions to see which one, in our local area, may be a good one to join, if any.

At first look, it appears a bit daunting and looks like you still have to go through a fed loop or a State's version of it. It may be possible to piggy back on one for the web services. If one had to start from scratch, I can't think of a better consultant than Cathrine Fitts.


Came across this thread and see that it has sort of died out; maybe now is the time to renew this discussion.

I have helped form/start 2 small banks in the US. They were both sold and merged after a few years. at profit. Last year, 2014, I began harping at a professional associate that he and his wife need to start a Bank or Credit Union; that NOW is the time to do that and it could even involve crypto currencies, as well.

I am in favor of bringing as many benefits as possible to the group; collective banking is absolutely one of them. So is collective purchasing. Keep the money in house and let it's collective mass become more than the sum of parts. Catherine Austin Fitts, is an excellent choice; expensive , but worth it. Well connected, to boot.

is there any interest in this , in 2015 ?? Credit Union would be my suggestion, lower deposit requirements, regulations written for collectives, unlike banks.
B, :cool2:


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
B588. I agree. It would be a good time to re-visit the Credit Union idea.

Al Today

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Intriguing idea. In USA here, I would think our initial investments (deposits) would also be federally insured? I would think we can benefit greatly as a co-linear group and as individuals. Boy-O-Boy Laura, in your wildest dreams, did you ever consider this as one of the many ways you may be destined to affect this world?

:cool2: :) :cool2:




Love this idea! Ever since the warnings over the last few years of taking our hard-earned savings out of the banks, I've often wondered where the heck to put the little I have saved, other than stuffing it in the mattress.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
What would be the benefits of forming a credit union? Do those benefits outweigh the effort required to create one? What about just joining an established credit union?

Al Today

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Yes hlat, the question should be what benefit would this be FOTCM? This is not about individual benefit unless the credit union supports the aims of the Work and the greater good.
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