The Utah Credit Union Association is the state-based trade association for credit unions with physical locations in Utah. It’s a membership-based organization—when a credit union pays dues to the Association, it becomes a member. Any credit union with a branch or headquarters in Utah can become a member of the Association.
As the trade association for credit unions in Utah, the Association creates a point of unity for the industry in Utah, and provides services to credit unions. Services are broadly grouped into two categories: advocacy and support.
The primary function of the Association is to provide advocacy services to its members. Advocacy takes many shapes:
These different types of advocacy are common instruments used by advocacy organizations, such as the Utah Banker’s Association, Utah Association of Realtors, the New Car Dealers of Utah, and many more. It’s the normal and accepted way for industries to make their voices heard in various influential bodies.
The other half of the Association’s mission is to provide support to Utah’s credit unions. For many years, this was the primary purpose of the Association. On average, credit unions were much smaller, and benefitted from the Association’s ability to aggregate services for credit unions. Today, as credit unions have grown and responded to their members’ requests, and as the marketplace has developed, many credit unions are able to obtain most of the services they need independently of the Association.
Nevertheless, the Association still provides valuable support services to credit unions in several key areas.
Most affiliated credit unions take advantage of the education and training services the Association offers. From conferences to full-day, specialized training, to multi-day conferences, the Association provides effective and relatively inexpensive education for credit unions.
Affiliated credit unions also enjoy free, unlimited access to compliance assistance. Aside from robust online resources, the credit unions have direct phone, texting, and email access to a compliance expert or two.
Other, more general consulting services are available for credit unions, for free from the Association. This can be especially helpful for credit unions with a limited staff, that don’t have a broad internal opportunity to explore ideas. The Association also develops or provides resources for credit unions on a wide range of operational topics, such as CECL, financial analysis and reporting, ESG, cybersecurity, compensation, field of membership modification, and others.
On a national level, the Utah Credit Union Association is affiliated with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), which has a relationship with all state associations like the Utah association. Together, the CUNA-state league system has become one of the strongest trade industry groups in Washington DC. In fact, it has been rated the most credible trade association in DC.
When a credit union affiliates with the Association, and therefore becomes a member, it gains governance rights in the Association. Its employees and volunteers can run for a seat on the Association’s board, and each credit union likewise can vote for who sits on the board.
Aliases and nicknames
The Utah Credit Union Association is commonly known as the Association. Long-time credit union professionals may know the Association as the League, because the Association was first known as the League of Utah Credit Unions, and then as the Utah League of Credit Unions. For years, the League went by the acronym of ULCU, and today some refer to the Association as the UCUA.