Iowa credit unions impact their communities, economy

Dale Owen, Iowa Credit Union Foundation chair

Over the past 28 years, I have dedicated my career to improving the financial lives of people living and working in the Quad-City area. Early in my career, I worked for local community banks that merged into larger, national banks. In 1999, I started working for Ascentra Credit Union (formerly Alcoa Employees & Community Credit Union) and have had the pleasure of serving our members for the past 16 years, serving as CEO since 2013.

As a “reformed banker,” my career has given me a unique perspective into the difference between banks and credit unions. Founded with the philosophy of “people helping people,” credit unions are a needed choice in the financial services marketplace. As not-for-profit financial cooperatives, credit unions return earnings to members in the form of better rates on loans and lower fees. Unlike the structure of a bank, which is designed to generate profits for a select group of stockholders, the credit union structure helped more than one million Iowa credit union members save approximately $100 million annually compared to what they would have paid for similar services at a bank.

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