Local Government Federal Credit Union in Raleigh, NC, and Florida A&M University FCU, Tallahassee, FL, said they joined forces to help each other improve services to their memberships.

“These seemingly different credit unions agreed to collaborate on strategy, governance and operations,” the credit union said in a statement. “This is a story that gets to the heart of credit unions helping one another succeed.”

Local Government Federal Credit Union is a $2-billion institution. Formed in 1983, LGFCU’s mission is to serve the employees, officials and volunteers in the State’s local governments. LGFCU has more than 300,000 members from all walks of municipal and county government.

Florida A&M University Federal Credit Union was established in 1935 to serve the employees of the Florida A&M University institution. It has more than 3,700 members.

“One of the enduring hallmark traits that distinguish credit unions from other kinds of financial institutions is our nature to help each other,” said Maurice R. Smith, LGFCU CEO. “Consequently, it should not be a surprise to anyone that our two credit unions would link up.”

The collaboration between LGFCU and FAMUFCU comes in the form of an agreement to provide mutual consultation to each other. This means the credit unions will provide each other with advice and support.

“With a swinging door, each institution is welcome to share best practices and innovations with the other,” LGFCU said.

Added Ernest Allen, the CEO of FAMUFCU, “FAMUFCU has become a more enabled and powerful institution because of its connection with LGFCU. We feel fortunate to have the wherewithal of a multi-billion enterprise supporting our cause.”

Smith refutes the notion that this is a one-way relationship, saying, “It would be hubris to believe that large credit unions cannot learn from small institutions. We intend for both our organizations to benefit each other.”

Smith, who is chairman of CUNA, said he has concern for the plight of all credit unions.

“Sustainable economic development often comes from within the community. When hometown financial institutions pull up their tents and leave, low-wealth consumers are the first to suffer,” he said.