The most important thing to me for my financial institution is knowing that my money isn't wrapped up in the criminal and unethical behavior we see all too often. It's one of the reasons I put my money in a credit union and not a bank, and why I would never touch Bank of America or other certain corporations caught funding narco trafficing, buying politicians, and making predatory loans. The best way to make sure I stay a BECU customer forever is really to make sure BECU visibly and truthfully aligns with real community values. This means:
- BECU regularly addressing financial scandals that are in the news and stating their commitment to specific better behaviors
- Providing good financial tools and good treatment especially for small personal accounts and small businesses
- Never having lesser accessibility for people of color or redlined areas
- Telling members what businesses BECU is invested in, and making public promises as to what BECU will not invest in
- If/while BECU expands, doing what it takes to deliberately maintain an internal culture with these values - even to the point of slowing down if necessary
Especially right now, what a lot of us do with our money is an ethical decision that defines or affirms part of our identity. I'm sure plenty of people would phrase some of the above points differently, and I've seen BECU marketing aimed to create the feeling of being local and being diverse or small-business-friendly before as well. But I want to know that my money is always being used to do the right thing, and I think there's a place in the market for BECU to do that.