For Georgia credit unions, 2011 can easily be viewed as a year of change. The credit union movement experienced many highs and lows...and thankfully, emerged on solid ground. Without a doubt, the cooperative nature of credit unions is the glue that held it together. Keeping a focus on the people that drive the philosophy of credit unions was a cornerstone of success in 2011. People are...and always have been...at the core of what credit unions do.

The reason credit unions exist is to help people afford life...plain and simple. Our industry got a chance to prove that in many ways during 2011. The movement lobbied hard to protect consumers from the unintended consequences of interchange legislation. Credit unions developed creative loan products to assist those struggling to recover from the economic downturn. And when some large banks announced they would charge people to access their own money, credit unions stood ready and willing to welcome them into the fold in the weeks leading up to Bank Transfer Day.

Collectively, we have learned...through hard knocks and smooth sailing...that working together beats going it alone. Whether the goal is having our say at the Statehouse, on Capitol Hill, in the media, or in our own communities...credit unions will make the greatest impact when we all work together. Regardless of opposition...legislative, regulatory, economic or competitive...credit unions succeed at their goal of helping people afford life. And GCUA exists to help credit unions effectively meet the needs of members.

Georgia Credit Union Affiliates' sole mission is to provide credit unions with the information and resources needed to serve members and to grow. Collaboratively, that mission was accomplished in 2011. The year ended with a 3.3 percent member growth rate for the state’s credit unions. The diligent work undertaken by Georgia credit unions in every aspect of the industry led to that success; from political advocacy and public outreach to meeting stringent compliance requirements and developing new products and services to serve members.

Despite an uncertain economic outlook, Georgia credit unions remain a trusted source of fair, honest and reliable financial services. GCUA has aspired to be the same for credit unions-a trusted resource. It would be impossible to highlight every program, every victory, every advance made throughout 2011 on behalf of credit unions. Instead, the results and outcomes included in this report stand as an example of the dedication and tireless work that takes place on behalf of Georgia credit unions.