2017 Applicant: Michael Bishop

Michael Bishop is a 35-year-old Vice President - Branch Experience at Salal Credit Union ($500M) in Seattle, Washington, United States.

Project Title
Serving Cannabis

Short Pitch
When banks would not serve people, credit unions were there - now employees of the cannabis industry are underserved and we’re doing something about it.

It’s surprising how confused the banking industry currently is about how to support cannabis business employees with their financial needs. Their array of answers to questions and degrees of confidence are alarming.

Financial institutions are wary of serving employees of cannabis businesses. This is a huge problem because legalization is spreading state by state. Good people are finding themselves without a place to save and with no access to financial services. What’s worse – many people are finding their legitimate accounts being forcibly closed because financial institutions are afraid of government repercussions.

My Cannabis Employee Banking Program is based on the credit union principle of concern for community. By being bold and doing what’s right for people, my plan is to help underserved employees obtain mainstream financial products and services. I will use my research to design qualitative programming, and perform outreach to educate and connect employees with some of the best financial solutions around.

Join me, as this project unfolds. I’m excited about the value the Cannabis Employee Banking Program will unlock, as well as contributing to Salal Credit Union’s innovative approach to leading meaningful change.

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