CU Officers Discuss Fallout Of Corporate Rule

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LAS VEGAS-During the annual meetings of the CUNA Technology Council and OpSS Council Credit Union Journal asked about the most recent corporate conservatorships and employee and member reactions:

We are educating our staff on the fact our institution is still strong. We wanted to make sure they knew the difference between a corporate credit union and a natural person credit union. But after all that, there were no phone calls from members.

Susan Fernaays, VP of member services, BayPort CU, Newport News, Va.

It was not really a surprise, but the amount of money involved was more than I expected. We were not working with any of the corporates that were taken into conservatorship. I watched the town hall meeting [Sept. 27], but still have questions about how much this is going to cost. There is still some uncertainty, but it was probably good that NCUA came out and stated these things.

The general public does not understand the relationship between credit unions and corporate credit unions, so they might think credit unions were involved in risky behavior. This goes against the good press we have gotten the last couple years. Still, I think we'll get through this as an industry without too much government regulation.

Tom O'Malley, VP business development, Partners 1st FCU, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Stephen Vlach, AVP/regional manager, Travis CU, Vacaville, Calif.

The Wall Street Journal article went out to all of our management staff for review. We had a fact sheet from CUNA that was distributed to all AVPs and branch managers. I have not heard of any questions being directed from members to branch managers.

NCUA needed to stabilize the corporates, but the real question is how much it will cost going forward to the natural-person credit unions.

Tom O'Malley, VP business development, Partners 1st FCU, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Members did not connect those corporate credit unions to us, so there were no phone calls.

The big issue for us is what happens with the corporates now. We are slowly moving processing back in-house, along with branch capture and international items. We might help smaller credit unions in Albuquerque with processing. We are members of WesCorp, Southwest Corp and Members United, so this really has affected us. We mostly dealt with Southwest Corp, along with most credit unions in New Mexico. Southwest did our processing, but we don't want all our eggs in one basket.

Terri Mickelsen, VP of internal operations, First Financial CU, Albuquerque, N.M.

No members came in to our branches on [Sept. 27] in response to either the corporate news or the Wall Street Journal article. We were prepared because last year's conservatorship of WesCorp drew a lot of response. This year we had a letter up on our website by [the night of Sept. 24]. It said the focus was on the corporates, not us. Apparently, our members got the message.

Tina McMinn, VP of operations, Stanford FCU, Palo Alto, Calif.

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