CUNA Continues To Struggle Financially

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Despite a couple of restructurings over the past few years and a massive dues increase, CUNA continues to founder financially.

The trade group slipped its financial statement for fiscal 2002 past the reporters and inserted them, instead, with little fanfare into its house organ, CU Magazine, with the dubious headline, "Positive Results in Uncertain Times."

It turns out those "positive results" were a $2.3-million loss for fiscal 2002, on top of a $1-million loss the year before.

That makes four losing years during the seven-year reign of CUNA CEO Dan Mica.

It means that even after adding more than $9 million in new revenues by doubling credit unions' dues in 1999, CUNA still can't stay out of the red.

The major items that sent the preeminent credit union trade group into the red last year were a $3.8-million loss of CUNA's startup CUNA Network Services for which CUNA booked a $1.8 million loss for its pro rated share.

The other item, which appears to be solved, was a $1.2 million loss for CUNA's multi-year lease at its old Washington headquarters, two blocks from the White House, which had been vacant for more than two years after CUNA moved its executives into luxurious new digs at the foot of Capitol Hill. The old offices have since been subleased.

But leaving those two extraordinary issues aside, the trade group was only able to eke out a tiny $71,000 operating net on $42.5 million in revenues.

Credit unions were told when CUNA jacked up their dues in 1999 that the extra revenue, which amounted to more than $9 million last year, would solve the group's financial woes.

That hasn't turned out to be the case.

In his report to the CUNA Board of Directors, Mica said he believes the worst appears to be behind them and projected operating income for 2003 of $548,000.

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