Long-Time DFCU Exec Dismayed At Conversion Plan

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Tom Moylan, a member of and a former executive vice president of DFCU Financial (formerly Dearborn Federal Credit Union) hasn't missed an annual meeting since he started his credit union career in 1960.

The most recent one, he told The Credit Union Journal, was by far the most discouraging. "I don't remember any other time when people got up and questioned the activity of their credit union," he said. "There were a lot of people expressing disappointment about the conversion plans."

Moylan was among more than 100 people who attended DFCU' annual meeting on Feb. 15, many of them to oppose it plans to convert to a mutual savings and loan. Now retired and living in Dearborn Heights, Moylan said he sees "no compelling reason" for the CU, of which he is still a member, to convert.

The $1.8-billion DFCU Financial announced its intentions on Dec. 14. Though its first application was rejected by the NCUA, which questioned portions of the process that included large cash giveaways attached to ballots, DFCU officials resubmitted those materials and are awaiting a response.

"The credit union is in a good financial condition and always has been," he said. "Their excuse that it will facilitate growth doesn't make a lot of sense. There's growth potential within the charter they already have. And, if they want, they can expand the charter and expand more."

Moylan is among many former insiders who said it's the banking mentality of the new staff that created the conversion stir.

"(CEO) Mark Shobe was from a bank so I guess it's not surprising because his orientation was in the banking community," Moylan said. "He's always believed in good service and (to him) if good service is provided by a bank, it's the same as a credit union."

To Moylan "and a lot of other folks," he said, "there's a substantial philosophical difference but I'm not sure he subscribes to that."

Moylan started his CU career at Rouge Employees CU in 1960 and moved over to the former Dearborn Federal Credit Union in 1974. Shortly after his retirement in April of 2000, President J. Ronald Unger also retired. Shobe, who has declined to comment on the conversion, was hired to replace Unger.

Moylan said he was at the 2006 annual meeting when members passed a resolution by a two-to-one margin recommending that the board of directors withdraw the charter conversion application.

"This conversion was strongly opposed," Moylan said. "(DFCU Financial) needs to act on it."

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