Thirty CUs Exit Calif. League Over Campaign, Costs

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Thirty credit unions have disaffiliated with the California Credit Union League over the Public Advocacy media campaign running in this state and Nevada.

The $6-million underwriting the campaign was raised by a special assessment on affiliated credit unions over and above annual dues. For smaller credit unions, the fee is relatively small. For midsize and larger CUs, it is more significant, and in some cases larger than annual dues. California and Nevada's credit unions approved the Public Advocacy campaign and its costs in a special member vote in late 2004.

CCUL CEO Dave Chatfield said the 30 credit unions withdrew from the league over philosophical and financial differences with the decision to implement the campaign, which primarily consists of radio advertising, with some newspaper suport. The ads are running in 28 markets and emphasizes the credit union difference.

The disaffiliations reduced the number of league affiliates to 427, according to Chatfield, and represent about 4% of its CU membership. "We are working to get them back," said Chatfield. "It will have a small effect on the budget."

A league spokesperson told The Credit Union Journal that most of those that disaffiliated are midsized credit unions. Some of the credit unions that disaffiliated were on hand for the league's Big Valley Conference here.

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