Mourning The Death Of A Small Corporate CU

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No one seems to notice the death of small corporate credit unions in the wake of the corporate system meltdown. On Friday, April 29, 2011, Midwest Corporate FCU closed its doors forever, the victim of a hit and run when U.S. Central FCU and four other corporate credit unions had a heart attack at the wheel of the bus and ran over the small compact cars known as small, pass-through corporate credit unions.

After 59 years of serving credit unions and staying true to its mission, Midwest Corporate FCU could not survive the car wreck known as the Corporate Credit Union System Failure of 2009, when the National Credit Union Administration was forced to take conservatorship of the largest of the corporate credit unions, including U.S. Central FCU. Despite this action, NCUA could not stop the bleeding quick enough to save Midwest, which agonized through many painful member meetings to try and save its future to no avail. It was too late, the injuries (losses stemming directly from the failure of U. S. Central FCU) were fatal. And so, Midwest set its focus on preparing for the end, much like one does with a terminal illness. Thankfully, Midwest was able to hang on to complete its last mission, winding down in an orderly fashion and preserving some assets for its estate to distribute those most dear to it, Midwest's capital shareholder credit unions.

Midwest is survived by its member credit unions and CUSO, none of whom were fatally affected by Midwest's demise. Although painful and difficult, they have found life after Midwest Corporate, albeit not necessarily as easy as it was with Midwest.

The fate of the other small corporate credit unions involved in the crash is still uncertain as they struggle to survive or live on as part of another corporate credit union (merging). The real fear is the loss of all small corporate credit unions forever, which, like their small natural person credit union counterparts, have played an important role in keeping the true mission and philosophy of the credit union movement alive and forcing us all to remember why we exist.

Rest in peace old friend, your place in credit union history will not be forgotten and will always be appreciated by those you served.

Doug Wolf, president
Doug Wolf Associates, LLC,
Bismarck, N.D.

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