Friday, December 11, 2015

Batter Up!... Keep Your Eye On The Ball!

Here come da' judge?
Well, since Mr. Jim Nussle and CUNA have so convincingly demonstrated their leadership capabilities, the endgame focus now switches over to NAFCU. 

An unbelievable opportunity for national
dominance has been handed, gift-wrapped to NAFCU on a silver platter by the "really-don't-get-it, evidently never will" crowd at CUNA. The question is whether or not the NAFCU leadership - staff and Board - can "get over the past" and rise to the occasion.

"In them old cotton fields back home..."
What's the problem? The issue with NAFCU is that NAFCU took a half-step this summer in changing its "membership rules". That "bold", much acclaimed move to permit state-chartered credit unions to join NAFCU was really "much-ado-about-not-a-whole-lot"! State charters weren't actually offered full, equal membership rights in NAFCU. State charters were only invited to join as "associate members", which simply means state charters have full rights to help pay the cost of operating NAFCU, with none of the privileges of membership/ownership in NAFCU. State charters are sort of modern day "tenant farmers" over at NAFCU - y'know "sharecroppers" on the plantation. 

Here's how you know from the NAFCU bylaws:

* "Federally-insured state chartered credit unions and corporate credit unions chartered under state law may become associate members of the Corporation."

* "Associate members are not entitled to a vote."

* "A person may not be elected as a director unless such person is a current Board member or the CEO of a federal credit union..."

So, the good news is you can purchase exceptional educational and compliance services - perhaps the best in the business - from NAFCU at reasonable prices; and you can purchase national political advocacy through NAFCU - also of exceptional quality - at costs one half to two thirds lower!

The bad news is as associate members, NAFCU is not obligated to represent your best interests as a state chartered credit union. In fact, NAFCU is obligated first, foremost, and by its charter/bylaws to put federally chartered FCUs' interests first - period. 

Can't happen, doesn't matter? Think a bit about the overhead transfer rate, think about the question of whether federal law should pre-empt state law, think about the question of federal supervisory fees, think about the issue of private insurance..... yes it does matter!!!

No way!
Would you ever hire a lobbyist who couldn't promise to represent your best interests - even at half price?!? 

So, what is the "golden opportunity" available to NAFCU?

Come on in!
NAFCU needs to take that "next step" and open full membership to all credit unions - perhaps just as difficult a step as the "Choice" CUNA failed to make yesterday.

If NAFCU fails to take the "next step", they may always be good, but they can never be the best. NAFCU can never be the premier leader of all of America's credit unions - their bylaws don't give them that opportunity. 

That's too bad... for America's credit unions - all of us.

[Hey NAFCU, batter up!!! Your "Choice"!]


Dennis Moriarity said...

I wonder what "modernize CUNA's membership structure to accommodate choice" means? Choice and/or freedom of choice seem easy to define and I thought the structures committee already did it for them. In any event I remain leery as the outcome is still murky at least for me. Then again I was never that bright.

Choice is an interesting word and a lot of members have to make it every day as the number of credit unions continues to decline rapidly. Here's their choice: move to the new takeover credit union and hope you don't get one of those faux CU's being run by a former banker and/or slide those accounts into the local or regional branch of a large multinational where you are assured of entering a dangerous world of fee and risk based activities. Not much of a choice huh.

Anonymous said...

The narrative from the "interdependent" crowd goes like this: Why tinker with a successful, well-oiled machine?


What recent outcomes are they thinking of that brings them to this conclusion?

Anonymous said...

It appears according to NAFCU there are 2 types of credit unions: Federal Credit Unions and those that wish they were! Thus we need to allow Federal Credit Unions a more direct leadership role in NAFCU. The state credit unions should understand and embrace being second tier / second class.

Gregg Stockdale said...

What good does your Vote do with CUNA if they don't listen to the voice of their members? Your only vote with CUNA is with your feet.... If NAFCU is unresponsive... pitty pat, pitty pat.