Pressure from regulators to increase earnings forced Missouri Corporate CU to lower its overnight dividend rate to 0%, effective May 1. President/CEO Dennis DeGroot said the $900 million corporate's operating expenses are already among the lowest in the network, and wasn't interested in increasing fees or leveraging risk to produce the funds.
"So, we had to look at dividends," he said.
The St. Louis-based institution alerted members to the impending change one week ago and recommended they transfer excess funds into laddered certificates. DeGroot said members had transferred $40 million into laddered CDs as of yesterday; total overnight accounts average around $250 million, depending upon liquidity patterns.
Susie Venable, Missouri Corp vice chairman and president/CEO of the $18 million St. Luke's Credit Union, said the decision to drop the rate wasn't easy, but in today's low rate environment, it won't have much of an impact on member credit unions. The account previously paid 0.08%.
However, over time, she said the decision "could have a great impact on our efforts to rebuild capital at Missouri Corporate."
DeGroot said his institution is in "recovery mode," building retained earnings as quickly as possible after charging off all U.S. Central capital in 2009.