A group of managers of faith based credit unions headquartered in New York City is forming an ad-hoc group meant to help them resist some of the pressures facing them, including compliance pressures and balance sheet worries.
"There are simply too many faith-based credit unions out there that are running scared right now," declared Joy Cousminer, CEO of the $14 million Bethex FCU of the Bronx and organizer of the 30-member "We Care" group which a meeting Thursday at her CU. "We don't want this movement destroyed and the way things are going it is headed that way," warned Cousminer, a past director of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.
Cousminer said the group formed after the May 17 failure of the Convent FCU, a tiny Baptist-based CU in New York City. She added she has heard about NCUA reports that as many as 1,000 small credit unions, including faith-based credit unions, "are not going to make it this year." That is why, she said, she seeks to galvanize her brethren at least in the New York area to halt the slide if possible.
Cousminer said most of the "We Care" members are in Manhattan or surrounding boroughs. In discussing remedies, she said the group is discussing advising small CUs to participate in SBA loans as a means of providing income. even at low levels like $5,000-or $10,000.
She also said students from Fordham University are now providing accounting help to a handful of faith-based CUs as part of their community service degree work.
Cousminer, who is 84, said she expects to continue serving her CU and the faith-based segment into the future.