Los Angeles credit unions, smarting from a negative article in a local business journal hitting on poor performance, stepped up a quiet media campaign this week countering that "not all credit unions are suffering."
The latest rebuttal to an Aug. 16 article, entitled "Credit Unions Come Up Short" appearing in the weekly Los Angeles Business Journal, came Monday from Roger Ballard, CEO of the $3.5 billion Kinecta FCU of Manhattan Beach arguing that the NCUA assessment and the corporate crisis distorted a positive CU picture.
"Were it not for these actions, Kinecta would be considered 'well capitalized' under National Credit Union Administration definitions," wrote Ballard in a letter to the editor.
Echoing Ballard, Nader Moghaddam, president/CEO of the $710 million Financial Partners CU of Downey, said the assessments have put a damper on capital and earnings but that barring "a double dip recession we see income improvement though 2010," There's no doubt, said Moghaddam, that California CUs have been "on a rough journey" but for one, "Financial Partners got in early with some of those faulty loans and now we're early out."
Like other CEOs, Moghaddam took issue with conclusions in the article that because some community charter CUs were over extended, all CUs should be painted with the same negative brush.
"I think you have to go behind the headlines to see a realistic picture," said Moghaddam. The Business Journal article hit specifically on CU vs. bank failures or mergers noting that Los Angeles County lost 20 CUs during the year "more than 11% of the total" as compared to eight banks "that were lost over that span, about 10% of their total"