Conference Showcases US Central Alternatives
This week, small corporate credit unions whose business models have historically depended upon U.S. Central FCU products and services are meeting at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas to hear pitches from new providers.
The so-called "pass-through" corporate attendees form a loose association that includes the $830 million First Corporate CU, the $147 million Louisiana Corporate CU, the $280 million Kansas Corporate CU, the $576 million Missouri Corporate CU, the $812 million TriCorp FCU, the $221 million West Virginia Corporate FCU, the $444 million Kentucky Corporate FCU and the $376 million Treasure State Corporate CU.
"This group of corporates has been meeting continuously since 2004, at least annually, to discuss operations and brainstorm," said event planner Jim Thompson, CEO of Kentucky Corporate. "We are all pretty similar in philosophy and strategy."
Thompson said 11 vendors will make presentations to the group Sept. 20-23, and offer alternatives to most services currently provided by U.S. Central. Investment and ALM service providers will speak the first two days, with operational services presenting later in the week. Vendors include both credit union industry firms and those from outside the industry, he said.
In general, vendors will present to the group, and then the corporates will meet privately to discuss and compare information. Corporates who have already replaced some U.S. Central services will also share their experiences with the group, he said.
Although each corporate is free to make its own decision regarding service providers, Thompson said the group will also flex its combined resources and ask for group pricing in some cases.
Thompson said the meeting has been in the works for awhile, but it took time to coordinate the eight-member group's schedules.
"We've all been pretty busy lately running our operations," he said. "But we still have plenty of time, the new reg isn't even out yet, and the proposed reg gives us 12 months to comply. I feel comfortable where we are."
Kentucky Corporate was not forced to impair member capital accounts to cover U.S. Central losses, and reported 2.45% net worth as of June 30, according to 5310 reports. Thompson said his corporate has strong members support, and is not planning to merge with another corporate or spin off to form a CUSO.
Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU spokesperson Margaret Blankers said CEO Jay Murray will be a morning presenter, detailing services the $3.5 billion institution can provide its smaller peers. Mid-Atlantic reported a 4.21% net worth as of June 30.