One of the ways Sperry Associates Federal Credit Union is planning to get back on track is by beefing up its electronic marketing efforts.
The $345 million credit union in Garden City Park, N.Y., most recently did not renew the contracts of its interim president and a human resources consultant because Sperry's board of directors, in agreement with the NCUA, felt that permanent solutions were needed, said James Duffett, interim co-president. Each of these roles had been filled for an extended period on an interim and consulting basis, respectively. The positions themselves were not eliminated.
On May 28, the NCUA entered into a letter of understanding and agreement with Sperry to correct several problems, including credit losses associated with three private-label collateralized mortgage obligations. According to the NCUA, the large losses indicated that the credit union had not been performing proper due diligence over its participation lending program. It also granted loan modifications without a board-approved policy or managerial procedure in place, the agency discovered.
Last week, Sperry announced it had eliminated its director of corporate development, business development manager and branch manager positions. Corporate development was an umbrella for marketing, business development and business services and lending. Duffett stressed that the job cuts were part of a "restructure [that] was done to address changing priorities, and not an indication of the performance of the people impacted." Sperry has 42 employees and serves more than 19,000 members.
"We have eliminated several positions as part of our agreement with the NCUA to streamline operational costs, and eliminate excess spending, while focusing on capital restoration," Duffett said.
Duffett said Sperry's priorities are to successfully implement its net worth restoration plan, reduce operating expenses, and improve and deepen member relationships. The credit union has created a new position, member service manager, to aid with service efforts. Marketing will continue to be a key area for Sperry.
"The reduced budget will mean that we have to make the most of electronic marketing opportunities, which is a strength of ours. I believe that we are one of the few credit unions that employs a dedicated electronic marketing specialist," Duffett said.
Sperry does not anticipate any additional layoffs or terminations of full time employees, Duffett added. "However, in noting this, it is important to stress that we cannot always predict what will happen in the future."
The next steps for the company, Duffett said, will include a "disciplined adherence to the restoration plan short-term and a five-year plan to transform Sperry into a credit union with state-of-the-art products and technology and superior service that caters to members who define convenience as banking anywhere at any time."