San Francisco's deeply troubled Mission SF FCU, which embarked on an unusual fundraising campaign to keep it from collapsing, said Wednesday it may opt for a merger after all if it is unable to raise $200,000 by March 15 or perhaps sooner.
So far the $6.7 million community development CU, which serves a low income Latino member base suffering the economic malaise, said NCUA has already given it several waivers to raise the capital funds with $40,000 collected so far from a group of California and New York CUs. .
"NCUA has extended the deadline and we are grateful for that," said Margaret Libby, a director of Mission and head of a CU-managed financial service agency counseling its members.
Mission began soliciting donations from industry groups in December with several large CUs contributing increments as high as $8,500. However, the Mission venture has also come in for criticism from some California CEOs charging that a CU with ill-founded lending policies should not be rewarded.
In a statement issued Monday by the California/Nevada Credit Union League as a service to the CU under the headline CU needs "an angel," Mission acknowledged it is "appealing for help to avoid a merger" and that it is one of two independent CDCUs remaining in California serving a predominately Latino community.
Mission, said the release, "was hit hard by the economic downturn and it must raise $200,000 with half of that due Feb. 15, and the second $100,000 is due March 15."
In forestalling a merger, Mission SF said it seeks "to offer the vital and unique services it has provided to its members and the community for over 40 years."
Libby said the $40,000 raised to date emanates from about a dozen both large and small CUs with some contributions from small CUs in the $500 range. Any contributions raised now can be added to a $20,000 request being submitted by Mission to NCUA for secondary capital which can be advanced to the initial $100,000 goal for Feb.15, she said.