The campaign to save the deeply troubled Mission SF FCU of San Francisco entered a critical stage this week with at least one Bay Area CU, the $73 million Self-Help of Oakland, identified as a prospective merger partner.
At the same time, other California CUs were fretting about the negative image given to the unusual fundraising campaign started in December to raise more than $200,000 in capital funds to prevent the $6.7 Mission from failing or being merged by the NCUA.
"It's fair to say that we strongly disagree with how this campaign is being conducted since it is bringing undue attention on all of us," said Steven Stapp, president/CEO of the $777 million San Francisco FCU, which for a time was singled out also as a potential partner of Mission.
"We are a healthy, well-capitalized credit union not under that kind of financial strain, and we already serve this part of the city," said Stapp in turning aside any interest now in making a bid for Mission, which suffered large losses last year on real estate loans
A spokesman for Self Help declined comment though officials of Mission, a community development CU, said the Oakland CU had been approached about merger possibilities. An NCUA meeting was scheduled for later this week to resolve Mission's status, with the CU under the gun about its deteriorating financial condition as it strives to serve a low-income migrant community in the city's Mission district.
Stapp of San Francisco FCU said his CU has been getting queries from members "thinking we're in the same boat," a point which SFFCU staff has sought to dispel. Newspaper articles on Mission's status appeared over the weekend with an April 30 deadline cited as the date for resolution of Mission. Stapp, whose CU already has $20 million of loans in the city's Mission district, said San Francisco FCU was one of perhaps a dozen CUs in California and New York which extended funds to prop up Mission. Mission, which has been on an NCUA watch list since last fall, lost $234,000 in the first nine months and has had one of the higher delinquency rates among California CUs.