After he read the recent statements issued by NCUA, Dave Chatfield said there is just one conclusion: the regulator intends to block mergers of Tier One corporates.
"That is unfortunate," said Chatfield, who serves as chair of the Corporate Realignment Task Force, which is chiefly concerned with the future of Western Bridge.
Chatfield made clear that in these statements he is speaking independently and not on behalf of the Task Force.
Chatfield also indicated that a back-story to the NCUA statements is that discussions had proceeded very far towards putting forth the idea of a merger of Western Bridge and Members United. That would have been "a very robust corporate, well able to compete against banks in providing settlement services," said Chatfield. "This is what many members wanted."
But that possibility presently seems highly unlikely, he said. "The NCUA has the final say. We can try to reason with them but they have the hammer."
Chatfield elaborated that the Task Force now is putting together a Plan B scenario for the future of Western Bridge. "The Task Force now will issue recommendations by the end of the month."
He did not offer insights into what a reconstituted Western Bridge would look like.