The burden of trade association dues during a rough economy plus internal policy disputes apparently figure in two more disaffiliations disclosed this week. by two Albuquerque credit unions.
Credit Union Association of New Mexico and CUNA confirmed that the $1 billion New Mexico Educators CU and the $570 Kirtland FCU, have resigned their memberships in each association.
Officials of CUANM downplayed the departures as “no big deal” but expressed puzzlement and frustration as the reasoning for the exits “coming at a time when their support is so vitally needed.”
In January, the $1.6 billion Texas Dow Employees CU of Lake Jackson said it was quitting CUNA and the Texas Credit Union League citing a list of complaints over lobbying, volunteer and policy concerns it had with leadership of the trade groups. Efforts have continued since then to return Texas Dow back as a member.
Mark Wolff, senior vice president-communications for CUNA, said the national trade group would seek also to re-affiliate the two New Mexico CUs “with the goal of addressing their concerns.”
Sylvia Lyon, president/CEO of CUANM, said the president/CEO of NMECU, Terry Laudick, had sent her a terse, “two-sentence” e-mail two weeks ago citing simply “economic reasons.”
“I’ve yet to get a response,” said Lyon expressing deep regret at the NMECU move. Laudick was not immediately available for comment Friday.
The leadership of Kirtland, she said, had previously expressed grievances on a number of topics relating to the CUNA stance on member business lending and alternative capital. “We understand,” she said, the concerns CUs have about costs associated with trade membership but still “there’s never been a time when cooperation and a united industry are more important.”
Lyon said she also had been in contact with David Seely, president/CEO of Kirtland and the CU chairman who has long been vocal about CUNA practices. TheKirtland exit now “is “very disappointing,” she said.
The resignations, she said, “represent 1% of our dues and will not hurt us,” or the organization’s viability.
The CUANM leadership, she said, had previously discussed the idea of joining the regional league co-op being formed as the Mountain West Credit Union Association combining the Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming leagues but that idea was rejected. “We’ll never say never but for now we don’t see the need,” said Lyon. Beside, CUNAM “wants to see how it will work” before making any commitments.