Speaking out on the two most recent disaffiliations from CUNA, the chairman of the Credit Union Association of New Mexico appealed anew for industry unity Tuesday, calling the CU exits “simply crazy when you consider the fast-moving events we are dealing with in Washington.”
Commenting on the trade group departure this month by two large Albuquerque CUs, the $1 billion New Mexico Educators CU and the $570 million Kirtland FCU, William Jacobs, the elected head of CUANM, said he was profoundly puzzled at the resignations, adding, “I just don’t understand the logic” when much is at stake on corporates, industry image, interchange, business lending and more.
The two CUs have been mostly mum on their reasons except to hint at disputes over MBLs, secondary capital and unspecified political gripes with CUNA leadership.
David Seely, president/CEO of Kirtland, told Credit Union Times he would have “no comment” on his disaffiliation and questioned, “Why is this news? If I resign from the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, is that news?”
Like other CUANM leaders, Jacobs, who is also president/CEO of White Sands FCU of Las Cruces, expressed dismay and “frustration” at the disaffiliations but stressed the league would in name still be representing the two departed CUs before public bodies even though both would not be paying dues.
He said the confluence of so many key industry issues have meant “we have spent more time in Washington than we ever have in the last 10 years.”
He said both of the departing CUs are healthy “and making money” so the question of dues appears not to have figured in their quitting CUNA and the CUANM.
In a letter sent last week to the CUANM membership and made public, Jacobs vowed that the departures, while “troubling,” would not affect the ongoing business and lobbying operations in Santa Fe or Washington.
“Credit unions have always had a very strong voice in Washington and Santa Fe because of the sheer numbers we represent,” wrote Jacobs. The CUANM mission of political advocacy will not change and “we will continue to represent the industry whether you are a dues-paying member or not,” he concluded.