ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – This was the end of ambiguity regarding NCUA’s opposition to a possible merger of Tier 1 corporate credit unions. At the New Jersey Credit Union Reality Check conference NCUA Scott Hunt, director of the office of corporate credit unions, said on a panel about the future of corporates that it absolutely was not going to happen.
Under persistent questioning, Hunt said, “To allow a Tier 1 merger to happen we would run afoul of our duties. Our board has categorically said no. We would in effect be building the biggest competitor within the corporate system and we will not do that. The NCUA will not build a bigger corporate when they [the bridges] are under our control.”
As to whether bridges that successfully transitioned into independent status might be given NCUA’s blessing for a merger, Hunt was less definitive. But he did not appear to rule that out.
The other point of note Hunt made during the panel was that “NCUA has not expressed a position as to whether the credit union system needs a corporates network,” he said in response to a question. “However, I see value in such a system. Corporates can provide value. But every credit union needs to make its own decision. As for the bridges, we need to be prepared to liquidate them if there is not sufficient support from members.”
More details of the panel featuring CEOs from Members United Bridge, Corporate Central, Mid-Atlantic, and Corporate One as well as NCUA’s Hunt will be in the March 30 issue of Credit Union Times.