Against a backdrop of fast-moving developments on the corporate front, CUNA said its task force, the Corporate CU Next Steps Working Group will meet with top NCUA aides Friday to discuss the capitalization process and provider services.
CUNA stressed again that its goal is to ensure CUs are able to manage “and find new providers without service interruption.” The 16-member task force will be pressing the agency to see what steps are being taken toward that end, CUNA said.
The task force is headed up by Terry West, CEO of the $4.2 billion VyStar Credit Union in Jacksonville, Fla.
The CUNA move comes as anxious state leagues try to help their CU members, particularly small ones, decide on their investments in existing and possible new corporates as NCUA deadlines approach in September and October.
In a statement, CUNA said the task force and members of its senior staff would be meeting with Larry Fazio, director of examination and insurance, and Scott Hunt, director of the office of corporate CUs, “to emphasize that as individual corporates announce their plans about recapitalization, NCUA does all it can to ensure natural person CUs have as many viable options as practicable for payment and settlement services.”
The Friday NCUA meeting comes amid corporate mergers and recap announcements by healthy entities as well as heightened competition by outside providers seeking to pick up processing, settlement and funding accounts once held by the corporates.
“This is a troubled, wounded industry,” declared Bill Hampel, CUNA’s chief economist. He stressed, however, that many corporates are functioning “quite nicely.”
Still, the investment and financial missteps that have befallen some of the biggest corporates dating from NCUA’s U.S. Central/WesCorp seizures of 2009 have greatly altered the competitive climate, Hampel said.
“Yes, we’ve known about the large banks” that are out peddling processing services to CUs, added Mary Dunn, CUNA’s deputy general counsel, stressing that the provider choice is left up to individual CUs and their boards.
Hampel and Dunn are the CUNA staffers heading up the trade group’s work with its industry panel.
Apart from Fifth Third Bank of Cincinnati, which made its intentions known last year of soliciting CUs, San Francisco's Wells Fargo Bank and Commerce Bank of Kansas City have both been actively calling on CUs lately.
“I know it’s a bank we’re talking about but some of those services offered by Wells Fargo are worth looking into,” said Ronald Burniske, president/CEO of the $1.8 billion Chartway FCU of Virginia Beach.