Conversion Considered, Apple FCU to Leave CUNA
The 144,000-member, $1.6 billion Apple Federal Credit Union, Fairfax, Va., has become the first large credit union to leave CUNA this year. Three other large CUs, two from New Mexico and one from Texas, left the trade group last year.
At press time, CUNA had not commented on the departure, but Apple CEO Larry Kelly said the CU's board had made the decision after concluding the trade group was no longer a very effective advocate.
Kelly acknowledged that the NCUA's regulatory stance was more relaxed under former NCUA Board Chairman Dennis Dollar, but he credited Dollar's background with credit unions more for that than any CUNA advocacy or lobbying at the time. He also suggested it was poor NCUA enforcement of existing rules, rather than a lack of regulations, that led to the collapse of corporate credit unions and other scandals.
Kelly recounted a trip he made to a Florida county last year, where the NCUA now owns over 2,000 homes, and said he had been stunned by what he saw. “What could they have been thinking in making these investments,” Kelly asked, “and how could NCUA have not questioned them?”