The $1.6 billion Apple Federal Credit Union may be hinting at conversion prospects but that has not stopped the Virginia Credit Union League from urging the suburban D.C. CU to reconsider its departure from the league and CUNA.
In a weekend statement, the president/CEO of the league, Rick Pillow, expressed disappointment at the decision of the Fairfax, Va. CU to quit the trade groups.
“Obviously, any disaffiliation is a loss to the League, but this particular disaffiliation is especially painful,” said Pillow. “I count Larry Kelly as a good friend and I appreciate the tremendous support he and Apple provided to the Virginia League for so many years.”
Pillow was making reference to Kelly, the president CEO of Apple who last week criticized CUNA/league advocacy efforts as he also questioned the value of the CU charter at a time of heightened regulatory burdens.
“Few credit unions have done more in the area of financial education,” said Pillow noting that “Apple has played a key leadership role in helping build the Virginia League's nationally recognized financial education program.”
Moreover, “Apple staff and board members have served on a number of League committees over the years and in leadership roles for our Northern Virginia Chapter and our shared branching network. They've also been a champion for us in our advocacy and legislative work,” said Pillow.
“We will sorely miss Apple's contributions to the success of the credit union system here in the commonwealth. The simple truth is that we're stronger as a unified movement, and my hope is that Apple will re-visit the issue of affiliation in the near future,” he concluded.
CUNA, meanwhile, issued this statement: “CUNA is also disappointed whenever a credit union disaffiliates. Like the Virginia league, we believe that unity is critically important to the strength of the credit union movement. Our goal is always to work out any differences from within, and CUNA leadership had reached out to Apple FCU in that regard. We regret that those discussions did not alter Apple FCU’s course, but our hope is that the credit union will decide to re-affiliate in the future.”
The Apple exit from the league comes as top Virginia CEOs have been convening across the state this month in town hall meetings as part of long-term strategy sessions looking at the chapter and dues structure and considering future relocation of its headquarters from Lynchburg to Richmond, the state capital.
On a positive note, the league said this week two CUs have re-affiliated after being out of the organization for some time. They include an $80 million CU and a $2 million. Neither was identified until paperwork is completed.