Barely three years ago, an entire industry teetered on the brink of financial collapse as four corporate credit unions, US Central, Wescorp, Members United, and Southwest Corporate reported massive losses in their investment portfolios, losses that not only would eradicate their capital but threaten the uninsured shares and daily operations of thousands of member credit unions.
Due to the NCUA's unstated too big to fail policy, shares in corporates were guaranteed, and the four failures were put on business life support.
This incredible doomsday scenario unfolded as a result of misguided growth strategies and poor investment choices among a handful of corporate credit union leaders who sold their boards of directors on the idea that scaling up and staying big was the driver of long-term survival and success. Federally insured, natural person credit unions have been paying for this thinking ever since.
So imagine my horror when I read “Alloya, CenCorp Intend to Go Big,” [page 1, April 18 issue.] Really? Are certain corporate credit unions preparing to travel this narcissistic path again, and so soon after the last debacle? If so, it’s a combustible mix of amnesia and myopia that surely will ignite the next explosion.
Heaven help us.
Jane C. Melchionda