The beleaguered Municipal Credit Union said Tuesday it has completed postings of all direct deposits and ACH payments scheduled for last week, which were delayed because of Hurricane Sandy.
Since last week, the $1.8 billion, New York-based credit union has come under fire from dozens of MCU members for failing to credit direct deposit checks to members’ accounts, no phone customer services, inoperable ATMs and problems with online banking.
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The direct deposit issue that lasted for nearly a week affected more than 14,000 members, including many who complained that they were without cash they needed for the superstorm’s aftermath or enough money in their accounts to pay bills.
Members reading stories about MCU’s troubles on Credit Union Times website have posted more than 60 complaints and comments.
Even though members began receiving their direct deposits Monday morning, some said they were still leaving the credit union.
“Want to let you know, as of 9 am, in NYC, on Nov. 5, my direct deposit for my pension has been posted. Good luck to all and stay safe. I am out of MCU,” wrote Denise in the comments section of the Nov. 2 Credit Union Times article.
Another MCU member, Natasha Godby of Staten Island, said she has more than one direct deposit account with MCU and in an email to Credit Union Times, said, “I will keep MCU, but I will open another account elsewhere. I learned from this ordeal that I shouldn't have all my direct deposits going to one bank.
MCU said Tuesday it was emailing a letter from Kam Wong, president/CEO, to its 340,000 members. The letter also is scheduled to be published in full-page ads Wednesday in the New York Post, the New York Daily News, Newsday and the Staten Island Advance.
“We completed posting all direct deposits and ACH payments scheduled for last week that were delayed due to the storm,” wrote Wong. “This does not include the few payrolls that were not delivered to MCU prior to the storm. We have contacted those city agencies to obtain the payroll information and will post those deposits to member accounts as soon as we receive it. If your checking account was charged a non-sufficient fund (NSF) fee or late fee due to delayed postings, MCU is waiving those fees. If you have any questions regarding these fees, or for any other account inquiries you may have, please call our Contact Center at 212-693-4900.”
In the letter, Wong also writes that MCU’s contact center and “touch tone teller” system is operating with exception of those locations at worksites that are still closed due to the storm damage and power outages.
“The storm created many challenges for MCU and our employees as well. We started the new week back to business and better able to help our members recover from the storm,” wrote Wong. “MCU was able to open almost all of its branches for normal business hours. We were even able to open our Staten Island branch, which is important to many of our members hit hardest by the storm. Our Coney Island and Oceanside branches remain closed due to power outages and extensive storm damage, and we will keep you informed as to when these two locations will be able to reopen.”
MCU’s situation is notable in part because of its size but also because the credit union was one of those especially hard hit by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack, which significantly impacted the credit union's headquarters.
The credit union at the time also allowed members to overdraw their accounts via ATM withdrawals. The vast majority of the credit union's members who did so made good their overdrafts, but Municipal wound up prosecuting a few members who had refused to make up their imbalances and the credit union has faced questions about its emergency preparedness.