WesCorp Losses Far Outpace Other Corporates
According to legacy asset loss estimates provided to Credit Union Times by the NCUA, investments made by Western Corporate FCU are generating far more losses than those that were made at other failed corporates.
As of year-end 2012, WesCorp’s estimated losses were $5.73 billion, representing 84.4% of the nearly $6.8 billion in total estimated legacy asset losses. However, according to a chart provided by the NCUA, the corporate formerly located in San Dimas, Calif. contributed just 39% of total legacy assets.
That’s in stark contrast to the four other corporates that had their investments seized by the NCUA and used as underlying assets for more than $17 billion worth of NCUA guaranteed notes issued in 2011.
U.S. Central FCU’s assets show the most dramatic loss discrepancy. The former Kansas City-based corporate’s $625 million worth of estimated losses as of year-end 2012 make up just 9.2% of total estimates losses. However, U.S. Central assets represent 43% of all legacy assets.
Both Members United FCU and Southwest Corporate FCU legacy assets also contribute fewer losses compared to the size of their portfolios. As of 2012 year-end, Members United legacy assets were estimated to produce $214 million in losses, which represents 3.15% of total losses. The corporate’s legacy assets represent 9% of the total. Southwest Corporate posted $149 million in estimated losses as of Dec. 31, 2012, for 2.2% of total losses. The Plano, Texas-based former corporate contributed 8% of total legacy assets.
Only the former Constitution Corporate FCU’s legacy asset losses are on par with the size of its portfolio. The failed corporate, once headquartered in Wallingford, Conn., had $72 million in estimated losses at 2012 year end, a bit under 1% compared to the total. According to the NCUA, Constitution’s assets make up approximately 1% of the total legacy asset portfolio.
Following a twice-annual review, the NCUA reported in March that the highest estimated loss amount declined by $900 million due to improvements in legacy asset performance. Although the NCUA reported improvements for each corporate’s legacy assets, WesCorp’s portfolio improved far less than others.
Between year-end 2011 and year-end 2012, WesCorp’s estimated losses dropped by $216 million, representing a 3.6% reduction. In comparison, U.S. Central’s estimated losses decreased by 31% during the same period, dropping from $906 million to $625 million.
From 2011 to 2012, Members United saw a 28% decrease in estimated losses, Southwest Corporate’s estimated losses decreased by nearly 37%, and Constitution Corporate’s legacy assets saw a 22.6% decrease in estimated losses.
Federally insured credit unions will pay between $1.6 billion to $3.9 billion in remaining corporate assessments and have paid $4.1 billion toward corporate stabilization costs since 2009. The NCUA has estimated the 2013 corporate assessment will be between 8 and 11 basis points. The exact number is expected to be revealed during a month board meeting sometime this summer.
The improved estimated loss figures could revive the debate over whether some corporates–in particular, Southwest Corp and Members United–needed to be seized. Former volunteers from the two corporates, who asked not to be identified, said they still question whether the wholesale credit unions could have recovered if allowed to hold their portfolios to maturity. Chip Filson, Callahan & Associates chairman, has long questioned the need to seize the two, saying in a 2012 report that they were “solvent with positive equity,” and monthly financial reports “showed improving financial conditions both in terms of operating results and market valuations of securities up to the date of the NCUA takeover.” Filson was unable to speak with Credit Union Times by deadline.
As of June 30, 2010, Southwest Corporate reported on its 5300 report it had $86 million worth of capital consisting of $107 million in membership capital accounts minus a $20 million retained deficit. However, it also reported more than $825 million in unrealized losses on its investments, during a time when the mortgage backed securities market was still reeling from its severe market dislocation when prices plummeted in late 2008.
During that same period, Members United’s 5300 report showed $23 million in capital, consisting of $13.6 million worth of membership capital accounts and nearly $10 million in retained earnings. However, like at Southwest Corporate, Members United also reported more than $875 million in unrealized losses. Shortly before its conservatorship, Members United reported in August 2010 that it had recovered to nearly $30 million in capital, which includes $14.5 million in member capital accounts and $15 million in retained earnings.
The two were successfully recapitalized, and today generate above-budget incomes and have already met NCUA capital requirements that will be effective in October.
As of March 31, Catalyst FCU–formerly Southwest Corp–reported a year-to-date net income of $1.9 million, compared to the $1.25 budgeted. The $3.2 billion corporate also reported a 0.85% retained earnings ratio, well above the 0.45% required of all corporates by October of this year.
The $1.35 billion Alloya Corporate, formerly Members United, reported a $335,000 net income for January 2013, its most recent financial report posted online, and a retained earnings ratio of 1.7%.
However, the new versions of both corporates have benefitted from consolidation. After a 2011 merger with Georgia Corporate FCU, Catalyst also acquired the assets of WesCorp’s bridge remains in 2012 and also purchased and assumed the Phoenix-based First Corporate CU. Alloya completed its merger with the $1.4 billion Central Corporate CU April 30. And, both corporates have been able to build their retained earnings coffers without the burden of their non-performing legacy assets.