A followup interview with CEO Jim Blaine on State Employees’ Credit Union’s decision not to renew its membership with CUNA or the Carolinas Credit Union League has sparked some debate on Credit Union Times’ Facebook page.
The $27 billion SECU’s decision to disaffiliate stemmed in part from the dual membership requirement that requires CUNA membership to belong to affiliated state leagues.
David LeNoir Sr., member relations consultant at League of Southeastern Credit Unions, expressed his dismay that “at the very time credit unions need to rally and support one another, SECU takes the decision to withhold support of its state league.”
Reader Matthew Cropp wondered if “this is symptomatic of the logical end-point of the merger and consolidation trend that has been afoot since the professionalist faction won the share insurance fight in 1970.”
According to LeNoir, collaboration with, and not consumption of, smaller credit unions should be an option, and leagues can assist in supporting this relationship.
Cropp agreed in principle, commenting that “credit unions rooted in authentic community are the best exemplars of our movement's values. Unfortunately, though, it's going to take some MAJOR structural changes to remove the driving forces behind the tide of professionalization and consolidation, and the political will to counter that inertia does not seem to exist in anything close to a critical mass at the moment.”
Blaine also cited the ongoing trend of credit union mergers as a reason the CUNA and affiliated league business model needs to change.
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