OSCUI Helped Small Utah CU Survive, Thrive
Regarding the letter from Stuart Perlitsh (“Questioning Cost of Small Credit Union Initiatives,” CU Times, April 16, 2014) I respectfully submit that we are one of the small credit unions that has benefitted directly from the involvement of the Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives at the NCUA. When I took over as CEO just over five years ago, our credit union was going south and fast. At one point, our capital got as low as 4%.
After working with the OSCUI directly (they sent an economic development specialist to us), we were able to get some good direction in moving back towards profitability. They helped write a Net Worth Restoration Plan, they helped us receive the Low Income Credit Union designation (state-chartered so it was not handed to us by the NCUA at that time), and they helped provide some additional important training that helped us in our progression back to profitability.
We have also received a few grants from their office that have been very providential for our operation.
I think, as a small credit union, I need all of the help I can get in this fast-paced, changing regulatory environment. The OSCUI has been a great tool for us and I hope their programs expand even more. I would hope that larger credit unions would recognize the value of the OSCUI and especially of small credit unions (and work towards our survival), because I believe that as soon as all the small credit unions are gone, there will be no more reason for bankers to hold back in their fight to tax credit unions; at that point, all the larger credit unions will look and act just like banks.
As for me and my credit union, we are fighters with improved profitability and a capital ratio well above 7% (without secondary capital). We are not going away anytime soon, thanks to some good direction from the OSCUI.
Provo Postal Credit Union