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An article on page 13 in the July 25th issue of Credit Union Times regarding an NCUA instigated emergency credit union merger is, in our collective opinion, very misleading. We feel it does not accurately reflect the NCUA bidding process that was used. A number of credit unions including ours were approached by NCUA to submit a proposal if we were interested in acquiring the failed credit union. We were informed by NCUA that the proposals should explain why one of our credit unions would be best suited to continue to serve the members of the merging Metro Community Credit Union-without imposing a financial loss on NCUA. Some facts included in the article regarding the successful bidder, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, were not accurate. For example, Affinity Plus FCU is not rated third among credit unions in their peer group in “total return to members.” In fact, Affinity Plus FCU is not even in the top twenty-five, where the other contending credit unions at least had a presence. Collectively, we also disagree with Affinity Plus FCU’s claim that it was selected over the other credit unions in the bidding process because of its financial soundness and/or expertise in lending. When reviewing the financials of the contending credit unions, one will see that all have higher equity and as much if not more expertise in lending experience than does Affinity Plus FCU. After making the decision in favor of Affinity Plus, NCUA stated that one of the criteria they used in making the decision was a “merger” bonus dividend Affinity Plus FCU agreed to pay to the members of the merging credit union. This after-the-fact information would cause one to ask, what is truly in the best interest of the members of a merging credit union? Is it a small token of a one-time “bonus” of cash paid to each of the members, or is it the retention of the staff and offices and personal service with similarly priced products and services that the members have grown to expect from their credit union? Each of the other contending credit unions committed to maintaining the merging credit union’s office presence and staff, which truly preserved the credit union’s presence as the members knew it. Is that not what the philosophical roots, the preservation of the charter, and service to members all about? It should also be noted that City-County FCU, Brooklyn Center, MN, did not submit a proposal letter and was not a contender in the process as the article indicated. As the leading credit union publication in the industry, we believe it to be of utmost importance that Credit Union Times make every effort to verify the validity and accuracy of direct quotations and supposedly factual data submitted to it before going to press. Russ Plunket President/CEO St Paul Postal FCU Bill Raker President/CEO US Federal CU James Seifert President/CEO Hiway FCU

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