<p>By PAUL GENTILE CU Times Editor SAN DIMAS, Calif. – WesCorp's proposed consolidation offer with PacCorp, a story broken by Credit Union Times in its Nov. 28 issue, was addressed by WesCorp President/CEO Dick Johnson in WesCorp's Dec. 2001 newsletter, Words from WesCorp. In the piece, entitled "What price loyalty?" Johnson says loyalty is a wonderful thing, but not at any price. "Hawaiians have great loyalty to PacCorp, as they should, but not at any price. In duplicating infrastructure that already exists, we are spending credit union money, which seems wasteful. We would prefer to return that money to our members. Our proposal to PacCorp was intended to give Hawaii credit unions the best of both worlds: PacCorp's local presence and our economies of scale in a cooperative arrangement." Johnson's reference to "duplicating infrastructure" is referring to WesCorp's plans to open a business development office in Honolulu early next year with potentially more physical presence additions in the state in the future. Johnson said WesCorp is doing this because Hawaii CUs have told WesCorp they would like to see it develop a local presence. Interestingly, this is Johnson's third written correspondence on the issue. He previously wrote two letters to Hawaii CU CEOs about the consolidation. PacCorp has taken to written communication itself. In its October 2001 newsletter, PacCorp President/CEO Rand Yamasaki used his "President's Message" section to address one of Johnson's letters. In this latest piece Johnson said WesCorp is unfairly criticized as catering to large credit unions, and ignoring small CUs. He notes that of its 950 member CUs, over half have less than $50 million in assets and almost a third have less than $10 million "We are not too large to care. We provide consistent, personal service to all our member credit unions, no matter what their size or location," he stated. Johnson addressed another criticism he's heard of WesCorp – that it's attempting to be a virtual PacMan of other corporates. "In response to criticism that WesCorp is a `big bad wolf' trying to gobble up smaller corporates, I want to make it clear that we don't actively seek merger opportunities. But, driven by loyalty, we must respond to members' requests. We believe credit unions deserve a strong partner, and we will continue to seek ways to add value," said Johnson. PacCorp leadership has maintained that the corporate is doing well, and it's important for it to remain an independent provider to Hawaii CUs. [email protected]</p>

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