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I was saddened to see the comments (CU Times, Sept. 23) from a 30-year credit union veteran executive concerning too much energy being used to prop up small and weak credit unions. I do believe the NCUA should formulate a distinct plan as to how to merge credit unions that are struggling to survive more effectively, but the comments, if taken in context, are misguided. But let’s dispel the notion that it is the small credit unions that are the issue. If we look at credit unions of $100 million or less, we see there are 105 with capital ratios of less than 6% risking $1.9 billion dollars, but we just had one credit union in Florida of $1.7 billion folded into another credit union because it failed. Additionally, there are four more credit unions with a total of $7.6 billion dollars and capital ratios under 6%. So which puts the credit union movement at a greater risk? How much time and energy do you think the NCUA is spending on these four credit unions as well as the fact that there are eight more credit unions with capital ratios between 6%-7% amounting to another $40 billion at risk? How much time and energy has the NCUA spent on U.S. Central and WesCorp as well as the entire corporate system? We are in the midst of a struggle for the survival of a great cause. Having worked on the dark side for 20 years, I love the credit union movement and have no desire to see it going after itself. Let’s learn from the past, get off the blame game and find real solutions for our future and the credit union movement.

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Peter Westerman

Credit Union Times

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