In another tweak of Bank of America and now Wells Fargo for their latest forays into higher checking fees, the head of the $4.2 billion Bethpage Federal Credit Union over the weekend called the moves by the two megabanks another example of good news for credit unions.
Kirk Kordeleski, president/CEO of Long Island’s largest CU, also disputed the notion, often spread by banks themselves, that CUs are picking up the high-volume, low-balance accounts in a followup to Bank Transfer Day.
“We’re not in the numbers game but we are pleased that based on the results we received in the last quarter we are getting primary relationships and these are members who will be taking on those car loans, mortgages and everything else we have to offer,” Kordeleski said in citing the profit potential from Bethpage BTD promotions.
He said many of the largest banks experience higher cost per check expense than Bethpage but the new accounts streaming to the CU represent profitable sources of new income.
The New York CEO also said that economic conditions have helped. He said Bethpage FCU has seen a $125 million boost in assets in the first 10 weeks of 2012.
Asked about the recent HarborOne CU plan for a mutual conversion in Massachusetts and a hint by Apple FCU in Virginia about doing the same, Kordeleski discounted any kind of trend under way and said there have not been any major CU-to-bank switches in years.
“It’s more pent-up demand surfacing,” he said, defending the CU charter as a great business model that works for his CU.
The Bethpage CEO however, said he would not prejudge the rationale behind HarborOne’s plans to become a bank.
“(HarborOne President/CEO) Jim Blake is a smart guy” who made a decision based on his own market conditions, said Kordeleski. “I only know my community.”
He said a mutual structure is not in the cards for his credit union.