Opponents of Proposed Technology CU Bank Conversion Combine Efforts
Members opposed to the proposed conversion of the 69,000-member Technology Credit Union from a credit union to bank charter have formed a group to better organize their efforts.
Carlos Rodriguez, a member who has already launched a page on Facebook to publicize his opposition to the conversion and build support for its defeat, revealed the existence of the group, dubbed Save TCU, in a letter to other Technology Credit Union members that NCUA regulations say the San Jose, Calif., credit union will have to email to other members who are eligible to vote on the conversion.
Rodriquez said he and another member, Robert Marinace, working independently, launched different aspects of the group but then consolidated their efforts on July 14. The group now has fewer than 10 members, but has been growing steadily as word spreads, Rodriguez explained.
“Over the course of the last 50-plus years, Tech CU has become a $1.6 billion institution and has attained a 9.99% net worth ratio,” Rodriguez wrote in the letter. “These numbers are good, really good, but the current Executive Team (all former bankers) and Board of Directors can’t take full credit for this. It’s taken over five decades to get us where we are.
“Nonetheless, Tech CU’s officers and the Board want to take our money, the money that members have saved and borrowed since 1960, and use it to build a bank. Building a bank from scratch is hard. Building a bank with a $1.6 billion head start is much easier,” the letter said.
“If the conversion passes, the bankers already have stated that there would be a peer compensation review. Additionally, since over 80% of credit unions that convert to mutual savings banks eventually issue stock, the officers and directors would profit by obtaining stock in excess of that available to other credit union members.”
Tech CU officials have not responded to requests for comment on the efforts to oppose its conversion plans.