Friday, October 28, 2022

Member Message To SECU Board - Don't Crash the Plane!



Chairman Ayers and Members of the SECU Board of Directors:

It was a pleasure to attend our Annual Meeting with each of you, the SECU Advisory Board Members, and the SECU Staff.

I am the SECU member who made the following comments during the new business portion:

(1) I did not want to see SECU lose its excellent quality of personal customer service.
(2) I did not want SECU to end up like the Iconic Piedmont Airlines which was a NC home grown airline, known statewide and nationally for quality customer service and having a successful business model, until acquired by U.S. Airlines...

I was very disappointed to learn of the six actions taken by the SECU Board of Directors. It appears that these recommendations came solely from James Hayes and his Senior Executives. Perhaps they should have asked for input from the SVP's at the branch level and local Advisory Boards.

I believe we need to acknowledge the last 84 years of a very successful credit union which was built on solid financial principles.. This success and phenomenal growth was driven and achieved by prior SECU Boards, Senior Management Leaders, Branch SVP's, dedicated and efficient branch staff, and all supporting main office staff. I believe we can continue building on our strong foundation by making any necessary changes within the proven model of "people helping people".

Bennie Hudson
Proud Member NCSECU
35 years (Banking 8 - Credit Unions 27)
8 years volunteer NCSEC Advisory Board & Loan Review Committee 4 years USAF & Proud Vietnam Veteran


Thursday, October 27, 2022

SECU: There is A Difference - To Members It Can Be The Cat's Meow



To: The SECU Board of Directors

Dear Chairman Ayers,
Members know what SECU is all about..."people who really cared about me as a person."


 Why don't you and the SECU Board believe it?

Thursday, October 13, 2022

SECU Risk=based Lending #1

 To: the SECU Board of Directors

2684 Glen Forest Drive
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 27103-6507
336 529-7330
336 893-5164 (FAX)
October 13, 2022

Dear Chairman Ayers,
I have been a proud member of the State Employees Credit Union for well over 45 years.
I have served
on our local advisory board. I was one of the original members of the loan review committee and served
for its entire tenure. I had been honored to serve for six years on the SECU Foundation and I am again on
our local advisory committee. I am very concerned with what I heard at the close of Tuesday’s annual
meeting. Several issues were identified, which apparently are under discussion, and which I, and other
members at my table, were totally unaware. Our general consensus was “Wait! we are the State
Employees Credit Union”. Some of these issues seem to be so totally contrary to our culture
and philosophy that we were all in somewhat a state of shock.
I have been a strong advocate for our credit union. The reason is because in all of the meetings I’ve
attended on the SECU boards and committees, we have always highlighted the impact on our members.
Our first question and consideration has been “How does this affect our members?” Indeed, the fact
that for these many years we even had something called a “Loan Review Committee” demonstrated our
concerns that we were doing the right thing by our members and allowing other members to review the
decisions made by our loan officers and given them the authority to actually override those decisions.
Though this never happened in our committee, we made suggestions on behalf of the member that may
have given them the opportunity to obtain a loan. This was just one of the many practices of our SECU
proving our commitment to doing the right thing. It concerns me that a decision was made to disband
the LRC. With the LRC, every member had the opportunity to have their fellow members weigh in on
their application. To my knowledge, no financial institution in our state, provides this option. This was
another of the reasons why the SECU is better and more successful that other financial institutions.

It appears from Tuesday’s revelation that some of the items up for discussion are an attempt for us to
either increase our market share or to compete with commercial banks. One of our points of pride has
been that we are not like commercial banks; we are unique which puts us in a category unto itself. That
is why we have been identified by Forbes, for many years, as the best credit union in the state of North
Carolina, and why we are the second largest credit union in the United States of America! We have
always put our members first, and all members were equal. I will admit of those six issues that were
placed for consideration, the one which was most egregious to me was the introduction of Risk-Based
Lending. This policy clearly signifies that all our members are NOT equal, and that those members who
have the lowest credit scores and the weakest backgrounds will actually be charged more for their
loans! I u
nderstand that the practice of Risk-Based Lending was approved by the board earlier this year
but has yet to be implemented. In my opinion, this is NOT a good practice and I am appalled by this
decision. I feel strongly that a majority of our members would feel the same way IF we had been
informed prior to the decision! Wait...we are the State Employees Credit Union we are not like other
financial institution...we are better.
Also, attempts to acquire other credit unions and to have an open
membership policy would be viewed as competing with commercial banks.

During Tuesday’s meeting, we felt a strong sense of pride hearing the various reports of the soundness
and strength of our organization. Hearing about our growth over these 85 years our only response
was...WOW! So why are we even considering these changes?
As one member who has been a proud cheerleader for our State Employees Credit Union, I am
concerned that what makes us a clearly incredible organization could be lost in our effort to be....what?
Please discuss carefully any changes to our policies that could either negatively impact any group of our
members or would affect our strong standing in the financial community. Please reconsider some of the
decisions that the Board has made or is considering, and though we know the Board has the authority to
make to these decisions, possibly share the more significant changes with the members. We are the
State Employees Credit Union and we have always put our members first. Thank you.
Michael L. Clements
Michael L. Clements
Former member of the Local Advisory Board (late 1980’s)
Former Member of the SECU Board Search Committee
Former Member of the SECU Foundation
Former Member of the Loan Review Committee
Member of the SECU Stratford Road Advisory Committee

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

SECU Member Testimonals - Why "There Is A Difference" At SECU

 To: SECU Board of Directors

Dear Chairman Ayers,

Hey found this on your own SECU website. Perhaps you and the SECU Board should watch it... and listen to the members!


 The SECU 75th Anniversary video[link]

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

2022 SECU Annual Meeting: How it All Got Started

A Resolution to the Board of Directors of State Employees Credit Union
Annual Membership Meeting
October 11, 2022

State Employees Credit Union is a not-for-profit cooperative created in 1937 to serve the financial needs of North Carolina state employees, public school employees and their families. Each member-owner of the Credit Union is entitled to one vote - an equal voice - in determining the operation and governance of their cooperative.

Over the last 85 years, SECU has been faithful to its founding principles in seeking to provide the highest quality of financial services - on a fair and equitable basis - at the lowest possible cost to all members in North Carolina. The results of those efforts have been remarkable. SECU is now the second largest credit union in the United States with over 2.6 million members and assets topping $50 billion.

The members are served locally through 275 SECU branch offices – with at least one branch in every North Carolina County. In both urban and rural settings, SECU has been committed to providing a full array of services – loans, savings, investments, insurance, tax preparation, financial counseling – locally, on a personal basis, in each branch office. Additionally, the Credit Union owns and operates over 1200 Cashpoints ATMs providing surcharge-free, 7x24x365 day member convenience in almost every North Carolina crossroads community. Mobile and call center services give members full global, anytime-you-like access to their accounts.

Despite these extensive systems, SECU is efficient and enjoys one of the lowest costs of operations among all credit unions – large and small - nationwide.    

It is also worthwhile to note that SECU is and has always been operated on a safe, sound, socially responsible basis. The Credit Union has an unblemished record of unqualified CPA opinion audits and is soundly rated by both State and Federal regulators – and has never been fined for inappropriate practices. Over the entire 85-year history, SECU has always operated “in the black” and has experienced growth each and every year in both members and assets.

Growth, however, has never been the focus of SECU. Growth has come from exceptional service and convenience, highly competitive rates, minimal fees, and the firm, very vocal support of SECU’s member-owners. Independent surveys have consistently found a 98% member-approval rating for the policies and practices of their credit union. This year Forbes business magazine has, unsurprisingly, ranked SECU as the best credit union in North Carolina.

Most noteworthy, SECU enjoys a sterling reputation built upon high standards and the dedicated work of a committed staff, active volunteer advisory boards, and excellent leadership from the Board of Directors.

SECU employees have been charged with putting the members first in every financial interaction by the SECU mission statement: “Do the Right Thing”. The vision statement of SECU: “Send Us Your Mama” assures that each member will be served fairly and with exceptional care. SECU members are treated as if they owned the place, which they do!

All staff are salaried and receive neither monetary nor productivity incentives, which might influence their decision-making and adversely affect their fiduciary responsibility to each member. Integrity has always been the hallmark of the SECU employees. The staff are trusted and respected by the member-owners.