I have been a credit union member for over 40 years.
My main concerns with HB 410 are three-fold. The first as described in sections 109.26 and 27 are open field of membership. This change would hurt smaller credit unions and even some community banks. Large credit unions would likely recruit many of the members and customers away from these local institutions potentially leaving them with no alternative but to close their doors.
Once this consolidation is complete several large credit unions would hold too much power over their members. They could for example increase loan rates and other fees and at that point the members would have few alternatives. Monopolies rarely end well for the little guy.
Additionally, adding corporations as members would seem to set a dangerous precedent. Again, consolidating power in the hands of a few large entities usually does not end well for the individual, especially those of modest means.
Secondly, some of the language in section 109.31 is of great concern. Currently members are the owners of their credit union. However, by giving too much power to Boards that may alter by-laws and change how member business is conducted and by giving more power to large corporate members the individual members stand to lose their voice in the operation of their own credit union. Having checks and balances protects everyone.
Lastly, one of the great things about current North Carolina credit unions is their investment in their communities and the state of North Carolina - keeping jobs and money in local communities. Section 109.82 would potentially allow credit unions to invest in securities anywhere in the world and export money and jobs out of the state. The current impact by credit unions on its members in North Carolina and on North Carolina jobs cannot be overstated and should not be overlooked.
Giving more power to the already powerful, and trusting they will do the right thing is asking too much based on past behaviors in similar circumstances - power corrupts all too often. I would respectfully ask that you protect the millions of credit union members in the state by voting against HB 410.
No,... THANK YOU!