Good Morning, my name is Mike Lord. I retired as President/CEO
of SECU in August 2021 after a 46-year career with the credit union. Prior to
serving as CEO, I was the CFO for 30 years and served in the branch network as
a branch manager and loan officer.
I want to thank Majority Leader Bell, Representative Howard and the other co-
sponsors of the bill for their efforts to improve the state-chartered credit
unions of North Carolina. I appreciate the opportunity to have my comments
heard in this forum and I will be brief.
Initially, I supported the idea of open fields of membership for our state-
chartered credit unions. I have come to change my mind after careful
reflection of the pros and cons of changes which are codified in HB 410.
I recommend that the bill be revised to incorporate restrictions on common
bonds and open fields of membership to protect state-chartered credit unions,
credit union members and the citizens of North Carolina
I offer four reasons for this request:
- Allowing unlimited national fields of membership will outsource capital that is currently re-invested in the people of North Carolina. Deposits attracted from North Carolinians will be redeployed in loans made in other states rather than staying in local North Carolina communities. This outflow of capital would harm North Carolinians.
- Allowing national fields of membership will export NC Jobs to other states. Because dollars previously invested in loans to NC instead become loans to citizens of other states, new facilities like call centers, loan processing centers, data centers and other administrative and staffing support would be outsourced to cities in other states to provide services and to promote disaster recovery over the geographic footprint of the credit union. The loss of the benefits of creating good jobs in NC communities through investments made by local institutions could be significant. National financial institutions commonly do this.
- The Governance and Local Control of NC credit unions could be transferred out of state. As the volume of NC deposits, assets and loans decline as a percentage of the total overall business of the credit union, the states that provide the funding would control the institution. California, New York and other large population centers would likely have considerable influence over time.
- Relocation of a credit union’s headquarters to another state would be increasingly likely, as member growth in other states could mandate a change in location. For over 100 years NC Credit Unions have been significant economic engines, which have benefited the State by providing North Carolinians billions of dollars of loans. These loans were funded by deposits raised from members in local NC communities. As an example, SECU has a physical branch in all 100 counties of North Carolina, a network of 1,100 ATMs, and many call centers scattered around the State. These investments created good jobs in communities across North Carolina.
The state statutes and state-charter have supported NC Credit Unions in their
efforts to serve members with convenient, fairly-priced products and services.
Please revise the common bond/field of membership portions of HB 410 to
allow this to continue. It is important to North Carolinians and to North
Thank you for the opportunity to provide these comments.