LGFCU members have been "shell shocked" by the "not better, just different" changes proposed by the new leadership at the Local Government Federal Credit Union.
Yet another letter arrived in the mail** from the leadership at LGFCU, evidently sent to all members. Here take a look [or at LGFCU website..."Update Independence Summits"]:
March 21, 2023
Dear Credit Union members,
First and foremost, thank you to those of you who attended our Independence Summits and shared your stories and great ideas for the future. 1 Over 275 people gathered with us in Raleigh, Wilmington, Greenville, Asheville and Hickory to learn together and help co-create our Credit Union of the future. A credit union that is not last, not second, but first in service to the North Carolina local government community.
We used a process called Appreciative Inquiry that focuses on learning from the best of the past and then imagining an even better future. Together we got to know each other, and 2 openly and honestly discussed Local Government Federal Credit Union’s journey to independence from State Employees’ Credit Union. As I said at the summits, “We are not running away from SECU, but are running toward our members.” This means that your ideas and input are and will always be important to us.
New products, new ideas
3 Summit participants expressed excitement and welcomed information about new products coming this year to Civic, our digital Credit Union. These include mortgages, Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Individual Retirement Accounts. Participants’ excitement led them to volunteer to help us create the best HSA product, made especially for our members!
We also shared with participants our 4 plan to expand our statewide field teams for more face-to-face customer service and community support, and our plan to broaden our Experience Center to offer 24/7 online support. While the services are automated, our staff can be with you all the way by helping you complete documents and 4 meeting with you face-to-face online.
Participants expressed appreciation for these new products and services, and for new online banking options — 3 options some members have today — by using the digital platforms we’ve created for Civic. Independence is all about finding new ways to meet your needs, now and in the future.
Building the future, together
In collaboration with LGFCU executives and staff, participants shared their ideas on several challenging issues key to our success: the handling of cash deposits, improving broadband access in rural areas, and providing education for members on using digital services. We have teams working to create solutions to each of these challenges.
5 As we head toward our March 2024 goal for independence, your input is helping to make the difference. Continue to share your thoughts and be part of designing the dynamic future of our Credit Union. We are listening.
Here's what's next
Follow our progress and post your ideas and questions on our Independence webpage. Thank you for being a part of this exciting time at our Credit Union. I hope you’ll join our live stream of the 2023 LGFCU Annual Meeting on March 24, for more on what’s happening at LGFCU.
The best is yet to come,
Chief Executive Officer
👉Above all else, it is unfortunate to note that in no direct communication with the LGFCU membership has the LGFCU leadership directly told members that they will lose access to the SECU branch network in less than 12 months. No mention in this letter, no mention in the "Welcome to LGFCU" new member letter, no mention in monthly statements, no "important notice" to new folks joining in local branches. Why the reluctance to fully advise LGFCU members now? Is it that we all know what will happen (and has already started!) to LGFCU when members are fully made aware? This is a sad situation...
1) 275 members - (many were LGFCU/SECU staff) is not exactly a statistically sound survey of 400,000 LGFCU members. Most importantly, this letter makes no mention at all of the substantial "push back" from members at these meetings. No where will you hear those voices in these narratives. There has never been a call for "independence" (simply silly - see #2 below) from the member-owners of LGFCU; the quest for "independence" is a false illusion. Worse, the "no branch solution" is an outright delusion, detrimental to the best interests of LGFCU members. Every honest observer agrees the "journey to independence" is a mistake of the first order. The question is why is this obvious mistake being made, what is the cause ?
2) "Journey to independence" - This is a false representation of the facts. LGFCU is - and has always been - a separate, independent organization. Independent charter, independent Board, independent rate setting, independent advisory boards, numerous independent activities and services, such as CIVIC FCU, LGFCU Foundation, advisory services, business lending, and many more. A complete fiction, which misinforms and misleads LGFCU members about the real reasons behind this change. What's really going on? What's up? Why now?
3) New products - listed products and services are all already available to LGFCU members - nothing new under this shell. As is belatedly admitted - sort of - in the statement: "...options some [all] members have today...". Why the shell game?
4) "Face to face customer service" - Sounds good! Gives the impression that the good old "warm and fuzzy" LGFCU members appreciate in the branches will continue. But then you hit the truth : "... face to face online". Kissing a mirror isn't exactly the same as "face to face", is it?
5) "Continue to share your thoughts" - But maybe not too much: "Do members have a voice in the separation?" "While we welcome member feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org, no official member vote will be taken."
Chairman Chris "Mr. No Formal" Ayers and the SECU Board triggered this increasingly difficult dilemma for the 400,000 LGFCU members ...the folks and their families in your community who provide vital municipal and county services - many of them your neighbors, family, and friends.
Reasonable, right, and fair? Shell no...
..."this may end up getting really messy". (Already is!)
* For the Record: Yep I'm a member of LGFCU, CIVIC FCU too!