The SECU membership - the owners of SECU and staff - appear bewildered by revelations of the wide array of missteps, unforced errors, and misinformation flowing out of the credit union. All members agree that "the exposure" is harmful to staff morale, member support, and the overall reputation of SECU. The current leadership seems to believe it is inappropriate to talk about the "problems" - be quiet and this will all blow over.
Unfortunately, problems like misinformation don't cure themselves, when the absence of forthrightness starts at the top. Let me give you an example with commercial lending at SECU - which, by the way, was one of the 6 good faith inquiries made in the resolution at last year's Annual Membership meeting.
Here's what the SECU Board said to members and staff about business/commercial services at SECU:
Is SECU pursuing commercial lending?
"1) Board members have formally discussed and expressed great interest in a modest business services offering for many years. SECU members from around the state, engaged in small business enterprises, continue to articulate a demand for small business services, particularly in rural areas with fewer and fewer alternative banking options. 2) We are continuing to evaluate how SECU could meet this specific need but have no interest in the mainstream commercial lending or deposit services currently serviced by banks."
✅ 1) Absolutely true. The issue of business/commercial services has been discussed for decades by many different SECU Boards and been found to be not in the best interest of the overall membership. That decision does not appear to have harmed the membership in anyway, nor impaired the growth and financial soundness of SECU over the last 85 years.
✅ 2) Take a look below and you decide if the #2 statement is true.
Since past SECU Boards had researched and rejected the issue of commercial lending at SECU, if you review past financial reports; you won't find any loans or investments for commercial purposes on the SECU financial statements. None, nada, not a one!
Until last year, here take a look [link to full report (pg 22) at SECU website]:
✅ At June 30, 2021 just prior to the arrival of the "New/New" at SECU, there were no "commercial mortgage backed securities" at SECU. A year later at 6/30/2022 , SECU had $1,605,789,371 - that's billion folks - in investments in commercial loans all around the U.S.
✅ $1.6 billion of SECU member deposits invested outside of North Carolina. Not exactly helping small businesses, ("and widows and orphans") in rural North Carolina - right?
✅ Does $1.6 billion invested in out-of-state commercial loans meet the definition of we "have no interest in the mainstream commercial lending" (see Board statement above). Most folks would say no.
✅ Did I mention that the selection and management of these commercial investments (and other investments for a total of @ $5 billion) was "outsourced" from SECU to an investment firm called ALM First ? Where have you heard that name before? Who has been recently appointed to their "advisory board"?
... simply incredible.
... 😒 have a great weekend.