Monday, November 27, 2023

SECU - Members Look Forward to New 2024 SECU Strategic Plan... And Performance Results For 2023!

 😎 Holiday is over; we've gotta get back to work, but first...   

The SECU Board and CEO were super-pumped about their 2023 SECU Strategic Plan last year [link] - not sure why. But that CEO has departed, and the SECU Board is in the midst of change. It will be interesting to see and compare the new 2024 SECU Strategic plan with the results of the 2023 Strategic Plan. If you'd like a little head start, here's what the SECU Board planned to offer the membership in the 2023 Plan:

"Our goal is to provide an exceptional member experience and financial value through competitive products and convenient services. SECU members will benefit from this value through multiple offerings, such as:  

1) Below-market fees  

2) Lower credit card rates and fees  

3) New card offerings, including points and cash rewards with best-in-class features

4) 100% savings on services such as free notary 

5) Broad ATM network for convenient access   

6) At-market share savings rates"

✅... think it's fair to say that SECU has in the past had "below-market fees" and that the size of the Cashpoints ATM network actually shrank in 2023. Will let you be the judge on "the lower credit card rate/fees" and "best-in-class" features.

... and #6 is definitely a move backwards toward "industry standard". The SECU Board's goal is now "at market" rather than "above market". Haven't seemed to be able to achieve either one in 2023... 


  ... still laughing about #4, the "100% savings on free notary service ?!?". How does that work exactly? 

[Best I recollect, its always been free.] 


  1. CEO Brady, you are fiddling while Rome is burning. We’ve seen The Flip Flop, The Waffle, The Misdirection, The Kumbaya and The Fluff, where is the substance? A small example, you said shortly after being named CEO that MLOs were coming back to the branch yet here we are almost 5 months later and nothing. Rumor has it you actually work for Loan Administration, or are they refusing to implement your directive? Who’s the boss? Always loved a good fiddle player but the branches, your critical delivery channel, are dying right now which means the members are getting less than what they deserve. What are you going to DO besides play The Devil Went Down to Georgia?

    Not sure the credit union can stand another 11 months of directionless leadership and when there is occasionally some direction it’s in the WRONG direction. We are all watching SECU disintegrate before our eyes.

    On another note, Rex Spivey is one of the nicest people you will ever meet - period. Great guy, morals, ethics, the whole package. But Rex where are you? The CFO position is the second most powerful in most organizational structures yet you are oddly silent. Are you being muffled? Are Jim Blaine and Mike Lord wrong in their assessment of the financials and what would correct many of the problems? Are you leading or following or just trying to keep your job? The financials are deteriorating and have been since Jim Hayes walked in the door. Comes a time when someone in your position has to stand up and be counted - you’re a leader so where do you stand?

    1. A lot to say with some flair...hard to tell what's going on member service wise but anecdotal comments from members, friends, relatives is not exactly positive... but there does come a time when definitive action is required.
      RBL remains the acute long range problem for the SECU business model and ethos. The reputational drain swirls increasingly...

    2. "What are you going to DO besides play The Devil Went Down to Georgia? "
      practicing this ...

    3. Special praise to the phrase: "directionless leadership"! That's terrific!

  2. ""100% savings on free notary service". "
    They treat everyone as if they were born yesterday ....

    ... and they are still working on picking that "core system" ...

  3. Don’t forget “the 8” on “this board” got rid of the $.50 overdraft fee. If that doesn’t prove they care about the “financial well being” of members.

    What did they do with a BILLION dollars in “record profits” the past two years?

  4. When members complain about the changes just say, “yeah but our notaries are free”

    1. Haven’t the notaries always been free? That should a given. They are just desperately touting things to try to look better. Worst admin in secu history.

    2. What was the leadership like the first 30 years?

    3. Leadership BHB - Before Hayes/Brady...

      Do The Right Thing

      Bring Us Your Momma

      There Is a Difference

      Member Centric

      Cost Conscience

      It's the Member's Money

      All Members Get the Same Interest Rate

      Branches/Branch Employees were Held in High Regard and Respected for Their Opinions.

      Treat People the Way You Would Want to Be Treated

      There's more but hopefully, you get the idea. Basically all the stuff your mom taught you.

  5. Is anything happening? Just seems like all this falls on deaf ears?

  6. Love the comic strip! It would be even funnier if it wasn't so relevant to SECU right now.

    I guess Strategic Plans are a fun exercise for Boards and CEOs but let's face it - the devil is in the details. And for the last 2+ years SECU has stunk up getting the details right much less the big stuff.

    "free notary"....seriously? Good Grief...

    1. Two services that were of great benefit and really have adversely impacted a lot of my members: tax preparation and car buying service. But hey they can still get free notary service.

    2. another example of this board and the past 2 CEO's not really caring about the member/owners

    3. Charging $75, that Mike lord implemented, for a simple tax return when multiple companies provide that free online is not a benefit to anyone. There are still numerous places that provide the VITA FREE service to members. STFU about taxes already.

      Car buying….a service very few people actually used, ever heard of google?

    4. Loved the car buying service!

    5. Tax preperation was a great benefit for members who trusted the credit union. Now, I say that knowing the way it was organized and who was doing the tax preperation needed some work. It could never come back the way it was. However, it was never just about tax prep. It allowed secu staff to analyze a member's financial situation and make recommendations for other services that may benefit them, think recommending ira contributions to lower tax burden, think offering life insurance when you see that new baby on the return. Think looking into lowering their mortgage rate when you see that interest statement. Making real impacts to our member's financial life. Mutual benefit.

    6. 12:35 shows that lack of information is no barrier to opinions.

    7. ^Exec team getting feisty🤭

    8. Well, since the cutoff for VITA is $60K and the cutoff for online free file is roughly $73K, there are relatively few members who would qualify for online free file, but end up paying for in-person prep. I imagine that at least some of those people valued having their taxes done by another person even if they could do it online for free themselves, and they would probably pay more than $75 anywhere else. (Unless SECU was directing people to pay for services when they qualified for VITA, but if you thought that was happening, you'd say so, right?) I'm not sure how many locations still provide VITA in North Carolina, other than that they are apparently "numerous". The IRS search currently shows none closer than Knoxville, but I'm sure most of them don't show up until tax season. Since you aren't sharing the analysis SECU surely did before discontinuing the service, I guess we'll have to wait until tax season to see whether there are enough providers (ideally in every county, or at least geographically convenient to all members) to serve all the members who would like to take advantage of the service.

      Same with the car buying service. I'm sure SECU's management did a rigorous analysis of the cost of that service divided by how many members used it before discontinuing it. Of course, if it really was no better than a simple google search, I guess they included that in the decision making process, too.

      But, while I'm sure the current SECU management would love for members to just "STFU" about what services their credit union provides, until current or future management do a better of communicating with their member/owners about these services and their decision-making processes, they'll have to deal with the horrors of little people with opinions.

    9. STFU is the philosophy of this board in a nutshell. Clearly demonstrated by their refusal to answer questions. "Just ignore those idiots, we know what is best!"

  7. You just gave them another idea of something to change! They'll start charging for it.

  8. We cannot be distracted by all their smoke and mirrors! It has been proven for the last 2 years "they" don't care about the members so let's show them we don't care about them staying at NCSECU!!! We have to stay focused on getting 4 new members on the board so Brady & Co can be shown the door asap!!!