Tuesday, March 21, 2023

SECU/LGFCU Merger Proposal - LGFCU President Acknowledges "Not Better" - LGFCU Members Agree!



LGFCU CEO Dwayne Naylor was one of the "Highlights" of the SECU Advisory Board Fireside Chats back in November [find his remarks @9:00 on NCSECU You Tube]. 

Of particular note was CEO Naylor's  announcement: "So Local Government is going to serve our members in a different way [no branches] not better, just a different way.  And be independent. Because we're  going to be doing a bunch of things our members have been asking for. They've been asking for like solar lending, maybe hemp, cannabis, a lot of green lending..."

Dwayne Naylor, the new CEO, at Local Government Federal Credit Union (LGFCU), has a problem - and perhaps more than just one. As a result of the unsolicited "no formal proposal"  to merge from the SECU Board last year, LGFCU has declared, as you see in the video, it will "become independent" and eliminate branch service availability for its 400,000 members in North Carolina in 2024.

The "becoming independent" assertion comes as a bit of a surprise to local government members who had been told, over the last 40 years, they had joined a separate credit union, specifically organized to serve North Carolina local government employees. Most folks believe, LGFCU has always had an independent - and effective - Board of Directors, which independently established policies, rates, and services. The independent federal charter, tax filings, audits, websites, logos, advisory councils, all certainly seemed to legally indicate independence

LGFCU employees evidently thought they worked for a separate, independent cooperative. LGFCU has always told North Carolina municipal and county leadership that LGFCU was their, independent credit union focused on their unique needs. Granted it is a bit of a surprise those needs now include "hemp and cannabis", but as Mr. Naylor also asserts: "The world is changing" -  perhaps, as he also says in a "not better, just a different way"

That "not better, just different way" basically is just the elimination of branch services for LGFCU members - nothing more, nothing less.  LGFCU already provides online and mobile financial services, ATMs, 7x24x365 call center service. 'Course one can always improve speed and add bells and whistles to those service channels, but the fact remains - excruciatingly clear - that LGFCU members are getting the short end of the stick on service options and convenience, when branch access is eliminated. Pretty sure "hemp and cannabis" won't offset the loss.

 LGFCU has its annual membership meeting in Raleigh on Friday, March 24th. Dare you to try and find out on the LGFCU website, where it is and whether or not LGFCU members can attend virtually. That's a notable change in openness and transparency from prior years.

* From a reader:  

Wonder why?  Could it be that LGFCU members would reject the "not better, just a different way", if given a voice?  Smoke that one over...