Wednesday, May 31, 2023

SECU COO Leigh Brady Explains Risk-Based Lending To The SEANC Board This one is hard to write, but it is a glaring, real life example of what has gone missing with the new culture/new direction at SECU "("The New/New"). What's gone missing? Take a listen...

Ms. Leigh Brady is the COO of SECU, the number two position at the credit union. Ms. Brady is a 30+ year employee, smart lady, who came second - on a 6 to 5 vote - to the current CEO in the SECU executive search process two years ago. Rumor has it that Ms. Brady and Hillary Clinton still suffer traumatic nightmares. 

As mentioned in a prior post (May 22, 2023), Ms.Brady had asked to make a presentation about SECU to the SEANC Board. Back in February, 2023, SEANC had voted unanimously to ask SECU to rescind the introduction of risk-based lending (RBL), until the two organizations could discuss that change. SECU agreed to a meeting, but in the interim introduced RBL anyway (see March 26, 2023 post). Ms. Brady wanted to clear the air on the issue of risk-based lending for the SEANC Board. Brady summed up her far from convincing explanation of the benefits of RBL - it was weak on only two points, facts and substance - with the following personal story. She indicated that her recent, college graduate daughter had just bought her first car. Being a young female with little credit experience, her daughter had not qualified for the A-paper best rate at the credit union. But that wasn't a problem, because Mom just co-signed the loan which then qualified her daughter for the A-paper rate. See, RBL works!

There was a moment of somewhat stunned silence in the room among the 40 or so SEANC board members. It was one of those: "I can't believe she just said that" moments.

Then a young, female, Af-Am SEANC board member rose and said politely: "Ms. Brady you need to understand that most of us don't have an affluent parent who can cosign loans for us." 

And, it was obvious to all in the room that Ms. Brady (and "New/New" SECU!)  either doesn't understand the financial realities of most SECU members, or simply doesn't care. 

It proved useless to point out to Ms. Brady - though several SEANC board members tried - that her own personal example with her daughter, confirmed that risk-based lending discriminates against young people (credit scores generally -43 points below average), females ( -12 points below males), AF-Ams (-26 points below Caucasians) and people of modest means - all confirmed by independent research on credit scores.

The board members of SEANC were too polite to ask Ms. Brady if she felt her daughter represented a higher risk of default to SECU as her credit score indicated? Surely the credit score isn't lying, if not...


...then who is? 

Just trying to give you a little "heads up, Marie!" (... or is that "head's off"?)

* SEANC  - the State Employees Association of North Carolina