Saturday, October 7, 2023

Challenging Times For The North Carolina Credit Union Commission : SECU - Is It Over ? Your Call...


 Too much, too little, too late...???

To: Ms Kristina Ray and the Members of the North Carolina Credit Union Commission

October 7, 2023

Dear Ms. Ray, 
Thank you for the email notice of the Special Commission meeting scheduled for Monday, October 9, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. (dial in # (877)-402-9753, access code - 6601929.)

Although the details of the agenda are sparse [see Oct 6 post here], it would appear that the meeting is a follow-up to our appearance before the Commission on September 29, 2023. If so, thank you. Hate to belabor the point, but ours was not a concern raised by "a member of the public ''. If you need 5,000 or so other "members of the public " to assure you of that fact; we will be happy to get that done for you.

We would like to clarify the two questions which we hope will be answered at this Special Commission Meeting. A precise response should be un-difficult for the N.C. Attorney General's Office, as your counsel.

Q: 1)  Is the N.C. Credit Union Division required by North Carolina law to monitor and enforce compliance by state-chartered credit unions with their bylaws? (We believe the answer is obviously "yes". Why would the NCCUD be required by North Carolina law to approve all bylaw amendments, if the NCCUD was not expected to enforce compliance with those bylaws?)
Q: 2)  May a N.C. state-chartered credit union adopt rules, policies and procedures which effectively amend its bylaws without approval by the NCCUD? (Again, we believe the answer is obviously "no''. North Carolina law requires that the Credit Union Division approve all bylaw amendments by a credit union.)

If the N.C. Attorney General's Office agrees with those two simple observations, then the following issues arise:

1). SECU on 4-11-2023 adopted new "Election Policies and Procedures" which established new requirements for an SECU member to be eligible to seek office as a director in violation of the SECU bylaws. The SECU Board subsequently used these policies and procedures to refuse an eligible, qualified member from seeking to self-nominate for director. These new "Election Policies and Procedures" were adopted by the SECU Board without prior approval of the N.C. Credit Union Division.
2) Under cover of the bylaw amendments approved by the Credit Union Division on 6-30-2023 (and implemented by SECU on the very same date), the SECU Board adopted new rules and a new agenda on 7-25-2023 for the 2023 SECU Annual Membership Meeting. The standard rules of order and required agenda for the SECU Annual meeting had been specifically stated and embedded in the SECU bylaws (prior to 7-25-2023) for 85 years. The "new agenda" no longer permits SECU member participation in the meeting through "old business" and "new business" - standard agenda items for credit unions. The new rules adopted - without any input from the SECU membership -  also prohibit the membership from making any "substantive" motions at the meeting. These changes in the material rights of 2.7 million SECU members were made by eleven people - the SECU Board - again without any prior communication with the SECU membership - and without the approval of the North Carolina Credit Union Division.

Hope this is a clearer, more precise statement of what we - and all 2.7 million SECU members - hope the North Carolina Credit Union Commission will address at your Monday, October 9, 2023 meeting.
Thank you.

Jean and Jim Blaine 
... guess they'll make a splash one way or another!