Friday, October 13, 2023

The SECU Board: "Blinded By The Light"? Reasonable people hoped that the SECU Board heard "the message" so loudly delivered - especially on risk-based lending - at the 2023  SECU Annual Membership Meeting. We all hoped "this Board" might, in good faith with the membership,  call for a pause to re-discuss and reconsider the rationale underlying risk-based lending. Isn't that what reasonable people would do? But, "this Board" is a special breed of cat - seemingly almost feral at times.

"The remaining eight" and the CEO, however, seem blinded by their own "leadership brilliance". On October 12, 2023, "All Employees" at SECU received a "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" memo that risk-based lending would be expanded November 1 with further expansion across all loan products in the near future. So much for member participation and member involvement; "this Board" remains in character, true to form... almost feral!

Let's parse this latest inanity by "this Board" a bit using CEO Leigh Brady's own words in her Annual Meeting report to the membership. Ms. Brady has widely proclaimed in the press that SECU can't survive financially without the move to risk-based lending - the old "We're going to end up like Blockbuster " scaremongering, which has also been foisted on the staff and advisory boards internally.

Yet, CEO Brady reported proudly at the Annual Meeting that lending was up 17% (almost matching the "industry standard" growth rate) and that SECU had achieved record "profits" in 2023 and in each of the last five years. Here's her chart:  

So what? Well, SECU's financial year ends on June 30 of each year. The reported record "profits" for 2023 were for the period 6/30/2022 to 6/30/2023 - risk-based lending was not started until 
March, 2023! 
Those record "profits" for 2023 and for 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019 were all achieved under the fair, "same rate for all" lending model used at SECU for the last 85 years!!  
Not under the discriminatory risk-based lending model just adopted to overcharge the majority of SECU member-owners.
This is yet another example of "this Board" being "hoisted on its' own petard". To the incredulity of all...

... "this Cat'"( feral or otherwise) is out of the bag on risk-based lending!