Thursday, October 26, 2023

SECU - Looking Forward With New Eyes: Challenges Remain...


September, 2023 hopefully marks the end of two years of unprecedented turmoil and disruption at SECU.  So far, nobody has won, everybody has lost. Let's hope the pain was worth the effort.

Below is the SECU Board's snapshot of current performance. SECU remains a sound financial institution. Soaring operational costs over the last two years and the drop in deposits due to non-competitive rates must be addressed, as do the rising charge-off losses associated with lending. These are management issues - entirely solvable.

Two other issues may be more challenging - 1) the perceived decline in service quality and 2) a divided staff. And, yes the two issues are directly related. SECU in the past enjoyed a 98% member approval rating (externally and independently surveyed) - the highest in the Nation. That's no longer true. That level of support can be regained, but it will require "from the heart", boots on the ground, hard work from the staff. All SECU members want the staff to win that round! 

The remaining issue is the principle, ethical divide associated with risk-based lending. One would hope that the new Board would pause on this issue and publicly listen to all opinions on this key, critical issue for SECU. The former Board had heard only one side. There is no financial, operational, nor responsible reason not to pause and re-discuss this issue with the membership. If the SECU Board fails to take this prudent, reasonable member-beneficial step then... it will be another long year.


Let's hope for the best - and sound, fair judgment by our Board.