Tuesday, February 20, 2024

SECU - Consider This: Chapter 19 - SECU Losing Its Appeal?

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1475/4848/products/secondchance_grande.jpg?v=1624633617  ... that doesn't sound like a unicorn! 

Esse Quam Videri: "To be, rather than to seem." 

You read in Chapter 18 [link here] about the summary execution of the volunteer-led Member Loan Review Committees by the SECU Board. There was no consultation with the members of the committees, no discussion with the SECU membership. The "We Are SECU" crew simply pulled yet another "We Know Better Than You" move. 

These loan review committees were special appeal boards scattered all across North Carolina to assure convenient access to all SECU members. If an SECU member was not satisfied with an adverse loan decision by a local branch, the member could appeal directly to the loan review committee - could even appear in person. The loan review committee was composed of local, member-volunteers, who were empowered to make the final decision on all SECU loans! Risky business? Not really, the volunteers knew whose money they were lending - theirs! 

As an appeals group, the loan review committees dealt only with the most difficult and exceptional loan decisions, generally involving families in severe financial crises. The meetings were difficult work, emotional, often heart-wrenching - and always very, very personal. If the branch had taken the time to listen carefully to the member, the decision did not change; but alternatives, counter-proposals often did arise: "if you'll do this, we can do this." Local peers taking the time to listen to a fellow member always was an invaluable plus - building a unicorn takes time, requires trust, and caring.

But, let me introduce you to David Spaugh, who served on a loan review committee for over 25 years. David was a rock, an anchor. He didn't prejudge; he wanted to hear the whole story; he wanted to make the best decision; but most importantly, he wanted to make the right decision.

David Spaugh said two things about his service on the loan review committee that I'll never forget. David said: "Some people think we're here to give people a break, I think we're here to give people a chance!" He also came to me at one point and said he didn't feel he was serving the purpose of the Committee well. I asked why? David Spaugh said this: "I have a tendency to be overly compassionate."

I told David, I thought the Credit Union was willing to take the risk of living in a world, where people cared too much.

... "Industry Standard" or "Unicorn"? 

 Esse Quam!


  1. It would be fun to see what the results were of these Loan Review stats. What % of the Appeals were approved by the Loan Review Committee? What % were paid in full? What % went into delinquency and default? Based on positive overall results why cancel the program. If the Loan Review is showing significant losses then shut it down. This is not rocket science. I bet it was a net gain for the member and the credit union. So why shut down success?

    1. Same reason the branches have been devalued and stripped of many of their best employees. "Leadership" wants to centralize control.

      SECU's decentralized structure and decision making was one of the things that set us apart and grew success. Now the "powers that be" have taken that structure apart brick by brick. It has hurt members, employees and the financial performance of the organization.

      "Those that gain power never want less, only more."

    2. SECU loan administration is reluctant to release lending data, apparently because it doesn't match well with what actually occurs in lending. An external independent, detailed CPA review of SECU lending could set the record straight and clear up a lot of concerns about risk based lending - as well as rates, delinquencies and charge offs - all of which are rising well beyond normal levels over the last 10 years.

      Would hope the Board representing the fiduciary interests of all members would consider contracting for a full report and release it to the membership .

  2. on the flip side, when someone goes to bat for you, you usually want to do all you can to prove that they made the right decision to give you that second chance.

  3. The current WEF can't have unicorns messing up their plans ...