Monday, January 1, 2024

2023 - An Incredible Record: The Rebranding Of SECU... A Blockbuster Year!    

...  and be sure to ask about our Rewards Card!

✅ The 5 Highlights of the "Annus Horribilis"...

1. The "We Are" Attitude - SECU is a cooperative, jointly and equally owned by 2.7 million members. The SECU 2023 Legacy Board seemed to believe that their 11 personal interests' ("We Are SECU"!) were superior to those of the other 2.7 million owners. Not keeping the members informed and bizarre Legacy Board hiring/policy decisions led to widespread disruption among the SECU staff and membership, leading to a resolution requesting an explanation at the Annual Membership Meeting. That's incredible!

2. "Fireside Chats" - The 2023 Legacy Board stage-managed - poorly! - a series of "dialogues" with the membership about the resolution issues - open membership, LGFCU merger, risk-based lending, tax prep service, commercial lending. Member questions had to be submitted in advance, but were not addressed, "from the floor" questions were not permitted. Weasel-worded Legacy Board responses like "we made no formal proposal to merge"- on LGFCU and on open membership -  "It's too soon to say, but we will never "allow anyone to join" without belonging to a permissible common bond" (which is required by State law) - seemed to confirm that the Legacy Board had been caught red-handed, with both fists in the cookie jar.  The Legacy Board and leadership seemed to misunderstand that the scope and detail of their discussions were widely known and documented, or else felt themselves immune from the truth - or that the truth simply didn't matter. That's incredible! 

3. The Ad Campaign - Hard to explain why the SECU 2023 Legacy Board would waste millions of member dollars in "advertising", if ambitions of open membership and "beyond North Carolina planning" were not in the works - especially given the prior 85 years of uninterrupted growth without advertising. And of course, there was that "dropped like a hot potato when exposed",  Super Bowl commercial - what happened there? Want to make  Legacy Board members babble? Ask them publicly about that Super Bowl ad, then confirm their answer with WRAL! That's incredible! 

4. Race-Based Lending/SEANC - Nothing speaks quite as loudly to the SECU 2023 Legacy Board's "We Are SECU" self-absorption as the introduction, without further review, of risk-based lending - the #1 assualt on the SECU membership.  The noblesse oblige was insultingly accentuated by the SECU Legacy Board's invitation to the SEANC Board to discuss RBL - then proceeding with implementation prior to the meeting. CEO Brady raised the bar on ridicularity by personally advising SEANC Board members to just add a wealthy co-signer, if they wanted to avoid the higher rates of RBL. That's incredible!

5. 2023 Annual Meeting, The CUToday Fiasco - Amid soaring expenses, declining assets, record loan delinquency/charge-offs, and non-competitive savings rates - all revealed in monthly financial statements the CU had to be compelled to publish as required by law - it was astounding to hear the CEO proclaim a year of "record profits" for SECU. The only truly good numbers reported at the Annual Meeting were:🎄 Perkins (7096) 🎄 Clements (6372) 🎄 Stone (6907), Parrish (6239), Sanford (5982), Garland (5880). The Chairman's stunned expression, as he read the count and quickly adjourned the meeting (check out the video), was the highlight of 2023. But the 2023 Legacy Board and CEO were not to be bothered, claiming that the vote was not only inconsequential; but that the speakers at the meeting were puppets and stooges. Reluctantly, Ms. Brady claimed she was prevericating in "good faith" - how does that work? Unfortunately, the "We Are SECU" attitude of self-importance seems well-entrenched in both "the remaining 8" and the CEO. That's incredible!


... 2024, Happy New Year? Incredibility will be the issue...