Tuesday, April 9, 2024

The Eclipse Of North Carolina Credit Unions? - Part 2

https://cf.geekdo-images.com/Hu_RD4GM6qoyiaDEAXxD9w__opengraph/img/0czsqQ27V21DiUUfEWVvKwyDxbU=/fit-in/1200x630/filters:strip_icc()/pic144600.jpg  ... new industry standard? 

To: The North Carolina Credit Union Commission

       April 9, 2024

My name is Susie Ford and I have been a member of SECU for over 50 years and was an employee of SECU from 1982 until 1995.  My heart and compassion are strong for SECU after working for 15 years for its members and  my grandfather Joseph C Knox was one of the original founders of the Credit Union as passbook number 7.  So SECU runs deep within me.

On Thursday July 27, 2023 I sent an email to board.corporate.secretary@ncsecu.org addressed to Ms. Funderburk requesting a copy of the official self-nominating petition to submit my name as a candidate for an SECU Board seat.  I received a reply the same day stating “Since you did not submit a completed Candidate Package before the deadline for the current year, you will not be eligible for self-nomination.”

In the past two years, I believe it has become increasingly difficult for SECU Members to participate in the election process.  My understanding was the only bylaws restriction for the Board was to be 18 years old and a member.  However, according to the email I received, the election procedures effectively amend the bylaws requiring me to have filed an application with the Nominating Committee to even be eligible to run.  My thoughts are this change amends the SECU Bylaws as it was never approved by the CU Administrator?  If my thoughts are correct, then the Board could independently add limitations to nomination eligibility and exclude anyone they choose without restraint OR adherence to the SECU bylaws.

My concern is this exclusion of an eligible member to run for a board position is an action with no authority and is an effort to circumvent a fair election process without authority or concern for member “owners’ rights.  

Did Kristina Ray fully execute her responsibilities as Credit Union Administrator or stand by and not address the disregard of bylaws by the SECU Board?   The answer is no she did not. How can the CU Commission stand by and not correct the failure of the CU Administrator to carry out her required duties and responsibilities?  

The credit unions, administrator and commission are set up as governing bodies for a reason.  I believe you will DO THE RIGHT THING and place responsibilities and authorities where they lie and follow the proper procedures to be within the authorities when changes are made.  

The future of our Credit Unions depends on YOU!
Does the N.C. Credit Union Commission agree that eligible members of state-chartered credit unions may be excluded from self-nomination for a board position?


The Eclipse Of North Carolina Credit Unions? - Part 3

  https://e3.365dm.com/23/07/768x432/skynews-fake-shark-fin_6211117.jpg?20230707100234... "minor" shark bait?

 To: The North Carolina Credit Union Commission

  April 9, 2024

I am Jean Blaine— a long time member and advocate of credit unions.

Most well informed credit union members are opposed to House Bill 410.

The Carolinas’ Credit Union League misled our legislators and the public about the content of this bill. Last April your Administrator spoke in support of this misrepresentation before the Legislature.

The bill was sold as nothing more than “minor updates” to the law. Much ado was made about trivial bits in the bill, such as: “Financial deserts” - which are principally in the Dismal Swamp and Great Smoky Mountains Park; Safety Deposit Boxes and Electronic Funds Transfers -which credit unions have provided members for decades!; and parity with the Federal Credit Union Act - part of NC credit union law since 1975.

The crucial changes to the law - with major repercussions to the very definition of  “credit union” - were unmentioned by the pushers of H410. Doing away with the common bond was not discussed.  Nor was the move by state chartered credit unions into the North Carolina bankers’ turf of full blown commercial lending and business ventures.

These are not minor changes to “update” the law.

The bill replaces common bond with “Open field of membership”— anyone, anywhere will be allowed to join our credit unions. Corporations from anywhere can become members.

This bill will take dollars out of the pockets of NC workers and their local communities. The bill allows credit unions to take our dollars and invest in commercial real estate and corporate lending—anywhere— outside of North Carolina. This is already occurring.

This bill will shift power away from the member to a corporate governance structure, unaccountable to the membership. This is already occurring.

Passage of this bill will see local jobs lost and moved out of state. This is already occurring.

Out-of-state members? Corporate members?  United at a credit union by a common bond? Membership in such a circumstance does not exist.

The credit unions will remain credit unions only because they pay no taxes.

 H410 is a boondoggle. 

North Carolina resources, assets and jobs will flow out of state. Our credit unions’ focus will no longer be on serving people of modest means. This is already occurring.

For over 100 years credit unions have helped the people of North Carolina buy cars, houses, educate children, navigate divorces, job losses and all the financial misfortunes life can throw at folks.
Keep our focus on the 3 million members who live in all 100 North Carolina counties.

Let the bankers run the banks.

Does the North Carolina Credit Union  Commission support the endorsement of H410 by your Administrator?


The Eclipse Of North Carolina Credit Unions? - Part 4


   ... North Carolina Credit Unions Matter.


To: The North Carolina Credit Union Commission

April 9, 2024

My name is Jim Blaine. Thank you for the opportunity to address the Commission. Over the last ten months we have been unsuccessful in gaining your attention and action. Ten months. And still, you remain silent.

The nature of our complaint is that the Administrator of Credit Unions has failed, perhaps unintentionally, to uphold the laws of North Carolina. When such an assertion is made, North Carolina law vests the Commission "with full power and authority to review, approve, or modify any action taken by the Administrator."  And still, you remain silent.

Ms. Ford has presented you with documentary evidence, that as a qualified member of her credit union; she was denied the right to seek self-nomination as a board member. The Commission has been asked if you agree all state-chartered credit unions have the authority to deny this basic member right? Fundamental cooperative principles, federal law, and credit union bylaws are clear such arbitrary exclusion is not permissible. And still, you remain silent.

Yesterday, Ms. Ford's credit union - inspired by a sudden fervor for democratic principles - has once again revised its board election procedures; affirming that they will continue to deny Ms. Ford the right to seek nomination by her fellow members. And still, you remain silent.

Apparently with the blessing of the Credit Union Division, Ms. Ford's credit union has used  "anything goes" bylaw amendments to prohibit member discussion at the Annual Meeting by ignoring standard rules of order; to proscribe the consideration of any member motions or resolutions; to deprive member-nominated board candidates of any forum for reaching members with their views; and now desperately squirms and twists with new election procedures, to further thwart the basic democratic rights of its members. And still, you remain silent. 

Jean Blaine has pointed out that your Administrator has appeared before the N.C. State Legislature in support of H410. This bill was presented as a series of "minor updates", when in fact the bill is a major rewrite of North Carolina credit union laws. We all should be ashamed of this intentional legislative deception. And still, you remain silent.

Open membership, corporations as clients, out-of-state commercial lending, and higher risk investments do not meet anyone's definition of minor. The future of North Carolina credit unions is up for grabs. And still, you remain silent.

The financial well-being of over 3 million North Carolina credit union members is under attack. Much is at stake. The entire Country is watching what is occurring with the Commission, and is listening.   
And still, you remain silent.
Would you please speak a little louder?  
                   We're having difficulty hearing you.