Are CUs Pigeons or Eagles?

Editor's note: the following letter to the editor was written in response to news of a bill to impose the Community Reinvestment Act on CUs (CU Journal Daily, March 11) and a story on NCUA being sued over the Norlarco participations (CU Journal Daily, March 10)

On the one hand, credit unions want to be legislatively "included" in the greater marketplace with more product lines and broader reach, fighting off the more restrictive "serving the underserved" pigeon coop the banks would like to keep us in. On the other hand, we want to be legislatively "excluded" from the responsibility of reporting just how well we operate in that very same pigeon coop we want to expand out of. Our required "CRA plan" to the NCUA should be simple enough. What are our plans? "Nothing. We're doing it already." And after the first spate of paperwork proving that fact, we can then turn the table back around, asking: "What is government doing to empower us to expand our CRA good works into the larger marketplace?"

We can always cower in the coop and be the 6 Percenter "Share of Market" Pigeons, or we can be Eagles. It's all a matter of self-perception.

In other news, NCUA is being sued over Norlarco's loan participations. Having had their heads in the sand while Norlarco played with their money, these turkeys are now heads up and looking for the rest of us to bail them out. I hope they're not holding a "too big to fail" card in this game, because its marked "banks only" on the back...or did they ignore reading that detail as well? If they think they deserve a bail out on this mistake...well, I've got some land in Florida I'd like to sell them.

Michael Dillon, CEO
South Division CU
Evergreen Park, Ill.


Credit Union Journal encourages reader feedback. Letters to the Editor can be sent to Managing Editor Lisa Freeman at lfreeman@cujournal.com. Letters can also be faxed to 561-832-2939 or submitted via the feedback at the top of an article.