WASHINGTON-Credit unions can now pull back the curtain on the so-called "legacy assets" and gain a better understanding of the performance of the securities that were once held by the five failed corporate credit unions. Co-Ops For Change today began posting spreadsheets that will list all of the legacy asset securities by CUSIP number from the five corporates closed by NCUA in 2009-2010: U.S. Central, WesCorp, Southwest Corporate, Members United and Constitution Corporate.

NCUA now holds the securities, and there has been a great deal of debate about their current value and performance over recent years, many in the industry alleging the agency has not been fully transparent in sharing the performance of the legacy assets. That issue was the subject of extensive reporting in the May 20 issue of Credit Union Journal.

Co-Ops for Change is the effort being led by Chip Filson, chairman of Callahan & Associates, with a goal of reorienting credit unions, including NCUA and the political process of board appointments, back toward the Seven Cooperative Principles. Randy Karnes, CEO of CU*Answers in Grand Rapids, Mich., who is actively involved with Co-Ops for Change, hopes the information will start an open dialogue within the industry and an ongoing evaluation of the legacy assets--as well as the performance of NCUA.

"The corporate crisis was a huge event and should be a learning situation and a huge rallying point," said Karnes, who emphasized that analysis of the legacy assets must be trusted. He explained that is why Co-Ops For Change is inviting CUs to add to the website data, not only with blog content, but to help value the legacy assets.

The site explains that any of the investment securities can be updated for current principal value or loss by any visitor to the site. Each proposed entry will be temporary until reviewed using Bloomberg or other expert market data for reasonableness.

Karnes explained having an open, "crowd-sourced" tracking system gives the credit union community access to the latest data on each corporate's portfolio taken to collateralize the NCUA Guaranteed Notes. Where an actual or implied cash loss has occurred, these will be posted and totaled on an ongoing basis.

The spreadsheet information can be compared with the last available OTTI reserves, which each of the five corporates had established, and with expenses from capital, as of June 2010, and had been expensed from existing cpaital. The remaining capital as of the same date is also shown.

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