While we are the "good guys" in the financial services arena, we certainly aren't immune from the negative aspects of business.

Unfortunately, we still read about a teller all the way up to an executive that thinks they can steal from the credit union and its members in one form or another. One of the reasons, no doubt is the recession. And of course, there are those that are out there chasing the dollar as seen with a couple of the corporates.

Unfortunately, the losses incurred due to poor judgment, to the point of greed, in a cooperative, causes all of us to bear the burden.

Repeating what everyone already knows, the blame is internal to those organizations, but it also includes their boards, supervisory committees, auditing firms and, of course, NCUA. Sure the economic downturn has had a significant impact on all of us. But I think we all, or most of us, would be better off, even OK, if we didn't have to fund the assessments.

I don't have the numbers, but if you took every credit union showing a year-end loss and added back in the assessment, I think most would have been profitable. And all of us would certainly have higher ROAs.

The Value of Status Quo

For Atlantic Financial FCU, I can't say we have changed our policies, procedures, strategic plans, etc. that much. Growth through deposits, while looking very positive to the average person, has impacted our capital, income and even forced us to lower our savings rates to remain profitable and reduce the stream of deposits coming in.

But my short answer, is that we have maintained a status quo in how we operate in all areas while seeing a decline in income, a decline in loans and a reduction in capital.

Richard T. Webb, President and CEO
Atlantic Financial FCU
Hunt Valley, Md.

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