During 28 years of leading ECU Credit Union, I have grown to rely on Southeast Corporate, my corporate credit union. In addition to providing investment services, overnight accounts and loan programs, Southeast serves as ECU's check processing clearinghouse. But like most credit unions, I have been rethinking our relationship in light of some corporates' failures and the related losses and special assessments to natural-person credit unions.
No doubt, I was frustrated with the write-offs, and angry at having to pay for others' sins. But knee-jerk decisions don't suit me. I do better taking a step back and looking at the situation from all sides. In considering my corporate needs, I asked myself:
• Why did this stress occur in the first place? Was it the fault of my corporate? Did they do something to knowingly put my credit union in jeopardy? The answer is no.
• Has Southeast been a good, reliable partner over the years? Have they supported us, offering products and services to help my credit union succeed? The answer is yes.
• Are we likely to see a recurrence of the last three years' crisis again anytime soon? Probably not, especially with new regulations and safeguards put in place to prevent similar events in the future.
I encourage other credit union CEOs to ask themselves similar questions when considering their future correspondent needs. Southeast's products and services have saved my credit union countless staff time and thousands of dollars. I believe many credit unions will find they have more to lose — and little to gain — if they walk away from a corporate that has served them well for many years.
For ECU Credit Union, we are staying with Southeast Corporate.
Larry Roland, President/CEO
ECU Credit Union, Largo, Fla.