In your reporting, "Rare Credit-Union-to-Bank Charter Conversion Sought in California" (CU Journal, Dec. 15) you interviewed the usual suspects who seek to profit while members lose in credit union to bank conversions — (Alan) Theriault (of CU Financial Services), (Richard) Garabedian (of Gorman, Pomerenk & Schick) and (Peter) Duffy (of Sandler O'Neil). It's no accident that they've had slim pickings for some time now — last I checked (and as published in the trade press) HarborOne Bank didn't do much for its members or even investors.
As CEO of a nearly $2 billion asset credit union, I particularly object to comments like Duffy's that "what large credit unions tell me is that the only thing all 6,200 have in common is their appreciation for the federal tax exemption.". I'm not surprised these self-interested parties still don't get it — it's about the member, stupid (channeling James Carville).
Whether the credit union is large or small, focused on community, sponsor companies or small business; having a singular interest in the outcomes for your members trumps the drive for shareholder/investor returns. It would be helpful in the future if the Journal would go beyond these biased sources, entertaining as they might be, to those who actually understand and believe in the credit union model.
Marcus Schaefer, president and CEO, Truliant Federal Credit Union, Winston-Salem, N.C.