March 20, 2013


  • I am very skeptical. On paper the expansion to San Jose makes sense. But the reality on the ground is much different. The article implies that the new acquisition is a roaring success with twice the business growth of the core area. But no where in the article are specific member, share or loan growth data for the Valley acquistion. That says alot. Those are the statistics that would prove the point. Why are they not in the story. CEFCU is not a household name in San Jose. I'm surprised it is a household name anywhere. It harkens back to the old aphabet soup days when credit unions had names like CEFCU that make it difficult to tell if they sell cement or prescription drugs--but not financial servcies. The odd thing about touting this kind of expansion is that it flies in the face of what I think makes credit union's special. Credit Union's are best when they are community credit unions and when they bond with their community. There were plenty of contigous credit unions in the area that would have been far better merger partners. They did not take the deal because Valley Credit Union's franchise was weak or non existant. The high cost of expanding out of state is obvious in the experience you cite with CEFCU. Lets hope credit unions consolidate in more rational ways than this example.
    Henry Wirz
  • Henry - Typically those who are least trustworthy themselves are the most likely to question the veracity of others. And, relative to your gratuitous slap at CEFCU's name, I'm sure IBM, USAA and GEICO would welcome your brilliant insights to improve their brand image.
    Mark Spenny