10 July 2010

Open Letter to Fans from This Blog's Owner Matt Davis

Dear Dallas, All Employees of Frito-Lay, Yum Brands, Their Families, and Credit Union Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight.

As you now know, our former Frito-Lay Credit Union, who grew up thanks to the sweat, investment and love of its members who it despicably deserted, is no longer a credit union.a

This was announced in 2004, after some members voted to overlook the power of mutual self help by converting to a federally chartered mutual savings bank called SharePlus Federal. The narcissistic, self-centered urging of CEO D. Craig Barnes claimed that the move would put the financial institution “on a level playing field in today’s competitive banking market.” At the time, SharePlus had $175 million in assets.

Clearly, that was bitterly disappointing to all of us.

The good news is that the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven credit unions that stayed committed to the member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative spirit have not betrayed our members nor NEVER will betray you.

I dig up this story because this week we learn that SharePlus Federal Bank has announced that it wants to raise up to $19.8 million in an initial public offering so it can become a bank holding company. SharePlus, it seems, discovered that their financial problems had little to do with their charter. In the past six years, the turncoat grew less than 5% annually (compared to 6.2% for all federally chartered credit unions during the same period). Through the first three months of 2010, SharePlus found a way to lose $332,000.

You simply didn’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

You have given so much and deserve so much more.

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:


You can take that to the bank…and your money to a credit union.

If you thought we were a great deal before the financial crisis, dedicated to helping members get access to affordable financial products and services, precious financial guidance, and a service over profit mentality, I can tell you that this shameful reminder of what happens when bankers succumb to short-sighted greed has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

Sorry, but that’s not how it works.

This shocking act of disloyalty to the credit union system has not been forgotten, and sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want other financial institutions to follow. And “what” we would want them to focus on – people or profit?

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve to remind us of the beauty of the credit union system. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence, and poor managers are simply poor managers.

The self-declared “customer-owned mutual savings institution” will be taking even more ownership away from its customers with this IPO.

Just watch.

Sleep well, consumers.

Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day…

I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:

DELIVERING YOU the affordable financial services you have long deserved and are long overdue…

Credit Union Warrior
Majority Owner of this Blog


Andy Janning said...

Brilliant. Well played, sir.

Shawn Temple said...

Nicely done...

Bill Clancy said...

I'm an ardent Credit Union supporter but I'll admit to being surprised by the aggressiveness of your tone here, Matt.

On one hand, you're spot-on that CUs offer this group of consumers a better option in banking.

On the other hand, your use of terms such as despicable, narcissistic, bitter, cowardly betrayal, shocking act of disloyalty plus a full sentence in all caps come across to me as empty rhetoric more suited for the floor of Congress than logical reasoning or even spirited debate.

Lost in the vitriolic comments are your main point - is it that CUs offer these members a ray of hope in an otherwise dreary situation or that any decision to convert away from a CU charter is an exercise in delirium?

Matt, the Credit Union Warrior said...

@Bill Thanks for your comment. In the spirit of parody (see Mad Magazine, Weird Al Yankovic, Saturday Night Live, and Anchorman), I thought I would have a little fun with Dan Gilbert's letter to Cleveland Cavaliers fans regarding LeBron James' free agency. Word choice, as you can plainly see, mirrored the infamous letter. http://www.nba.com/cavaliers/news/gilbert_letter_100708.html

Tim McApine said...

Oh, this was a parody? Now I get it! :)

Bill Clancy said...

I see. Thanks for the clarification. Admittedly had no clue on my first read. :)

Dean Wilson said...

And to further the comedy in parody, if the IPO happens then the management team and board can pillage the members equity that had been built up over years....which is kind of like burning a 23 Jersey.

Matt, the Credit Union Warrior said...

Looks like the NBA took the letter off of their site. The letter can now be found at: http://smokingsection.uproxx.com/TSS/2010/07/dan-gilbert-is-no-longer-a-witness