Mrs_Sweetpeach (mrs_sweetpeach) wrote,

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Misdirection and weasel words

I'm getting seriously annoyed with DFCU Financial. We've been members of the credit union since 1986 and have, until recently, been very happy doing business with them. The credit union loaned us the money to pay for our wedding reception; years later, even though it cost slightly more than a commercial loan, we refinanced our mortgage through them because we support the idea behind credit unions -- members helping members reach their financial goals.

Last year, things began to change. Our membership cards ceased working in the machines at the credit union service center. That didn't prevent us from banking at the service centers, it simply meant we had to fill out a few more lines on vouchers to prove our identities. Then DFCU made a change that resulted in the service center needing to telephone DFCU's home office every time we went to deposit check made out to our business. Calling usually adds five to ten minutes to transaction time, as the teller not only has to fight his or her way through DFCU's phone system, but wait on hold for someone to approve the deposit.

Then came the vote to convert the credit union from a credit union to a federal savings bank. According to the letters that went out with the ballots, the credit union's board had concluded the conversion was essential in light of Michigan's economic situation. This may be true, but by not bringing their concerns to the membership and asking for input, I felt I'd been blindsided. We voted against the conversion, as did so many other members that DFCU Financial withdrew its charter conversion application before the end of the voting period.

Now we've received a letter from the chairman of the board claiming the charger conversion was withdrawn because "the regulated communication process proved too divisive and disruptive for members." I find that insulting -- the number of votes against the conversion shows the vote was not divisive -- the members are clearly unified in the desire to remain a credit union. It sounds to me like what the Chairman is saying is "the board knows best and the members should be like good little children and do what we say."

The chairman's letter reports that a new petition to recall DFCU's entire Board of Directors has been submitted and goes on to describe the Board as having "an impeccable track record." Just how anyone can claim that a board that has squandered nearly a million of the membership's dollars in an attempt to convert the credit union to a bank as "impeccable" is beyond me. I feel that any board member who supported the application without calling for a series of town hall meetings for the membership beforehand deserves to be recalled. And I seem to recall that that original letter, the one announcing the vote, said that the board was unanimous in its recommendation to convert.

Lastly, the board has now created a new website to fight against the recall. The domain name alone strikes me as dishonest -- the very people who wanted the credit union to stop being a credit union have the stomach to name their site "save DFCU"?! These are the very people who renamed the credit union "DFCU Financial," thus obscuring its identity as a credit union!

If you ask me, the people really interested in saving the credit union are those at DFCU Owners United.
Tags: credit union politics

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