In Case You Missed It: Wall Street Journal Highlights Credit Union Expansion Without Limits

Press release

In case you missed it, on August 1 the Wall Street Journal published an article highlighting a credit union’s plan for growth with “no speed limit.” The CEO of the credit union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed), has a very public plan called “Drive to 75,” with a goal of “pressing regulatory boundaries” by more than quadrupling the credit union’s assets from approximately $18 billion to $75 billion by 2025. According to the article, the credit union advertises “Great Rates for Everyone” despite the common-bond requirement. PenFed also acquired 13 smaller credit unions in a 20-month span between 2015 and 2017, before receiving a regulatory warning about new deals.

The article also quotes Robert Taylor, the chief executive of a much smaller credit union  – $240 million-asset Idaho State University Federal Credit Union, who said credit unions that engage in “expansionism for the sake of expansionism” risk the industry’s reputation. In the article he asked, with an “anything goes” approach to credit union membership, “How can we possibly go to Washington and say ‘We are the small credit union serving the small guy’?”

As you are all very aware, for years our association has been a very vocal advocate expressing that these very large, bank-like credit unions that have clearly strayed from their original purpose of serving those of modest means, should be paying taxes and supporting the needs of our country.

The full article can be accessed here.