Ive received notice from my credit union that its board has decided to merge with another local credit union. Im not keen on the ideamy experience has been that when credit unions decide they need to be bigger, service suffersand I think it should have been put to a vote of the members (evidently the other credit unions members get to vote, but not ours), but what really caught my attention in the information packet I received in the mail was how little real information it contained. And what a dandy job its creators did of dancing around questions...even though they were the ones posing the questions!
Take this example, for, um, example:
Okay, good to know...but tell me: How much is the merger going to cost??
Sort of never gets around to saying. And much of what little id does say makes no sense. ...instead of two computer systems, we will operate on just one. Uh-huh. Well, I can tell you how much money that will save the current members of my credit union: Precisely nothing at all. See, my credit union currently operates one computer system. The other credit union, a competitor, operates its own, as does every other credit union in town. What they do is not an expense to me or my fellow members, just as what wedo is not an expense for them. The same goes for combining facilities, our insurance bond, card programs, and much morethese are not duplicated expenditures, as implied, since currently the two businesses are completely separate. The idea that merging two independent businesses cuts duplicated expenses is ludicrous. Its tantamount to saying that if I double my expenses, then cut them, Ive saved money.
And while there may be cost savings in the futurereal cost savings, I mean, not sleight-of-hand savingsit bothers me that not even ballpark guesstimates are being put forward. Absent any figures, its impossible to judge whether the board is indeed accurate in claiming that bigger will in fact be any better for the members.
Looks like I might have to drag myself to one of the informational meetings, even though it feels like a waste of time. We dont get to vote, and its obvious where the big shots weigh in on the deal. Still, my longstanding motto is You have to make your own fun, so perhaps Ill turn up and ask some salient questions.
Like, How much is the $!#@&% merger going to cost??