By David Baumann
Credit unions like to paint bankers as greedy – working for their shareholders rather than their customers.
Credit union leaders, they have said, are more benevolent – working for their members and not beholden to shareholders.
But as the taxi medallion debacle continues to unfold, that positive reputation may take a hit. There are many threads to the ongoing drama – allegations of poor credit union management, questions about oversight by the NCUA, evidence that borrowers took out loans they did not understand and allegations that the NCUA has been unwilling to negotiate with drivers who found themselves unable to repay the loans.
And that doesn’t include the indictment of the former CEO of a major taxi credit union and taxi medallion owner.
As shoes continue to drop, the credit union industry risks taking a hit to its reputation, according to Casey Boggs, president of ReputationUs, a public relations consulting company that deals with such issues.
“They know it’s an issue,” Boggs said. “They know it’s a risk.”