Virginia Credit Union member-owners file new complaint with Bureau of Financial Institutions
Several member-owners of the Virginia Credit Union (VACU) filed a new complaint with the state regulator, the Bureau of Financial Institutions, alleging that BFI Director Joe Face has failed to do his job as the state regulator for the powerful, $5 billion cooperative bank.
This complaint is a follow-up to the lack of response or action from BFI in the wake of the March 23rd sham annual member meeting and election hosted by VACU.
RUTHER GLEN, Va. - April 26, 2022 - PRLog -- March 9th, VACU member-owner and Richmond community leader, Frank Moseley, filed a grievance with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) against VACU for rigging its board of directors election, preventing himself and three other candidates from appearing on the ballot at the March 23rd member meeting. The board staged an uncontested election with the incumbents running unopposed. VACU Board Chair Robert Jones engineered this process and would be one of the incumbents reinstalled as a result.
On March 15th, NCUA affirmed the importance of democratic control by member-owners, and referred the complaint to the state regulator, BFI director Joe Face, who told Mr. Moseley that BFI would need to "investigate";
It has now been a month and Joe Face has still failed to take any action. When Mr. Moseley spoke with him on Friday, April 22, he stated that BFI didn't know how to regulate VACU, that he thought it was up to VACU to run their elections however they wanted, but that he would talk to them at their regular examination, which occurs every one to three years. Mr. Face would not say when VACU's next examination would be, because that is "confidential."
"This is not regulation. This is the regulator asleep in bed with the entity they're supposed to be regulating,"
It's worth noting that BFI's budget is paid by the examination fees paid by state-chartered credit unions, and that VACU -- as the largest state-chartered credit union -- writes the biggest checks to BFI.
Wednesday's member-owner complaint comes just one week after the former board chair of New York State's oldest credit union, Municipal Credit Union, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for her role in covering up the CEO's years-long embezzlement of millions of dollars from the member-owners. Until her conviction, Sylvia Ash was also a New York State Supreme Court judge.
Jake Schlachter is Executive Director of We Own It, a national grassroots organization of credit union and cooperative member-owners. "The saying goes, 'When nobody's watching, somebody's stealing.' VACU's leaders have eliminated all member oversight - why? And why would the state regulator be willing to let them do it, right on the heels of the situation at Municipal Credit Union?"
VACU is a non-profit cooperative financial institution that had $245 million in revenue in 2021 and reported $50 million in profit.
"That's not a non-profit. That's 20% profit."
Press conference at 12p ET Wed Apr 27 with VACU candidates Frank Moseley, Kati Hornung, Richard Walker, and Tori Jones. Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/
Background information available upon request.
Andrea Ruth Miller