Accounts insured for Richmond City Employees Federal Credit Union

More than 800 current and former local workers and their families have learned that their credit union has been undergoing a supervisory examination as federal officials reassure them that their money is insured.

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) announced that Richmond City Employees Federal Credit Union was placed into conservatorship Dec. 12 “because of unsafe and unsound practices,” according to a news release.

In a conservatorship, NCUA assumes control of the credit union to protect members’ assets while working to maintain safe-and-sound credit union operations. No deadline has been set for completing that process.

According to NCUA, the credit union serves various employee groups, including the Housing Authority, City of Richmond (except for Richmond Power & Light), Morrisson-Reeves Library and General Telephone Co.

NCUA, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is an independent agency of the federal government that operates and manages the Share Insurance Fund. That fund insures accounts at all federally insured credit unions.

NCUA says local members’ accounts remain safe and fully insured up to federal law maximums (up to $250,000 for individual accounts and a member’s interest in all joint accounts combined).

The Share Insurance Fund also separately protects IRA and KEOGH retirement accounts up to $250,000.

The Richmond credit union’s most recent Call Report says it has assets of $8,039,424 and 836 members.

“The NCUA has made no decisions about the long-term future of the credit union; however, continued service to members is a priority,” the agency’s Frequently Asked Questions noted.

In a news release, Richmond Mayor Dave Snow said city officials are aware of the “unfortunate situation.” However, Snow said they have no oversight or management of the credit union, which is a separate entity from city administration. Thus, the city is not part of the examination.

The city leases space inside the municipal building to the credit union’s board. That lease, set to expire Dec. 31, was being reviewed when the city learned about the conservatorship.

In order not to impede with NCUA’s investigation, Snow said the city will continue to offer the credit union a monthly lease, but does not plan to enter into a new long-term lease.

“It is our hope the NCUA and Employee Credit Union Board of Directors can come to a resolution as to keep this service available to our employees,” Snow said.

Only a few other credit unions around the country are experiencing similar circumstances. In 2022, the agency issued six press releases related to conservatorships.

In October, NCUA announced two new conservatorships in Logan and Williamson, both in West Virginia.

In February, one credit union in New York City, and in March, another in Valdosta, Georgia, were placed back under the control of their members after release from conservatorship.

In November 2021, a credit union in Pomona, California, was placed into conservatorship, and the NCUA announced in early January that merging it into another credit union was in the best interest of its members.

Richmond City Employees Federal Credit Union members can still conduct business with their credit union by phone or in person. Jayma Bright is serving as its interim CEO.

Dec. 13, 7:06 pm update: after speaking with a NCUA representative, the story has been updated to indicate the Richmond credit union has been undergoing a supervisory examination, and it was determined to have “unsafe and unsound practices” during the examination process.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.