Over the past year, there has been a troubling series of credit union scandals and other stories that cast a bad light on credit unions. Rarely do events in the credit union industry reach the general-interest press. Not so, this past year. The most extensive piece was a lengthy, extensively researched front-page investigation into the New York City taxi medallion disaster. It first came to national atention through the involvement of Michael Cohen, lawyer to Donald Trump, who owned a number of these medallions, which enables yellow-cab drivers to pick up passengers on the streets of New York. It unwound through the bankrupting of multiple credit unions and the tragic suicide of at least six yellow-cab drivers, mostly immigrants, who despaired at the catastrophic drop in value of their medallions–a story with many culprits, from credit union managers to the City of New York itself.
Too, there was a multi-million dollar embezzlement from New York City’s largest credit union, Municipal CU. An even larger embezzlement in California. And allegations of unfair, high-priced lending to low-income members of the Mariott credit union.
How badly does this damage the reputation of credit unions? Please see my article in the CreditUnion Journal of August 22, 2019, or click here.