Alaska USA FCU Completes Arrowhead Branch Deal

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Alaska USA FCU on Saturday completed its acquisition of four branches from Arrowhead Central CU, even as NCUA was taking over the troubled one-time $1.1 billion credit union.

The deal will give the $4 billion credit union a total of eight branches in what is known locally as the High Desert region, after acquiring four last year in acquisitions of two failed credit unions, High Desert FCU and The Members Own CU. But just as important, it will give the Alaska credit union giant access to as many as 24,000 potential new members who are served at the branch are being solicited to switch credit unions as part of the branch deal.

But an Alaska USA official said it is not currently interested in acquiring the rest of Arrowhead, which wracked up more than $70 million of losses in 2008 and 2009 and has seen its net worth dwindle to just 3.4%. "We're focusing on providing services to the members at the branches and integrating the branches," said Dan McCue, senior vice president for Alaska USA.

Those members have 60 days, until Aug. 31, to decide whether to switch and become Alaska USA members, McCue told Credit Union Journal yesterday.

"Our focus now is to give the members good service, but the members have to make their own choice," said the representative of the credit union, which also has branches in Washington state.

Meantime, NCUA said yesterday that Kay Woods, a one-time president of Weststar CU in Las Vegas, was named manager of Arrowhead during the conservatorship.

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