Keesler FCU Counts TheLosses

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BILOXI, Miss. - (09/15/05) -- Days after sustaining the hardestblows Hurricane Katrina could Keesler give out, Keesler FCU wasback on its feet this week, with nine of its 13 offices open forbusiness. Two of the U.S. branches for the state's largest creditunion were completely destroyed by the massive storm but the $800million credit union was limping along, despite intermittent powerand phone outages at its branches, according to Scott Broome, itspresident and CEO. Keesler was being aided on a number of fronts:by the use of a Dallas call center operated by CUNA Mutual Groupand a Virtual Private Network set up at Pen Air FCU, in Pensacola,Fla., where four of its employees were processing emergency loansfor members. Pen Air FCU had also lent Keesler a mobile 36-foottrailer/branch for use at its affected branches. For a few dayslast week, Keesler was routing transactions through its threeEngland branches--half a world away. "They were able to bridge thegap for approximately three days, until we were able to open ouroffices here," Broome told The Credit Union Journal. The massivehurricane left as many as half of Keesler's 330 U.S. employeeshomeless, with many relocated outside the area and not expected toreturn.

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