Latest CU Failure Provides Additional Expansion Opportunity For Alaska USA FCU

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SPOKANE, Wash. — Alaska USA FCU, in the process of completing last month's acquisition of failed Seattle credit union Transportation Northwest CU, continued feeding off the carcasses of failed credit unions with a deal Friday to acquire loans and other assets of the Union CU.

Under a purchase and assumption agreement with regulators, the Alaska-based credit union giant will acquire loans and other assets of the one-time $14-million credit union, while Spokane's Numerica CU, will acquire the failed credit union's deposits.

Alaska USA has been rapidly expanding its West Coast footprint over the past two years, first by acquiring the California failures High Desert FCU and The Members Own CU, then by buying five branches from troubled San Bernardino, Calif.-based Arrowhead Central CU, then with the deal for Transportation Northwest CU.

Union CU, the first Washington credit union failure in 15 years, failed despite an expansion of the one-time Inland Empire Trades CU from serving the Bricklayers Union Local 3 to all unions in the state of Washington, and despite financial assistance from several large area credit unions. The credit union reported a $475,000 loss for the first nine months of the year and had negative net worth at Sept. 30, as its assets had declined to $11.8 million.

Union CU was the 27th credit union failure so far in 2010, which includes 17 liquidations and ten assisted mergers.

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