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NEW YORK-A 26-foot tall ad touting "NCUA-safe" coverage of federal deposit insurance makes its debut in iconic Times Square this morning, part of the NCUA public awareness campaign for the National CU Share Insurance Fund.

A donated 15-second public service announcement featuring TV financial guru Suze Orman will be shown two times per hour from November 15 through January, 1, 2011, the heaviest period of pedestrian traffic on an accompanying electronic messaging board.

The 26-foot-by-20-foot screen is strategically located on 42nd St. between 7th and 8th Ave in the heart of the Times Square Plaza. It is estimated that over 1.5 million people will view the screen daily.

The NCUA ad is a variation of the Suze Orman poster touting federal insurance, and features a highly visual message designed to stand out in the busy Times Square environment. "This latest pickup of NCUA advertising could not have come at a more opportune time," said NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz in a statement. "With millions of consumers flooding Times Square for the Thanksgiving Parade, the Black Friday start to the holiday shopping season, New Year's Eve, and other days that see large numbers of visitors, NCUA's share insurance campaign has hit prime time."



ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA approved several more acquisitions by credit union giants, extending the trend of greater consolidation in the credit union movement.

Among the mergers NCUA said last week it approved: Pentagon Federal Credit Union with Trippler Federal Credit Union, a one-time $15 million Honolulu credit union and Alaska USA Federal Credit Union with Transportation Northwest Federal Credit Union, a former $35 million Seattle credit union.

In recent days NCUA also said it approved Navy Federal Credit Union's acquisition of troubled San Diego-based USA Federal Credit Union; and the combination of Addison Avenue Federal Credit Union with First Tech Credit Union, creating a $5 billion credit union giant. A third mega-merger, of Kinecta Federal Credit Union and NuVision Federal Credit Union, creating another $5 billion credit union, is pending.

NCUA also said it cleared the mergers of: $900 million Empower Federal Credit Union, Syracuse, N.Y., with Providers Federal Credit Union; $700 million Twinstar Credit Union, Olympia, Wash., with Oregon's Rite Choice Community Federal Credit Union; $710 million Financial Partners Federal Credit Union, in California, with Santa Fe Springs City Employees Federal Credit Union; and $840 million Max Federal Credit Union in Alabama, with St. Judge Medical Central Federal Credit Union.

NCUA also reported it approved the acquisition by SkyOne Federal Credit Union, the former FAA credit union in California, of two troubled credit unions serving small regional airlines, Pacific Advantage Federal Credit Union (Japan Airlines) and Cypress West Federal Credit Union (Qantas Airways).



WASHINGTON-Regulators closed three more banks last week, two in Georgia and one in Arizona, making 146 bank failures so far this year. The most recent failures were: Darby Bank & Trust, a $655-million bank in Vidalia, Ga., and Tifton Banking Co., a $144- million Tifton, Ga., bank, and Copper State Bank, a $165-million institution in Scottsdale, Ariz. There have been 28 credit union failures so far this year. Bank failures are mounting at the fastest pace since 1992, surpassing last year's total of 140. The FDIC's tally of problem banks climbed to 829 banks with $403 billion in assets at the end of the second quarter, a 7% increase from the 775 on the list in the first quarter.

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