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Rates Continue To Slide

WASHINGTON-Credit unions continued to slash their savings rates to all time lows this week, trimming another couple of basis points off their main savings products, according to data compiled by DataTrac Corp.

The average paid on regular share accounts fell again last week to just 1.18%; while the average for share draft accounts dipped to a miserly 0.7%, and for MMAs to a 1.35%. But those rates remain above what the banks are paying by 47 BPs, 22 BPs and 57 BPs, respectively. Rates paid by credit unions on all CDs also plunged to 1.5% on three- month terms; 1.74% for six-month CDs; 2.03% for one-year CDs; 2.52% for two-year CDs; 3% for three-year CDs; 3.34% for four-year CDs; and 3.73% on the five-year.

Brokers Scrutinized

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA, left unawares by several scandals related to CD brokers in recent years, has established a new monitoring program aimed at allowing it to keep better tabs on CUs' activities in the vast CD market.

The move comes as regulators are still cleaning up after Bentley Financial Services, the massive Ponzi-like CD scheme that cost 120 CUs as much as $50 million. Under the new program NCUA will: require all federally insured credit unions report CD holdings on quarterly call reports; focus on those CUs with high CD holdings, and provide expanded examiner training on the risks of CDs.

A federal receiver for the Bentley estate is expected to distribute checks to all investors over the next few weeks amounting to about 60% of the principal of their Bentley investments.

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