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Three More TIPs Charters Get Approval

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA said it approved three more TIPs charters, including one that will help buffer another airline credit union from the industry's downturn by allowing it to spread its wings nationwide. The new charter will allow Continental FCU, of El Segundo, Calif., to compete with the credit unions for American (American Airlines FCU), United (Alliant CU), and Northwest (Wings FCU) airlines, and FAA FCU, across the air transportation industry. A fifth airlines credit union, US Airways FCU (now Clearview FCU) was recently granted one of the largest community charters, to serve three-million people in greater Pittsburgh. NCUA also said it approved TIPs (tradewide, industrywide or professionwide) charters for two CUs to serve the healthcare industries in their local markets: OhioHealth FCU, Columbus, and GFH EFCU, Glens Falls, N.Y.

70 CU Mergers OK'd

During Nov., Dec. '04

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA approved 70 mergers in the final two months of 2004, making a total of 300 credit union marriages for the year. The last two months claimed 45 more small credit unions under $5 million, meaning 218 small credit unions disappeared through mergers last year.

The biggest combinations approved in the last two months were: Covantage CU, Antigo, Wis. ($450 million) with Eagle Country FCU, Crystal Falls, Mich. ($45 million); Suncoast Schools FCU, Tampa, Fla. ($4.4 billion) with HSN FCU, Clearwater, Fla. ($12 million); AEDC FCU, Tullahoma, Tenn. ($980 million) with Maury Progressive CU, Columbia, Tenn. ($7 million); Beacon CU (formerly Wabash County Farm Bureau CU), Wabash, Ind. ($530 million) with Saginaw Community CU, Peru, Ind. ($35 million); Communications Family FCU, Saginaw, Mich. ($410 million) with Midland Area FCU, Midland, Mich. ($22 million); and Tellesis CU, Chatsworth, Calif. ($480 million) with New World FCU, Lafayette, Calif. ($9 million).

In addition, fast-growing Self-Help CU, the nation's leading community development credit union, based in Durham, N.C. (175 million) agreed to amerger with Scotland Community CU, Wagren, N.C. ($8 million).

USA FCU Converts To State

AUBURN HILLS, Mich.-USA FCU said it is dropping the 'federal' from its name and making the switch to a state- chartered credit union. The $580-million said state regulators have approved its state charter, which will cover more than 2.2 million people in Oakland and Macomb counties, and some surrounding communities. The credit union will continue to be able to serve its select employee groups (SEGs).

Memorial Fund For Family

BATH, Maine-Recent attacks in Iraq have hit troops that are stationed out of Maine, which have had close relations with the state's credit unions. One of the soliders killed, Lynn Poulin, was a member of Five County CU and had sent stuffed camels to their tellers and loans officers as a friendly gesture.

The CU has set up a Memorial Fund. Checks may be made payable to Lynn Poulin Memorial Fund and sent to c/o Five County CU, P.O. Box 598, 765 Washington Street, Bath ME 04530.

Brothers Plead Guilty

MADISKOWHEGAN, Me.-James 'Tony' Wildes pleaded guilty to robbing Franklin-Somerset FCU twice last year, along with his teenage brother. Wildes, 20, pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery and one count of conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced later this month, District Attorney Evert Fowle told The Credit Union Journal. Wildes, along with his 16-year-old brother Christopher Wildes, robbed the credit union's Madison branch of $15,000 on July 6 and $30,000 on Aug. 12. The younger Wildes pleaded guilty to participating in one of the robberies and is currently serving time at a youth detention center.

The Credit Union Journal's On Deadline coverage is sponsored by Liberty. For info: www.libertysite.com.

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