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Rates On Guaranteed Student Loans Jump

WASHINGTON-The Department of Education announced last week that rates on federally guaranteed student loans will jump by a record amount on July 1. Because of an increase in Treasury bill rates-which the loan rates are pegged to-the in-school rate for the federal Stafford loan will rise from the current 2.77% to 4.7%, and the rate for Stafford loans in repayment will rise from 3.37% to 5.3%. The rates on PLUS loans for parents will rise to 6.1%. Students can still consolidate their loans at rates as low as 3.37% until July 1.

Maryland, DC League Boards OK Merger

COLUMBIA, Md.-The boards of the Maryland and District of Columbia credit union leagues gave their final approvals last week to a combination of the two credit union trade associations. The merger will create a trade association representing about 160 credit unions surrounding the nation's Capital and based in suburban Columbia, Maryland. Members of both leagues will vote on the merger in July. The name of the combined organization will be the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association.

Thieves In Elaborate Heist Of CU's ATM

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-In an elaborate heist at an ATM belonging to Community First Credit Union here, robbers cut through a fence surrounding the property, pried open doors to a dance club adjacent to the ATM and cut through a wall. The robbers also cut the building's phone lines to disable the alarm system and attempted to divert most of the CU's cameras. Police believe the thieves are the same individuals responsible for other robberies in the area. A camera on an ATM that faces the CU's parking lot captured images of a large rental van and the two suspects.

Disaster Recovery CUSO Formed

BALTIMORE, Md.-A number of credit unions in the Washington, D.C. have formed a CUSO that will offer disaster planning, recovery and business continuity services. The CUSO, called Ongoing Operations LLC, said it will provide three key services in the event of a disaster: a remote phone center; a complete data center that provides ancillary services not provided by core providers; and customizable work spaces designed to reroute CU employees and replicate quickly the normal work environment, minimize service disruption and ensure business continuity.

BFCU's HQ Revitalizes Area

ELKHART, Ind.-Bayer FCU opened its new corporate headquarters on the city's RiverWalk project, one of three local financial institutions offices that helped spur the five-acre city revitalization project. The $220-million credit union built a 440,000 square-foot office, with plans to expand up to 120,000 feet, the first of three financial institutions to commit to the redevelopment of the area, later joined by First State Bank and St. Joseph Capital Bank. Bayer FCU was formerly known as Miles FCU, then was rebranded after a merger with Michiana FCU, and now serves 40,000 members.

Mica To CU Museum Board

MANCHESTER, N.H.-Dan Mica, CEO of CUNA, has been named to the board of America's Credit Union Museum here. The museum is located in the building in which the first CU in the U.S., St. Mary's Bank, was housed at its inception.

For info: www.acumuseum.

BAI Acquires Consulting Firm

CHICAGO-The Bank Administration Institute has acquired Bankers Training and Consulting. Co., a St. Louis-based provider of training and educational services for financial institutions. Bankers Training provides instruction in all areas for banking and financial services, from receptionists to chief financial officers, over the Internet and videotapes. The company has focused on community banks but recently expanded its market into credit unions.

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

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