CU Student Choice Expands
WASHINGTON-Credit Union Student Choice, which provides private student loans for more than 100 credit unions, said it plans to offer private consolidation and graduate business loan programs in 2011. The private consolidation loan will allow college graduates to consolidate multiple private student loans into a single loan.
The graduate business loan will be available to students attending any one of nearly 500 approved business schools and is structured similarly to the CUSO's undergraduate loan.
The CUSO, organized and headed by Callahan & Associates, has been beta testing the new products for the past 10 months.
Payments? May Be An App For That
CUPERTINO, Calif.-There was major buzz last week that Apple Inc.'s iPhone payments system is coming closer to reality following unconfirmed reports that Apple was vying with Google Inc. to buy Boku Inc., a San Francisco company that enables consumers to charge purchases to their mobile phone bill.
American Banker, an affiliate of Credit Union Journal, reported that the speculation follows reports last week that Apple was planning a partnership with Gemalto NV, the Dutch company that makes SIM cards for mobile phones-as well as payment cards with embedded chips. A partnership with Gemalto and a relationship with Boku, which has numerous relationships with mobile carriers, could be the pieces necessary to bring Apple's plans to fruition, analysts say.
Altura CU Closes Branch
RIVERSIDE, Calif.-Altura Credit Union is closing one of its two branches in Hemet, Calif., Credit Union Journal has learned.
Mark Hawkins, president of the $832 million credit union, said it has two branches in the desert city and will be closing what it refers to as its "East Hemet" location.
"We are making what we think will be our final branch closing," Hawkins said. "The announcement has been made to our staff and we are getting word out to members. We have been at this location for 10 or 11 years and the lease was expiring. The two locations are a little less than three miles apart."
In March, Altura CU closed a branch in Coachella, Calif. Last year it closed a branch in San Jacinto, which is just a few miles from Hemet, and converted a branch in Corona to an ATM- only location.
Altura's net income for the year through September was a loss of $5.7 million, including $1.8 million in NCUA charges. Its net worth ratio was 5.38% as of the end of September.
River City Plans 3 In-Store Branches
SAN ANTONIO-River City FCU reached an agreement with H.E. Butt Grocery Co. to open three new branches inside local H-E-B stores. "Our credit union wants to provide convenience for our current and prospective members. Our move into H-E-B will open new opportunities for expanded service and market share," said Kim Heinze, president of the $150 million credit union.
Empower FCU Grows Through Merger
SYRACUSE, N.Y.-Empower FCU, which has grown to $920 million through a series of mergers, has agreed to acquire Providers FCU, a troubled $10 million credit union here.
The merger will add another Syracuse location to Empower's 19 branches in the region.
"This relationship will provide more services for Providers' members and another location for all our members," said Jim Reynolds, senior vice president of operations for Empower. "Best of all for Providers members, it will give them expanded loan offerings."
'Stash For Cash' Kicks Off
BROOKLYN, N.Y.-Brooklyn Cooperative CU is offering its members up to $5,000 by playing in the credit union's new savings contest, "Stash for Cash." The contest is only for residents of the Bedford-Stuyvesant community and will provide a chance to play every time a member deposits $25 into a club account. The prizes range from $50 every other week, $1,000 quarterly, and $4,000 for the Grand Prize winner. The club account has a 12-month maturity period with a 2% yield. At the end of the year participants will be given all of their money back plus interest.