Storms Highlight Shared Branching

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The mass dislocation of credit union members caused by Hurricane Katrina, and now Hurricane Rita, has proved a big boon to the shared branching concept. Dozens of credit union executives at CUNA's Future Forum said they may have been dubious about the concept before but learned its value after the storms, which scattered hundreds of thousands of members from proximity to home branches and ATMs. Several credit union executives said they have joined a shared branching network since Katrina hit because it will provide access to financial services to their own members during the next natural disaster. "More credit unions were able to continue serving their members or others (because of shared branching)," said one CEO Tuesday during the conference.

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