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Bank Exec To Head CU Giant

PORTLAND, Ore.-OnPoint Community CU, the state's largest credit union known until Jan. 1 as Portland Teachers CU, has hired Robert Stuart, a senior vice president at Bank of America, as its new president and CEO.

Stuart will take the helm at the $2-billion credit union on Feb. 1, succeeding Clifford Dias, who is retiring. Dias has agreed to remain on the job until June 1 to help with the transition Dias has headed the credit union since 1998.

CUs Finance Higher Heating Bills

CONCORD, N.H.-Credit unions in the northeast are offering special loans to assist members beset by the escalating of home heating costs this winter.

Gropaco Credit Union, in Northumberland, is offering low-interest loans up to $2,000 for anything related to home heating, like prepayment of oil bills, or ordering firewood. Service Credit Union, in Portsmouth, is also offering low-interest loans up to $1,000 for heating expenses.

St. Mary's Bank, in Manchester, is providing emergency loans for households in danger of having their heat turned off. University Credit Union, in Orono, Maine, is offering loans at 5.99% to help members pay for fuel, buy a wood stove or finance home renovations to make houses more energy efficient.

Atlantic Financial Pays Bonus

BALTIMORE- Atlantic Financial FCU said it paid just over $500,000 back to more than 11,500 members in a dividend and interest bonus for 2005.

Each member in good standing received 20% of the interest they earned in all of their savings and 10% of the interest they paid on all of their loans in 2005.

Atlantic Financial FCU has assets of over $59 million and serves the employees and family members of more than 100 companies.

Prepaid Card Limits Teen Spending

MESA, Ariz.-Parents have a new tool to help control their kids spending.

A start-up card company called Allow Card of America has introduced a prepaid stored-value card that is being marketed to students to allow them to make purchases without having to carry cash, checks, or credit cards.

The new twist in these prepaid Mastercards, called Allow Cards, is that parents can set daily, weekly or monthly spending limits, review statements online, and even decide where the cards can be used. Parents could, for example, allow their child to use the card at the college bookstore, but not the local video store.

Parents can also add funds to the cards either online or by telephone. Allow Card is also offering online financial literacy courses for card users to teach young people money skills.

Shoppers To Pay By Touch

SAN FRANCISCO-Biometric identification company Pay By Touch said it has signed with two midwest supermarket chains to allow shoppers in Minnesota and North Dakota to use their fingerprints to pay for groceries.

SUPERVALU has agreed to introduce the company's fingerprint payment system in its five Hornbacher's grocery stores in Fargo, N.D. and neighboring Moorhead, Minn., as has Cash Wise in selected stores in the two states.

The Pay By Touch system debits bank and credit union accounts by allowing shoppers to use touch a keypad at the point-of-sale, instead of using a credit or debit card.

Gulf Winds Pays Year-End Bonus

PENSACOLA, Fla.-Gulf Winds FCU said it paid its 37,000 members a special year-end dividend totaling $1 million.

The bonus payout was credited to members' accounts on New Year's Day. This is the fourth time in the last nine years the $275-million credit union has paid a bonus dividend to its members.

Robber Can't Wait To Spend Loot

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas-A man who held up Navy Army FCU last Tuesday afternoon was caught a short time later trying to spend some of his ill-gotten gains at the Family Thrift Center right behind the credit union.

The police interrupted the suspect's shopping spree and arrested him. The man entered the credit union and handed the teller a note claiming he had a bomb and to hand over money. The money was recovered, but no bomb was found, police said.

Serial Bandit Switches Appearance

TACOMA, Wash.-A Russian immigrant wanted in connection with four area robberies, including Monday's at Rainer CU, has changed in appearance to throw off authorities who are searching for him.

Police said Vladimir Shcherenkov, 27, robbed two more banks and shaved his beard since detectives began the hunt for the serial bank robber they called the "Yellow-jacketed Robber," because of what he wore during his first two holdups. Shcherenkov is also wanted for the Dec. 22 robbery at Wells Fargo, Jan. 3 hold-up at Columbia Bank, and Key Bank last weekend.

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