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Coffers Swell At U.S. Central

LENEXA, Kan.-The flood of new savings into the credit union movement continued to flow upwards to U.S. Central Credit Union during the second quarter, with the corporates' corporate hitting a new high of $43.2 billion in assets at June 6.

But lower market rates cut both interest earned on U.S. Central's and dividends paid out to corporate members, making net income almost flat for the quarter at $15.1 million, compared to $15.2 million for the second quarter last year.

U.S. Central said the lower rate environment caused it to reduce the dividends on its Member Capital Shares and Paid-In-Capital to $11 million for the first half of the year, from $13.5 million for the same period last year, with average rates on the two instruments 55 basis points lower.

Fee income, much of it through U.S. Central's various ventures, rose 13% in the second quarter to $4.4 million, and by 12% for the first six months to $8.5 million.

Out-Of-State CUs Growing In Texas

AUSTIN, Texas-TruWest CU, of Scottsdale, Ariz., has applied to state regulators for what would be the biggest community field of membership ever granted an out-of-state credit union, encompassing the one million residents of Travis County, the area surrounding the capital city of Austin.

The $620-million credit union, formerly known as Motorola Employees CU-West, has been slowly biting off small communities in the Lone Star State, where the corporate sponsor has operations, over the last few months.

Separately, Star One CU, Sunnyvale, was approved to serve as many as 250,000 residents within a 10-mile radius of the credit union's Austin office. Also, Houston Energy CU, has applied to serve almost four million residents in Harris County, where Houston is located.

Texas High School To Get CU Branch

BEAUMONT, Texas-Dupont Beaumont FCU said it plans to open a student-run branch in the local West Brook High School in the coming school year.

Under a plan approved by the local school board the Student Financial Center will provide limited financial services to students, such as savings and checking accounts and co-signed car loans, and financial education, based on the curriculum developed by the National Endowment for Financial Education, in conjunction with CUNA. The branch will serve students, teachers and administrators.

WRCU In Economic Power Project

ENUMCLAW, Wash.-White River CU plans to become the first credit union to participate in the Economic Power Project, a financial education program being backed by seven western state credit union leagues.

In Western Washington the program, which is being administered by the Washington CU Foundation, will target Hispanics.

The program is based on a $532,000 grant from the U.S. Treasury Department as part of its First Accounts Program.

EPP aims to serve the unbanked or underserved minority populations in seven Western states, and follows an agreement in 2002 among the credit union leagues of seven western states to cooperate in the development of a financial education project.

CU Offers Cash-Back Auto Loans

SAN DIEGO-USE CU said it is rolling out to its full membership a Cash Back Auto Loan after a recent pilot program exceeded expectations.

During the pilot, USE said branch-driven financing of new and used vehicles almost doubled beyond normal seasonal volumes.

The USE Cash Back Auto Loan is designed to complement automakers' rebate programs by enabling consumers to combine the rebates with the credit union's low-rate financing and cash back feature.

The Cash Back Auto Loan enables buyers to finance new and used vehicles and receive a cash rebate equal to 1% of the amount borrowed, up to $1,000, on applications received before Sept. 30, 2003.

USE is offering terms up to 84 months and rates as low as 3.99% with automatic payment from a USE checking account.

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