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Bankers Mount New FOM Challenge

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.-The Missouri Bankers Association filed a new appeal last week challenging the state credit union regulator's field of membership grant, this one a three-county bid by tiny Southeast Telephone Employees CU, of Park Hills. The appeal, filed along with New Era Bank, challenges the FOM grant because of the multiple counties involved. The bankers have challenged more than a dozen FOM grants over the past two years, with at least six still pending.

Meantime, the MBA is scheduled to face off with attorneys for the state's CU Division on Sept. 10 when the state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case determining whether the bankers have standing to challenge FOM grants.

HQ Sale Brings Hefty Profits

QUEENS, N.Y.-The sale of its corporate headquarters here made Qside FCU (formerly Waterside FCU) the most profitable credit union in the nation for the first half of the year. The $47- million credit union sold its headquarters in the hot New York real estate market for $2 million and is now leasing office space, Mark Johnson, president of Qside, told The Credit Union Journal.

The sale enabled Qside to report net income of $1.8 million and a return-on- average assets (ROA) of 8.3% for the first half, according to Callahan & Associates. The rest of the top 10 most profitable credit unions over $25 million in assets were: Hoboken School Employees FCU, Hoboken, N.J., with net income of $613,000 (4.29%); Progressive CU, New York City, $5.2 million (4.16%); Whatcom Educational CU, Bellingham, Wash., $5.4 million (3.58%); Salt River Project CU, Tempe, Ariz., $2.9 million (3.34%); Financial Partners CU, Downey, Calif., $9.4 million (3.31%); Vons Employees FCU, El Monte, Calif., $3.4 million (3.23%); Telcoe FCU, Little Rock, Ark., $2.2 million (3.22%); Telesis Community CU, Chatsworth, Calif., $5.3 million (3.21%); Consumers FCU, New York City, $504,000 (3.14%).

Calif. CUs Seek Broad FOM Powers

SACRAMENTO, Calif.-State-chartered credit unions in the Golden State continue to reach for expansive fields of membership, according to documents obtained by The Credit Union Journal from the California Department of Financial Institutions under the state's Public Information Act.

Among them: Energy First CU has requested permission to serve about six million residents in the Los Angeles region; SAFE CU has asked to add two million people in six northern California counties; California Community CU to serve 800,000 residents in two counties; and Eagle CU to serve 600,000 people in San Joaquin County. Recently approved was a request from Pacific Services CU to serve about 3.5 million people in five counties.

Bridge Loans On Tap For Brewery CU

MILWAUKEE-The Brewery CU said its board has approved special bridge loans for employees being laid off by Miller Brewing Co., its main sponsor group.

The company recently announced as many as 200 layoffs at its Milwaukee brewery. The $21- million credit union will offer both signature and collateral-backed loans up to $5,000 to the affected members. The credit union was chartered in 1934, the same year the Federal CU Act, was passed, to serve employees of Miller, Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz, and other Milwaukee breweries, and now serves five local counties.

Alaska CUs: Then There Were 12

ANCHORAGE, Ala.-Credit Union 1 has agreed to merge with North Country CU, reducing the number of credit unions in the state to an even dozen.

Alaska has had 13 credit unions since 1997. The combination will create a credit union with more than $455 million in assets serving almost 50,000 members. Alaska USA FCU, with more than $1.9 billion in assets, is the state's largest credit union.

Fiserv Adds E*TRADE Access

BROOKFIELD, Wis.-Fiserv has signed with E*TRADE Access, a unit of E*TRADE Financial, to add the company's 15,000 ATMs to its ACCEL/Exchange electronic funds transfer network.

The deal will bring the number of ATMs on the newly reorganized network to more than 50,000. ACCEL/Exchange is the remnants of four separate networks Fiserv acquired from Electronic Data Systems. The network serves more than 4,000 financial institutions, about half of which are credit unions.

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