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Dividend Rates Tip Down For CUs

WASHINGTON-Credit unions continue to trim their savings rates to all-time lows, with the benchmark money market rate slipping below 1% over the past week.

Data compiled by DataTrac Corp. shows the average rate for money market accounts fell to just 0.99% in recent days, while the average for the traditional share account slipped to only 0.82%; and for share draft (checking) accounts to a meager 0.49%.

Still, those rates continue to hover between 15 bps and 44 bps above the rates paid by banks, which average 0.55% for money market accounts; 0.49% for regular savings; and 0.35% for checking. DataTrac follows rates for 8,000 depository institutions, including 1,000 credit unions.

PSCUFS Pays Out $1.64 Million

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-PSCU Financial Services said it will pay out more than $1.64 million in patronage to its 500 credit unions members. Members will get the dividend by the end of November.

ATM Branding Program Extended

PONTE VEDRA, Fla.-Global Axcess Corp. said it has signed with Community Bank Connection of Jacksonville, Fla., to market its Nationwide Money ATM Branded Cash Program to community banks and credit unions.

The company said two more credit unions signed on this week to the program, allowing smaller institutions to access and brand ATMs in their own markets.

Those credit unions were: Freedom First FCU, Roanoke, Va., and Beacon Community CU, Lynchburg, Va.

Mortgage Bank Eyes Big CU Role

ANN ARBOR, Mich.-Midwest Loan Services, a subsidiary of University Bancorp providing mortgage banking for 64 midwest credit unions, said it is planning to expand its mortgage services to include jumbo and non-standard mortgage loans.

This would allow Midwest Loan to offer a range of mortgage products on a private label basis serviced in the name of the credit union.

Region Sees First SBA CU Loan

MECHANICSBURG, Pa-A local chiropractor is believed to be the first recipient in Central Pennsylvania of a small business credit union loan guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The $40,000 guaranteed loan was made by AmeriChoice FCU to Eric Nicastro, to help finance a chiropractic clinic in Lower Allen Township.

The $90-million credit union is the only CU in Pennsylvania certified under the SBA's 7(a) guarantee program. Under the program, 85% of the loan is guaranteed by the SBA.

ATM Branding Program Adds CUs

PONTE VERDA, Fla.-Global Axcess Corp. said its Nationwide Money subsidiary has signed Freedom First FCU, Roanoke, Va., and Beacon Community CU, Lynchburg, Va., to its Branded Cash Program.

The program provides surcharge-free access to the company's ATMs, enabling the CU to promote its own brand.

Freedom First FCU has contracted to brand six ATMs in its service area and has an option to brand another eight; while Beacon Community CU has branded 16 ATMs and has an option to brand another two.

Open Solutions To Raise Funds In IPO

GLASTONBURY, Ct.-Privately held Open Solutions Inc. plans to raise as much as $75 million with an initial public offering of 4.9 million shares.

About $4.8 million of the proceeds will be used to retire debt, including $1.9 million owed to Liberty Enterprises for OSI's recent acquisition of Liberty FiTech, and another $1.4 million owed to Fair, Isaac, with the rest used for general corporate purposes, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

OSI, which makes The Complete Credit Union Solution suite of Internet-based services, said it broke into the black through the first nine months of the year to the tune of $1.7 million, but has accumulated losses in each of the past three fiscal years totaling $29 million.

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