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Community CU Adds To FOM

AUSTIN, Texas-Community CU was given permission by state regulators to expand its already formidable field of membership by adding two million residents of Tarrant and Denton counties to it.

The $900-million credit union, the largest community charter in the country, is already authorized to serve more than six million residents in and around its home base of Dallas County.

But the Texas CU Department drew the line at the two additional counties and denied a request by Community CU to serve another three million people in eight other counties, as well.

Computer Crash Slows CU Giant

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-A computer failure on the mainframe at Teachers CU sent workers back to the olden days of batch systems until the system was repaired at the end of the day.

"We had a part go out on our IBM mainframe," said Richard Rice, president of the $1- billion credit union. "We just handled it the way we did in the 1970s, we batched the system."

Members were able to conduct transactions but the transactions were not credited to accounts until the end of the day, Rice told The Credit Union Journal.

Members were also able to access ATMs but with off-line limits. The computer crash affected all of the credit unions 32 branches and 52 ATMs.

The credit union is currently working to implement a redundant system for such computer failures.

NBC's Dateline Profiles CUs

NEW YORK-NBC's Dateline program served as a national billboard for credit unions during a one-hour investigation into the automobile business when credit unions were featured as part of the "How to do it right" segment.

Three credit unions cooperated in the production of the segment. One undercover shopper got a significantly better deal at 1st Patriots FCU in South Carolina than at the local dealership.

Digital FCU in Boston allowed Dateline to use its "StreetWise" auto section for the NBC website; and University FCU in Austin, Texas, helped NBC check finance figures in all transactions.

The show encouraged people to join a credit union and pointed to the consumer page of CUNA's website, as a tool for finding one.

FCUs Not Bound By Escheat Laws

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-Federal credit unions may adopt their own policies regarding inactive accounts but are not bound by state escheat statutes, according to NCUA.

"Under NCUA regulations, state laws regulating the opening maintenance and closing of share draft or share certificate accounts are not applicable to FCUs," the federal regulator said in a new legal opinion letter regarding the applicability of Louisiana's escheat law.

However, a federal credit union may adopt an inactive accounts policy that would be equivalent to, or more stringent than the Louisiana statute, "as long as it discloses the policy to members and it does not conflict with other federal laws, state escheat laws or the FCU's contractual obligations."

Utah CUs Aid Local Schools

SALT LAKE CITY-The Utah League of Credit Unions' 100% For Kids Credit Union Education Foundation recently said it has awarded $33,000 to area teachers, students and schools.

The league's not-for-profit foundation granted $22,000 to teachers in Ogden School District to help them restock classrooms, buy reading and social studies books, and purchase a projector and laptop computer.

The foundation also granted $5,700 to Jordan School District for students to prepare and broadcast their own newscasts, buy software, and launch a reading and writing program; and $5,000 to Lehi Elementary School to buy books.

System Links CU Branches

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-Colorado Springs CU said it has implemented Avaya IP's Office Network to connect the phone systems at its three branches for seamless communications.

The system combines comprehensive voice and data applications normally reserved for large companies and tools aimed at easing customer usage.

The system supports conferencing, contact centers, voice messaging and other communications applications.

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