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CUs Continue To Flee Utah Charter

TEMPE, Ariz.-NCUA said it has approved the conversion of University of Utah CU to a federal charter, the 10th credit union to flee the state charter over the past 15 months.

The state's fifth largest credit union was approved by NCUA Western Region VI office to serve five Utah counties encompassing more than 1.4 million residents, the same multiple-county FOM now being challenged in court by the Utah Bankers Association.

Since the start of this year when the banker-backed bid to tax credit unions reached a climax all six of Utah's largest state credit unions have converted to federal charters.

GTE FCU Eyes New Homes

TAMPA, Fla.-In what community development groups hope is a magnet for redevelopment, GTE FCU is building a new headquarters campus on a 12.5-acre plot in the city's Central Park neighborhood.

The credit union is constructing a four-story 135,000-square-foot building that will serve as its new headquarters and an adjacent 20,000-square-foot facility that will serve as its information technology center, with plans for as many as two more structures later on.

Bucky Sebastian, president of the $1.4-billion credit union, said they plan to consolidate operations in two downtown buildings and move the 325 employees working there to their new home.

Final cost of the project, including land acquisition, planning, construction, and furnishing, is expected to be between $21 million and $23 million, he told The Credit Union Journal. Sebastian has been talking with community development groups about their plans to use the credit union project as a magnet to redevelop one of the city's poorest neighborhoods.

SCFCU Plans New Service Center

COLUMBIA, S.C.-South Carolina FCU plans to break ground on its first high-tech branch, in nearby Mount Pleasant.

The new service, slated for opening later this year, will feature options like electronic teller stations, where members can communicate with remote tellers via two-way audio and visual; and a biometric vault system where members of the $900-million credit union will use their handprints to access to their safety deposit boxes.

The new branch will also offer now-standard fare of big-screen plasma television screens providing updated news, community information and marketing campaigns.

DAFCU Funds Scholarships

ANCHORAGE, Alaska-Denali Alaskan FCU said it will provide $10,000 to finance 10 scholarships to students who are college bound.

The $250-million credit union said it doubled the size of the scholarships this year from last year's $500 apiece. Eligibility requirements include membership in the credit union and a minimum grade-point average of 2.25.

Prime Alliance Issues Stock

TUKWILA, Wash.-Prime Alliance Solutions, a CUSO providing mortgage solutions to credit unions, said it sold stock amounting to 48% of the company to 12 CUs.

Capital raised in the private placement offering will be used to finance an expansion of the company's process to include the rest of the mortgage process and servicing of loans, according to Dan Green, vice president of Prime Alliance.

After completion of the offering, Boeing Employees CU, the founder of the CUSO, will reduce its stake from 85% to 53%, while Dexma, the other founder, will hold 13%, and the employee stock ownership plan will hold 2%.

The credit unions buying into Prime Alliance are: City County CU, GTE FCU, Hiway FCU, Members Mortgage Inc., MacDill FCU, Midwest Financial CU, Orange County Teachers FCU, Patelco CU, Suffolk FCU, Suncoast FCU, CoastHills FCU, Visions FCU, and Wescom CU.

Detroit Showcase Gets CU Flavor

DETROIT-General Motors said at least two credit unions have signed on to help anchor the Renaissance Center, the car maker's new corporate headquarters downtown here.

Research FCU has leased offices in the main building, while Public Service CU has signed on for the Millender Center part of the project.

The project, part of an effort to revitalize downtown Detroit, consists of the GM Renaissance Center, Millender Center and River East Center, which is two towers, consisting of office, commercial and residential properties.

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