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Credit Unions

July 3, 2010 | By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
Did regulators move too fast in taking down Arrowhead Credit Union, as a prominent financial consultant contended? Or was the San Bernardino nonprofit heading for ruin and misrepresenting its financial condition, as a spokesman for its federal regulator said? One thing is certain: The dispute over the 152,000-member credit union shows that regulators can expect more pushback as they intensify scrutiny of the financial institutions. "The kind of [confrontational] situation we're seeing at Arrowhead can occur at other credit unions," said David Chatfield, acting chief executive of the California and Nevada Credit Union League trade group.
June 28, 2010 | By W.J. Hennigan and E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
The federal seizure of one of the Inland Empire's largest credit unions over the weekend was part of a stepped-up effort by regulators to shore up the financial institutions, which were battered along with banks by the mortgage meltdown and the real estate bust. Regulators took over Arrowhead Credit Union on Saturday, citing its "declining financial condition." The action was part of a nationwide move to increase vigilance that has included the hiring of 107 new examiners and more frequent reviews of credit unions' financial health.
June 27, 2010 | By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
Mark and Roberta Maxwell had been zapped by fees for overdrawing funds and using the wrong ATM, and they felt their bank, the former Washington Mutual, had lost its personal touch since a takeover by Chase. Adding insult to injury, Roberta said, they had to pay a special fee for depositing more than $5,000 in cash to their small-business account in a single month — something they might do again because Mark, a saxophone player, earns much of his living selling his smooth-jazz CDs at street fairs.
February 7, 2010 | Liz Pulliam Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I want to stop supporting the greedy banking industry by changing my checking account from a big bank to my local credit union. But I'm worried I will have to give up services I like, such as online banking and free bill payment. What will I give up if I use a credit union? Answer: You may not have to give up anything, and you may gain a few things, depending on how you bank. Credit unions are member-owned, which means they don't have to worry about making profits for shareholders.
January 1, 2010 | By E. Scott Reckard
There can be few institutions more despised as 2010 begins than big U.S. banks, but what can the average person do about it? The answer, according to author and Huffington Post website co-founder Arianna Huffington: Withdraw your money. In a widely read blog post this week, Huffington and former Senate Banking Committee chief economist Rob Johnson try to stir up a popular revolt by encouraging bank customers to yank their deposits from Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Chase and Citibank and move them to community banks and credit unions.
December 14, 2009 | By Richard Winton
Los Angeles Police detectives did not have far to go to investigate this crime. The credit union across the street from the new Los Angeles Police Department headquarters building was robbed Tuesday morning for the second time in four months. Police said the bandit got away on a bicycle with about $1,000 in cash. Los Angeles Police Lt. Paul Vernon said the robber was wearing a distinctive black backpack with small white polka dots when he entered the Southland Credit Union in the 200 block of South Spring Street about 10:25 a.m. The suspect did not display a weapon.
November 1, 2009
Re: David Lazarus' consumer column "Consumers need credit card laws, fast," Oct. 25: I'm beginning to think that David Lazarus and I live in different universes. He relates a story of how a man got a notice from Citibank that his rate was increasing dramatically and is now planning to switch cards. To me, this shows that our free enterprise system works: Customers are free to go elsewhere when they feel a business doesn't treat them well. In Lazarus' universe, this makes it clear that we need government protection.
October 31, 2009 | Jim Puzzanghera
Bank and credit union officials today strongly defended the overdraft protection most of them automatically provide to customers as the industry faces congressional proposals to restrict the programs because of complaints they are unfair and the fees are much too large. "Payment rejection means embarrassment, inconvenience, merchant fees and other adverse circumstances," said Nessa Feddis, senior counsel at the American Bankers Assn.'s Center for Regulatory Compliance. Overdraft protection fees, which average $35 for each use, are so large to discourage their use, she said, and restricting them would lead to higher fees for checking accounts across the board.
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