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CU System briefs (01/20/2010)
* BOULDER, Colo. (1/21/10)--The $312.2 million asset Premier Members FCU, based in Boulder, and Farmers Union FCU, a $4.2 million asset credit union in Greenwood Village, Colo., announced they intend to merge operations, pending approval from the National Credit Union Administration (PR Newswire Jan. 20). They began merger discussions late last year. Premier Members' CEO Rhett Bartley Rowe noted that "executives and directors from both credit unions view this merger as very positive and anticipate having it completed by April 1," pending approval from regulators and members. Farmers Union members will vote on the merger proposal on March 18. Farmers Union FCU was established in 1949 to provide financial support to the National Farmers Union and insurance-related agencies. Its single branch serves more than 700 members. Premier Members began in 1966 as the credit union supporting the IBM facilities. IT has 11 branches and more than 41,000 members. This will be the second merger for Premier Members this year. It finalized its most recent merger with $72 million asset, Denver-based Colorado United on Jan. 1 (News Now Dec. 21) ... * DEARBORN, Mich. (1/21/10)--DFCU Financial, Michigan's largest credit union, with $2.5 billion in assets, has issued a $19 million "special patronage dividend" to about 90,000 members. The dividend was structured as a bonus to reward members for their relationship with the credit union. The dividends ranged from $50 to several thousand dollars. "I'm thankful that given today's economy, I belong to a credit union," said member Victor Baiardi of South Lyon. "It's a place that actually gives back. I don't see any other banks providing the level of service and cash back that DFCU offers, and that's why I belong. This Special Patronage Dividend will help my family with the challenges that so many others are also facing here in Michigan." President/CEO Mark Strobe referred to the dividend as "our own economic stimulus package because a large portion of the $70 million we've distributed the last four years has been put back into the local economy while also helping members." ... * MEDFORD, Ore. (1/21/10)--A California man known as the "Zombie bandit" because of his blank, mumbling demeanor during credit union and bank robberies, was sentenced Tuesday to 17 years in federal prison . David Hurwitz, 69, of Orleans, Calif., had been charged with armed bank robbery in Medford, Ore., and three additional robberies in Northern California in December 2008. Those robberies included the San Rafael branch of Santa Rosa, Calif.-based Redwood CU. He was arrested in January 2009 in Wyoming. Hurwitz previously was convicted in 1994 and 1995 for 10 bank robberies in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan (Associated Press Newswires and Jan. 19) ...


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