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LSCU CEO proposes CU help to oil-spill claims czar
Patrick La Pine, president/CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (left), met with Ken Feinberg, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility administrator, named by President Barack Obama as the independent manager of the $20 billion Gulf Coast Compensation fund. La Pine proposed potential credit union involvement to assist to those along the Gulf Coast affected financially by the oil spill. (Photo provided by the League of Southeastern Credit Unions)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (9/1/10)--The CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) has proposed that credit unions get involved with assistance to those along the Gulf Coast affected financially by the British Petroleum (BP) oil spill. Patrick La Pine, LSCU president/CEO, and Will McCarty, league senior vice president of governmental affairs, recently met with Ken Feinberg, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility administrator, who was named by President Barack Obama as the independent manager of the $20 billion Gulf Coast Compensation Fund. The fund was set up with money from BP Oil Company in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which began in April. During the meeting, they discussed two major issues:
* Cashing of checks paid to claimants; and * Using the compensation fund to serve as a loan guarantor for small loans made by credit unions, especially to small businesses on the Gulf. Many of these businesses and their employees depend on summer revenue to survive through the off season. This year, summer revenues will not sustain coastal residents through the next nine months because of the losses incurred from fishing restrictions and a sharp decrease in tourism after the oil spill.
Feinberg recognized the value of credit unions’ strong response to the financial impact of the oil spill, LSCU said. Knowing that credit unions have the closest relationship to their members, he agreed that credit unions could offer help financially, as well as serve as a source of information for people on the Gulf who file claims. Although existing regulations and legal requirements of the fund are in place and won’t allow for the fund to guarantee loans by credit unions and banks, Feinberg did commit to speak to BP CEO Robert Dudley about the issue. He promised to tell BP that it would be beneficial to work with credit unions to assist individuals affected by the spill, and that BP guarantee loans because it would be a wise investment. LSCU said it will work to continue to build its partnership with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, other involved parties, and state and federal regulators to assist those affected by the spill.


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