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Market crisis increases new accounts at Oregon CUs
BEAVERTON, Ore. (9/25/08)--With the ongoing crisis in U.S. financial markets, Oregon’s credit unions are seeing an increase statewide in the number of people who are moving their money to perceived safer havens at credit unions. Troy Stang, president/CEO of the Credit Union Association of Oregon, said he’s hearing from CEOs around the state that significant numbers of people are moving their money to credit unions. “Credit unions in various parts of the state are seeing new members and old members alike coming in the door and asking about share insurance,” Stang told News Now. “Of course, the fact that Washington Mutual is in our backyard [Seattle] is causing concern among residents in our state.” Standard & Poor's downgraded the ratings of Washington Mutual (WAMU) and Washington Mutual Bank to junk status due to rising market turmoil. The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) largest institution, WAMU, could be acquired soon. WAMU has 20% of its assets under the OTS, and if the bank is acquired, the OTS could be forced to restructure (News Now Sept. 17). Stang was quoted in a Tuesday article in The Oregonian about people searching for a more secure place to put their money during the current financial crisis and after the failure of several large banks. “I’m glad The Oregonian took a look at credit unions as a viable alternative to other financial institutions,” Stang said.
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