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Western Bridge Corp. council OKs stand-alone option
TORRANCE, Calif. (2/22/11)--Western Bridge Corporate's Member Advisory Council has voted in favor of a recommendation to apply for a new charter as a stand-alone corporate credit union. A new charter would enable the corporate to take the next step toward consolidation with Members United Bridge Corporate. The council announced Friday that 80 credit unions (94%) on the council voted in favor of the recommendation. The council and its Executive Committee had met the past six weeks to review and refine several alternative business models for the new corporate entity to take the place of Western Corporate (WesCorp). Originally, the council chose consolidation with Members United Bridge Corporate, but on Feb. 8, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) issued a guidance letter regarding large consolidation issues. As a result, committee Chairman Jim Updike, CEO of Honda FCU, Torrance, Calif., and Vice Chairman Scott Waite, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Patelco CU, San Francisco, met with NCUA to discuss the council's preferred choice in aggregating services for payment processing, liquidity and investments. On Feb. 11, NCUA issued a policy stating that "such a consolidation would only be considered after the bridge corporates transition to independently operating corporate." With that, the Executive Committee developed a new recommendation to apply for the stand-alone corporate charter, and the full advisory council ratified the recommendation. "We are very pleased with the level of participation by the members of the Advisory Council and the results of the vote set a clear direction for a new corporate entity," Updike said in a news release. He acknowledged that member support is the first step in the process. The next step: the committee will engage NCUA's Office of Corporate Credit Unions to gain support of a business plan to be submitted before March 31. Before the Western Bridge plan is submitted, the council will seek ratification of the final plan by the entire Western Bridge Corporate membership. "It is important for members of Western Bridge Corporate to be part of the decision making process," Updike said.


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