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First Basin hangs up bank-conversion bid
ODESSA, Texas (3/6/08)--First Basin CU in Texas announced Wednesday it has terminated its plans to convert to a mutual savings bank. It "will remain a credit union," said a press release on the credit union's website. The Odessa, Texas-based credit union has "terminated its plan of Mutual Charter Conversion and voluntarily withdrawn its applications to convert from a credit union to a mutual savings bank," said President/CEO Shem Culpepper in the press release. He said the $125 million asset credit union's board "made this decision based upon concerns surrounding false and misleading information being disseminated which affected the fairness of the voting process." "The board had become concerned that the controversy surrounding the vote was having an adverse impact on the credit union and its ability to serve its members," he said. Last month the credit union suspended the Feb. 21 membership vote on the conversion proposal, saying that members had received calls telling them that if they don't vote against the conversion, they would lose some of their deposits and their accounts would be closed. Other false statements included information about rate and fee changes, said Culpepper (News Now Feb. 18 and 19). According to Annette Snowden, board chairman, "Our first priority is, and always will be, to First Basin and its members. We look forward to returning First Basin to its normal business operations, providing highly personalized service and the exceptional value our members have come to expect." Members who opposed the conversion attempt are planning to run candidates in the next board election, according to Letty Morales, who founded Save First Basin, the group opposing the conversion (News Now Feb. 29).
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