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Gulf Coast CUs get advice on oil-spill claims
Patrick La Pine, president/CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, explains the oil spill impact to the Gulf Coast region and proposed credit union efforts to help at a recent meeting in Pensacola, Fla., with credit union executives, the National Credit Union Administration and other area financial regulators. (Photo provided by the League of Southeastern Credit Unions)
PENSACOLA, Fla. (9/1/10)--Nearly 30 credit union executives and staff convened in Pensacola, Fla., to discuss ways they can be a resource for those impacted along the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of the huge oil spill this spring. The League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) Credit Union Response to the Gulf Oil Spill forum offered dialogue with regulators from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR), the Alabama Credit Union Administration and the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions. Tim Hornbrook, NCUA associate regional director, told credit unions to take each possible solution on a case-by-case basis. He instructed credit unions to find simple ways, such as waiving late and ATM fees and modifying loans to help those who are hurting. Linda Charity, director, Division of Financial Institutions with OFR, suggested credit unions should be open-minded about loans and to document every loan. Robert Hayes, bureau chief, Bureau of Credit Unions with OFR, reminded attendees to look at their check-cashing policies before the oil-spill checks begin arriving. Glenn Latham, administrator for the Alabama Credit Union Administration, said credit unions should find ways to help those hurting by considering small loans to help them feed their family. “I thought we had good dialogue between the regulators and credit unions,” said LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine. “A lot of good ideas came from the forum that credit unions can consider.” Three Pensacola credit unions--Pen Air FCU, Gulf Winds FCU and Navy FCU, shared best practices they have implemented since the oil spill last April. “We wanted to do something more than just giving money,” said Kurt Stenerson, Gulf Winds vice president of marketing. “The response from the community to the fund has been great. We can see firsthand how the animals along the Gulf are benefitting from this program.” Two of the credit unions are participating in a Florida Bridge Loan program for small businesses.


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