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Investors sue CU over brokerage advice
HARRISBURG, Pa. (9/25/08)--Five members of a Harrisburg, Pa.-based credit union have filed a lawsuit in Dauphin County Court, claiming they lost money because of financial advice from a brokerage service offered by the credit union. Belco Community CU, a $268.6 million asset credit union based in Harrisburg, was named in the suit by five retired Verizon workers. The suit claims they lost part of their retirement savings by following advice from a financial planner with CUNA Brokerage Services Inc., which provides member financial services for the credit union. The retirees have also filed a complaint at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. “We take any consumer complaint seriously," said Rick Ullman, senior manager, media relations, at CUNA Mutual Group. "The cases filed against the credit union involve members whose investments were affected by the 2000-2003 market downturn, as many investors were, and they are looking for someone to hold responsible for their losses," Ullman told News Now. "We believe the suits are without merit, but respect the members’ right to pursue their claims,” he said. “This is a highly regulated industry and the business practices used by CUNA Mutual and Belco are sound and appropriate,” he concluded. Lonny Maurer, Belco president/CEO, could not comment on the lawsuit specifics. He noted that a local newspaper accurately reported his comments about a bear market. "We can't predict when bear markets occur. Bear markets do have a significant impact on what has happened in the market and their specific investments," he told the Patriot-News (Sept. 24).


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