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Wildfires affect CUs transaction volume
PASADENA, Calif. (11/19/08)--The California wildfires this past weekend affected transaction volume at some of Wescom CU’s branches, the credit union said. Susan McCready, Wescom senior vice president of branch services, told News Now that she talked with several branches who reported that business was “much slower than usual.” “It was a frightening day because of all the fires,” she said. Wescom, which is based in Pasadena, closed its Anaheim Hills branch at 1:45 p.m. on Saturday because of smoke. The credit union handed out masks to its members--a gesture they appreciated, McCready said. Members who came into the branches didn’t appear to be panicked, she added. The fires affected California residents in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties. The Orange County Fire Authority lifted the final evacuation order Tuesday for the Chino Hills area. The firefight is over, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection told The Los Angeles Times (Nov. 18). Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency during the fires and the California Department of Financial Institutions also ordered its institutions including credit unions to help consumers affected by the fires (News Now Nov. 17). Some Wescom employees evacuated their homes because of the fires, but have since returned. “We are very happy that none of our employee’s homes burned,” McCready said. Wescom had asked its employees to notify the credit union if they had suffered a loss. “Some employees who evacuated didn’t get back into their homes until [Monday],” McCready said. So far, two members have contacted Wescom about losses due to the fires. One came into the branch to talk to the credit union, and another contacted the credit union through its call center. Wescom also will offer emergency fire loan assistance to members who suffered losses in the fire. Wescom has $3.69 billion in assets.


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