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PRESS RELEASE 02-04
March 08, 2002
Contact: Alana Golden, Public Information Officer
(916) 323-7012 or (916) 322-5966
www.dfi.ca.gov

Department of Financial Institutions Announces Increase in State Chartered Credit Unions

Each Credit Union provides unique services designed to meet the growing needs of their members and help them plan for the future

SACRAMENTO - The Davis Administration announced today that during the last few years, there has been an increase in conversions to state charter by California's credit unions. This increase in conversions is due in part to a change in the law governing federal credit unions that limited the ability of federal credit unions to expand their fields of membership. During 2001, seven credit unions converted to state charter. The Department of Financial Institutions was pleased to announce 13 conversions to state charter in 2000 and 18 in 1999. The Department currently supervises 217 credit unions with assets totaling over $43.7 billion and over 5 million members.

"Safety and soundness continues to be our mission as we welcome the new state chartered credit unions serving California's communities," said said Maria Contreras-Sweet, Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency.

"Credit unions are nonprofit, cooperative financial institutions owned and run by their members. We are proud to see the numbers grow for state-chartered credit unions who are providing their members with a convenient place to save and borrow," said Donald R. Meyer, Commissioner of Financial Institutions

The seven credit unions that converted to state charter during 2001 are: (We have provided Internet addresses for those that have Web sites)

  • Pacific Marine Credit Union, Camp Pendleton, converted in December. Pacific Marine is a full-service credit union and recently added online banking.
  • Silverado Credit Union, Angwin Napa Valley, converted in December. Silverado was founded in 1953. They have over $30 million in assets, 7,000 members, and offer over 30 services.
  • Water and Power Community Credit Union, Los Angeles, converted in December. Water and Power has over 66 years of service and commitment to its members.
  • American First Credit Union in La Habra, converted in November. American First offers an array of services including the StarRewards program; the more members save and borrow, the more free services, dividend bonuses and loan discounts they receive.
  • Matadors Community Credit Union , Northridge, converted in September. Matadors offers a variety of financial services to its members. In addition, they are actively providing members with consumer information on subjects like identify theft, reducing credit debt, and money saving tips.
  • Pacific Bay Credit Union in Oakland, converted in September. Pacific Bay offers a variety of financial services to members. In addition, the credit union provides financial counseling.
  • First U.S. Community Credit Union, Sacramento, converted in March. First U.S returns excess earnings to members through lower rates on loans, higher rates on investments, highly personalized service and added benefits like a free bill payment service.

The Department of Financial Institutions is responsible for administering State laws, regulating state-licensed banks, state-licensed savings and loans, trust companies, state-licensed offices of foreign banks, issuers of travelers checks and payment instruments (money orders), transmitters of money abroad, state-licensed credit unions, and state-licensed industrial banks. DFI currently supervises 731 financial institutions with assets totaling over $198 billion. The Department reports to Maria Contreras-Sweet, Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency and Governor Gray Davis.