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Credit union closure is state’s first

State regulators closed Spokane’s The Union Credit Union on Friday due to loan losses – the first time a credit union in Washington has been closed in 15 years.

Regulators immediately turned The Union’s deposits and memberships over to Numerica Credit Union of Spokane and loans and other assets to Alaska USA Federal Credit Union of Anchorage, Alaska.

The state Department of Financial Institutions said in a news release that The Union’s 3,115 members should not experience any interruption of credit union services. Individual accounts are insured for up to $250,000, under the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.

The Union Credit Union accounts will be converted to Numerica or Alaska accounts at a later date.

Branch services will be available at all Numerica locations, as well as any credit union branch participating in the CU Service Center Shared Branch Network.

The Union opened in 1968 as the Inland Empire Trades Credit Union by members of Spokane Bricklayers Local 3. In 2008, it changed its name to The Union and opened its membership to any union member.

“The Union struggled primarily due to the unemployment of its members,” Linda Jekel, director of DFI’s Division of Credit Unions, said in a news release.

The Union members will receive letters from either Numerica or Alaska, depending on the kind of account they had. Lyn Peters, the DFI’s communications director, stressed that members will be contacted by mail.

“If you get a phone call or an e-mail, it’s not from Alaska or Numerica,” Peters said. “The first thing that pops up are the scammers.”

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