Las Vegas Sun

August 1, 2014

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banking column:

America First settles in after Community One acquisition

America First Credit Union is here to stay.

The credit union took over Community One Federal Credit Union on Aug. 12, and since, it seems to be business as usual in Las Vegas.

John Lund, executive vice president of America First, said the name will remain Community One for the time being, as there is no rush to change the signs, paperwork, etc. Eventually the systems will be merged, he said.

“Community One is, and was, a very fine credit union that got caught up in economic troubles,” Lund said. “It didn’t have enough capital to weather the storm.”

Most of the senior staff remains at Community One and will continue to run the credit union while America First evaluates the operation.

America First is here for the long term, and, over time, Lund hopes the credit union will gain more market share.

Community One is the third largest credit union in Las Vegas, with about 21,000 members, according to In Business Las Vegas research.

Few members left the credit union after the National Credit Union Association seized it, Lund said.

Fun fact: The credit union was founded 70 years ago in Fort Douglas, Utah, an Army outpost created during the Civil War to keep an eye on the Wild West (I lived in the fort, now mostly University of Utah property, in the late 1980s).

Another one bites the dust

Will First Financial stick around? That’s the question I tossed to bank management when the company took over Irwin Union Bank on Sept. 18.

The company will be evaluating the Las Vegas operations, said Frank Hall, chief financial officer of First Financial Bancorp. Until a decision is made, it’s “business as usual.”

“We intend to fully support those offices and clients,” he said.

Irwin was seized by state and federal regulators, and its deposits and most of its assets were sold to First Financial.

Although the bank had only one branch in Las Vegas, it was the valley’s 14th largest, with $364 million in deposits in Clark County as of June 2008 (the most recent local numbers available from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.), according to In Business research.

Creative charity at City National

City National Bank is leasing — for free — 1,400 square feet of office space in North Las Vegas to Community Health Charities of Nevada.

The charity supports 24 health care agencies in the state.

The in-kind donation of space, furniture and equipment in worth about $40,000 annually.

Nicole Lucht covers health care, workplace, energy and banking issues for In Business Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Sun. She can be reached at 259-8832 or at [email protected]

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