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P.R. Credit Unions Add Financial Services

CUNA Mutual Group and Members Financial Services to provide participating co-ops with investment options


October 2, 2003
Copyright © 2003 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

CUNA Mutual Group and affiliate Members Financial Services have announced plans to provide financial management services to the Puerto Rico Credit Union Association.

With assets of $11 billion, CUNA Mutual Group and Members Financial Services are considered the leading service providers and investment advisers to credit unions.

"Personal treatment and custom-tailored financial alternatives are what set us apart in the cooperative market," said Victor Alamo, general manager of the CUNA / Members operation in Puerto Rico. "Our principal role is to recommend a satisfactory solution to each credit-union member. Among the alternatives are mutual funds, fixed and variable annuities, and retirement and insurance plans."

At least 30 cooperatives in Puerto Rico have already been using the services of CUNA / Members. Eight cooperatives recently committed to offering the full range of CUNA / Members financial management services in what is considered a pilot program. Seven of the co-ops are in or near the San Juan metro area; the eighth is in Ponce. Alamo expects many other co-ops to participate once the program is set in motion.

Puerto Rico has 143 credit unions with combined assets of approximately $5.5 billion. "We are proud of our 65 years of service to cooperatives around the world. We are optimistic about the potential of our cooperative partners on the island that have chosen to offer our financial services," said Alamo.

Members Financial Services will directly serve and advise the co-op partners while CUNA Mutual Group will continue to provide the financial backing required to maintain the program. CUNA Mutual Group also assists clients by providing a variety of other services in such areas as loans, trusts, and technology.

CUNA Mutual Group recently partnered with Primary Payment Systems to minimize, if not eliminate, losses from check and identity fraud. They came up with The Decision Chek MICR, a device that scans checks and within seconds informs bank tellers of available funds, closed accounts, and stop-payment records. Should the machine test positively, credit unions around the U.S. could save approximately $20 million a year, which could also improve their bond ratings and lower their insurance premiums.

CUNA Mutual Group is working on developing an auto-loan recapture program for the Owners’ Advisory Council, a nationwide network of credit-union executives who serve as liaisons between their state credit unions and CUNA Mutual Group. It is also encouraging preparation for the largest wealth transfer in history. According to the company, in the next 50 years $41 trillion will trickle down from the World War II generation to this generation by way of the baby boomers.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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