Megabank trust departure provides CU `opportunity'
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Big banks are operating their personal trust business "on remote control," and so Colorado credit unions stand a good chance of carving out new business, according to a Colorado Springs CU executive drawing on experience as a bank president. Charles Emmer, president of the $1.3 billion Ent Federal Credit Union, said his CU like other owners of a new CU-owned Colorado trust company (see story this page) expect to move into areas where large out-of state banks with vast branching networks, have ignored local interests. "Many of those large banks like Wells Fargo, Bank One and U.S. Bank which bought Colorado institutions have reduced their staff and presence as compared to 10 years ago," observed Emmer, former president of First National Bank of Colorado Springs, later becoming part of Bank One. Emmer said he is eager to begin soliciting trust accounts in his community through an office of Members Trust Co., the Denver-based CUSO chartered by Ent and five other Colorado CUs. "It's a real opportunity for us," said Emmer, maintaining Ent will be able to offer trust products and services to members with assets of $150,000 up to $1.5 million. Ent, one of the largest CUs in the Mountain West has 14 offices and 140,000 members. Many of the existing Colorado Springs trust providers,like Bank One and Wells Fargo said Emmer, who joined Ent from Bank One five years ago, "are no longer local" and have "greatly cut back and consolidated elsewhere." In essence, individuals "with a large nest egg" seeking trust services find themselves "uncomfortable" dealing with big bank trust reps they do not know well. The Members Trust group, on the other hand, "will be making a strong commitment" to helping individuals manage their assets under personal trusts "on a face to face basis," he said. Members Trust is planning to open three offices by the end of October or November in Denver, Boulder/Longmont and in Ent's headquarters office in Colorado Springs. - firstname.lastname@example.org