Member Reassurance Follows Billion-Dollar Brewery Merger
The combined company, to be called Anheuser-Busch InBev, will become the fifth largest consumer products company in the world and will maintain its North American headquarters in St. Louis, according to both companies in a July 14 statement. Worldwide, Anheuser-Busch has more than 30,000 employees, while Leuven, Belgium-based InBev has 89,000 employees. All breweries are scheduled to remain open, the companies said.
"Anheuser-Busch Employees' Credit Union is not a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch Companies, however we have been fortunate to express our common bond by the use of the Anheuser-Busch name," said J. David Osborn, CEO of the $991 million CU. "Our relationship--spanning nearly 70 years--has been in serving Anheuser-Busch Companies employees and retirees, as well as their family members and we plan to continue doing so in the future"
Anheuser-Busch Employees' CU also serves St. Louis, St. Charles and Jefferson County communities and other select employee groups through its division, American Eagle CU. The credit union does not have any immediate plans to change its name.
"We do not have any plans to change the name, not unless we are asked to do so by the company. If that happens, we plan to change to our American Eagle Credit Union [community] brand," said Pier Alsup, senior vice president of marketing and business development.
Osborn said "development of the American Eagle Credit Union [community] division is an integral part our future growth and diversification plan for the credit union."
The Anheuser-Busch Cos. and InBev merger is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Fed's Bernanke Praises CUs
WASHINGTON -- The nation's top central banker praised credit unions for offering products that allow consumers to avoid high-cost financial products like payday loans.
During a bleak assessment of the state of the economy to a committee of senators, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said credit unions set an example others ought to follow.
"I think banks and credit unions--I give particular credit to credit unions--have done some particularly good work in terms of providing remittance services that allow people to get money back to their families without exorbitant costs," he said in response to a question from Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) at last Tuesday's hearing of the Senate Banking Committee.
Akaka, a strong supporter of credit unions, said as a result of an NCUA grant, the Community Federal Credit Union in Kailua has developed an affordable alternative to payday loans, which are popular with members of the U.S. Marines and other members. He then asked Bernanke what can done to protect consumers from payday loans, especially during difficult economic times, such as the nation is now experiencing.
Bernanke also said there should be additional efforts to encourage financial institutions to reach out to underserved areas and increase financial literacy education.