The $814 million Nevada Federal Credit Union, using an ad pitch hitting on "an out-of-state credit union" coming into town, wasted little time Thursday in soliciting business from members of the old Community One FCU of Las Vegas, which taken over Wednesday by Utah-based America First FCU.
On its Website and in radio ads, Nevada FCU asked, "Why do business with an out-of-state credit union?" when Nevada FCU "has been locally owned by Nevadans just like you since 1950 and we're ready to service you."
The $4.9 billion America First, based in an Ogden suburb, had submitted the successful bid to the NCUA to take over the $159 million Community First, which for months has sustained large loan losses in its mortgage portfolio ending up with net worth below 1%.
John Lund, executive vice president of America First, dismissed the Nevada FCU ads as misguided "considering America First has long had a presence in Nevada" through branches in Mesquite, a community on the Utah/Nevada line.
Moreover, he said. there is a false premise to the ad regarding foreign "ownership" of Community First, which is now a division of America First.
"It's the Community First members who now become part owners of a much larger institution that can be a great thing for them in being able to have available a wider range of financial resources," said Lund stressing "this is not like a bank stock takeover."
However, Brad Beal, president/CEO, maintains the Community First takeover does present new opportunities in offering a buy local message. Lund said it is his understanding "there was more than one bidder" for Community First but he was not told who they were in line with NCUA policy. Beal declined to comment on the bidding procedure "one way or the other."