The $460 million First Credit Union of Chandler, Ariz., has joined a growing list of Arizona CUs engaged in more internal cutbacks.
This time it is branches?five of them spread across the state that will be closed March 17.
The move, said CU management, reflects declining activity at the facilities as well as a shift in consumer preference for online services.
First CU, located in a south Phoenix suburb, said that like others it continues to struggle with large loan losses, high delinquencies and unemployment among members. The CU lost $13.3 million last year on top of $11.7 million in 2008.
"We felt now was a good time to go through a retooling and a consolidation considering changes taking place in the market with online tellers, ATMs, mobile branching and shared branching taking on new importance," explained Lori Gallegos, executive vice president/chief operating officer.
Branches to be closed include one each in Flagstaff and Tucson and three more in metro Phoenix. They include one each in central Phoenix, Mesa and Scottsdale.
All of the branches she said have seen lower member usage making it necessary to reallocate resources.
Closing of the five branches will leave First CU with eight branches in Arizona.