Hurricane Sandy: NCUA Reports 118 CUs Affected by Storm
The list was developed with the assistance of examiners from NCUA Regions I and II, who attempted to contact the credit unions they supervise to measure the impact of the natural disaster.
“Our examiners along the East Coast are checking with their credit unions to provide support and assistance; our consumer experts are answering the many financial questions that members may have; and we’re expediting consideration of credit union emergency grant applications. NCUA will continue to do what’s needed to help,” said NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz in a release.
The vast majority of the nation’s federally insured credit unions are fully operational, including some 2,000 credit unions located in Hurricane Sandy’s path. However, the NCUA said, some are closed, and others are operating partially with branch closures, in temporary facilities, or with only ATM services.
The NCUA said those that have reported problems say they are experiencing electrical outages, communication difficulties, and facility damages.
Overwhelmingly, the affected credit unions are located in New Jersey – 86 out of 118. Other states with credit unions struggling to get back online include Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
Large credit unions hit hard by the storm include the $2.3 billion Affinity FCU of Basking Ridge, N.J., which reported 17 branches and its headquarters were “not operational”, according to the list. The $412 million Financial Resources FCU of Bridgewater, N.J., reported 13 branches closed and three with “status pending.” The $226 million First Atlantic FCU of Eatontown, N.J., which has a community charter, reported 12 locations were not operational.
The NCUA also reported it has approved the first Sandy-related request for an emergency grant offered to low-income credit unions to help them restore service to members.
The request, from the $13.5 million New York University FCU located in New York City, will be used to replace destroyed laptop computers and help the credit union obtain secure internet access to it can restore service to its 3,137 members.
The federal regulator also said it is experiencing an increase in call volume to its consumer hotline. Consumers have been calling the NCUA to ask about the operational status of specific credit union locations, outages of credit union ATMs, websites and phone systems, and the status of direct deposits.
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