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DENVER – Six credit unions and the Colorado Credit Union League (CCUL) are in the final stages of forming a trust company that could potentially reach 440,000 members who account for $3.5 billion in deposit assets. ENT Federal Credit Union, Bellco Credit Union, University of Colorado Federal Credit Union, Public Service Employees Credit Union, Credit Union of Denver, Premier Members Federal Credit Union and the CCUL recently submitted an extensive application to the Colorado State Banking Board to form Members Trust of Colorado (MTC). An approval decision from the state should take between 60 and 90 days, said Tim Kenczewicz, president/CEO of MTC. The entire application process took eight months to complete and if approved, MTC will open its doors for business on Oct. 1. “What’s important to focus on for us is that we are providing a service to a part of the population that traditional trusts are ignoring,” Kenczewicz said. “Banks are looking more at those who have accumulated assets of $1 million or more which means middle America, who often have the same needs, are being left out.” While MTC hopes to woo members who have assets in the $150,000 to $200,000 range, the company will not turn away wealthier members. “You may have a divorce situation with minor children, the non-custodial spouse may have life insurance through the employer, home equity and earn $75,000,” Kenczewicz explained, “when you add it up, its assets could easily go over $250,000. The point here is should the custodial parent die, often those assets will go to the ex-wife or husband. So, there are strong reasons people should be concerned about what happens to their assets after they die.” There are 11 trust companies in the state according to the Colorado Division of Banking, but this would be the first credit union-owned firm. MTC would have a member base of 440,000 who live in Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs. Indeed, all six of the credit unions are among the state’s 10 largest. Six full-time trust officers will work in MTC’s main office in Denver. Each of the credit union’s CEOs and Jim Holt, executive vice president of CCUL will service on the company’s board. Colorado is primed for revitalization in the trust services area given the recent merger of large banks in the state and their subsequent abandonment of those operations, said Doug Ferraro, president/CEO of Bellco CU. “In the early 1990s, some of the smaller banks consolidated, the nationals didn’t keep their presence either and their trust companies are being driven out of the state so there are lot of opportunities here.” Indeed, for member investors who are looking beyond the long term to what will have happen to assets after they die, the entry of trust services becomes a key area to hone in on, said Robert Dorsa, president of the National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations (NACUSO). “In other countries such as Canada and Australia, wealth management takes into account life insurance, living trusts, planning for retirement and college,” Dorsa explained, “We are trying as an association to focus on trust services not just for the tax implications but what it means to build loyalty with credit union members who want and need these services.

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