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SAN DIEGO – Weighing the trade-offs between continuing to offer investment services through their CUSO or roll the product back in to the credit union pending the SEC decision, an increasing number of credit unions are opting for the latter choice, says a leading broker/dealer expert for CUSOs. Valorie Seyfert, president and co-founder of CUSO Financial Services L.P. said she’s been meeting regularly with the credit unions the company does business with, worked with them in completing year in reviews of their business, and is encouraging credit unions “between now and mid-year” to move their investment services back to the credit union from their CUSO rather than getting their broker/dealer license. “All analyses for offering the various financial services have determined the economic justification for getting a broker/dealer license is having about $10 million in concessions. Even a limited license for most credit unions operating a financial services CUSO wouldn’t be feasible unless the credit union changed its strategy,” said Seyfert. In her meetings with credit unions, Seyfert said she takes them through three exercises – understanding costs and tradeoffs; the financial side; and understanding liability issues. So far, Seyfert said about three-quarters of the 70 credit unions CFS does business with “are all in some form making plans to move their investment services back to the credit union.” In those cases, Seyfert said the CU plans to discontinue running the CUSO. “The cost of paying representatives out of two different entities, the credit union and the CUSO, can’t be cost justified,” she said.

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