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WEST JORDAN, Utah – Mountain America Credit Union is the latest to launch a trust services division with plans to form a network with other credit unions seeking to offer estate management to its members. After more than a year of planning including discussions with other trust companies and alliances within the credit union industry, $1.2 billion Mountain America Credit Union chose to partner with a trust company in the West because of its local presence and trust experience, said Don Clark, executive vice president of Mountain America CU and president of its wholly-owned subsidiary Mountain America Financial Services. Until the agreement is finalized, Clark did not want to disclose the trust company’s name but did say it has more than $750 million in assets. Of all the choices the CUSO considered partnering with, this agreement offered the most flexibility, greater revenue sharing and the ability to own the book of business should members decide to take their business elsewhere, he added. The new subsidiary will be known as Mountain America Trust Services and will serve members from all income brackets, particularly those with assets in the $200,000-$250,000 range. With more than 182,000 members the Mountain America Credit Union is the second largest in Utah. “Our feeling is that anyone who has children, owns a home or has a 401(k) and other investments would benefit from trust services,” Clark said. “It’s more about controlling your assets and making sure you leave instructions on how you want (those assets) taken care of.” Clark said the CUSO’s 13 investment representatives as well as credit union employees have undergone training on making member referrals for trust services. A number of seminars with a local attorney has also educated everyone on various estate management topics such as living wills. Before Mountain America Financial Services found its trust partner, Clark said credit union and CUSO employees were offered discounts on trust services as a bonus in addition to becoming more familiar with the various offerings available. While the alliance with the trust company is a new one, Clark said he is looking to expand the relationship to other credit unions and affiliated firms. So far, he said XCU Capital Corp., a credit union-owned broker dealer has expressed preliminary interest in building an alliance with Mountain American Trust Services to offer services to its 26 credit union partners. Adding trust services to the credit union’s layer of offerings comes on the heels of being ranked the number one U.S. Small Business Administration lender in Utah, Clark said. “This is another way to build,” Clark said. “The more services we can offer the members, the more financially viable we’ll be.” Mountain America Trust Services is scheduled to roll out in mid-April. [email protected]

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