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NEW CASTLE, Del. – Citing a lack of steady, robust activity, the Delaware Credit Union League-managed CUSO has been dissolved effective May 3. The fifteen credit unions that own DELCU Financial Services, LLC made the decision last year to shut down the CUSO, which had been offering surcharge-free ATMs, trust services, non-member check cashing services, and title services, said Jane Bailey, league executive vice president. “[The CUSO] was good in its day,” Bailey said. “It did form relationships that continue to this day.” Bailey said of the 34 Delaware credit unions, there just wasn’t enough interest in the non-member check-cashing services and most credit unions had already established relationships with a title company or attorney for that service. The 15 credit union owners were American Spirit FCU, Chestnut Run FCU, Delaware State Police FCU, Dexsta FCU, Diamond State FCU, DPL FCU, First State FCU, Louviers FCU, New Castle County Delaware Emplyees FCU, New Castle County School Employees FCU, Pipefitters FCU, Provident FCU, Seaford FCU, Southern Delaware Postal Employees FCU and Sussex County FCU. The CUSO, which launched in August 1999, was initially formed to offer ATM services to Delaware’s credit unions. Over the next nearly seven years, it added other services to the fold. One of those offerings, trust services, had good intentions when it first rolled out in March 2002. But after a three-year run with Philadelphia-based INA Trust, fsb, it folded, due to lack of interest from the state’s credit unions. Despite lowering the typical $1 million minimum asset requirement found in many trust banks to qualify for a trust to $250,000 and strong marketing campaigns, trust services never really caught on. Meanwhile, the majority of the 15 credit unions will continue to work with Allpoint’s ATM network, which has more than 200 surcharge-free ATMs in Delaware and 32,000 nationwide. “When we started in 1999, there was no surcharging,” Bailey said. “We tried to purchase ATMs but that wasn’t cost-effective because we just couldn’t get enough on the streets to make it happen.” For $16 million Seaford Federal Credit Union, one of the CUSO’s owners, ATM competition was cutthroat, said John Watson, president/CEO. When DELCU first started, it had eight ATMs, but when the federal government required the machines to have extra security features a few years ago, dispatching more was literally not going to happen. “The upgrade was an expense we couldn’t afford,” Watson said. We knew going in we would take a loss (with the ATMs). “When Allpoint approached us about a proposal for access to thousands of ATMs, we took them up on their offer.” As for cashing checks for non-members, Bailey was hesitant to offer a reason why this service never really took off in Delaware. “A few credit unions offered it, but there’s not a lot of usage in Delaware,” she said. Still, the CUSO model is not dead in the water for the state’s credit unions. Bailey said if enough of them really want certain services, the league’s subsidiary, Delaware League Services, could offer them. It was hard for her to pinpoint how many credit unions would have to show interest in a particular service before it would be offered, but Bailey did say the league would look at requests on a case-by-case basis. Watson is not so optimistic about a new CUSO. “Delaware is so small and it’s hard to pull from that base,” he said. “We tried very hard to interest credit unions in other services, but most of them either had prior arrangements or members didn’t show interest. We had a good run.” It took nearly six months to dissolve the CUSO, Bailey said. The process involved having to resolve any issues with third-party providers, closing final documents, making sure all bills were paid and abiding by all by-laws. A distribution of the CUSO’s assets, which were not disclosed, have already been presented to each of the owner credit unions, Bailey said. “We struggled with letting [the CUSO] sit dormant,” Bailey said. “We were keeping it on the shelf and using it when we needed to. In the end, the decision was made to dissolve it.” [email protected]

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