Friday, August 8, 2008

Sound decisions helped CU 'stay the course'

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. (8/8/08)--With financial turmoil taking place in South Florida and across the U.S., Power Financial CU is weathering the storm by following a conservative business model that is exceptionally well capitalized, says CEO Allan M. Prindle.

Power Financial is a $480 million asset, Pembroke Pines, Fla.-based credit union with 10 branches and more than 55,000 members.

Recent news has chronicled financial troubles for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, IndyMac and Wachovia Corp. Several other large U.S. banks posted weak second-quarter results, and losses have soared from mortgages and other debt.

"Nobody can deny there are challenges facing the financial markets, and as a financial institution, we are highly correlated to those markets," Prindle said.

"Our members are our primary focus, and we manage the credit union accordingly. We are not immune from economic downturns, but we 'stayed the course' for the first half of the year while many others made decisions which now prove to be decisions that were not sound nor prudent," he said.

"Power Financial CU will continue on that course because we think our members deserve financial peace of mind in addition to outstanding service, competitive products and unsurpassed convenience," he added.

Power Financial CU holds no securities with underlying sub-prime backed securities, no commercial mortgage-backed securities or collateralized debt obligations, Prindle said.

"This is the culprit for the majority of the stress that this sector of the financial markets is under, and we are not impacted by those announcements, thanks to our conservative investment strategies," added Prindle. "In fact, we have maintained a more than ample level of liquidity, and as of June 30, had nearly 40% of total assets in available funds that can be accessed immediately. We are certain that this level is far superior to our peers."

In terms of its loan portfolio, Power Financial CU not only has no subprime mortgages in the collection, but also avoided Option Adjustable Rate Mortgage products, no Income Verification products, Negative Amortization products and others that make up the current mortgage financing debacle, Prindle said.

"For unexpected losses, we have always relied on our strong capital, which as of June 30, 2008, is exceptionally well-capitalized with a superior capital ratio in excess of 13%," noted Prindle. "This is what gives us the ability to deal with an economic slowdown, and for our members, [provide] the comfort in our financial soundness. After all, for the last 50-plus years, we have received outstanding satisfaction ratings from our members."

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