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Regulators close credit union with local branches

Community One Federal Credit Union will operate as America First

Updated Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009 | 12:32 p.m.

Federal regulators on Tuesday closed Community One Federal Credit Union of Las Vegas because of its declining financial condition and turned most of its operations over to America First Credit Union.

America First, Utah's largest credit union, is headquartered in Riverdale, Utah, in the Ogden area and has loans and other assets of $4.9 billion, 88 branches and 495,939 members. It already had 7,600 members and two branches in Clark County.

Community One was involuntarily liquidated by the National Credit Union Administration.

Community One Federal Credit Union’s declining financial condition led to its closure, the NCUA said. It had $159 million in assets and served 21,098 members with five branches in Clark County.

This is the fifth federally insured credit union liquidation in 2009.

Records show Community One was hit hard by loan losses as the Las Vegas economy deteriorated in 2008 and 2009. Reports it filed with the NCUA from June 2008 to June 2009 show it lost $15.6 million in that period after setting aside $18.21 million to cover losses on loans and leases.

The credit union, based at 2699 N. Tenaya Way, had recently been promoting auto loans, mortgage refinancing deals and even "Payday CHOICE" loans billed as alternatives to traditional payday loans.

America First is technically known as America First Federal Credit Union, but calls itself America First Credit Union.

America First said in a statement that Community One (COFCU) will become a division of America First and will continue to operate with all its branches providing their existing complement of products and services.

"Current employees of COFCU will maintain all existing branch hours and member services. America First will provide overall management of the credit union, and will, as the consolidation proceeds, add products and services as needed. Member accounts are insured to at least $250,000 by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government," the America First statement said.

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