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CoastHills Credit Union expands to five counties

By   /   Wednesday, August 13th, 2014  /   Comments Off

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CoastHills Credit Union, the region’s largest credit union, has extended its reach from the southern edge of the Bay Area to the Los Angeles County line.

The $750 million-asset financial institution said Aug. 13 that its July conversion from a federal to a state charter will allow it to set its service area as the five contiguous counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and Santa Cruz.

“For our current members, this expands the pie, which allow us to offer more products to more members in an efficient and cost effective way,” President and CEO Jeff York said in a statement.

The organization’s more than 57,000 members voted to approve the expansion, which was recommended by the board of directors. “It’s a unique opportunity for our members to have the right to weigh in,” said Chairman Hugh Rafferty.

CoastHills said it will immediately begin offering car, mortgage and small-business loans across its expanded geography. Deposits at the Lompoc-based organization, which has its roots serving the area around Vandenberg Air Force Base, will continue to be federally insured through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund up to $250,000 for each member.

Under the earlier federal charter, CoastHills’ coverage area was defined at the northern half of Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County. Credit unions, which are owned by their account holders, have become increasingly popular with consumers since the financial crisis and new rules have allowed a number of them to expand their service area in recent years.

York said the current 11-branch network at CoastHills will likely double to 22 branches with a “brick and mortar” presence in all five counties in the organization’s strategic plan. A shared credit union network will provide members with surcharge-free access to some 300 ATMs in the five county area.

With $750 million in assets, CoastHills is already the third-largest financial institution based in the Tri-Counties. Paso Robles-based Heritage Oaks Bank and Santa Barbara-based Montecito Bank & Trust are the two largest financial institutions with $1.6 billion and $1.15 billion in assets, respectively.

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