A New CUSO is Born!

Four Spokane Area Credit Unions form CU*NorthWest

Liberty Lake, Washington – As of October 1st, credit unions in the upper Northwest got a new data processing alternative when four Spokane area credit unions; Spokane Firefighters CU, Inland Empire Trades CU, Spokane Catholic FCU, and Spokane Media FCU, partnered with CU*Answers and purchased assets from Franklin Associate Solutions, LLC to form a new regional core data processing CUSO – CU*NorthWest.

Targeting credit unions in the northwest region, CU*NorthWest starts out of the gate offering a full range of services consistent with the offerings of CU*Answers. New CEO Greg Smith says, “CU*Answers has enjoyed great success in the center of the country, and now CU*NorthWest will amplify their offerings by doing it locally in the Pacific Northwest. We partnered with one of the most successful data processing CUSO’s in the country and you simply cannot put a value on having that type of model to follow.”

“CU*Answers is excited because CU*NorthWest allows credit unions to own a local solution, to have regional governance, and pricing controls. CU*NorthWest is an example of how CU*Answers is sharing the lead, partnering for diversity, and making sure that the power of local credit unions comes through in our joint solutions. This is all about direct credit ownership.” Said Randy Karnes, CEO of CU*Answers.

But the real story here is not what the CUSO CEOs have to say. It is about how four credit union CEOs see their future by taking the lead and deciding to be part of building a new alternative for their marketplace –

“From the very first day of operation with CU*Northwest, we had access to technology and services that would have cost us nearly 6 figures to implement with many other vendors. That technology was there for us to use – day one – with little or no up front investment.” -Todd Powell, CEO of Spokane Firefighters CU and CU*NorthWest Board Chairman

“The decision to participate was easy. Our prior data processing solution was sold over and over again and we simply had no control. Vendors can charge whatever they want and Credit Unions are powerless. Now we truly have a voice. Why do business with someone else when you can do business with yourself?” – Demaris Krummel, CEO of Inland Empire Trades CU and CU*NorthWest Vice Chairman

“If small and medium Credit Unions do not look at the CU*Northwest option, they are missing a great opportunity to stabilize their technology future, control costs and gain an advantage in service and price to members.” – Cathy Loan, CEO of Spokane Catholic FCU and CU*NorthWest Board Director

“We have been a very happy customer of CU*Answers for years and truly benefited from the relationship. Now we have an opportunity to participate as an owner in CU*Northwest. We don’t view our monthly invoice as a bill but rather an investment.” – Debie Bauer, CEO of Spokane Media FCU and CU*NorthWest Secretary/Treasurer

“The formation of CU*NorthWest and the extension of the CU*Answers model is a special event in the development of CUSOs. This represents the beginning of the creation of a national network of small and mid-sized credit unions. In my opinion, CU*Answers is the prime example of how small to mid-sized credit unions can bind together to offer state of the art services that enable the member credit unions to survive and thrive. By creating regional nodes of the concept through CUSOs such as CU*NorthWest, the CU*Answer tools are extended on a national basis but the regional CUSOs can develop their own identity and focus that works in their region. It is a powerful collaboration concept.” – Guy Messick, Attorney of Messick & Weber, PC, assisted in the CUSO formation