A report Saturday in the business section listed the NAFCU Central Credit Union as one of several with uninsured deposits at the failed Penn Square Bank of Oklahoma City. The credit union's formal name is the NAFCU Corporate Federal Credit Union, and it serves other credit unions. NAFCU is the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, a trade association. Several other area credit unions not mentioned had deposits at Penn Square. They are: Chessie Employes ($900,000) and First Peoples Community ($100,000), both of Cumberland; IBM-WMA Employes ($300,000), Gaithersburg, and Capital Corporate ($1 million), Landover.
Eight federally chartered credit unions based in the Washington area had a total of $14.4 million of uninsured deposits in the now-defunct Penn Square Bank of Oklahoma City at the end of last year, according to information obtained from government sources.
The eight are among 136 credit unions that are expected to lose at least 20 percent of the $104 million in uninsured deposits they had in the bank when it failed July 5.
Federal bank regulators, reviewing the Penn Square collapse, told a House Government Operations subcommittee yesterday that the Oklahoma bank may have lured the credit unions and other depositors by misrepresenting its financial position.
Summaries of credit union deposits in Penn Square were made available yesterday by government sources. The Arlington-based NAFCU Central Credit Union stands to be the largest loser among federally chartered credit unions in the country. NAFCU had $9.2 million deposited in the bank.
Also among those with uninsured deposits are the Congressional Credit Union, the State Department credit union and the Bolling Federal Credit Union, all with $900,000, and the NASA credit union with $100,000.
Testifying before the subcommittee yesterday, William Sebastian, executive director of the National Credit Union Association, said reserves at the 136 federally insured credit unions are more than sufficient to cover losses from the Penn Square failure.
Nevertheless, shareholders in some credit unions with uninsured deposits at Penn Square may sustain some reductions in their dividends as their unions make up for the losses.
The manager of the Bolling Federal Credit Union, Philip Loiacona, said yesterday that his union has "ample reserves to cover the loss." But he added that a planned dividend increase for this year will be postponed because of Penn Square's failure.
Frank Pimentel, treasurer and general manager of the NAFCU credit union, said the losses were "a painful blow" but that there would be "virtually no impact" on dividends there.
Sebastian told the subcommittee that credit unions were attracted to Penn Square by the bank's high yields and by the efforts of two money brokers, Professional Asset Management in California and First United Investors in New York City.
Loiacona said he had dealt with officials from First United but Pimentel had no comment on NAFCU's relations with the financial middlemen.
Loiacona explained yesterday that Bolling became involved with Penn Square in April when the bank told him, in his words, about "sort of a special" it was offering for 30 days in order to finance a loan that it was trying to arrange.
Loiacona said he renewed the 30-day deposit twice before the bank was closed 12 days ago.
Both of the two local credit union managers said all the information available about Penn Square indicated that the bank was a sound investment. "It seemed relatively safe," said Lioacona. Pimentel said an examination of Penn Square by his firm satisfied all his criteria for a safe investment.
Credit union deposits at Penn Square amounted to about one-quarter of the bank's total deposits, an unusually high percentage involvement for credit unions in one bank.
C.T. Conover, comptroller of the currency, told committee members that the bank had a "substantial backroom problem" and that "there may have been fraud involved."
The senior deputy comptroller for bank supervision, Paul Homans, said an investigation into the bank's financial condition begun in April revealed neglected record-keeping, the possibility of systematic alteration of bank documents, and the likelihood of "massive violations of law."
Conover explained during his testimony that bank officials had been found in violation of federal banking laws in 1980. But the violations were civil, not criminal, he added, and had been corrected when examiners returned to follow up.
In response to a question from subcommittee Chairman Benjamin Rosenthal (D-N.Y.) Conover also said he was unaware that the bank's chairman, William Jenkins, had been an unindicted co-conspirator in a case involving Four Seasons Nursing Homes of America in the early 1970s.
Rosenthal accused Conover and Homans of "holding the bank's hands like an irresponsible child" during the last three years when the bank was on the watch list at the comptroller's office. He charged that the regulators did not "push hard enough" on the bank's management to follow sound banking practices.