Open Solutions Inc., Glastonbury

Deer Park, Texas-based Shell Federal Credit Union, which has $240 million in assets and approximately 37,000 members, has selected Glastonbury-based Open Solutions Inc.’s (OSI) The Complete Credit Union Solution to address its in-house enterprise-wide data processing needs. OSI is a provider of integrated enabling technologies for community financial institutions in the United States and Canada.

Shell FCU was chartered in 1937 to serve the employees of the Shell Oil Co. refinery and chemical plant in Deer Park. In 2002, the credit union received a community charter and has expanded to serve members in Deer Park, Pasadena and LaPorte. Shell FCU currently has two branches.

“We expect to add another branch without hiring any new employees simply because of the efficiencies we believe that we will gain from implementing the Open Solutions core processing system,” said Chris Lindelof, chief executive officer of Shell FCU.

Built on an Oracle relational database, The Complete Credit Union Solution’s open architecture and member-centric platform is designed to help credit unions streamline both the front- and back-office applications with a focus on member service. The Open Solutions core platform allows a credit union to have a more centralized view of its specific relationships with members, employees and business partners.

“We were impressed by the wide range of features and benefits that The Complete Credit Solution offers,” Lindelof noted. “Our selection team included a cross-section of staff from all departments who focused on how the system could help us better serve our members. The choice was unanimous when we completed the evaluation process. We also liked the Open Solutions team and their approach to ‘partnering’ with credit unions. Many of their existing clients we contacted for a reference confirmed that service remains top-notch after the sale.”

Banknorth Gives to Program

TD Banknorth recently awarded nearly $200,000 to NeighborWorks America to create public awareness and educational training modules related to predatory lending practices and other avoidable drains on financial resources that have increasingly targeted the elderly and low-income families. The training and awareness campaigns will be piloted in four New England states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

NeighborWorks America is the nation’s largest trainer and certifier of homeownership and financial education counselors. The NeighborWorks organizations delivering the financial education courses include Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven.

Officials said growing predatory lending scams and increasingly complex and risky mortgages make strengthening financial and homebuyer literacy an imperative. Demand for financial literacy and predatory lending courses at NeighborWorks Training Institutes are at an all-time high. Prime targets for unscrupulous business practices include the elderly, low-income individuals and families, and new immigrants who are not familiar with the U.S. financial system. The TD Banknorth-NeighborWorks America relationship will create training and education materials for the financial education courses in multiple languages.

“Without access to quality information and guidance, many consumers miss opportunities to get the most out of their investment, or worse, fall into mortgage or loan traps that eventually lead to foreclosure and financial ruin,” said NeighborWorks America Chief Executive Officer Ken Wade. “Thanks to community-minded lenders like TD Banknorth and our NeighborWorks network, consumers are benefiting from counseling and education from trusted experts who are trained to customize their advice and guidance to meet each individual’s unique financial needs.”