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By Traci Moore                                Follow East Palo Alto Today on
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Posted on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011  
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Photo of Lourdes Carini     
 Photo courtesy of SMCU
This photo shows the San Mateo
Union's new Branch Manager,
Lourdes Carini, standing in front of
the ATM at SMCU's new East Palo
Alto branch.

How quickly fortunes change! Over the summer, East Palo Alto lost its only bank when California Bank and Trust moved its East Palo branch to Mountain View. But, before the city’s residents could feel the loss of the first bank they had had in more than a decade, it was announced that the city would get another financial institution before the end of the year.

Now, that possibility will soon become a reality. It was announced this week that the San Mateo Credit Union (SMCU) will officially open its East Palo Alto branch on Monday, October 17.

The credit union’s staff moved into SMCU's new location at 1735 East Bayshore Road in the Gateway 101 Retail Center this past Wednesday. The SMCU branch is in the same building in which the California Bank and Trust branch was located.

Lourdes Carini will lead the staff as the credit union’s new branch manager. Carini is the former manager of SMCU’s North Fair Oaks branch on Middlefield Road in Redwood City. She has been with the credit union for two years.

In talking about Carini, SMCU’s President and CEO, Barry Jolette said, “We are delighted that our new branch will be presided over by Ms. Carini. Her skills and talents have served our members well and her experience at our North Fair Oaks branch as well as her service in the community will be a valuable asset in East Palo Alto.”

Carini said that the San Mateo Credit Union is a great fit for East Palo Alto. “I am pleased that SMCU has given me the chance to provide comprehensive financial services to East Palo Alto.  I am honored to be a part of this exciting time,” she said.

SMCU announced that its East Palo Alto members will be able to take advantage of traditional financial services, including savings, checking and money market accounts, credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, retirement accounts and investment services. The credit union will also offer value-added services—such as free online Bill Pay, paperless eStatements, members-only vehicle sales. The branch will also feature the “no-cost service of Personal Auto Shopper.”

SMCU was founded in Redwood City in 1952 as a member-owned financial institution. It claims to serve more than 68,000 individuals and it manages more than $600 million in assests. The credit union has seven branches throughout San Mateo County and in 2009, it merged with the Palo Alto Community Credit Union to acquire its branch in Palo Alto.

One can get more information about the San Mateo Credit Union by visiting its web page at http://www.smcu.org/. SMCU will host a VIP Special Grand Opening event later this month.


To contact the author of this article, email epatoday@epatoday.org


Other resources:

San Mateo Credit Union to replace California Bank & Trust, East Palo Alto Today, Spring-Summer 2011, p.2

California Bank and Trust is closing its East Palo Alto branch, East Palo Alto Today, May 31, 2011



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