Financial is assisting Hurricane Katrina evacuees by cashing
at no charge checks from any official aid agency or
non-profit agency involved in hurricane relief efforts
|FISCA was founded in 1986
|The industry cashes 180 million checks
annually, with an aggregate face value of $55 billion.
Members of the
Centers of America (FiSCA) are raising
funds and shipping supplies to devastated areas of the Gulf
Coast to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina even as dozens of
financial service centers remain closed because of damage caused
by the storm.
FiSCA members are providing aid in a number of ways. Programs
-- PLS Financial Services, with locations in Mississippi and
Alabama, has pledged $40,000 to hurricane relief efforts. PLS is
based in Illinois and operates Payday Loan Store locations in
Mississippi, Alabama, Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana and
Wisconsin and PLS Check Cashers locations in Arizona,
California, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Texas and Wisconsin.
The company, which has over 200 locations, is collecting
blankets, pillows, toiletries, hygiene products, clothing, baby
products and small toys and arranging for shipping to refugees.
Additionally, PLS Check Cashers stores in Texas are serving as
American Red Cross/Western Union emergency cash distribution
points for displaced victims of the storm. PLS Financial
Services has pledged to continue to pay employees of closed
stores in the affected areas until the company's stores reopen.
-- ACE Cash Express, which has 20 locations in the New
Orleans area, has made a $25,000 donation to the American Red
Cross for Hurricane Katrina Relief and has established a $25,000
fund to assist ACE associates and their families in the region
hit by the storm. The company is also collecting cash donations
from employees and customers to be sent directly to the American
-- FastBucks, a Dallas-based chain of 68 payday advance
stores, has pledged to match customer and employee donations
collected at its locations up to $25,000 and donate the funds to
the Salvation Army.
-- Florida-based Amscot Financial is assisting Hurricane
Katrina evacuees by cashing at no charge checks from any
official aid agency or non-profit agency involved in hurricane
relief efforts. Amscot Financial also contributing a total of
$20,000 in support of their hurricane relief efforts -- $10,000
apiece to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
-- Philadelphia-based United Financial Services Group is
raising funds for the American Red Cross by asking customers at
145 United Check Cashing Centers locations in 16 states to
donate change from check cashing transactions. United Financial
will match a percentage of the funds collected at franchisee
-- Pay-o-matic, which has more than 100 locations in New York
City, the lower Hudson Valley and Long Island, has formed a
partnership with Western Union to collect customer financial
donations and send them directly to the American Red Cross.
Customers have a choice of having a money order issued to the
American Red Cross or using Western Union's Quick Collect
product to have funds sent to the charity. Both services are
free of charge for donations made to the American Red Cross.
Pay-o-matic has also launched a food and clothing drive to aid
victims and has made arrangements to ship items collected to
-- Cash Connection in Michigan is making a $5,000 donation to
the American Red Cross for use in aiding displaced persons in
shelters in Shreveport, Louisiana, where hundreds of Gulf Coast
residents went to get out of the direct path of the storm.
-- FiSCA is also asking member companies to review
suggestions made by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.,
National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the
Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision
and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors on ways to help
victims of Hurricane Katrina. To the extent possible and where
consistent with safe and sound business practices, such actions
may include: Waiving ATM fees, increasing ATM daily cash
withdrawal limits, allowing loan customers to defer or skip some
payments and delaying delinquency notices to the credit bureaus.
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