Business news briefs: Credit unions on problem list

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Credit unions on problem list

Five Pittsburgh-area credit unions landed on an independent research group's list of problem financial institutions in the third quarter. They included CGH in New Kensington; Iron Workers, Downtown; Shacog, Mt. Lebanon; Trailblazer, Washington, Pa.; and Westco, Greenburg. Institutions earning two stars or fewer end up on BauerFinancial's problem list. CGH received the firm's lowest rating, earning zero stars. The four other Pittsburgh-area credit unions earned two stars. For more information visit www.bauerfinancial.com.

Accounts compromised

The personal information of thousands of Pennsylvanians receiving unemployment compensation or workers compensation benefits via prepaid debit cards may have been "viewed improperly," according to the state Treasury. JPMorgan Chase, which issues the pre-paid cards, told the state that as many as 26,000 accounts, of Pennsylvania's nearly 400,000 state debit cardholders, could have been involved in a cyberattack. The data breach affects cardholders who used the bank's "UCard Center" website between mid-July and mid-September. For information, visit www.patreasury.gov.

Equitable Gas sale concludes

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the $720 million sale of Equitable Gas to Peoples Natural gas, marking the last regulatory approval the companies needed to conclude the deal.

FBN takeover cleared

FNB Corp. in Hermitage said it received regulatory clearances for the previously announced takeover of Baltimore County Savings Bank with 16 branches in the Baltimore area. The merger is expected to close in February, pending approval by the Baltimore bank's shareholders.

Shell drops Gulf Coast plans

Royal Dutch Shell dropped plans to build a gas-to-liquids plant on the Gulf Coast, citing a $20 billion price tag that it deemed uneconomic. This means Shell is down to two major capital projects under evaluation -- the proposed ethane cracker near Monaca and liquefied natural gas projects.

EDMC subsidiary settles

A subsidiary of Pittsburgh-based Education Management Corp. will pay a $3.3 million settlement over claims it misled students seeking doctorate of education in counseling psychology degrees, according to the Colorado attorney general's office. An announcement from the attorney general's office said Argosy University, Denver, deceptively marketed its program, starting in 2007, leading students to believe that they would, upon graduation, become licensed psychologists. The settlement, which requires court approval, calls for Argosy to reimburse 66 students for tuition costs and to stop enrolling students in the program.

Factor order fall in Oct.

Factory orders dropped 0.9 percent in October, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That followed a 1.8 percent increase in September. A big reason for the decline in October was a steep drop in orders for aircraft. Core capital goods, which excludes volatile orders for aircraft and defense equipment, dropped 0.6 percent.

Orchid is color of year

Orchid is growing on us: A version of the purple hue is Pantone Inc.'s color of the year for 2014. It follows this year's pick of emerald green. Pantone sets color standards for commercial use by design industries.

Ford has new Mustang

Ford Motor Co. on Thursday introduced the 2015 Mustang, a confident and aggressive riff on the iconic pony car that first made Americans swoon in the 1960s. The Mustang goes on sale next fall. This is the Mustang's first full redesign since 2005.

GM scales back in Europe

General Motors said Thursday that it planned to scale back its Chevrolet brand in Europe over the next three years as the automaker strives to stanch losses and become profitable there. Chevrolet will sell only "iconic vehicles" like the Corvette in Western and Eastern Europe, while continuing its broad presence in Russia, where the Opel and Chevrolet brands are more clearly distinguished, the company said.

Also in business...

Moon-based RTI International Metals Inc. has added Arthur B. Winkleblack to its board of directors. Mr. Winkleblack was executive vice president and chief financial officer of the H.J. Heinz Co. until the Pittsburgh food company was sold earlier this year.


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