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CU System briefs (01/06/2011)
* SMYRNA, Tenn. (1/7/11)-- The Smyrna, Tenn.-branch of Tullahoma-based Ascend FCU was robbed Wednesday morning for the third time since Dec. 21. The suspect entered the credit union just after 10 a.m., approached a teller and implied he had a gun and told her to "give me the money. Hurry up," according to Smyrna Police. He fled to a getaway vehicle driven by a second suspect. The credit union was also robbed on Dec. 21 and Dec. 29. According to Smyrna Police, the robber in each robbery said he had a weapon but did not display it (Daily News Jan. 5) … * DECATUR, Ill. (1/7/11)-Tina Finn, a former personal banker at Earthmover CU's Forsyth, Ill., branch, pleaded guilty Monday to stealing more than $350,000 from about 20 accounts, most of them belonging to elderly, sick or deceased members. Macon County Associate Judge Timothy Steadman sentenced her to three years of probation and ordered her to repay the stolen funds. She pleaded guilty to misappropriation of financial property, which could have carried a five year prison sentence. Instead she was recommended for probation so she could work to repay the funds (Associated Press Newswires Jan. 5) … * REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (1/7/11)--A former teller of a San Mateo CU branch in Redwood City, was sentenced Wednesday to one year in jail and five years probation for stealing $40,000 from her elderly aunt's account and a $33,000 inheritance from the account of a 16-year-old whose mother had died. Arcelia Barajas Aguilar, 29, allegedly obtained her teller position by using her mother's Social Security number on her job application. The thefts occurred during the summer of 2009. Most of the money was used to pay off credit card debt. In August, she pleaded no contest to felony grand theft and felony elder fiscal abuse in a plea bargain to avoid state prison. The credit union reimbursed the victims' money, and San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Lisa Novak ordered Aguilar to pay restitution to the credit union (The Mercury News Jan. 5) … * PHOENIX (1/7/11)--Phoenix Police say a suspect they arrested Saturday is a serial robber known as the 'Manila Bandit,' named for the large Manila envelope he stashes money in from the robberies. Walter Furrh, 51, of Phoenix, was arrested and charged with robbing three Tucson financial institutions: a US Bank in July, a Wells Fargo branch in October, and Pyramid CU in October (Arizona Daily Star Jan. 3) … * DETROIT (1/7/11)--Detroit Metropolitan CU says its "Easy Money" loan program is so popular with members that they will stand in line for hours to get an application. It offers the program twice a year and makes up to 1,000 of the loans each time, but has considered increasing it because it's so popular with members. There is no credit check for the $500, six-month loan, said CEO Kathie Trembath (Michigan Monitor Jan. 3). The rate is 18%. The loans are available to members in good standing who have been members for at least six months, have five years continuous employment with the same employer, and are on a payroll deduction or direct deposit plan. The credit union simplifies the process by not allowing exceptions to the loan. Staff work on Saturday to process all the loans in the same day. Trembath told the Michigan Credit Union League that it is not a huge profit generator after labor is paid, but members look forward to the program each year … * NEWARK, Del. (1/7/11)--DPL FCU is now Community Powered FCU to reflect its expanding field of membership. The credit union changed its name Jan. 2, reported the Delaware Credit Union League (Together Dec. 30). According to credit union CEO Anthony Hinds, the change tells people in the New Castle community that they can "enjoy the benefits traditionally experienced by Delmarva Power, Hercules and News Journal employees, retirees and their families" and honors "our original and core members who are still very important to us. It is a way of embracing our legacy while reaching out to serve the community at large." In December, the credit union opened a new branch in the league's building to prove a more centric location for members living in the New Castle area. Last year the credit union expanded its charter to include all persons living, working, worshipping or attending school in, and business and other legal entities located in New Castle County, north of the C & D Canal, and their families … * PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago (1/7/11)--Hyder Ali, manager of the Trinidad and Tobago Credit Union Deposit Insurance Fund Cooperative Society Ltd. and secretary to the board of directors at the fund, died Dec. 18. The credit union movement leader managed what was previously the Trinidad and Tobago Stabilization Fund after he retired in 2005 as Commissioner of Cooperatives in the Ministry of Labour in 2005. A lecturer in cooperative studies at the Cipriani Labour College, he also was a founding member and former secretary of The Caribbean Association of Regulators of Cooperatives (Newsday Dec. 19) …


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