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CU System briefs (03/16/2011)
* ST. PAUL. Minn. (3/17/11)--Following the introduction of the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act on March 9, Minnesota Credit Union Network President/CEO Mark D. Cummins used the press to advocate for the bill’s passage. A regular columnist in the Twin Cities publication Finance & Commerce, Cummins said that the lack of available credit for small businesses could be remedied by Minnesota credit unions--if the arbitrary cap on credit union business lending activities were lifted. Working to meet the demand of their business-owning members, Cummins pointed out in the March 15 column that credit unions' member business lending has grown 15% during the last year, while bank business lending has decreased 11%. “And credit unions could do even more if given the capacity, allowing for greater capital expenditures, greater economic activity and, ultimately, the creation of more jobs,” he said. “America’s small businesses are the engine of growth of our nation’s economy. At a time when small businesses need more options--not fewer--credit unions are in a position to help.” The Credit Union National Association has backed bills introduced this week in Congress to lift the cap to 27.5% of assets, from the current 12.25%. … * RALEIGH, N.C. (3/17/11)--Coastal FCU announced Wednesday it will begin offering teller services from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. The increased hours are possible though its implementation of a Personal Teller System, a video interface that allows tellers to provide traditional services to multiple branches from a single remote location at Coastal's Raleigh, N.C., headquarters. The $1.9 billion asset Coastal has upgraded its branches to the system for the past two years and extended weekday service and added Saturday hours, said Larry Wilson, Coastal's president/CEO. "Now that we've fully realized the capabilities and efficiencies offered by the system, we're able to further expand our Saturday hours and add Sundays, without making a significant impact on resources or staffing needs." This weekend, the credit union wills start a staggered rollout, beginning at three locations … * Vancouver, Wash. (3/17/11)--Vancouver police have arrested Nicholas Reynold Duncan, 18, of Vancouver for allegedly placing a skimmer and pinhole camera on an ATM earlier this month at Lacamas Community CU. He was arrested Friday after a resident saw the ATM's surveillance image of a man setting up the devices and called police. Police said it does not appear any financial information was compromised at the ATM but reminded citizens to report any suspicious devices near the credit card slot at ATMs or gas pumps (KATU.com March 10 and Columbian.com March 15) … * WASHINGTON (3/17/11)--Rudy Hanley, CEO of SchoolsFirst FCU, Santa Ana, Calif., has been re-elected chairman of the board of trustees at the Trust for Credit Unions. The trust, a mutual fund family solely for credit unions, was created in 1987 by industry leaders seeking more investment options as liquidity in the movement swelled. The board of trustees, which meets quarterly, is composed of eight members from credit unions and outside professionals. The fund's administrator, CUFSLP, is a partnership of 39 credit unions with Callahan Financial Services, the fund's distributor, serving as general partner … * SALT LAKE CITY(3/17/11)--Mountain America CU President/CEO Sterling Nielsen has been recognized as one of Utah's Most Influential People for 2011 by Utah Business magazine for outstanding business leadership. Every three years the magazine forms a panel to determine business executives, entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, artists, politicians, university presidents and others who work to create a robust economy and better quality of life in Utah. The honor is awarded to key individuals who help shape the state's economic climate. Nielsen shared his philosophy: "Be yourself and live true to your beliefs. Never compromise who you are and what you stand for. I have faced many situations where that advice wasn't always the easy path to follow. At the same time, I have never regretted any action where I followed that simple advice." The $2.8 billion asset credit union has more than 60 branches in four states serving more than 350,000 members. It has been honored four times as one of "Utah's Best Companies to Work For" by Utah Business magazine …


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