HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (7/14/09)--The global economy and CUNA Mutual Group's strategic path were among the topics discussed by CUNA Mutual President/CEO Jeff Post during a visit with 45 New Jersey credit union leaders at an open form last week. Post said he was concerned about the economic downturn, specifically in Florida, California and Nevada, but noted that all states have signs they are hurting in areas such as housing, reported the New Jersey Credit Union League in its new daily newsletter, The Daily Exchange
(July 13). Last year was the first year that the company's mortgage insurance business lost money, he told the group. This was due to the housing downturn but credit unions have felt the impact less than other lenders because of their solid underwriting and relationships with their members, Post added. Other topics he discussed:
* The company's philosophy on claims. CUNA Mutual looks for ways to pay claims, but, for the good of all credit unions, CUNA Mutual should not be in the business of paying questionable claims, Post said. The company may even need to turn some credit unions down for bond coverage if they do not have certain safeguards in place or are in financial trouble, he added. * Demutualization. CUNA Mutual has no plans to demutualize, he emphasized. Instead, it is committed to the credit union space and looks to continue as an industry partner. The company gives back roughly $50 million a year to the credit union industry, he said, noting the example of its work when a Wisconsin credit union succeeded in proving to a U.S. District Court jury that its core products should not fall under the unrelated business income tax. * Support of credit unions hit by fraud in the CU National Mortgage bankruptcy case. CUNA Mutual is providing legal support for credit unions whose mortgage loans were fraudulently sold to Fannie Mae. * A national branding campaign. Post would consider supporting a national branding campaign if the industry could provide a unified proposal. He commended New Jersey credit unions for their support of the "New Jersey Credit Unions, Banking You Can Trust" cooperative advertising campaign.