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August 29, 2014

Home-state visits connect lawmakers, CU members

CU System
MADISON, Wis. (8/29/14)--Credit unions reported several productive home-state visits with lawmakers this week.
Click to view larger image U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) greets members of the Carolinas Credit Union League's Western Chapter on Tuesday. (Carolinas Credit Union League Photo)
Meeting with lawmakers while they are in their districts is a critical part of the Credit Union National Association's advocacy strategy, Ryan Donovan, CUNA senior vice president of legislative affairs, told News Now.

"It reinforces the local presence credit unions have in virtually every community in the country, and frankly, some of our more productive meetings with representatives and senators take place back home because members have more time to meet with their constituents and understand their concerns," Donovan said.
On Tuesday, the Carolinas Credit Union League's Western Chapter hosted an event featuring Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) in Asheville, N.C., attended by more than 80 credit union representatives (In the Loop Aug. 29)
Click to view larger imagePatti Seymore, vice president at SC Telco FCU, Greenville, S.C., and U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) (Carolinas Credit Union League Photo)
"Your members trust you--and having someone you can trust when making important financial decisions is important," Meadows told attendees.
Currently serving his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Meadows reiterated his support for the credit union tax exemption and shared his concerns about the overregulation credit unions are facing as a result of the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act.
"Many of our credit unions that have been to Washington, D.C., or met individually with Congressman Meadows over the past year have come to appreciate his strong support for credit unions," said Dan Schline, league senior vice president of association services. "Tonight was important because a wider group of western North Carolina credit unions got to hear firsthand about that support."
Click to view larger image U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) speaks with credit union advocates from the Carolinas Credit Union League's Columbia Chapter. (Carolinas Credit Union League Photo)
In addition to signing a joint letter from members of the House of Representatives to National Credit Union Administration Chair Debbie Matz in June, Meadows authored his own letter this month expressing concerns about the agency's risk-based capital proposal.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan's (R-S.C.) fourth annual Faith and Freedom BBQ drew more than 1,100 attendees Monday. Special guests included Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson. Credit union advocates from the 3rd District attended a private reception prior to the event and were able to meet with elected officials to discuss credit union issues.
Missouri credit union leaders met with U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) this week. From left: Jay Neathery, executive vice president, United Consumers CU, Independence, Mo.; Rick Schier, vice president of sales and service, CommunityAmerica CU, Lenexa, Kan.; Ron Miller, president, Edison CU, Kansas City; Graves; Dennis Pierce, president/CEO, and Pat Yokley,  chief operating officer, CommunityAmerica CU; Don Cohenour, president/CEO, Missouri Credit Union Association; and Chris McCreary, president, United Consumers CU. (Missouri Credit Union Association Photo)
The Carolinas Credit Union League, along with the Columbia Chapter of Credit Unions, hosted longtime credit union supporter Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) on Tuesday in Columbia, S.C., for a BBQ "Meet and Greet." Credit union members throughout the midlands had the opportunity to speak with Wilson and his staff, in addition to celebrating credit unions' national 100 million memberships milestone.

U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) reaffirmed his support for maintaining the credit union tax status when he met with Missouri credit union leaders this week, the Missouri Credit Union Association reported.  The meeting took place Monday at CommunityAmerica CU's North Oak Trafficway branch in Kansas City, Mo.  During the meeting, credit union leaders stressed the importance of the credit union tax status when discussing the possibility of tax reform in the next Congress.
Graves, who had served as chairman of the House Small Business Committee, asked about the impact of data breaches on credit unions.
In addition to the league and Lenexa, Kan.-based $1.9 billion-asset CommunityAmerica CU, participants in the meeting included Edison CU, Kansas City, Mo., with $29 million in assets; and United Consumers CU, Independence, Mo., with $123 million in assets. ReadMore

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Branch contact still important, says CU satisfaction index

CU System
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (8/29/14)--The importance of branches to members continues to see-saw, according to the CFI Group's latest Credit Union Satisfaction Index (CUSI). Potential members see them as a key reason to join a credit union. Current members appreciate the way they are treated at their branch but are looking for new channels such as mobile for service.
Click to view larger image CFI Group Graphic
In the second installment of its CUSI, CFI Group found that the branch experience continues to be highly rated at 92--"a reflection of members' ongoing delight with the way they are treated."
At 31%, branch convenience remains a high point for why a member chooses a credit union. Once part of the fold, the member shifts focus to other satisfaction factors such as mobile access or new products.
"As our lives are becoming increasingly technology-centric, it is only natural for members to desire access to their accounts remotely," said Terry Redding, CFI Group vice president of sales and marketing. "Even though the vast majority of members are using online and mobile banking, members still want the convenience of a nearby branch, exceptional service and the ability to access their accounts in-person if they choose to do so."
Expanding the ATM branch experience may fill members' needs. The report notes that there is a genuine appetite for ATM services such as paying credit card bills (38%), making a loan payment (30%), purchasing a CD (29%) and opening an account (28%).
Members' desire for online and mobile services continues to grow across all age ranges, which designers need to take into account. The report noted, "Applications that work well for eagle-eyed and text-savvy young people may not have the same appeal to their perhaps 'fatter-fingered' and glasses-wearing parents."
The CUSI model looks at six satisfaction drivers: products and services, information and communications, branch staff, branch convenience, rates and fees, and online and mobile banking.
Overall member satisfaction is strong at 86--a decline from 90 in the 2013 inaugural report--but banks ticked up one point to 80 from 79 in CFI's Bank Satisfaction Barometer report. ReadMore

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World Council encourages charity focus for ICU Day

CU System
MADISON, Wis. (8/29/14)--International Credit Union (ICU) Day's theme of "Local Service. Global Good." gives credit unions a chance to make a difference for the charity of their choice, noted the World Council of Credit Unions.
With that in mind, the World Council is encouraging fundraising this year. Each country will be asked to report charitable donations leading up to and throughout ICU Day, which is Oct. 16.
The World Council will capture the results and share a global report on credit union fundraising efforts at the community, national and international levels.
It suggests a number of campaigns, including:
  • Fundraising events with social media coverage;
  • In-branch coin drives;
  • Corporate matching and office fundraising challenges;
  • Credit union interchange fees for all card transactions;
  • Add-on donation options for members to make through debit/card transactions; or
  • Crowdfunding websites.
In the United States, Credit Unions for Kids will hold Shop for Miracles, a one-day fundraising program to support local Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Each time members use their credit union-issued credit or debit card on Oct. 16, participating credit unions will donate a pre-determined amount to their local children's hospital.
The World Council also encourages credit unions to engage with members on Facebook and Twitter with the #ICUDay hashtag. ReadMore

CU responds with relief, loan program after Napa quake

CU System
NAPA, Calif. (8/29/14)--Redwood CU (RCU), Santa Rosa, Calif., with $2.3 billion in assets, is accepting contributions and offering loan assistance for those affected by Sunday's Napa area earthquake.

All of RCU's 17 branch locations and local call center have been designated as collection sites for the American Red Cross relief fund to assist those affected by the earthquake.
"Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the earthquake, and we want to help however we can," said Brett Martinez, RCU president/CEO. "Accepting monetary donations through our branches and call center makes it easy and convenient for our members and local community to support the American Red Cross relief efforts."
The credit union also is offering special assistance to residents in the Napa area who have been affected financially by the recent earthquake, including an interest-free earthquake relief loan of up to $5,000 for 12 months to help with unexpected expenses resulting from Sunday's earthquake. Other types of loans are also available to assist local residents and businesses with earthquake-related financial issues.
"When natural disasters occur, many people find themselves burdened by unexpected expenses that can cause financial distress," Martinez said. "We are offering assistance through these loans to give local earthquake victims peace of mind so they can resume their normal lives as they recover from this unfortunate event. We're here to help." ReadMore

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No bogies: CU golf tourneys raise $172,000

CU System
MADISON, Wis. (8/29/14)--Summer is a perfect time to hit the links, and credit unions take the opportunity to turn the greens into gold for their charities of choice.
Youth financial education is the beneficiary of $41,000 raised by 96 players and 21 sponsors at the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation/CUNA Mutual Golf Tournament, held Aug. 18 in Newport Beach, Calif.
Service 1st FCU, Danville, Pa., raised $30,000 during its 21st annual golf tournament last Friday for the Janet Weis Children's Hospital, Nolan's Heart of Steel and Montour County Veterans Affairs. (Service 1st FCU Photo)
"The funds from this year's successful RMJ/CUNA Mutual Golf Tournament will go a long way toward funding the Bite of Reality, our youth financial education program, which has reached more than 3,500 teens in California and Nevada since its inception in 2012," said Tena Lozano, executive director of the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation.
With a turnout of 130 golfers and 23 sponsors, the Ohio Credit Union Foundation Classic raised $41,000 Aug. 11. The foundation will use the funds to support credit union financial education, outreach projects, professional development and disaster relief needs in 2015 ( eLumination Aug. 20).
The Massachusetts Credit Union League's charity golf tournament benefited the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless to the tune of $27,000 ( Daily CU Scan Aug. 27). During the Monday event, Lois Ferraresso, the coalition's associate director, thanked the 100 golfers and event sponsors for their support.
The Utah Credit Union Association raised about $10,000 for scholarships to Western CUNA Management School with its KSL Golf Tournament ( Association Update Aug. 12).
Service 1st FCU, Danville, Pa., raised $30,000 during its 21st annual golf tournament last Friday for the Janet Weis Children's Hospital, Nolan's Heart of Steel and Montour County Veterans Affairs. "Occasionally, I have veterans who fall into an unfortunate financial crisis through no fault of their own," said Douglas Resseguie, Montour County Veterans Affairs director. "This money will go a long way in helping deserving veterans get back on their feet with some short-term emergency assistance." In addition to the golf tournament, the $233 million-asset credit union held a duck derby as part of its #DoGood campaign.
Erie, Pa.-based Widget Financial FCU's sixth annual Million Dollar Golf Shoot Out raised more than $23,700 for Charities for Children Inc., which supports 14 charities in the Erie area ( Life is a Highway Aug. 28). Approximately 107 golfers and more than 120 individuals attended the Aug. 18 event. Combined with its annual bowling tournament, the $264 million-asset credit union has donated $52,555 in 2014 to Charities for Children. ReadMore

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CUNA closed for Labor Day, No News Now

CU System
WASHINGTON and MADISON, Wis. (8/29/14)--The Washington, D.C., and Madison, Wis., offices of the Credit Union National Association will be closed Monday in observance of Labor Day.
There will be no Monday edition of News Now . News Now will resume regular publication on Tuesday. ReadMore

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CU System briefs (08/29/2014)

CU System
  • WATERLOO, Iowa (8/29/14)-­- Jean Trainor, CEO and chief inclusion office of Veridian CU, Waterloo, Iowa, announced her departure from the $2.4 billion-asset credit union . Trainor has been with the credit union for 32 years, serving as the CEO for 25 years. She is taking on a new career to help her 29-year-old son--who has a rare disorder that leaves him unable to speak--train others to communicate via keyboard as he has been doing for eight years. Trainor told the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier that she had decided helping Nate take on this task would be her next career (Aug. 28) ...
  • CHARLESTON, W. Va. (8/29/14)-- Pioneer West Virginia FCU, Charleston, W.Va., announced Dan McGowan will succeed Dana Rawlings as president/CEO when Rawlings retires at the end of September . McGowan currently is the executive vice president/chief financial officer of the $179 million asset-credit union ( Charleston Gazette Aug. 27). Under Rawlings' tenure, the credit union rebranded, completed three mergers and expanded its field of membership to 10 counties in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio ...

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