Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive
150x172_CUEffect.jpg
Contacts
LISA MCCUEVICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
MICHELLE WILLITSManaging Editor
RON JOOSSASSISTANT EDITOR
ALEX MCVEIGHSTAFF NEWSWRITER
TOM SAKASHSTAFF NEWSWRITER

News Now

March 4, 2015

FHFA has new rules for selling non-performing loans

Washington
WASHINGTON (3/4/15)--Enhanced requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to sell non-performing loans (NPLs) were announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Tuesday.

According to the FHFA, it approved NPL sales by Fannie and Freddie to reduce the number of severely delinquent loans held in their inventories and to transfer risk to the private sector. 

"FHFA expects that with these enhanced requirements , NPL sales by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will result in more favorable outcomes for borrowers and local communities, while also reducing losses to the Enterprises and, therefore, to taxpayers," said FHFA Director Mel Watt. "Under the requirements announced today, servicers must consider borrowers for a range of alternatives to foreclosure."

According to the FHFA, the requirements are expected to encourage broad participation by potential investors and provide for future publication of aggregate data about borrower outcomes.

The enhanced requirements include:
  • Bidders will be required to identify their servicing partners at the time of qualification and must demonstrate a record of successful resolution of loans through alternatives to foreclosure;
     
  • The new servicer will be required to evaluate all pre-2009 borrowers (other than those whose foreclosure sale date is imminent or whose property is vacant) for the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Making Home Affordable Programs;
     
  • Servicers must apply resolution tactics that include evaluating borrower eligibility for a loan modification, a short sale and a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, which must be the last option;
     
  • Servicers are encouraged to sell properties that have gone through foreclosure and entered real estate owned status to individuals who will occupy the property as their primary residence or to nonprofits; and
     
  • NPL buyers and servicers, including subsequent servicers, are required to report loan resolution results and borrower outcomes to the enterprises for four years after the NPL sale.
Fannie and Freddie NPL sales are generally expected to include loans that are severely delinquent, such as loans that are more than a year past due.

CUNA writes to support QM, NCUA study bills

Washington
WASHINGTON (3/4/15)--CUNA has sent letters in support of two recently introduced pieces of legislation that help serve the credit union community. CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote Tuesday to Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) in support of his Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act (H.R. 1210) and to Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) in support of the National Credit Union Administration Budget Transparency Act (H.R. 1176). 

Barr's bill, which has CUNA's strong support, would allow residential mortgages held in portfolio by the original creditor to be deemed "qualified mortgages" (QMs) under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) mortgage lending rules.

QMs are a category of loans that are considered more stable, since lenders must have made good faith efforts to determine a borrower's ability to repay, and the absence of certain loan features that can be harmful.

"Treating loans that financial institutions hold on their balance sheets in this manner is appropriate because the lender retains all of the risk involved with these mortgages and is subject to significant safety and soundness supervision from its prudential regulator," Nussle wrote. "This will help credit unions, many of which are primarily portfolio lenders, continue to provide mortgage credit to their members."

Nussle also wrote to support Mulvaney's bill, which was introduced last week. The bill would direct the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the NCUA's budgeting process and identify ways the agency can increase the transparency of the process within 18 months of the bill's enactment.

The study will also determine the availability of line-by-line budget data for the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, Central Liquidity Facility and Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund.

"CUNA has consistently advocated for NCUA to be more transparent with their budget process for many years because credit unions fund the agency and the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund," Nussle wrote. "One way to bring transparency and accountability to the NCUA budget process would be to require the NCUA Board to conduct an annual public hearing on the agency's budget ... conducting such a hearing would represent a very modest burden on the agency and the Board--a handful of hours simply to listen to those whom they regulate--but it would be very meaningful to the credit unions that are responsible for funding the activities of the agency."

Circuit court restores NCUA RMBS suit vs. Barclays

Washington
DENVER (3/4/15)--The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has restored a National Credit Union Administration lawsuit that had charged Barclays Capital Inc. with misrepresenting the quality of more than $550 million in residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) sold to corporate credit unions.

"These cases are extremely important to credit unions, and this is another positive step forward," said Robin Cook, CUNA senior director of advocacy and counsel for special projects.  He added, "NCUA so far has recovered more than $1.75 billion from the big banks, a huge achievement that has helped reduce corporate stabilization assessments on credit unions."
 
The court order overturns a 2013 ruling by U.S. District Judge John W. Lungstrum in Wichita, Kan., that dismissed the NCUA's claims on the grounds they were time-barred and NCUA hadn't filed its case in time.  NCUA, however, entered into an agreement with Barclays that would have extended the time it had to file these cases. 
 
In the 10th Circuit ruling filed Tuesday, the court, in part, ruled "Barclays expressly promised not to raise the statute of limitations defense if doing so would require inclusion of time periods that the parties agreed to exclude, and we hold Barclays to that promise."
 
The cases will now proceed to discovery.

NCUA announces March 25 FOM webinar

Washington
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (3/4/15)--Credit unions looking at altering their fields of membership (FOM) can tune into a webinar just announced by the National Credit Union Administration for March 25.

The free webinar will feature NCUA staff discussing ways reaching out to underserved communities can be incorporated into a credit union's strategic plan.

Vanessa Lowe, economic development specialist, NCUA's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives; Ynette Gibbs, CEO, Newrizons FCU, Hoquiam, Wash.; and staff from NCUA's Office of Consumer Protection will lead the webinar.

Topics include using data to maximize membership growth and a review of the FOM Internet application.

Online registration is now open. The webinar is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. (ET) March 25 and is scheduled to run for 90 minutes.

According to the NCUA, a closed captioned version of the webinar will be posted online within three weeks of the event.

Still time to register for today's joint NCUA-SBA webinar

Washington
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (3/4/15)--Today's joint National Credit Union Administration and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) webinar on "Balancing Member Business Loan Portfolios with SBA Guarantees" starts at 2 p.m. (ET). Those interested in tuning in can register right up to the start time.
 
The webinar is the first initiative launched under the agencies' new partnership announced Feb. 6 when the NCUA and SBA leaders signed a memorandum of understanding intended to help small businesses connect with local credit unions to get better access to capital.
 
The 90-minute webinar will be moderated by Dominic Carullo, an economic development specialist with NCUA's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and NCUA Chair Debbie Matz will provide opening remarks, and speakers will include:
  • Ann Marie Mehlum, associate administrator, SBA's Office of Capital Markets;
  • William Myers, director, NCUA's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives; and,
  • Vincent Vieten, member business lending (MBL) program officer, NCUA's Office of Examination and Insurance.
The panel will discuss what programs SBA offers to small business, how these loan programs can enhance a credit union's MBL program, and the requirements for setting up and managing an SBA-loan program.
 
The webinar will be archived online approximately three weeks following the live event.

MBL bill a common-sense boost to economic recovery, Nussle tells lawmakers

Washington
WASHINGTON (3/4/15)--A bill that would allow credit unions to increase their member business lending (MBL) will be a boost to the economy, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle said Tuesday.

In a letter to Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), Nussle thanked the legislators for introducing  the bill Monday,

"Credit unions understand that in order for the economy to fully recover, small businesses need access to credit, which will help their businesses grow," Nussle wrote. "Credit unions have capital to lend, a history of prudent and safe small business lending, and a mission to help provide access to credit to their members--including their small business-owning members. They just need Congress to enact your legislation."

Credit unions are currently limited to member business lending up to 12.25% of assets, but if the bill is passed, it could raise the cap to 27.5% of assets for credit unions that meet certain conditions.

"Today, many credit unions are rapidly approaching the cap while others choose not to engage in business lending because of the cap," Nussle wrote. "If the cap is not increased, the ability of many business-lending credit unions to help small businesses will be jeopardized."

CUNA estimates that if the bill is enacted, it would allow credit unions to lend an additional $16 billion to small businesses in the first year, helping to create more than 150,000 new jobs.

The bill, identical to a CUNA-supported bill introduced in the last Congress, would amend the Federal Credit Union Act. Currently, credit unions are prohibited from member business lending exceeding 12.5% of assets, or 1.75 times the actual net worth of the credit union.

Credit unions could lend up to 27.5% of assets if: outstanding member business loans have been at or above 80% of the 12.25% cap for the last year; it is considered well-capitalized; it has had an MBL program for at least five years; and it receives permission from the National Credit Union Administration.

Inside Washington (3/4/15)

Washington
  • ALEXANDRIA, Va. (3/4/15)-- Registration is open to sign up for free, online livestreaming of the National Credit Union Administration's March 19 open board meeting.  The March meeting is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. (ET) and the agency expects to post the agenda to the board's calendar web page on March 12 at 3 p.m. (ET).  Once registered, participants will be given a link to use to test their systems. Participants with technical questions about accessing the livestream may email audience.support@on24.com . There will be a new registration link for each subsequent open board meeting. Live captioning will be provided during each meeting for the hearing-impaired. The agency will continue to post video archives of open meetings on its website ...

Consumer Rates

Market

Informa Research Services, Inc.
Daily Rate Comparison

Informa Research Services, Inc.
Deposit Products Credit Unions Bank Average Difference
12 Month CD $10,000 0.49% 0.27% 0.22%
Personal Savings $1,000 0.20% 0.09% 0.11%
Personal Interest Checking $2,500 0.36% 0.15% 0.21%
NSF Fee $28.04 $30.69 $-2.65
Personal MMDA $2,500 0.18% 0.10% 0.08%
Business MMDA $2,500 0.17% 0.09% 0.08%

Consumer Loan Products Credit Unions Bank Average Difference
Unsecured Personal Loan - $5,000 - 4 Years 10.09% 10.22% -0.13%
New Auto Loan - 5 Years 2.60% 3.75% -1.15%
Used Auto Loan - 2 year Old - 4 Years 2.76% 3.99% -1.23%
HELOC - 80% LTV - $50,000 4.11% 4.35% -0.24%
HE Loan - 80% LTV - $50,000 - 15 Years 5.60% 5.85% -0.25%

Mortgage Loan Products Credit Unions Bank Average Difference
30 Year Fixed Conforming 3.81% 3.86% -0.05%
30 Year Fixed Jumbo 3.88% 3.91% -0.03%
5/1 Year ARM Conforming 3.02% 2.98% 0.04%

Credit Card Products Credit Unions Bank Average Difference
Platinum 8.84% 10.60% -1.76%
Annual Fee $25.00 $31.00 $-6.00
Maximum Late Fee $25.37 $32.23 $-6.86
Reward 10.11% 13.03% -2.92%
Annual Fee $29.62 $94.15 $-64.53
Maximum Late Fee $22.27 $32.98 $-10.71

Indirect Auto Loan Products Credit Unions Bank Average Difference
Indirect A Tier New Auto Loan - 5 Years 3.57% 3.65% -0.08%
Indirect B Tier New Auto Loan - 5 Years 5.25% 5.22% 0.04%
Indirect C Tier New Auto Loan - 5 Years 7.47% 6.67% 0.80%

Averages displayed are straight averages of all institutions within the Informa Research Services database for the selected region as of Tuesday, March 03, 2015. For detailed disclosures click here.

CoreLogic: Jan. home prices jump nearly 6% annually

Market
IRVINE, Calif. (3/4/15)--Home prices surged by 5.7% in January on a year-over-year basis, according to CoreLogic's Home Price Index report.

That marks the 35th consecutive month of annual home price appreciation ( Housingwire.com March 3).

"House-price appreciation has generally been stronger in the western half of the nation and weakest in the mid-Atlantic and northeast states," said Frank Northaft, CoreLogic chief economist. "In part, these trends reflect the strength of regional economies."

Colorado and Texas have experienced stronger job creation and with it, 8% to 9% home price appreciation over the past 12 months, Northaft said.

"In contrast, values were flat or down in Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland in our overall index, including distressed sales," he said.

Including distressed sales, 27 states and Washington, D.C., sit within 10% of their peak, according to the report. Further, New York, Wyoming, Texas and Colorado all reached record highs in the home price index in January.

Excluding distressed sales, home prices climbed 5.6% in January on a year-over-year basis and 1.4% on a monthly basis.

"A dearth in supply in many parts of the country is a big factor driving up prices," said Anand Nallathambi, CoreLogic president/CEO ( Housingwire.com ). "Many homeowners have taken advantage of low rates to refinance their homes, and until we see sustained increases in income levels and employment they could be hunkered down so supplies may remain tight."

Business Rates

Market
Daily Financial Rates -- 2015-03-04

Financial Rates


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

03:55 AM CST

TREASURY YIELD CURVE
(based on the $1 million market)

TermWed
3/4
Tue
3/3
Mon
3/2
Fri
2/27
Thu
2/26
1 month0.010.020.020.020.02
3 month0.020.020.030.030.02
6 month0.080.080.070.070.07
1 year0.260.220.220.220.21
2 year0.680.660.660.660.61
3 year1.091.061.041.040.98
5 year1.611.571.541.541.47
7 year1.941.891.861.861.78
10 year2.122.082.032.031.96
20 year2.492.462.392.392.35
30 year2.712.682.632.632.56

TREASURY BILLS

Results of the March 2, 2015 auction of short-term U.S. government bills, sold at a discount from face value in units of $10,000 to $ 1 million

TermLatest
Mon, 3/2
Week Ago
Mon, 2/23
13 weeks0.0150.020
26 weeks0.0750.065

PRIME RATE

3.25% Last changed December 16, 2008

FEDERAL FUNDS

TermWed
3/4
Tue
3/3
Mon
3/2
Fri
2/27
Thu
2/26
high0.3120.3120.3120.3120.312
low0.0500.0500.0100.0700.050
near closing bid0.0500.0800.0500.0600.100
offered0.0800.1000.2700.0900.130
effective rate20.1300.1300.1000.1400.140

FREDDIE MAC (Mortgage commitments, 30 days)

TermWed
3/4
Tue
3/3
Mon
3/2
Fri
2/27
Thu
2/26
30 year0.000.000.000.000.00

FANNIE MAE (Mortgage commitments, 30 days)

TermWed
3/4
Tue
3/3
Mon
3/2
Fri
2/27
Thu
2/26
30 year3.3753.3303.3623.3263.331

LIBOR

TermWed
3/4
Tue
3/3
Mon
3/2
Fri
2/27
Thu
2/26
1 month0.236000.235000.237000.237000.23600
3 month0.388000.384000.386000.385000.38600
6 month0.541000.540000.539000.539000.54000
1 year0.841000.839000.839000.839000.84000

COMMERCIAL PAPER (Financial, 90 days)

TermWeek ended
3/3
Week ended
2/24
90 days0.230.23

NA: Data not available at time of page generation (shown at top of page)

Sources:
Wall Street Journal
U.S. Dept. of the Treasury


All rates are from the previous business day unless otherwise noted.

20 breakout sessions available at CUNA's April lending school

CU System
MADISON, Wis. (3/4/15)--More than 20 new breakout sessions will be offered at next month's 2015 CUNA Consumer and Residential Mortgage Lending School, CUNA announced this week, and new session details are now available on the school's website .

The school, set for April 20-27 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., aims to strengthen core lending skills, answer questions and develop additional skills through intimate, informative breakout sessions.

The sessions will cover subjects within four critical lending areas, including general lending, consumer lending, residential mortgage lending, and leadership and management in lending.

"This format allows attendees to choose their focus and get the most out of their time at the school," said Kathy Smith, CUNA instructional design manager.

Breakout session highlights:
  • "How to be Successful with Higher-Risk Lending;"
  • "Managing Your Mortgage Business: The Top 5 Best Practices;"
  • "Growing Your Purchase Loan Volume: Building Market Share;"
  • "Top 100 in New and Used Car Lending;"
  • "Developing New Mortgage Products: Going Beyond Vanilla;" and
  • "Time's Running Out: Are You Ready for Integrated TILA/RESPA Disclosures?"
Attendees also will have the opportunity to attend the eight-hour SAFE Comprehensive Mortgage Loan Originator pre-conference course.

To learn more about the school and the new sessions, download the schedule or register at training.cuna.org/crml.

CU testifies in support of Minn. PLS account bill

CU System
ST. PAUL, Minn. (3/4/15)--A representative from Affinity Plus FCU, St. Paul, testified in support of a Minnesota bill allowing prize-linked savings (PLS) accounts--a bill that unanimously passed the state Senate Commerce Committee Monday.
 
State Sen. Vicki Jensen (DFL-Owatonna), left, and Keith Malbrue, chief administrative officer/chief information officer, Affinity Plus FCU, testify during Minnesota's Senate Commerce Committee. (Minnesota Credit Union Network Photo)
S.F. 1043, which is supported by the Minnesota Credit Union Network (McCUN), was authored by Sen. Vicki Jensen (DFL-Owatonna).
 
"America is facing a savings emergency," said Keith Malbrue, chief administrative officer/chief information officer, Affinity Plus FCU, during the testimony. "Approximately a quarter of U.S. citizens have absolutely no savings at all, and 48% would have to borrow money or sell assets to come up with $400 for a car repair or doctor bill. Prize-linked savings will help encourage more informed financial decisions and develop stronger savings habits."
 
Malbrue is also a board member at Doorways to Dreams, a nonprofit that focuses on the role the financial services industry can play in serving low-income communities.
 
"While S.F. 1043, and its House companion bill H.F. 1127, still have a long way to go before becoming law, we're very pleased by the Senate Commerce Committee's approval," said MnCUN President/CEO Mark Cummins. "Sen. Jensen has always been a strong advocate of financial literacy efforts, and we thank her for authoring this bill."

Flickinger, Bauer receive PCUA lifetime achievement awards

CU System
HARRISBURG, Pa. (3/4/15)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) announced the winners of its 2015 lifetime achievement awards.
 
The William Pratt Professional of the Year award goes to Dennis Flickinger, president/CEO, First Capital FCU, York, while Dr. Richard Bauer, chair, Keystone FCU, West Chester, will be honored as the Joseph A. Moore Volunteer of the Year ( Life is a Highway March 3).
 
Flickinger began as a supervisory committee volunteer for Fort Eustis FCU (now 1st Advantage FCU), Yorktown, Va., in 1976. After retiring from the U.S. Army, he became president/CEO/treasurer of First Capital FCU on Jan. 2, 1990.
 
Flickinger has served on the York Chapter of Credit Unions, PCUA's regulatory review and governmental affairs committees, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's Credit Union Council, the Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU board, CUNA Mutual Group's Owners Advisory Council and CUNA's Corporate Task Force.
 
"Those who know me know that I am passionate about credit unions and have always advocated for the spirit of cooperation among my peers," said Flickinger. "Since arriving at First Capital 25 years ago, I've reached out to my peers locally and beyond, to share ideas for the betterment of all credit unions and their members."
 
Bauer has been a member of Keystone FCU since 1965 and has served as supervisory committee chair and board chair, among other volunteer positions. As the director of Neighborhood Youth Corps of Chester and Delaware Counties, Bauer created a campaign to raise awareness of the organization's programs.
 
In submitting Bauer for consideration, his fellow board members said, "Like Joseph Moore, Bauer is committed to helping those in need. 'People helping people' is a philosophy which he lives and breathes both in his community and in his credit union."
 
The awards will be presented during the closing luncheon at PCUA's annual convention May 16.

March 31 deadline for Biz Kid$ fin. ed. grant applications

CU System
MADISON, Wis. (3/4/15)--Credit union organizations have until March 31 to apply for a Biz Kid$ Financial Education Grant from the National Credit Union Foundation.
 
The foundation seeks to distribute $100,000 in grant funds.
 
Biz Kid$ financial education grants may be used to fund innovative programs that use the award-winning TV series and associated content to improve youth financial literacy.
 
The objective is to engage the credit union movement in using Biz Kid$ and its curriculum to build students' financial literacy and economic education skills while increasing awareness and usage of Biz Kid$.
 
Eligible applicants include credit unions, credit union service organizations, state credit union associations, state credit union foundations and any other organizations owned or controlled by credit unions.

CU Effect: St. Louis Community collaborates to save homes with FHLB grant

CU System
ST. LOUIS (3/4/15)--Anne may have had a roof over her head, but for some time that roof scarcely provided the Ferguson, Mo., resident any comfort.

Click to view larger image Thanks to an FHLB grant, Wanda was able to receive much-needed repairs to her home, including a new thermostat. (St. Louis Community CU Photo)
The plumbing was shot and the house was so cold in the winter that Anne, who's elderly and disabled, slept with a heating pad and a space heater to stay warm at night.

It was only because of a grant procured by St. Louis Community CU--a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and a low-income designated credit union--that Anne was able to make the repairs she needed to make her home safe and livable again.

"This house, at 3 in the morning, would be so cold," Anne said. "At 3 this morning, it was heaven."

The grant program, one of several affordable housing-related programs offered by St. Louis Community, is made possible through a partnership with the Community Action Agency of St. Louis County (CAASTLC), a local low-income intervention services organization.

In 2013, St. Louis Community received a $300,000 affordable housing grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Des Moines, allowing CAASTLC to repair and weatherize homes for low-income homeowners.

The grant funding helped pay for repairs and weatherization, which includes insulation for heating and cooling, on 39 homes, with an average of about $8,000 to $9,000 spent on each home.

"Some of these individuals faced dangerous and unsafe conditions," Dorothy Bell, St. Louis Community senior vice president/chief marketing officer, told News Now in an email. "Thanks to the funding, they were able to remain in their homes with dignity."

The assistance doesn't stop with the repairs, however.

Those who receive home repairs or weatherization also are given one-on-one education sessions on living safe, healthy lives in their updated homes.

Called the Healthy Homes curriculum, the program provides recipients education on how to maintain a healthy indoor air environment. Program leaders say the education, combined with the repairs and weatherization, help break the cycle of poor health and poor quality of life.

"People's ability to stay in their homes and stay healthy is the real impact," said Jim Trout, CAASTLC associate director for weatherization. "Lower utility bills are the icing."

The upgrades the Community Action Agency of St. Louis County made to Anne's home keep her warm at night, unlike her house before the repairs. (St. Louis Community CU Photo)
This combination also recently helped Wanda, a Jennings, Mo., resident whose home was in such disrepair that CAASTLC couldn't weatherize it until additional repairs were made.

Wanda's furnace was inoperable, her plumbing leaked, mold had taken hold of the basement, appliances had stopped working and the home had become so inhabitable that she began staying with friends. Conditions were exacerbated after Wanda had to spend a month in the hospital after a bad fall.

But the funds provided by St. Louis Community enabled CAASTLC to completely renovate Wanda's home, and now it's clean, dry and livable. Wanda also received a new high-efficiency furnace with a programmable thermostat, a new electrical service panel and new plumbing.

"It was like giving a baby a rattle," she said. "I was so distracted because of my fall, but then I started thinking, 'I'm getting a new furnace.' That's pretty awesome."

The educational component also played a huge role for Wanda, as homes in poor condition can lead to health issues--such as respiratory problems--because of animal droppings or mold.

As a CDFI, St. Louis Community CU actively partners with social services agencies and its clients as part of its overall giveback to the community.

(This is part of a continuing News Now's new series, "The CU Effect," which gives readers a fresh and in-depth look at how credit unions make a difference in the world every day. Look for the next installment March 18.)

Awareness hinders consumers' switch to CUs, says BancVue

CU System
AUSTIN, Texas (3/4/15)--Consumers love the local flavor that credit unions provide, but lack of awareness and some misplaced perceptions may be preventing many of them from making the switch to community-based financial institutions.
 
If all things were equal, two out of three U.S. adults (66%) would rather bank at credit unions or community banks than one of the big national banks--yet only 23% of consumers who are not currently banking at a credit union or community said they are at least somewhat likely to switch in 2015, according to a new study.
 
The 2015 Consumer Banking Insights Study--commissioned by BancVue on behalf of nearly 300 community financial institutions (CFIs)--found that a lack of products (11%) and awareness (11%) are two reasons consumers cite for not using a CFI as their primary institution. More than 1,000 U.S. adults were surveyed online.
 
According to the study, for 71% of U.S. adults, features such as free checking, ATM fee refunds and access to the latest banking products are more important when it comes to choosing a financial institution. Fully 31% of megabank customers said they want to use a local credit union or community bank but feel that those institutions lack the products they need.
 
However, according to a recent survey by Bankrate .com, nearly three-quarters of credit unions (72%) offer free checking, compared with only 38% of the largest banks in the United States ( News Now Feb. 27).
 
Also, 97% of credit unions responding to CUNA's 2014 Technology Spending Survey offer online banking, and just over 40% of members who have checking accounts are signed up for online banking ( News Now May 28, 2014). Credit unions have been quick off the block in offering mobile banking with 60% of respondents offering the service.
 
Lack of awareness is also a hurdle. For example, 34% of consumers who don't have an account with a credit union or small bank said they don't use a local financial institution because they haven't thought about it (30%) or are unaware of their options (11%), suggesting a major need for stronger outreach and marketing efforts on the part of community financial institutions.

Two-thirds of fraud victims received data breach notifications: Javelin

CU System
SAN FRANCISCO (3/4/15)--Fraudsters stole $16 billion from 12.7 million consumers in 2014, equaling one new identity fraud victim every two seconds, according to a recent study by Javelin Strategy and Research.

Click to view larger image Click for larger view
Part of the problem may be that consumers aren't taking the threat of data breaches seriously enough, as the 2015 Identity Fraud Study also found that two-thirds of victims last year previously had received notices about a data breach.

"Despite the headlines, the occurrence of identity fraud hasn't changed much over the past year, and it is still a significant problem," said Al Pascual, Javelin Strategy and Research director of fraud and security.

While some steps to combat that problem have been taken, Pascual said "we must remain vigilant. The criminals will continue to find new ways to commit fraud, so taking advantage of available technology and services to protect against, detect and resolve identity fraud is a must for all individuals and corporations."

The study, which polled 58,800 respondents, found that the number of fraudulent accounts opened, or new account fraud, dropped in 2014. The number of victims of identity fraud also fell by 3% to 13.1 million from 12.7 million the prior year.

But given the amount of data stolen last year, consumers aren't nearly out of the woods, Pascual said.

"We don't want people to get a false impression," he said. "There is still a ton of personal information, a ton of card data out there."

CUNA continues to urge lawmakers to pass legislation that would ramp up data security requirements for merchants, which aren't held to the same very strict standards that financial institutions are required to uphold. 

Better economy drives card transfer offers

Consumer
NEW YORK (3/3/15)--A stronger economy has consumers more comfortable taking on debt. And it also means credit card issuers are more comfortable extending tempting balance-transfer offers (The New York Times Feb.20).
Credit card comparison website CardHub looked at offers from 15 major issuers and found that longer zero-interest promo periods, up to 18 months, are available. After the promo period ends, card rates can rise substantially. With a household average of $7,126 in credit card debt, many consumers could save as much as $1,000 by transferring balances from high- to low-rate cards--with some significant caveats.
For one, fee-free transfers are rare. Most of the zero-interest offers charge at least 3% of the amount you transfer and some charge more. Absent a transfer cap--also now rare--you could pay $150 to transfer a $5,000 balance.
A smart balance transfer can help you pay off debt at lower interest rates, as long as you have the discipline and the cash to pay off the balance in short order. Credit union credit cards typically charge 1.5 to 3 percentage points less than other credit cards, so your best bet might be to simply apply for a credit union card.
Here are some other things to consider in a credit card balance transfer:
  • How can I avoid paying high interest on the transferred balance?
    Pay the balance in full before the promotional period ends to avoid paying higher interest rates when the offer expires. If you make only the minimum payment and continue to carry a balance, or to add to the balance with purchases and cash advances, you will just perpetuate a cycle of debt.
     
  • Is everyone eligible for a zero-percent offer?
    No. Card issuers offer these sweet promotions to borrowers with exceptional credit.
  • Can I transfer other debts to a credit card?
    Some cards allow balance transfers of other types of debt, for example, car loans and even mortgages, as well as credit card debt. Credit card debt typically counts more on your credit score because it isn't secured by collateral, so the shift could have a harmful effect on your credit standing. Car and home loans are available at far lower rates than credit cards so it makes little if any sense to make that kind of transfer.
If you're attracted by a zero-interest transfer offer, make sure you also address your reason for being in debt in the first place. Beware of using the transfer as an opportunity to take on more debt.

In the end you are wise to shop around for the best sustainable rate on any loan, and that usually will be from your credit union. For related information, read "Interest Deferred: Beware Zero-Percent Medical Credit Cards" in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

NWCUA, LSCU partner to provide HR services to NW CUs(1)

Products
SEATAC, Wash., TIGARD, Ore., BIRMINGHAM, Ala., and TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (3/4/15)--Strategic Link, the wholly owned subsidiary of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA), and LEVERAGE, an affiliate of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU), announced a partnership to provide human resource (HR) services to Northwest credit unions.
 
Through the collaboration, LEVERAGE's HRx will offer recruitment services, background screens, confidential employee surveys and HR consulting to Northwest credit unions.
 
HRx in the Northwest will be led by Jason Neifield, an HR consultant and talent recruiting specialist, who will be based in the Strategic Link office in SeaTac. Neifield joined LSCU in 2011 as the human resources director. Before joining LSCU, Neifield was a branch manager and HR generalist for Grow Financial FCU in Tampa, Fla.
 
"What's unique about this partnership is the way that it's structured," said NWCUA Chief Operating Officer Denise Gabel. "Jason's time is split between the two associations--much like a job share. We're sharing Jason's talent to assist both associations' credit unions."
 
"Our credit unions are asking for assistance in finding the right talent," said NWCUA President/CEO Troy Stang. "Growing and sharing talent at the association level makes sense for our credit unions. We will continue to look for ways to increase efficiency and drive real value to the credit union system."  
 
"HRx is a proven human resource company," added LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine. "Northwest credit unions can tap into the experience of HRx in placing CEOs, as well as successfully recruiting for the other positions--from senior vice presidents to frontline tellers. Working together with Strategic Link saves money, human hours and makes our two companies stronger, which in turn benefits all of our member credit unions."
 

LSC, CUNA Strategic Services add CU Mobile Apps to offerings

Products
MADISON, Wis., and NAPERVILLE, Ill. (3/4/15)-- LSC and CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) signed an agreement to add CU Mobile Apps to the existing prepaid card portfolio of solutions. CU Mobile Apps is a mobile application designed specifically for credit unions and fully functional with all major mobile smart phones and tablets.
 
"Providing credit union access to members via their mobile devices is no longer regarded as a competitive edge--it's essential," said Patricia Smith, LSC senior vice president of sales, brand and marketing. "It's becoming increasingly important both for member retention and attracting new members.
 
"CU Mobile Apps is fully compatible with Apple, Droid, and Kindle Fire, among other platforms," said Smith. Members can view and request information, while the credit union can push messages to the member, on their mobile devices.
 
The app offers a customizable setup; provides a credit union/ATM locator with integrated GPS navigational tools; incorporates a credit union's current online banking or mobile banking site; and requires no additional software or hardware. It also embeds a unique patent-pending security technology, with anti-malware and anti-spyware functionality.
 
"What's truly special about this app is that it's tailored to the unique needs of credit unions," said Wes Millar, CSS senior vice president. "Not only can credit unions of all sizes customize the technology to fit their unique brand and needs, but they also have the reassurance that the LSC CU Mobile Solutions team has put app security at the top of their priority list."
 
Using the app, members can view special offers, request loan information or apply online, among many other capabilities. With added remote deposit capture, "it's like putting a branch in every member's hand," said Millar.

NWCUA, LSCU partner to provide HR services to NW CUs

Products
SEATAC, Wash., TIGARD, Ore., BIRMINGHAM, Ala., and TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (3/4/15)--Strategic Link, the wholly owned subsidiary of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA), and LEVERAGE, an affiliate of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU), announced a partnership to provide human resource (HR) services to Northwest credit unions.
 
Through the collaboration, LEVERAGE's HRx will offer recruitment services, background screens, confidential employee surveys and HR consulting to Northwest credit unions.
 
HRx in the Northwest will be led by Jason Neifield, an HR consultant and talent recruiting specialist, who will be based in the Strategic Link office in SeaTac. Neifield joined LSCU in 2011 as the human resources director. Before joining LSCU, Neifield was a branch manager and HR generalist for Grow Financial FCU in Tampa, Fla.
 
"What's unique about this partnership is the way that it's structured," said NWCUA Chief Operating Officer Denise Gabel. "Jason's time is split between the two associations--much like a job share. We're sharing Jason's talent to assist both associations' credit unions."
 
"Our credit unions are asking for assistance in finding the right talent," said NWCUA President/CEO Troy Stang. "Growing and sharing talent at the association level makes sense for our credit unions. We will continue to look for ways to increase efficiency and drive real value to the credit union system."  
 
"HRx is a proven human resource company," added LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine. "Northwest credit unions can tap into the experience of HRx in placing CEOs, as well as successfully recruiting for the other positions--from senior vice presidents to frontline tellers. Working together with Strategic Link saves money, human hours and makes our two companies stronger, which in turn benefits all of our member credit unions."
 
RSS





print
News Now LiveWire
20 breakout sessions available at @CUNA's April lending school #creditunions http://t.co/eTK0fVO0RK
1 hour ago
.@CoreLogicInc: Jan. home prices jump nearly 6% annually #Market #NewsNow http://t.co/DoDtHhjvaw
3 hours ago
CU Effect: @StLouisComm collaborates to save homes with FHLB grant #NewsNow http://t.co/fxX8EhouUj
8 hours ago
#NewsNow March 31 deadline for Biz Kid$ fin. ed grant application http://t.co/5AD5ZYPLEU
9 hours ago
.@CUNA sends letters on @RepAndyBarr QM bill, @RepMickMulvaney @NCUA budget transparency bill #NewsNow http://t.co/cRAk46ALeD
10 hours ago