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Wrapping up the holidays with CUs help

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MADISON, Wis. (1/2/09)--Credit unions nationwide are reporting their
Click for slide show Jeff Tennant and Tracy Streebel, business development officers at Unitus Community CU, Portland, Ore., collected 4,000 items to benefit needy families. Members and employees provided new clothing, food, toys, formula and diapers, toothbrushes, blankets and sleeping bags. Unitus also donated $5 for every new membership and checking account opened at each branch (Photo provided by Unitus Community CU).
donations of time, money, food, toys and other items to help their members and those less fortunate this holiday season. Activities ranged from “adopting” families to collecting shoes and clothing for needy children (see News Now’s slideshow for photos of credit unions’ holiday events). Charitable holiday events at credit unions included:
* AmeriCU, Rome, N.Y., gave 12 members $1,000 each during a direct-deposit holiday promotion; * San Antonio (Texas) FCU, donated $25 grocery cards to 40 soldiers at Fort Sam Houston; * Firefighter Community CU, Cleveland, Ohio, provided $779 to a local family with six children whose father recently died. Employees also collected clothing for the family; * Western Corporate CU, San Dimas, Calif., helped families give their deployed soldiers holiday greetings through Operation Best Wishes. Families could create and send videos of themselves to soldiers; * Sandia Laboratory FCU, Albuquerque, N.M., collected shoes for needy children (US Fed News Dec. 15); * Lithium FCU, Bessemer City, N.C., held its annual Angel Tree project for area children. About 53 children had their Christmas wishes fulfilled, and 19 families were provided a Christmas dinner (Weekly Update Dec. 23); * Carolina Postal CU, Charlotte, N.C., collected more than 50 used coats, jackets, hats and gloves for needy children on a Native American reservation in North Dakota (Weekly Update Dec. 23); * Mercer County Community FCU, Hermitage, Pa., collected $700 for local food warehouses (Life is a Highway Dec. 29); and * Point Breeze CU, Bel Air, Md., contributed $2,500 to the Empty Stocking Fund, which benefits less fortunate children in Harford County (Focus Newsletter Dec. 29).

Missouri foundation announces travel stipend policy

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JEFFERSON, Mo. (1/2/09)--The Missouri Credit Union Charitable Foundation board has approved a travel stipend policy for 2009, said the Missouri Credit Union Association. The stipend will help pay travel expenses for small credit unions that attend conferences or schools this year. The annual limit is $10,000. Funds are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis (The Missouri difference Dec. 31). To qualify for a travel stipend, recipients must:
* Submit a letter of request to the foundation prior to the conference; * Work with a credit union that has fewer than $35 million in assets; and * Submit receipts within 30 days of the final day of the conference.
Credit unions are limited to $250 for an in-state conference and $750 for an out-of-state conference. The stipend covers travel, hotels and meals.

Firefighters praise CU staff in preventing fire

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SANFORD, Maine (1/2/09)--Firefighters praised the staff of Ocean Communities FCU’s Sanford, Maine, branch for preventing a serious fire that could have destroyed the credit union’s building. Sanford Fire Department Capt. Brian Smith told local reports that staff at the $130.9 million asset credit union, dialed 9-1-1 just before the branch closed Tuesday night to report smoke coming out of the eaves of the building (Portland Press Herald Dec. 30). After several minutes, firefighters pinpointed the cause: an overheated halogen lamp that was installed in an area under renovation. The area surrounding the lamp was charred and smoldering and likely would have caught fire had not the staff alerted the fire department, said Smith. Officials disconnected the power source and said the lamp will need to be replaced.

CEFCU to acquire Californias Valley CU

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (1/2/09)--Citizens Equity First CU (CEFCU), Peoria, Ill., was slated to acquire Valley CU, San Jose, Calif., Wednesday. CEFCU will acquire Valley’s three branches and 30,000 accounts in the deal. Valley will keep its name and is set to open today as Valley CU, a Division of CEFCU (Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal Dec. 30). Valley plans to retain 90% of its staff (KLIV.com). The $257-million-asset Valley CU was placed into conservatorship Sept. 3 by the National Credit Union Administration. CEFCU has $3.635 billion in assets.

Top 20 CU stories for 2008

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MADISON, Wis. (1/2/09)—Here are the top 20 stories most requested by News Now readers during 2008. Use the link to review the entire story online. 20. House won’t vote today on CU bill WASHINGTON (4/29/08)—The Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) lobbying team will be on Capitol Hill early Tuesday morning to focus on next steps after learning that a much anticipated Credit Union Regulatory Relief Act (CURRA, H.R. 5519) was pulled from Tuesday's House voting schedule. 19. On the CU Tube: Touting the CU difference MADISON, Wis. (1/28/08)--Each week, News Now will feature an online video that involves the credit union movement. 18. Mica on FOX TV: CU members’ funds are safe, insured WASHINGTON (9/26/08)—Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica Thursday again assured a national television audience that federally insured deposits in the nation's credit union system are safe and have the full backing of the U.S. government. 17. Exam procedures approved for ‘red flags,’ and more WASHINGTON (10/14/08)—Federal credit union, bank and thrift regulators have approved the examination procedures required to determine a financial institution's compliance with rules regarding identity theft "red flags" (12 CFR 222.90) and other regulations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). 16. NCUA updates graphics for $250K insurance ALEXANDRIA, VA. (10/9/08)--The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) said yesterday it has updated its collection of printed and online materials that communicate increased federal share insurance to consumers. 15. 2008 GAC, Day 4 (slide show) 14. Seventeen FIs targeted in high-dollar wiretapping scam FEDERAL WAY, Wash. (1/15/07)--At least 17 financial institutions--including several credit unions in Washington State and elsewhere--have seen a sophisticated, high-dollar scam involving wiretapping to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). 13. Study: Gens X, Y more likely to switch PFIs ST. LOUIS (7/23/08)--Generation X and Y may be the future of retail banking, but they are the most likely to switch primary financial institutions (PFIs) because of fees or poor service, according to a poll by Maritz Inc. 12. 2008 GAC, Day 2 (slide show) 11. ‘Red Flags’ delay for state-chartered CUs WASHINGTON (10/23/08)--Just about a week after federal credit union, bank and thrift regulators approved the examination procedures required to determine a financial institution's compliance with rules regarding identity theft "red flags" (12 CFR 222.90), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said it will suspend enforcement of the rule for six months until May 1, 2009. 10. Immediate CU grassroots action urged for CURRA WASHINGTON (4/28/08)—On the cusp of an important House vote on credit union regulatory relief legislation, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and the leagues are urging credit unions to push back banker opposition and help clear the way for H.R. 5519, the Credit Union Regulatory Relief Act (CURRA). 9. HELOC thefts grow--$6.5+ million, 18 CUs MADISON, Wis. (1/16/08)—CUNA Mutual Group is warning credit unions that a sophisticated fraud scheme involving home equity line of credit loans (HELOCs) is spreading. So far, 18 credit unions have reported losses or fraud attempts totaling more than $6.5 million. 8. 2008 GAC, Day 3 (slide show) 7. Keesler FCU hit by cell phone text scam BILOXI, Miss. (2/27/08)—A cell phone text-message scam was targeted against Keesler FCU on Saturday, the credit union announced Tuesday. 6. VISA stock accounting tips offered for CUs WASHINGTON (1/11/08)—Credit unions currently sorting through the complex accounting issues associated with treatment of VISA Class B stock may find value in an analysis being released today by the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA’s) Accounting Task Force. 5. Leagues, CUNA reassure members their money is safe MADISON, Wis. (7/17/08)—Credit union leagues nationwide are reassuring members their money is safe after media reports regarding the IndyMac bank failure triggered concerns among consumers about the security of their deposits. 4. 2008 GAC, Day 1 (slide show) 3. CNN, Forbes on CUs: ‘Grab them while you can’ ATLANTA (9/19/08)--“If there’s a calm in the economic storm, it may be credit unions, whose investors are sleeping through the night,” reported Susan Lisovicz of CNN Thursday during an interview with Neil Weinberg, senior editor of Forbes Magazine. 2. CUNA: Flawed Treasury plan would turn CUs into banks WASHINGTON (3/31/08)—The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Sunday blasted a proposed U.S. Treasury financial regulatory overhaul which intitial reports said would consolidate federal credit unions, national banks and federal thrifts into a single “federally insured depository institution” charter. 1. $250K NCUSIF coverage effective immediately WASHINGTON (10/6/08)—Friday’s passage of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 will require the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to immediately increase share insurance protection to $250,000 on all types of accounts until Dec. 31, 2009.

CU System briefs (01/01/2009)

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* PORTLAND, Ore. (1/2/09)--Providence Health System FCU gave members a holiday gift by tripling their savings dividend rate for the month of December. Members with $5 or more in their Savings, New Age and Prime Time accounts. Members visiting branches were provided with a sticker that says, “Providence CU tripled my dividend rate. Ask me!” Shirley Cate, president/CEO of the Portland, Ore.-based credit union, said the dividend celebrates the credit union’s continuous success “and since 2008 was a prosperous year for us, and due to the challenges some of our members were facing, we wanted to thank them for their continued strong commitment” to the nearly $80 million asset credit union … * SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (1/2/09)--CU Community CU, based in Springfield, Mo., is celebrating its nearly 75 years in business by adding a bonus dividend totaling as much as an additional 50 basis points (0.50%) to members’ quarterly savings account earnings. The more-than-$53-million-asset credit union has 5,600 members. “Contrary to so many businesses in the current economy, we were fortunate to have a good year financially,” said Judy Hadsall, president. She added that “this is a tough time for everyone; we want to do everything we can to help.” Dividends were direct deposited to each member’s account Thursday …