Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

CU System Archive

CU System

CU System briefs (01/22/2010)

 Permanent link
* FORT WORTH, Texas (1/25/10)--American Airlines FCU (AA CU) announced it paid $9.6 million in dividends to member-owners on Dec. 31 after its board approved the dividend payout at its Dec. 18 meeting (Journal of Transportation Jan. 30). The dividend was attributed to active participation from both borrowers and savers, sound lending decisions and an efficient operation that kept the credit union secure, strong and solid, according to Angie Owens, AA CU president/CEO ... * REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (1/25/10)--The Westlake branch of Redwood City, Calif.-based San Mateo CU is celebrating its third anniversary with deals on mortgages, credit cards and auto loans Jan. 19-31. During that time, it will pay the lender fees and appraisal fees--up to $1,000--on new, adjustable-rate first mortgages, and members can choose whether the rate is fixed for the first three or five years. Those approved for a Visa Platinum credit card will receive 5,000 CURewards points to be redeemed for products, merchandise and travel options. And members can get a 1% rate discount on new auto loans ... * VENTURA, Calif. (1/25/10)--Ventura County CU (VCCU), based in Ventura, Calif., has installed an inside/outside ATM kiosk on Main Street. The VCCU @ccess center consists of two ATMs next to a movie theatre complex. The interior ATM is accessible to anyone with a debit or ATM card from any financial institution and will operate from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Its services include envelope-less deposits and two interior snack vending machines. The exterior ATM is available for cash withdrawals 24 hours a day. "We pride ourselves on being local, and this is as local as it gets," said Joe Schroeder, VCCU president/CEO. "More than ever, we are where our members are." The new @ccess center ATMs will be part of the CO-OP ATM Network. A grand opening will be Feb. 9 ...

CUs end week with 384563 donated to Haiti CUs

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON and MADISON, Wis. (1/25/10)--As the U.S. Senate Friday approved a rapid tax deduction for Haiti relief contributions, credit unions and their organizations ended the week by contributing more than $384,563 to disaster relief efforts for credit unions and their members in earthquake-torn Haiti. Friday afternoon, the U.S. Senate by voice vote approved legislation to allow taxpayers who make contributions to the Haiti earthquake relief effort between Jan. 12 and Feb. 28 to take a deduction on their 2009 income tax return for those contributions. Any contribution related to the Jan. 12 7.0 magnitude earthquake's victims will be counted as if such a contribution were made on Dec. 31, 2009, under the bill. The Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, which is the charitable arm of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), and the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF), activated their disaster relief fund, with U.S. credit unions contributing through NCUF's CUAid.coop fund. They're hoping that should an early deduction measure pass, this might be even more incentive for contributions. Valerie Breunig, executive director of the Worldwide Foundation, said as of Friday afternoon, it had collected $183, 042, and Jill Stevenson, marketing and communications coordinator for NCUF, announced that U.S. credit unions and related organizations and individuals had contributed $201,521 through CUAid.coop. Seychelles Credit Union, located on a set of islands off the coast of Africa, contributed $10,000 to the credit unions' effort, Breunig said. In the U.S., PSCU Financial Services, a credit union service organization serving more than 1,300 financial institutions nationwide, announced it has donated $15,000 to WOCCU's Disaster Relief fund for Haiti. In addition, the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based cooperative set up a payroll deduction program that allows employees to give to the Salvation Army's Haitian Earthquake Victims Relief Fund, and it will match those contributions up to $100 per employee. It also is collecting donations for a special casual dress week in February. "We view situations like this as a responsibility to help those in need both in the U.S. and around the world," said David J. Serlo, PSCU Financial Services president. "Our employees personally feel this way as well, and we want to make it easy for them to give, so we support their efforts with matching contributions, "We sincerely believe that generosity to those less fortunate or in need is aligned with the spirit of the credit union industry, which is why we often choose to give through credit union organizations," Serlo said. On Tuesday, the Texas Credit Union League's Blog Talk Radio program, "Your Money, Your Matters," will host Breunig and Major Ward Matthews, CEO of the Salvation Army, at 11 a.m. CST to talk about Haiti relief efforts and how consumers can get involved. To tune in, use the resource link and click "play/chat." To support Haiti's credit unions and members through the international credit union disaster fund, make payments, via check, credit card or wire to:

Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions Inc.

5710 Mineral Point Road

Madison, WI 53705, USA

Donations also can be made online with a credit card at www.woccu.org/give. For wire transfer information, contact Valerie Breunig, Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions at 608-395-2055 or via e-mail vbreunig@woccu.org. Please indicate the donation is designated for the Haiti Disaster Relief Fund. U.S. credit unions also can support WOCCU's relief efforts by donating through the NCUF at www.CUAID.coop.

San Francisco CUs to market a better payday loan

 Permanent link
SAN FRANCISCO (1/25/10)--A payday alternative loan program offered by 13 credit unions in San Francisco was featured in an article written by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in Huffington Post Friday. Newsom describes his meeting with 13 credit unions to form a new Payday Plus SF program, an alternative small-dollar loan to counter payday lenders, with a maximum interest rate of 18% annual percentage rate. Payday Plus SF is the latest of a series of financial empowerment and financial literacy programs spearheaded by San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros and builds on the Bank on San Francisco initiative that Newsom and Cisneros launched three years ago, the mayor wrote. The credit unions in the program formed last month are already seeing results, he said. Newsom told of Mark, whose mother's unexpected death sent him to a payday lender so he could afford to travel to her funeral. When the loan came due, it spiraled into another payday loan and another. "Mark is now one of our success stories--he took out a Payday Plus SF loan, paid off his debts and is now rebuilding his credit as he makes reasonable monthly payments at his local credit union," Newsom said. The credit unions call the loan "The better small dollar loan," according to an op-ed item in latimes.com (Dec. 21). "San Francisco and the credit unions are taking an important step to solve the problem [of proliferating payday lenders]," wrote Anne Stuhldreher, senior research fellow at the New America Foundation, in the Times. "The new loans will set up cash-strapped consumers to succeed, not fail."

CUs staff featured for helping bust check scam

 Permanent link
DULUTH, Minn. (1/25/10)--Northern Communities CU (NCCU) was featured on a Duluth, Minn., television station this week regarding its employees’ role in helping police solve a financial fraud case. NCCU staff observed suspicious behavior by individuals attempting to cash checks and alerted the Duluth Police Department. The department’s financial crimes unit discovered the individuals were attempting to cash fraudulent checks through a non-existent business, and that several other Northland financial institutions also had been approached by the scammers. The scheme has caused a reported $16,000 in losses to financial institutions. As of Friday morning, police had identified suspects, but no charges had been filed. Duluth-based WDIO-TV (ABC) picked up the story, which aired Thursday and Friday. “We are proud to assist police in helping stop financial crime, but we’re also very proud of our staff,” NCCU President Larry Champeaux said. “They did the right things at the right time and did what they were trained to do.” NCCU has about $73 million in assets.

Alabama CUs grow lend and members save

 Permanent link
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. and TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (1/25/10)--Third quarter statistics indicate Alabama credit unions are outpacing the national credit union average in loans, savings and membership growth, according to the League of Southeastern Credit Unions. Alabama credit unions experienced a 10% increase in member savings--the highest increase in five years and 2% more than the national average. Alabama credit unions also added $500 million in new mortgage loans and $160 million in auto loans during the quarter. Membership in Alabama credit unions rose 3.5%--double the national credit union average over the same period. The state’s credit unions saw their assets grow 9.1%, which is 2% higher than the national average. Alabama has 135 credit unions with $14 billion in assets. The League of Southeastern Credit Unions serves credit unions in Alabama and Florida.

Nebraska league launches awareness micro site

 Permanent link
OMAHA, Neb. (1/25/10)--The Nebraska Credit Union League has launched an awareness micro site, BetterYourMoney.org, which aims to drive membership growth and improve perception of and knowledge about credit unions. BetterYourMoney offers money tips, a blog, a state credit union directory, a credit union finder and other information. The site is part of the Nebraska league’s CU Awareness Campaign, which will focus on the added value consumers receive at credit unions. The underlying message is one of trust and strength, the league said. “The campaign will work mainly through viral, social media and guerilla marketing tactics,” said Scott Sullivan, league president/CEO. “It will also use traditional media to a lesser extent. This distribution strategy helps us reach more people, more often and in more ways. It also helps the campaign maintain the level of flexibility it needs to stay current and fresh.” Much of the campaign’s creative elements will be available to league-affiliated credit unions. Members also can tell their credit union story by posting videos and blogs on the micro site. For more information, use the link.

Va. CUs state loan aid boosts membership 6

 Permanent link
RICHMOND, Va. (1/25/10)--Virginia CU, one of the largest credit unions in the state, has seen a 6% membership boost from state workers joining the credit union to access a new state loan program. The $1.841 billion asset, Richmond, Va.-based credit union operates the Virginia State Employees Loan Program, which provides state employees access to short-term aid if they are members of the credit union (The Washington Examiner Jan. 22). The initiative, promoted as an alternative to payday lending, has provided more than $1.3 million in loans at a 25% interest rate to nearly 2,800 state employees, the newspaper said. The program is a means to meet the financial needs of state employees, not to bolster membership, the credit union told the paper. “The program is not a moneymaker at all,” credit union spokesman Glenn Birch told the paper. Most people who received the loans already are part of the credit union’s membership of 190,000, which is growing--part of an industrywide trend, Birch said.

Minn. CU4Kids donates 190000 to hospital

 Permanent link
ST. PAUL, Minn. (1/25/10)--The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation’s Credit Unions for Kids (MnCU4Kids) committee raised more than $190,000 for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in 2009.
Click to view larger image Representatives from the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation presented a check Thursday for more than $190,000 to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. Pictured from left are: Mark D. Cummins, foundation president; Kristi Mukomela, foundation chair; Logan Swedberg, patient at Gillette Children’s Hospital; and Katie Grindeland and Jeff Schwalen, MnCU4Kids co-chairs. (Photo provided by the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation)
Representatives from the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation presented a check at the hospital Thursday for the funds raised by credit unions statewide. Gillette is Minnesota’s Children’s Miracle Network-affiliated hospital. Throughout 2009, the volunteer committee coordinated fundraisers that included a golf tournament, Bowl-O-Rama, Chain of Hearts and an inflatable obstacle course challenge. Individual credit unions also coordinated fundraisers that consisted of cook-outs, candy bar and popcorn sales, and casual days. “The generosity of credit unions and members throughout the state enabled the committee to surpass its fundraising goal by more than $40,000,” said Kristi Mukomela, chair of the foundation. MnCU4Kids also received support from several local and national companies that work with credit unions. CO-OP Financial Services matched funds raised at the committee’s Annual Meeting event, and contributions from fundraisers coordinated by credit unions. Co-Op also donated $1 million dollars nationwide to Children’s Miracle Network hospitals through its Miracle Match program. “Even though the country was facing a recession, supporters realized the hospital’s need for donations,” said Katie Grindeland, co-chair of MnCU4Kids.