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Millennials may change 9 to 5 workday

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NEW YORK (1/5/12)--Several studies involving Gen Y and the millennials--those born between 1982 and 1993--in the workplace suggest that the eight-hour workday is on the demise, according to recent articles on workplace trends. And that will have implications for credit unions.

This year, 60% of the work force at companies such as Ernst & Young will be in the group of Americans that were born in the 1980s, according to estimates from the Business and Professional Women's Foundation (TIME Moneyland Dec. 21).  In just 13 years, nearly 75% of the global workforce will be millennials.

Communications firm Euro RSCG Worldwide, in naming the top trends for 2012, notes that millennials will overturn the traditional workday because they demand workplace flexibility,  prefer using social media on the job to stay in contact with family, friends and colleagues, and tend to stay wired into their technology at all hours.

Companies (including credit unions) recruiting this generation will need to offer more than the "stability" of a nine to five job that their parents are used to. They cannot expect Gen Yers to conform to the 9 to 5 workworld. If they do, they will have difficulty attracting employees.

Here are some recruitment realities:

  • Research by Cisco indicates that more than half this generation prefer social media freedom over a higher salary when considering a job offer and that more than half say the Internet is an integral part of their lives throughout the day. Credit unions will succeed with millennial workers if they offer the ability to use social media professionally.
  • Roughly 27% of Gen Y workers would take a cut in salary if they had more flexibility on the job, according to a report from Mom Corps. This generation believes that flexibility contributes to their productivity. Credit unions will need to offer staggered work hours, the ability to telecommute, or offer technology that enables a worker to check in with the credit union while out of the office.
  • The new tablet and smartphone technologies mean Gen Y workers are always connected to their jobs, whether in the office or not. That blurs the workday for everyone because no one is off the clock. Workers will be e-mailing and texting even from home. Credit unions will need to realize that being out of the office doesn't equate to less productivity.

Iowa CUs experience hubbub of caucus

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DES MOINES, Iowa (1/5/12)--Tuesday's Iowa Republican Caucus saw 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney win a narrow victory over candidate Rick Santorum. Although the nation's first caucus of the 2012 election is a high visibility experience, Iowa credit unions experienced the process from a distance.

"There's not a coordinated effort from a league perspective to support a candidate or candidates," Justin Hupfer, vice president of government affairs for the Iowa Credit Union league, told News Now.

"In September, Rick Perry spoke at the Iowa Credit Union League Annual Meeting and he spoke in favor of raising the member business lending cap for credit unions. Also, Newt Gingrich attended a brainstorming session of credit union leaders last summer to talk about the economy and jobs," Hupfer said.

The Iowa league follows the lead of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and does not endorse candidates or get involved with presidential campaigns, but instead encourages credit union advocates to get involved for the candidate of their choice.

On a personal level, Hupfer lives in Johnstown, a Des Moines suburb that has the largest caucus in the state, and he attended his precinct caucus and voted.

The usual format for a caucus is to provide a session of about 45 minutes to have a high-visibility surrogate for each candidate talk in support of a particular candidate. Each surrogate speaks for five to 10 minutes, and then the attendees write down who they want to vote for, Hupfer said. The one exception was that candidate Santorum spoke on his own behalf at the Johnstown caucus, Hupfer added.

CUNA's Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) is preparing to aggressively support credit union friends in this fall's elections, when the presidency, congressional seats, and state and local positions are all to be decided at the polls (News Now Jan. 4).

CULAC raised an estimated $1.8 million in funds from credit union supporters in 2011, and $1.35 million of those funds have been disbursed to pro-credit union candidates and committees.

DNCC deposits funds in Latino Community CU

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (1/5/12)--The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) announced it has deposited convention funds totaling $2 million each in two North Carolina minority-owned financial institutions--Latino Community CU (LCCU) and Mechanics and Farmers Bank.

The $2 million deposits are in non-interest bearing accounts.

DNCC made the announcement Wednesday afternoon at a press conference at the historic North Carolina Mutual Insurance Building in Durham, N.C. The building is the oldest and first African American-owned insurance company in the nation.

The funds "will help these institutions expand lending and economic development efforts to communities across the state," said Steve Kerrigan, DNCC CEO, noting that the committee "is working to bring Americans together to strengthen the economy ion a way that creates more opportunity for all communities."

DNCC typically deposits a portion of its federal grant in minority-owned banks in the city where the Democratic National Convention is held.  The tradition aims to provide local businesses and their customers with financial and public support in advance of a convention.

Durham Mayor Bill Bell said at the press conference that "Mechanics and Farmers Bank and the Latino Community CU are strong community partners, and the convention's investment in these banks will make a difference where it matters in the city of Durham and across the state of North Carolina.  We value the DNCC's commitment to diversity in choosing these two institutions."

The deposit "will continue to help us put deposits from institutions and individuals to work to help improve our local communities, through loans for working families to own their own homes, to build a credit history, or to improve their microbusiness," said Alison Beck Yonas, vice president of finance for the credit union. "LCCU's presence has been shown to reduce crime and improve property values, for the benefit of all North Carolinians."

Kim Saunders, president/CEO of Mechanics and Farmers Bank, noted that "as one of North Carolina's select few community development financial institutions," the bank "plays a critical role in expanding access to capital and providing lending services to North Carolina markets that traditionally have been underserved."

Warn members about mortgage fraud tactics

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (1/5/12)--The California Department of Real Estate issued a mortgage fraud warning to consumers that credit unions can pass on to their members.

The department is advising consumers look out for mortgage relief, loan modifications, and foreclosure rescue scams perpetrated by fraudsters on financially strapped homeowners looking for a way out of trouble (American Banker Jan. 3).

One prominent tactic used by scamsters and third-party operators is to ask for an up-front fee from homeowners in exchange for promised reduced monthly mortgage payments. When the fee is paid, the con artists do little or nothing to procure the loan modification for the bilked homeowner, the Banker said.

More than 1,000 administrative actions for modification scams have been filed in the department's database since 2009, said the agency.

The most widespread action the department takes is the issuing of a desist-and-refrain order to shady third-party operators to stop their illicit activities.

It is not necessary for consumers to use third-party operators, because they may not enhance a homeowner's ability to obtain a payment modification--and may hinder working with the homeowner's mortgage servicer, said the California Association of Realtors. Any ads that claim to "stop foreclosure now" and offer "money-back guarantees," should be considered with caution, the association said.

Third-party fraudsters scan foreclosure notices in public filings and the news media to locate potential victims, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Save to Win to appear on ICBS NewsI Monday

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LANSING, Mich. (1/5/12)--Michigan's prize-linked credit union savings program, Save To Win, will soon be featured on CBS News.

The network plans to debut a segment spotlighting the program on its morning news show, CBS This Morning, on Monday, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. An exact air date has not been set, but the segment should run in mid-to-late January, said the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) (Michigan Monitor Jan. 3).

It will feature interviews with Freakonomics co-author Steven Dubner, MCUL & Affiliates CEO David Adams, and a member of Communicating Arts CU in Detroit.

Forty-three Michigan credit unions participate in Save To Win, which rewards members for saving money by entering them into a $100,000 grand prize drawing every time they deposit $25. The program also awards monthly prizes, and at year's end all participants garner the deposits they've made plus interest.

Texas league rolls out year-long bright stars program

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FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (1/5/12)--The Texas Credit Union League is rolling out the "12 of 2012," a year-long recognition program to recognize the state's brightest credit union stars.

"We are recognizing efforts of credit union leaders and innovators who go above and beyond," said Dick Ensweiler, TCUL president/CEO. "From record-setting grassroots efforts to collaborative outreach on the chapter level to unprecedented fundraising for the political action committee, we've developed this program to highlight the good works underway throughout the state."

Recipients will not be limited to individuals, Ensweiler said. "Often time it's the collaborative effort of a chapter or the enthusiasm of an entire credit union that rises beyond expectations," he added. "We are looking forward to turning the spotlight on each of these high achievers and perhaps, by sharing the ideas they have launched, encourage others to do the same."

The league will announce the first 12 of 2012 award recipient on Jan. 16.

Top 20 iNews Nowi stories for 2011 topped by BTD

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MADISON, Wis. (1/5/12)--An article about the number of consumers who joined credit unions in the month leading up to Bank Transfer Day (BTD) was by far the most-read News Now article in 2011.

The top article received nearly three times more page requests than the second most popular article, a story about how credit unions could maintain the momentum of BTD.

The 20 most-read articles of 2011 were:

20. CU-to-bank conversions declining

MADISON, Wis. (1/14/11)--2010 was a year without a single credit union-to-bank conversion, and it arrived on the heels of two years in which only one such conversion per year occurred. News Now, sniffing a trend, decided to look closer and noted a decline in conversions since they peaked at eight conversions in 2001.

19. Wis. provision in budget bill would make CU conversions easier

PEWAUKEE, Wis. (5/16/11)--The Wisconsin Legislature's Joint Finance Committee Thursday voted to include language in the state budget bill that would make it easier for Wisconsin's 2.2 million credit union members to be stripped of their equity in the cooperative financial institutions they own--by permitting direct conversion from a credit union to a bank charter, according to the Wisconsin Credit Union League.

18. Fed final interchange rule reflects CU input, Cheney says

WASHINGTON (6/30/11)--Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney said that the Federal Reserve "listened to the real concerns of credit unions" as it developed its final debit interchange fee cap rule, which was approved by a 4 to 1 vote by the Fed on Wednesday.

17. CUNA delves into corporate fund prepayment issues

WASHINGTON (6/14/11)--The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) continues to evaluate credit union interest in its proposal to allow credit unions to prepay some of their corporate credit union stabilization fund assessments, and NCUA Deputy Director Larry Fazio on Monday said that whether or not a given credit union participates in the plan would not affect its NCUA examination or treatment by examiners.

16. NCUA advises examiners ahead of Bank Transfer Day

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (10/25/11)--Credit unions will be interested to know that the National Credit Union Administration has advised its examiners on alternative ways to view how the sudden inflow of deposits and members caused by the planned Nov. 5 Bank Transfer Day could impact credit union finances.

15. Western Bridge Corp. council OKs stand-alone option

TORRANCE, Calif. (2/22/11)--Western Bridge Corporate's Member Advisory Council has voted in favor of a recommendation to apply for a new charter as a stand-alone corporate credit union. A new charter would enable the corporate to take the next step toward consolidation with Members United Bridge Corporate.

14. CU efforts intensify at Fed as interchange delay fails in Senate

WASHINGTON (6/9/11)--Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney said Wednesday that the U.S. Senate's failure to delay implementation of the Federal Reserve's debit card interchange fee cap is deeply disappointing and CUNA and credit unions will continue pressing the Federal Reserve to improve the proposed rule to minimize negative effects on credit unions and their members.

13. Visa CEO notes interchange rule's impact on CUs

NEW YORK (7/8/11)--As it made its first filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission since the Federal Reserve's final ruling on restricting debit card interchange fees, Visa Inc. said in a conference call Wednesday that it expects credit unions and small banks and other programs to see "unintended consequences" from the rule.

12. Fed issues interchange 'exempt/not exempt' lists

WASHINGTON (7/13/11)--In its first step to facilitate a two-tiered debit card interchange fee structure since adoption of its final rule, the Federal Reserve Tuesday issued two lists--one with the names of each institution considered to be covered by the new cap on debit interchange fees and another with the names of those that are exempt.

11. How stock market woes may impact CUs

MADISON, Wis. (8/8/11)--Thursday's 513-point plunge in the stock market--the worst decline in nearly two years--could affect credit unions and their members.

10. Senate, House bills would delay Fed interchange plan

WASHINGTON (3/16/11)--Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney said last night that the proposed interchange delays introduced in both the Senate and House Tuesday give credit union members and other consumers "a ray of hope that the debit card programs they have come to appreciate may continue unchanged, at least for the short term."

9.  What CUs should do in 2011--CUNA economist

MADISON, Wis. (1/7/11)--The Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) 2011 Economic and Credit Union Forecast reflects expectations that the economy will improve, but the level of growth associated with the rebound will be lower than what is typically seen in an economic recovery. This has implications for credit unions' actions, says a CUNA economist.

8. CUs' checking accounts best: Schenk to Bankrate

MADISON, Wis. (4/13/11)--When it comes to offering higher interest rates, credit union interest checking accounts regularly outdo other types of accounts--including those of banks--Mike Schenk, vice president of research and statistics at the Credit Union National Association, told Bankrate Tuesday.

7. Early reports show Bank Transfer Day success

MADISON, Wis. (11/8/11)--For many credit unions, Saturday's Bank Transfer Day was a huge deal. Although many had seen an influx of new members throughout October after the mega-banks announced their now-rescinded debit card fees, many made record single-day strides in new accounts opened Saturday. Some reported more than 600 new members.

6.  Supreme Court to look at RESPA case

WASHINGTON (6/27/11)--Credit unions will want to be aware of last week's U.S. Supreme Court decision to hear a Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act--or RESPA--class action case that involves title insurance.

5. 2011 NCUSIF premium not a definite

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (2/22/11)—The National Credit Union Administration said it may not need to assess a National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund premium on credit unions in 2011.

4. CU execs must serve only one board, NCUA says

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (9/12/11)--The National Credit Union Administration's management official interlocks rule prohibits members of a credit union's management team from serving other nonaffiliated depository organizations, NCUA Associate General Counsel Hattie Ulan said in an agency legal opinion.

3. CUNA survey: 40k members, $80M in savings on BTD

WASHINGTON (11/9/11)--Credit unions brought in 40,000 in new members, and added $80 million in new savings account funds, on last Saturday's Bank Transfer Day, capping a month that resulted in nearly 700,000 new credit union members joining the movement.

2. Bank Transfer Day momentum sure to continue, CUNA says

WASHINGTON (11/7/11)—The official Bank Transfer Day came and went on Saturday, and by now the dust has settled and tallies have been taken of how many consumers switched from being bank customers to credit union members on the day that was so much ballyhooed in advance.

1. 650,000 new members ahead of Bank Transfer Day

WASHINGTON (11/4/11)--At least 650,000 consumers across the nation have joined credit unions in the past four weeks, reflecting consumers' reactions to rising fees at banks, according to a survey by the Credit Union National Association.

(Editor's note: In story No. 1, new-member numbers have since been revised to reflect the final results of CUNA's survey.)

Northeastern CUs top banks in customer experience study

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DENVER, Colo. (1/5/12)--At the risk of sounding like a broken record, credit unions again topped banks in a customer experience survey, this time in the Northeast U.S.

The study, the 2011 Northeast U.S. Bank & Credit Union Customer Experience Survey, was released Tuesday by Prime Performance, a Denver, Colo.-based company that advises banks on improving the client experience. (Use the link to download the free report).

"Credit unions are the overall customer experience leader with a Prime Experience Index (PXI) of 79%, well ahead of the overall bank average of 59%, with small banks, those with less than 100 branches, scoring 75%," said the company's press release (PR Newswire Jan. 4).  Other banks, with more than 100 branches, scored 66%. Credit unions also beat the regional average score of 61% for the Northeast.

Among large banks in the region, PNC ranked first with a PXI of 70%, followed by M&T at 67% and TD bank at 62%.  The lowest scoring banks were Wells Fargo and Sovereign Bank, both at 44%, and HSBC at 43%.

In between were Capital One (58%), Citizens Bank (56%), Citizens Bank (56%), Chase (53%), and Citibank (50%).  Bank of America ranked eighth among the banks, with a score of 46%. The study was completed before BofA made its announcement, now rescinded because of nationwide consumer backlash, it planned a monthly debit card fee.

The study surveyed 4,934 bank customers and credit union members in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. It showed the results for 11 major banks including Bank of America, Capital One, , Chase, Citibank, Citizens Bank, HSBC Bank, M&T Bank, PNC Bank, Sovereign Bank, TD Bank and Wells Fargo.

The PXI is a single metric showing how banks and credit unions are performing on delivering a superior customer experience and is comprised of four measures: satisfaction with service, likely to recommend, likely to come to the bank first for additional products or services (repurchase intent) and how effective that bank is at meeting financial needs. Use the link for more information on the calculations.

"When it comes to the emotional aspects of the customer/bank relationship, as well as how customers feel about rates and fees, banks come up short compared to credit unions," said Jim S. Miller, president of Prime Performance.

Other findings for the region:

  • Fifty-six percent  believe their bank or credit union is doing what is in the customer's best interest and 9% feel the bank or credit union is not acting in the customer's best interest, for a net score of 47%.
  • Seventy-four percent of members say their credit union is looking out for the member's best interest and only 2% believe they are not, resulting in a net score of 72%.
  • Among the big banks, customers trust M&T the most, with 59% believing the bank is doing what is in the customer's best interest and 5% not, for a net score of 53%.
  • PNC had the second highest net score among the big banks at 52%. While only 2% of credit union members and 4% of small bank customers believe their financial institution is not acting in the customer's best interest, 16% of Wells Fargo and 17% of Bank of America customers feel they are not acting in the customer's best interest. At both banks,  41% of customers do believe they act in the customer's best interest, resulting in a net score of 25% at Wells Fargo and 24% at Bank of America.
"Our survey concluded about a week before Bank of America announced its plans to add a debit card fee. Even at that time, many customers questioned whether they could trust their bank to act in their customer's best interest. In this economic environment, the importance of trust cannot be understated. No matter how hard they try, if  banks do not act in their customers' best interest, they cannot create a satisfying experience," said Miller.

"Credit unions have the trust of their members and it shows in their scores," he concluded.

The survey comes on top of other surveys the past month with similar findings.

On Dec. 14, News Now reported the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which found 87% of credit union members are more satisified than ever before with their credit unions' services, compared to 75% of bank customers' satisfaction with their banks.

On Dec. 8, Prime Performance released its national 2011 Bank & Credit Union Satisfaction Survey, in which credit unions scored 89%, compared with 82% for the banking industry and 80% for large banks.

CU System briefs (01/04/2012)

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  • LOVES PARK, Ill. (1/5/12)--Rock Valley CU, Loves Park, Ill., has named Michael T. Rosek as president/CEO announced the more than $75 million asset credit union's board.  Rosek has 25 years of experience in the credit union industry, primarily as a chief financial officer (CFO) and as a community credit union CEO.  His most recent role was in senior management as part of the CFO's team at Patelco CU, a $3.6 billion credit union headquartered in Pleasanton, CA.  He has held leadership positions in several credit union chapters and community service organizations and is a graduate of the Credit Union National Association's CUNA Financial Management Schools--Parts 1 and 2. …