Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

CU System Archive

CU System

NPR Features CUs' 'Save to Win' Program

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (1/7/14)--National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" featured a credit union member who won $10,000 through her credit union and its Save to Win program.
 
Shankar Vedantam, social science correspondent for NPR, interviewed Carolann Broekhuizen of Waterford, Mich., in a piece that aired Monday morning.
 
Vedantam noted that adding an element of fun and luck to saving--like visiting a casino or buying a lottery ticket--makes it easier for people to do.
 
Broekhuizen signed up for Save to Win through her credit union, Community Alliance CU, based in Dearborn, Mich. Although she didn't win the first year, she continued to save because there was the chance she could win while she increased her retirement savings.
 
Then a few months ago, the credit union called her. "My first thought was that a check had bounced and I wasn't real happy," Broekhuizen told her interviewer. "And then she went on to explain that I had won the cash prize, and beyond that I couldn't think for a while because something like this happens to other people; it doesn't happen to me."
 
Prize-linked savings account programs such as Save to Win are attractive to consumers, said Emel Filiz-Ozbay, assistant professor of economics at the University of Maryland. "We found that indeed people seem more patient or more willing to wait additional weeks to get more money when it is offered in lottery-like form," Filiz-Ozbay told NPR.
 
With Save to Win accounts, members earn entries into monthly and annual cash prize drawings for every $25 they deposit. All funds deposited into the accounts, including interest earnings, belong to the account holders. In October, both the U.S. House and Senate introduced legislation that would allow financial institutions nationwide to offer prize-linked savings accounts (News Now Oct. 31).
 
As Filiz-Orbay said, "Unlike the standard lotteries, the consumer is not losing the initial capital, initial principal. So what you invest is always there, you are not losing it."
 
What did Broekhuizen do with her $10,000? In homage to her mom, who died last year, and in the spirit of the prize, she put it in her savings.
 
To hear the story, use the link.

CU System Briefs (01/07/2014)

 Permanent link
  • LOUISVILLE, Ky. (1/7/14)--Park Community FCU, based in Louisville, Ky., was granted a state charter Dec. 31, 2013, by the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions and the National Credit Union Administration. The move will allow the credit union to offer membership to residents, students, employees, volunteers, and religious institution congregants in 17 additional counties--Fayette, Madison, Estill, Clark, Woodford, Anderson, Mercer, Boyle, Lincoln, Garrard, Powell, Jessamine, Nicholas, Bourbon, Scott, Franklin and Harrison (BereaOnline.com Jan. 3). The charter will not affect the status of Park Community's incumbent membership, which includes those served by branches in southern Indiana and Decatur, Ala. It will also continue to be federally insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. Park Community FCU, however, is planning on changing its name to Park Community CU. Before being granted the Kentucky charter, its membership has been restricted in the Lexington area. Park Community has $618 million in assets ...
  • HARRSIBURG, Pa. (1/7/14)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association announced Monday that the vice president of marketing for Freedom CU, Gerard McGeever, has been named as the recipient of the 2014 Paul E. Kanjorski Young Professionals Advocacy Scholarship (Life is a Highway, Jan. 6).  The scholarship is named after the longtime U.S. congressman and credit union supporter who served Pennsylvania's 11th district in the U.S. House from 1985 to 2011. The honor will give McGeever the chance to attend the Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference this February in Washington, D.C. McGeever, who has worked in the credit union industry for almost 12 years, said he hopes to enhance his personal and political knowledge at the CUNA convention. Freedom CU is based in Warminster, Pa., and has $624 million in assets ...
  • PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (1/7/14)--An organization that supports veterans, servicepersons and their families recently thanked Service CU here for sponsoring the group. Veterans Count representative Bill Schuler honored the credit union by giving President Gordon Simmons a painting of the USS Raleigh and an American flag that flew in Afghanistan on July 4 last year (Foster's Daily Democrat Jan. 2). Service CU cosponsored and hosted Veterans Count "Salute Our Soldiers" events at the credit union's offices in Portsmouth and Nashua, N.H. Attendees raised money for deployed and returning soldiers in need of employment, housing and medical assistance for themselves and their families. Veterans Count, which was founded last year, also presented Simmons with a photo album commemorating that May 2013 event in Portsmouth. Service CU said it would display the gifts at its museum, which is on the first floor of its corporate office in Portsmouth. Service CU is based in Portsmouth and has $2.34 billion in assets ...

CUs Team Up with Financial Guru Chatzky for NBC Wellness Expo

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (1/7/14)--Financial expert Jean Chatzky is inviting the greater Washington, D.C.-area to tune up its finances at the Credit Union Dollars and Sense Financial Fitness Pavilion at this weekend's NBC 4 Health and Fitness Expo.
 

"There's a credit union in your neighborhood to help you with your finances," Chatzky says in the 30-second commercial airing in the local markets of NBC 4. Another 15-second clip encourages consumers to get full, personal SavvyMoney checkups at the pavilion.

Chatzky is director of education at SavvyMoney and financial editor for the "Today" show. She was a keynote speaker at the 2013 Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference.
 
"It's a fabulous opportunity to generate some awareness about credit unions," said Jennifer Simmons, chief membership officer, Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association (MDDCCUA). People recognize Chatzky from NBC's "Today" show, and it adds credibility to credit unions' standing as financial experts, she added.
 
As the second-largest event at the Washington Convention Center, the Health and Fitness Expo expects more than 85,000 attendees Saturday and Sunday.
 
Chatzky will take center stage at 2 p.m. Saturday, followed by a book signing at the Dollars and Sense Financial Fitness Pavilion. Attendees will receive copies of her best-selling book, "Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security."
 
They also can run their finances through a SavvyMoney checkup and learn more about credit unions and the benefits of membership.
 
The pavilion and advertising were made possible by 20 participating credit unions; MDDCCUA and its D.C. and Suburban Maryland chapters; the Virginia Credit Union League; the Credit Union Foundation of MD and DC;  the National Credit Union Foundation; SavvyMoney; and CUNA.
 
Twenty credit unions will have their logos in the pavilion and were featured in a special newspaper insert prior to the expo. They are:
  • Agriculture FCU, Washington, D.C.;
  • Andrews FCU, Suitland, Md.;
  • Wright Patman Congressional FCU, Oakton, Va.;
  • District Government Employees FCU, Washington, D.C.;
  • Department of the Interior FCU, Washington, D.C.;
  • Department of Labor FCU, Washington, D.C.;
  • Educational Systems FCU, Greenbelt, Md.;
  • Healthcare Systems FCU, Fairfax, Va.;
  • HEW FCU, Alexandria, Va.;
  • Library of Congress FCU, Hyattsville, Md.;
  • Market USA FCU, Laurel, Md.;
  • Mid-Atlantic FCU, Germantown, Md.;
  • Money One FCU, Largo, Md.;
  • Montgomery County Employees FCU, Germantown, Md.;
  • NASA FCU, Upper Marlboro, Md.;
  • Police FCU, Upper Marlboro, Md.;
  • Prince George's Community FCU, Bowie, Md.;
  • Signal Financial FCU, Kensington, Md.;
  • US Postal Service FCU, Clinton, Md.; and
  • WSSC FCU, Laurel, Md.

Internship with CU Equals Community College Credits

 Permanent link
WORCESTER, Mass. (1/7/14)--Worcester (Mass.) CU has formed a partnership with Worcester Technical High School (WTHS) and Quinsigamond Community College to provide college credits  to WTHS students who complete coursework in conjunction with an internship at the credit union.
 
Since WTHS opened in 2006, 105 students in the school's finance and marketing program have become employees at WCU's WTHS branch, the Massachusetts Credit Union League said (Values & Visions Jan. 6).
 
"The students at our WTHS branch learn so much more than just how to cash a check," said Karen E. Duffy, president/CEO of $82 million-asset WCU.
 
Students learn all aspects of retail banking, including deposits, lending and compliance, Duffy said. The branch is also open to the general public.
 
Many students have gone on to regular employment at WCU and other local financial institutions. Duffy looked for a way to recognize training and financial education students undertook at the in-school branch.
 
WTHS offers a personal finance course that runs for a full school year, meets all high school requirements, and includes a Worcester CU teller internship.
 
If students complete the course, meet the course criteria for acceptance, and enroll at QCC, they receive three QCC college credits for FIN 111-Personal Financial Planning, an elective within QCCU's business administration curriculum. The course examines the tools, terms, and applications necessary to successfully manage financial matters in daily life, including consumer credit, financial planning, money management and personal taxation.
 
"The agreement with QCC to provide college credit will give these students a further stepping stone into their future," Duffy said.
 
Each semester five students intern at the WCU school branch. Also, two additional seniors work at the branch through the school's co-op program.

Michigan League Cites Success of Small-Biz Lending

 Permanent link
LANSING, Mich. (1/7/14)--Member business lending (MBL) at Michigan credit unions surged 18% through the third quarter of 2013, and state credit unions  are well-positioned for future MBL growth, Dave Adams, Michigan Credit Union League president/CEO, told MiBiz.com in a Jan. 5 article.
 
Since the end of 2009, business loans to members increased more than 85% for first nine months of last year, according to the most recent data available from the National Credit Union Administration.
 
The growth is the result of three factors: a slowdown in lending by banks due to the recession, strong liquidity among credit unions and a willingness by credit unions to diversify their portfolios by lending to local businesses, Adams told MiBiz.com.
 
Credit unions offered loans to members who own and operate small businesses to diversify their balance sheets from residential mortgage and consumer lending, Adams said.
 
Grand Rapids-based $2.9 billion-asset Lake Michigan CU increased business loans during the first nine months of 2013 by 16% to $129.9 million, according to a quarterly report filed with the NCUA.
 
MBLs at St. Joseph-based $1.5 billion-asset United FCU rose by 62% to $157.2 million in the third quarter. Lansing-based $1.5 billion-asset Lake Trust CU increased its business loans to members by 37% to $110.4 million.
 
The Credit Union National Association is urging Congress to allow credit unions to play a larger role in helping small businesses through MBLs. The statutory cap on MBLs loans, as a proportion of credit union's assets, is currently 12.25%. CUNA says that raising the federal government-mandated ceiling to 27.5% would inject $13 billion into the economy, and help boost employment by 140,000 at no cost to taxpayers.
 
To read the full article, use the link.

Maine Media Turn to League for Target Breach Advice

 Permanent link
WESTBROOK, Maine (1/7/14)--As news of the Target security breach continued to gain steam, media turned to the Maine Credit Union League as a source to guide consumers.
 
WGME CBS-13 tapped into the expertise of Rebekah Higgins, assistant vice president of card services at Synergent, a subsidiary of the league. Higgins told the Portland, Maine, television station that consumers should be "vigilant about monitoring their accounts for suspicious activity, and to communicate with their financial institution immediately if any is noticed" (Weekly Update Jan. 3).
 
She added that many credit unions have fraud monitoring tools and reinforced to consumers that credit unions are "technologically advanced."
 
The league provided additional information to radio stations 560 WGAN, Coast 93.1, Rewind 100.9, 970 WZAN and WPOR 101.9.
 
In addition to the Target data breach, Jon Paradise, league assistant vice president of governmental and public affairs, provided advice about holiday shopping and budgeting to WGME CBS-13 and FOX 23's "Good Day Maine."
 
League President John Murphy said, "We appreciate the trust and recognition that media across the state has in your league's ability to respond in a timely manner and with good and accurate information.
 
"It not only demonstrates our focus on consumer issues but also provides an opportunity to highlight our expertise on a variety of financial services issues with the media, legislators and the general public," Murphy added.