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IDet. Free PressI Big banks lose CUs have banner year

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DETROIT (10/13/10)--An article in the Detroit Free Press about big banks in Michigan losing market share also mentions that credit unions have had a "banner year." As of June 30 Michigan's five largest banks--Chase Bank, Comerica Bank, PNC Bank, Bank of America and Fifth Third Bank--accounted for 55% of all deposits in the state--down from 57.3% on June 30, 2009. Deposits dropped by $8.1 million or 5% as the number of banks in the state shrank to 165 from 173. The Oct. 8 article mentions that big banks have been the target of a backlash among some consumers and businesses about bailouts. The banks "have been accused of redlining the state and the auto industry by pulling credit lines and refusing to make new loans," said the article. "Credit unions in Michigan have capitalized on the bank backlash, spending a record amount on advertising this year," it continued. The article cited statistics from the Michigan Credit Union League that note that credit unions gained nearly 15,000 members so far this year and theirsavings deposits are up 7.5% through second quarter. David Adams, president/CEO of the league, told the publication: "It's going to be a banner year for credit unions." For the full article, use the resource link.

Wis. regulator files plan for seized Ambac securities

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MADISON, Wis. (10/13/10)--The Wisconsin regulator of Ambac Assurance Corp. (AAC), the monoline U.S. bond insurer whose securities were seized in March, has filed a plan to wind down more than $50 billion left in insurance policies related to the seized securities. Several corporate credit unions have mortgage-related investments insured by Ambac and incurred losses during the financial crisis. The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) said that under the plan, holders of allowed claims will receive 25% of their claims in cash and another 75% in notes that pay interest of 5.1% and mature June 7, 2020 (Reuters via Insurance Journal Oct. 12 and pr-usa.net Oct. 12). The 75% payout in notes reflects the need to preserve cash to pay current and future claims, the regulator said In March the insurance commissioner placed $67 billion of Ambac's assets into a segregated account to help protect investors of Ambac Assurance Corp. in the Dane County Circuit Court in Madison, Wis. Ambac's assets included credit derivatives and residential mortgage-backed securities. Roughly 700 in-force policies covering a net par outstanding amount of about $50 billion are allocated to the segregrated accounts. OCI has monitored the company's financial health since the mortgage crisis began in 2008. The economic downturn and the mortgage-related exposures damaged AAC's business and financial position. AAC's parent company, Ambac Financial Group, which is headquartered in New York, is not regulated in Wisconsin and not subject to the plan's terms. AAC is domiciled in Wisconsin. The court must approve the plan before it goes into effect, said Reuters.

Seventh nomination received for CUNA Board

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MADISON, Wis. (10/13/10)--A seventh nomination has been received for a seat on the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) board of directors. The deadline for nominations is Oct. 22. Voting will take place from Oct. 27 through Dec. 17. The most recent nomination was for Brett Martinez, president/CEO of Redwoods CU, Santa Rosa, Calif., running for the District 6, Class C seat in a special election. There is one special election: CUNA's current District 6, Class C director will step down from the board at the end of this year. The successful candidate in that election will be seated Jan. 1 and serve through the 2012 CUNA Annual General Meeting. Nominations also have been received for:
* Harriet May, president/CEO of GECU, El Paso, Texas, for the District 5, Class C. May is currently CUNA’s chairman; * Paul Gentile, president/CEO, New Jersey Credit Union League, Hightstown, N.J., District 1, Class D; * Ed Williams, president/CEO, Discovery FCU, Wyomissing, Pa., for District 1, Class A; * Patricia A. Wesenberg, governmental affairs liaison, Marshfield (Wis.) Medical Center CU, District 4, Class A; * Wendell Lyons, president/CEO of the Kentucky Credit Union League, District 2, Class D; and * Maurice Smith, CEO, Local Government FCU, Raleigh, N.C., District 3, Class C.
Positions up for election are:
* District 1, Class A; * District 1, Class D; * District 2, Class B; * District 2, Class D; * District 3, Class C; * District 4, Class A; * District 5, Class C; and * District 6, Class B.
Those elected will take office Feb. 28 and serve a three-year term that will expire at the adjournment of the 2014 CUNA Annual General Meeting.

Interviews highlight Maine CUs as resource

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WESTBROOK, Maine (10/13/10)--The Maine Credit Union League spoke on topics that included the importance of financial education, the benefits of using a credit union, tips for consumers and shared branching in a series of TV interviews, three of which aired statewide. The interviews, which aired as special segments during morning news programs, reinforced Maine credit unions as a resource for information and expertise, said the Maine Credit Union League (Maine Credit Union League’s Weekly Update Oct. 8). In three different segments that aired on various days, league Governmental and Public Affairs Manager Jon Paradise discussed how back-to-school shopping can be a valuable learning opportunity about personal finance for children and college students. He also talked about proper credit card usage Also discussed were credit cards and credit unions’ lower and fewer fees, and the leadership efforts of Maine's credit unions and youth financial education. The other interview aired as part of WGME News 13's Good Day Maine program, which is carried on FOX 23. It was aimed at college students and their parents. In it, the league encouraged parents to talk about financial responsibility with students before they leave for campus. The story also noted that college students don’t have to leave their credit union when they leave home because of 130 Shared Branch Network locations statewide.

Texas Ohio reports spotlight CU growth

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FARMERS BRANCH, Texas and COLUMBUS, Ohio (10/13/10)--Reports from Texas and Ohio credit union groups highlight continued growth in new members and other key indicators. The Texas Credit Union Profile from the Texas Credit Union League provides one-year comparisons between June 2009 and June 2010 (LoneStar Leaguer Oct. 12). Texas credit unions’ achievements included:
* 142,000 new members, with Texas credit unions serving 29.5% of the state’s residents; * Asset growth of $4.3 billion, with nearly $2 billion in new loans; * Increased deposits, with most deposit growth occurring in money market accounts; and * An average net worth of 9.7%, nearly three percentage points higher than the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) requirement.
Texas has benefited from a statewide economy that has continued to grow, adding nearly 108,000 workers to Texas payrolls in the year ending in June 2010, compared to a collective loss of 329,000 employees in the other 49 states, said the league. Ohio's credit unions also grew. The Quarterly Performance Summary from the Ohio Credit Union League also compares performance from June 2009 to June 2010, according to an Ohio Credit Union League press release. Results from Ohio credit unions included:
* Net membership growth of 9,148 new members; * A 4% increase in the average member relationship to $11,375; * A 13.3% increase in outstanding business loan balances, which totaled $371 million, with 94 of the state’s 390 credit unions reporting outstanding balances; and * Strong asset quality, with a delinquency rate that fell to 1.29%, representing the first decline in three years and placing Ohio credit unions below the national average of 1.74%.

Innovation member-centric programs made CU tops

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TOWATA, N.J. (10/13/10)--Going green, staying member-centric and giving back to the community helped North Jersey FCU become New Jersey Credit Union of the Year for 2010. North Jersey, which has more than $188 million in assets, has introduced a comprehensive “green” initiative with multiple components that reflect its member-centric approach. Its “Organic Banking” program for college students relies on online banking and e-statements, and attracted more than 100 new accounts within three weeks. North Jersey’s “Green Machine” is a mobile banking “tank” that runs on biodiesel fuel and offers an ATM, two teller windows and two loan offices to replace a traditional branch. North Jersey also introduced “Operation Share & Care,” a community service initiative that uses a series of community events to highlight the importance of volunteering and giving back to the community. The initiative led the North Jersey FCU Foundation, established in September, to begin providing scholarships for students seeking careers in banking and finance. Other factors in North Jersey’s selection included diverse member services and outstanding growth. The award was presented by the New Jersey Credit Union League.

Pa. CUs 10-10-10 promo a Perfect 10

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (10/13/10)--PA HealthCare CU, Sewickley, Pa., highlighted Sunday's date--10-10-10--by offering members a $1,010, 10-week CD share certificate. The “Perfect 10” offer was available to members of the $30 million-asset credit union for 10 hours on Friday, Oct. 8 (Life is a Highway Oct. 12). Other “Perfect 10” promotions included a one-year CD at 1.10% annual percentage yield (APY); a five-year auto loan for 2010 or newer model years at 4.10% annual percentage rate (APR); and a five-year home equity loan at 4.10% APR. More than 5% of members took advantage of “Perfect 10” offers, which followed the tradition set by the credit union’s “Crazy 8’s” offer on 08-08-08 and the “Whole 9 Yards” on 09-09-09.

CU System briefs (10/12/2010)

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* ARLINGTON, Texas (10/13/10)--John Thi Pham, 18, of Arlington, Texas, is in jail after he was caught inside the Security One FCU early Monday morning. The break-in set off the credit union's alarm at about 4 a.m. When they arrived, police discovered broken glass outside the building and a man in the building. They ordered the man outside, but he refused and hid. Police went inside the building, discovered Pham and took him into custody (The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Oct. 11) ... * LANSING, Mich. (10/13/10)--U.S. Rep Ehlers (R-Mich.) thanked local credit union leaders for their support during his years of service in Washington D.C. and talked about his frustration with a "rushed" political process in passing the Wall Street Reform Act, during the Grand River Chapter of Credit Unions' legislative breakfast. Credit unions thanked him for his co-sponsorship of the measure to increase credit unions' member business lending cap. More than 20 credit union leaders participated in the event, which also attracted state Sen. Bill Hardiman and other state legislators, as well as staff from U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra's (R-Mich.) office. Also discussed: foreclosure process reform, PACE loans, payroll debit cards and notary requirements (Michigan Monitor Oct. 11) ... * WICHITA, Kan.(10/13/10)--Troy Nitcher has joined the Kansas Credit Union Association (KCUA) as vice president, shared financial solutions, effective Sept. 27, KCUA announced. With more than 20 years of information technology (IT) experience, Nitcher will head up KCUA's Shared Financial Solutions division, which provides IT and payment systems products and services to credit unions in Kansas and around the region. His experience includes working at Koch Industries, FleetCor, LendingTools.com, BeautyFirst Inc. & PureBeauty Inc., and Ritchie Corp ...