Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

CU System Archive

CU System

UW CUs offer of free credit scores to members a hit

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (11/10/10)--More than 29,000 members have taken advantage of UW CU’s free credit score service since it was introduced in September. UW CU, which has more than $1 billion in assets, launched My Credit Score to give members free access to personal credit scores through its online banking system. More than 6,000 members registered with the service in its first two weeks of operation. Through the end of October, 29,000 members had accessed the “My Score Portal” in the online banking system, while about 14,000 members were actively using the site’s tools to monitor their credit. A UW CU release said the response to its service illustrates how important personal credit information is to consumers. The UW CU service is available in a secure online environment without any type of fee, unlike companies that offer free credit checks but require consumers to share credit card information and subscribe to a monthly service as part of a “hidden” fee.

2010 ELLy Award winners announced

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (11/10/10)--Exceptional credit union trainers and training programs were honored with ELLy awards in four categories during the 2010 CUNA Experience Learning Live! (ELL) conference. The Training Professional of the Year Award recognizes credit union professionals or training departments for outstanding contributions to the learning and performance development of credit union staff. Winners included:
* Award of merit: DCCU staff development team, DuPont Community CU, Waynesboro, Va. * Award of merit: Employee Department of Community America CU, Lenexa, Kan. * First place: Ken Kelly and Michelle Trekas of Red Canoe CU, Longview, Wash. * First place, Minh McKenzie of Community First CU, Appleton, Wis.
The WOW! Award recognizes credit unions for the best overall training curriculum or event. Winners included:
* Award of merit: Yolanda Riddle, Summit CU, Madison, Wis. * Award of merit: Cheryl Collins, Oregon Community CU, Eugene, Ore. * First place: Ken Kelly and Michelle Trekas, Red Canoe CU, Longview, Wash. * First Place: Minh McKenzie and Deb Stewart, Community First CU, Appleton, Wis.
The Training Champion Award recognizes senior management for their support and development of training initiatives. Winners included:
* Award of merit: Senior management team, First Community CU, Jamestown, ND. * Award of merit: Tammy Davis, senior vice president of training and human resources, The Golden 1 CU, Sacramento, Calif. * First place: Cathie Tierney, president and CEO, Community First CU, Appleton, Wis.
The eLearning Award goes to the credit union that has effectively incorporated technology into training. An award of merit was presented to the Training and Development Department of Apple FCU, Fairfax, Va. The 2010 CUNA Experience Learning Live! conference was held in late October.

Invest in America launches private offer with GM

 Permanent link
LIVONIA, Mich. (11/10/10)--General Motors (GM) will give $1,000 cash-back on select GM cars and trucks in a private offer to members at 240 credit unions through the "Invest in America" program. The cash-back offer runs through Jan. 3, 2011, and covers new 2010 or 2011 Chevrolet HHR, Impala or Silverado models as well as the Buick Lucerne and GMC Sierra. The private offer is provided in addition to any other public incentives. "Invest in America" is credit unions' auto-loan discount program with auto manufacturers General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Corp. The new cash-back offer is designed to help credit unions make loans and strengthen relationships with local dealers, a CU Village release said. Invest In America is provided by CU Village, which contracts with U.S.-based companies for exclusive discounts offered to members at LoveMyCreditUnion.org. Members can sign up for the program at the dealership by providing the private offer program code and the CU Member Discount authorization code from LoveMyCreditUnion.org. The cash-back offer is the first of several private incentives that GM will make available to participating credit unions this year.

iNews Nowi will not publish today

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. and WASHINGTON (11/11/10)--News Now will not publish its regular edition today, Nov. 11, which is a federal holiday in observance of Veterans Day. However, the Madison, Wis., and Washington, D.C., offices of the Credit Union National Association are open for business as usual. News Now will resume publication on Friday.

Ambac files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

 Permanent link
SAN FRANCISCO (11/10/10)--Ambac Financial Group Inc. Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after failing to raise additional capital, the bond insurer said. Several corporate credit unions have mortgage-related investments insured by Ambac and incurred losses during the financial crisis. Ambac will continue to operate as “debtor-in-possession” under the jurisdiction of the Bankruptcy Court (MarketWatch Nov. 10). The company also failed to reach an agreement on restructuring its debt with creditors. However, it has agreed to a non-binding term sheet that will allow it to further negotiate with the creditors and emerge from bankruptcy more quickly, it said, according to MarketWatch. As of June 30, the company had outstanding debt of $1.62 billion. Ambac, a bond insurer for mortgage-backed securities (MBS) whose losses have contributed to losses at several corporate credit unions, had been sued by a group of hedge funds trying to block transfers of funds from its bond-insurance unit to the holding company (News Now Sept. 2).

National CU Foundation launches monthly giving option

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (11/10/10)--The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) recently launched a monthly giving option for donors. The monthly gifts can be made from either a checking account or debit/credit card. “We wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to support our critical programs and grants,” said Bucky Sebastian, NCUF executive director. “Once they fill out a quick form, donors can continually help consumers reach financial freedom in a convenient way. It’s a low-maintenance way of giving with a high impact.” Ninety-five cents of every dollar raised goes to support the foundation’s strategic programs and grants, which help credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes. NCUF programs and grants include:
* REAL Solutions--helping credit unions offer services that have proven successful for people of modest means and “low wealth”; * Credit Union Development Education--preserving credit unions’ uniqueness through training in credit union philosophy and cooperative principles; * Financial Education--sponsoring Biz Kid$, the award-winning financial education series on PBS stations underwritten by America’s credit unions; * CUAid (www.cuaid.coop)--raising disaster relief funds for credit union employees, volunteers and members; and * Innovation Grants--encouraging credit union innovations through grant-making.
For more information, use the link.

CUNA in media on credit card fees CU difference

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (11/10/10)--Mike Schenk, vice president of economics and statistics for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), was quoted in two media outlets this week regarding bank’s credit card fees, and how credit unions are fundamentally different than banks. In the past, banks were making billions of dollars annually in fees and other charges when they issued credit cards, according to WalletPop (Nov. 8). Consumers often perceived these fees as sneaky hidden or even downright deceptive, which led to recent legislation--including the CARD Act, the Fed’s Regulations Z and other rules prohibiting many bank practices related to credit cards, WalletPop said. “What we’ve seen is with the passage of the CARD Act, essentially a lot of the nuisance fees have disappeared,” Mike Schenk, vice president of economics for the Credit Union National Association, told WalletPop. “Having said that, the issuers still need to make money on the cards they issue. They're thinking of new, creative ways to make up for the legislated losses.” Regarding the credit difference, their structure makes them fundamentally different than banks, Schenk told Yahoo! Finance Tuesday. Credit unions are "fundamentally different from banks because they are not-for-profit and member-owned," Schenk, told Yahoo! Finance. Because credit unions generally are “in the business of maximizing returns to members rather than shareholders,” they can often take operational discounts and offer services at a lower cost than many banks can, Schenk added. Today, those services include free checking. To read the articles, use the links.