Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

CU System Archive

CU System

CU System briefs (11/16/2009)

 Permanent link
* WOODBURY, Minn. (11/17/09)--The Postal CU (PCU) Community Foundation donated $2,000 to Minnesota First Lady Mary Pawlenty’s Military Family Care Initiative, which helps military families during deployments. The program allows Minnesota military families to search an online database of community organizations that are willing to help with tasks such as mowing the lawn, grocery shopping and meal preparation. Volunteers are then matched with families to provide the needed services. PCU, Woodbury, Minn., has $486 million in assets ... * REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (11/17/09)--San Mateo CU (SMCU), Redwood City, Calif., joined Sharp Business Systems and the San Francisco 49ers to collect 828 coats for One Warm Coat. The coats were collected during 49ers football games Oct. 4 and Oct. 11. SMCU also collected 200 coats at its branches. One Warm Coat is a coat drive in San Francisco that collects coats for individuals in need. SMCU has $600 million in assets ...

New Yorkers flock to CUs in bank revolt

 Permanent link
NEW YORK (11/17/09)--New Yorkers are leaving their banks and flocking to credit unions in what is being dubbed the “bank revolt of 2009,” according to a Sunday New York Post article. New Yorkers are moving their money from big banks to credit unions because credit unions charge lower fees and generate higher returns on savings, the article said. Rob Nemeroff, director of marketing at Melrose CU in Briarwood, N.Y., told the Post that the credit union has added 300 new members a month and recently exceeded $1 billion in assets. “It took a financial catastrophe for the general public to wake up and realize what credit unions are all about,” Nemeroff told the newspaper. About 22% of Melrose CU’s newest members are from southern and western states. Melrose has an open charter, the newspaper said. The Post also noted that the shift to credit unions may reflect the increase of online banking tools available that allow consumers to compare rates and fees. Consumers also may be moving their money to credit unions because 122 banks have failed this year.

Hampel to IForbesI Holiday gloom is misplaced

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (11/17/09)--Although the most recent reports on consumer sentiment have not been great, it should not be taken as sign that retailers will suffer from a poor holiday shopping season, a Credit Union National Association economist (CUNA) told Forbes.com Friday. The holiday season is generally a time when consumers suspend their worries, Bill Hampel, CUNA senior economist told Forbes. Also, the weak consumer sentiment figure is likely based on the most recent unemployment reading rising to 10.2%, which engenders the perception that getting a job is difficult, he added. “It’s not just about the unemployment figure or the 17.5% of workers who are underemployed,” Hampel said. “It’s also about the 83% of people with jobs worried that they'll join them.” Friday's University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading of 66 is down from October's 70.6--the worst since August. “We've come a long way,” Hampel said, in referring to the Michigan sentiment survey’s rebound from its 2008 lows. A year ago, the index was at 55.3, just a few months after Lehman Brothers collapsed and the U.S. economy was entering the worst period of the recession, Forbes said. The economic downturn’s speed and severity has made businesses leery about a recovery and “is contributing to a substantial disconnect between the more guarded forecasts coming out of corporate America and more confident recovery talk from many economists and members of the investment community,” Forbes said. The reason for this is that economists and market watchers don’t necessarily have people’s livelihoods connected to their outlooks, Hampel told Forbes. CUNA will join the Consumer Federation of America Monday to release the results of their annual consumer spending survey. To read the article, use the link.

Schenk to IAPI Strong consumer news needed for a rebound

 Permanent link
NEW YORK (11/17/09)--Without positive news about consumer behavior, the stock market isn’t going to see significant advances, a Credit Union National Association (CUNA) economist told The Associated Press Monday. “A steady stream of mediocre news from the consumer sector does not translate into high numbers for the stock market,” Mike Schenk, CUNA senior economist, told the news service. Because there’s friction in U.S. financial markets between investors who believe the economy is in the midst of a robust recovery and those who believe the rebound will be gradual and filled with potholes, stock trading has experienced volatility, AP said. Also, the housing market is still a long way from recovering, and that has put a damper on consumer confidence and also altered their spending patterns, Schenk told the news service. To read the article, use the link.

Co-op Services CU opens branch at elementary school

 Permanent link
LIVONIA, Mich. (11/17/09)--Fourth- and fifth-grade students at Bulman Elementary in Redford Public Schools worked to design posters, make public address announcements and create contests to help promote the opening of the school’s first student credit union operated in partnership with Co-op Services CU in Livonia, Mich.
Click to view larger image Bulman Elementary students are greeted by the Rock Star Savers’ mascot to celebrate the grand opening of the school’s student credit union in partnership with Co-op Services CU, Livonia, Mich. (Photo provided by Co-op Services CU)
The students were members of a marketing team that encouraged their classmates, from second through fifth grades, to open savings accounts and participate in the credit union’s “Rock Star Savers” program. “Thanks to their efforts, 70 students were already signed up before our October grand opening,” said Jeremy Cybulski, youth and community development officer for Co-op Services CU. Everyone is excited about the credit union program including parents, students and staff, according to Bulman Principal Susan Stanley. “This is an outstanding educational opportunity for children to learn real-world math applications and the value of saving money,” Stanley said. “It also teaches our children the gift of patience in a world of instantaneous gratification.” Students and parent volunteers, along with Co-op Services’ staff were at the grand opening to help classmates make savings deposits, play games and receive star stickers for their savings books. Children can pick out a prize from a special prize box for every five stickers. Parent volunteer Cathy Wilber shared her excitement about being part of the new Panther branch, named for the school’s mascot. “I think it will be a great service to our students,” Wilber said. “They will be learning wonderful life skills that they will hopefully carry with them into their adult lives. Thank you to Co-op Services CU and our principal, Sue Stanley, for allowing Bulman to be a part of this terrific program.” Cybulski coordinates the student credit union program, and makes classroom presentations throughout the year at Bulman and other area schools to help students learn about savings basics. During the 2009-10 school year, the $385.2 million-asset Co-op Services CU will oversee the operation of six student credit unions in elementary schools within the Livonia, Clarenceville and Redford Union school districts.

CUNA Technology Council presents best of show award

 Permanent link
Madison, Wis. (11/17/09)--The CUNA Technology Council presented its Best of Show Award to Saylent Technologies for its Card360 product.
Click to view larger image The CUNA Technology Council awarded its Best of Show award to Saylent Technologies for its Card360 product. From left are: Jackie Buchanan, council vice chair, executive vice president and chief information officer, Genisys CU; Kristopher Meyer, judge, Alliant CU; Sharon Nargassans, director of finance/administration, Saylent Technologies; Russell Pretitore, vice president of sales, Saylent Technologies; Debbie Bianucci, president, Bank Administration Institute; Tyson Nargassans, president/CEO, Saylent Technologies; Rudy Pereira, council chair, senior vice president of operations/technology, Alliant CU; John Morawski, judge, Massachusetts Credit Union League; George Rudolph, judge, Alliant CU; Fred Campobasso, judge, Alliant CU. (Photo provided by the CUNA Technology Council)
The award was presented at the Bank Administration Institute’s Retail Delivery Conference Nov. 3-5 in Boston. Saylent Technologies develops software solutions and services to increase non-interest income and core deposits. It won the Best of Show award for its Card360 solution, a portfolio optimization suite to help credit unions maximize the performance and satisfaction of their card programs. Card360 is the engine behind CO-OP Financial Services’ Revelation product, used by CO-OP’s debit processing customers. Since 2001, the CUNA Technology Council has presented the Best of Show award to the exhibitor that demonstrates a commitment to delivering technology that will further the growth of products and services in the credit union marketplace. Vendors’ products are evaluated according to affordability, the benefit to credit unions and their members, a commitment to open standards and health of the company.

SECU provides 2 million challenge grant for family house

 Permanent link
RALEIGH, N.C. (11/17/09)--State Employees’ CU (SECU) members, through the SECU Foundation, have provided a $2 million challenge grant to Hospital Hospitality House of Winston-Salem for SECU Family House.
State Employees’ CU (SECU) in Raleigh, N.C., has provided a $2 million challenge grant to Hospital Hospitality House of Winston-Salem. From left are: Dr. William Applegate, president of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center; Sallye Liner, president of Forsyth Medical Center; Beth Baldwin and Sandy Baldwin, co-chairs of Hospital Hospitality House of Winston-Salem; and David King, SECU Foundation board of director. (Photo provided by State Employees’ CU)
The house will provide families with a place to stay while caring for a loved one at Forsyth Medical Center or North Carolina Baptist Hospital, the credit union said. The house will have 40 rooms and will be built on an 8.8 acre site next to the SECU CareCenter in Winston-Salem. Construction will begin in April and the facility will open in early 2011. “Hospital guest homes like SECU Family House provide critical lodging needs for families who have traveled to care for loved ones undergoing medical treatment at local hospitals,” said David King, a member of SECU Foundation’s board of directors and immediate past chairman. “Affordable lodging is not always available and this facility will fill that need during a difficult time. SECU has $18 billion in assets.