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Cheney, Matz Quoted in WSJ On Large RMBS Settlement

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WASHINGTON (11/21/13)--Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney and National Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz each were quoted Wednesday in a Wall Street Journal article highlighting the U.S. Department of Justice's announcement that NCUA would receive $1.4 billion under the terms of a $13 billion settlement with JP Morgan Securities.
 
Lawsuits brought by the NCUA alleged JP Morgan oversold the quality of certain mortgage-backed securities (MBS's) it issued, which were sold to U.S. Central FCU, Western Corporate FCU and other corporates from 2006 to 2007. The corporates collapsed in 2009, and the NCUA, as their liquidating agent, sued a number of Wall Street firms that issued or underwrote the securities that the agency said contributed to the corporates' collapse.
 
"I think [the NCUA] absolutely should, on behalf of the credit unions, recover as much as possible," Cheney told the Journal.
 
Separately, Cheney also said Tuesday that the announcement gives even more weight to CUNA's recommendation that the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund projected assessment range for next year be set at 0 basis points (bps). The NCUA is expected to discuss a projected assessment of 0 bps to 5 bps at its Thursday open board meeting (News Now Nov. 20).
 
NCUA Chair Matz told the Journal, in part, "In agreeing to this settlement, [J.P. Morgan] has taken a measure of responsibility for actions that caused severe damage to the credit-union system."

Tax Resolution Battle Continues in S.D.

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BISMARCK, N.D. (11/21/13)--South Dakota banks continued to push for a change to the credit union tax status--the same day the Brookings County Commission voted 4-0 to table a bank-backed resolution that would have supported taking the tax-exempt status away from credit unions and farm credit services earlier in the day.
 
Brookings City Commission Tuesday night voted 7-1 in favor of considering South Dakota banks' "tax equalization" resolution, said the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas (Memo Nov. 20).
 
Representing credit unions at the meeting were Chad Moller, branch manager, Dakotaland FCU, Brookings, and Jeff Olson, Credit Union Association of the Dakotas, vice president of advocacy and awareness.  Credit unions and farm credit services were provided about five minutes of rebuttal time.
 
South Dakota banks also expanded their tax battle to Yankton County Tuesday when they submitted a resolution proposal in support of taxation federal credit unions and farm credit system institutions. The Yankton County Commission took no action on the resolution and decided to table it for discussion at a later date. 

N.J. Senate Passes Bill To Expand CU Advisory Council

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TRENTON, N.J. (11/21/13)--Legislation to expand New Jersey's Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC) to seven members and provide for representation of federally chartered credit unions passed in the state Senate by a 30-0 vote.
 
The bill expands the CUAC from five members to seven. It designates that no fewer than four seats can be held by representatives of state-chartered credit unions, and no fewer than two seats can be held by representatives of federally chartered credit unions, said the New Jersey Credit Union League (The Daily Exchange Nov. 19).
 
The CUAC was established through legislation enacted in 1984 as a vehicle for state-chartered credit unions to advise state government on credit union-related matters. Members are nominated by the governor and must be confirmed by the state Senate.
 
In 2012, New Jersey credit unions worked for an amendment that preserved the CUAC and scrapped a plan to replace it with a Consumer Finance Advisory Board, where only two of nine seats would be held by credit union representatives.
 
This newest CUAC bill, passed Monday, recognizes that federally chartered credit unions, though primarily regulated by the federal government, are also subject to numerous state laws and regulations and should have a voice as well.
 
The bill has been sent to the New Jersey State Assembly for consideration there.  If approved, the final step would be for Gov. Chris Christie to sign the bill into law.
 
John C. Gibardi currently is chairman of the council.  Gibardi is a New Jersey state-chartered credit union member and president/CEO of Entertainment Industries FCU, which is based in New York City and has offices in Elizabeth, N.J., and Lyndhurst, N.J. He is serving a one-year term as chair.

Illinois CUs Aid in Tornado Recovery

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (11/21/13)--Illinois credit unions continue to help their employees, friends and family members recover from Sunday's devastating tornadoes.
 
Latest estimates by weather officials show that at least nine tornadoes are confirmed to have touched down in Illinois Sunday--the highest number of tornadoes to occur in any one November weather event in the state on record, according to the Illinois Credit Union League.  To date, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) has declared 13 state counties as disaster areas. 
 
On Monday, CEFCU, Peoria, donated $100,000 to the Central Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross, Central Illinois Tornado Relief. CEFCU maintains a branch in Washington, Ill., a town of about 15,000, and one the areas hardest hit by the tornadoes.
 
CEFCU has also set up Red Cross donation canisters all of its 20 Illinois member centers and is holding employee casual days to collect more funds.
 
Farther downstate, SIU CU, hosted a pizza lunch at its branch in Metropolis, Ill., which is about five miles away from where a tornado struck the town of Brookport.  The credit union sent an email blast to all of its members in that area and is calling each one individually to see how they are faring and see what type of assistance they may need.  So far, those needs include water and toiletries. 
 
SIU CU, Carbondale, Ill., also sent three employees to Metropolis to assist in the emergency supply relief effort, and provided cases of water for donation. Members can make monetary and other donations at all SI CU branches.
 
In central Illinois, Heartland CU, Springfield, Ill., contributed funds to a local radio station and will assist in filling a semi-trailer full of water for the people of Washington.  The truck will be sent back with the Washington High School football team after a state semifinal football game Saturday against Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin. 
 
Heartland CU will also a jeans day for employees today to raise funds for storm relief in Central Illinois.  The money raised will be donated to the Red Cross.
 

CU System Briefs (11/21/2013)

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  • PORTLAND, Maine (11/21/13)--Police nabbed three New Hampshire residents allegedly responsible for the October robberies of Ocean Communities FCU and Kennebunk Savings in Maine (Bangor Daily News Nov. 19). Daniel Barry, 38, of Pembroke, N.H., Marvin Eugene Ansteth, 40, of Somersworth, N.H., and Brianne Mone, 27, of Dover, N.H., were all charged with bank robbery by U.S. Attorney for Maine Thomas Delahanty. Prosecutors say that Barry held up both institutions at gunpoint, and that Anseth and Mone each drove the getaway car--with Mone having participated in the Oct. 26 Ocean Communities FCU heist in Sanford, Maine. The U.S. Attorney's investigation has led prosecutors to believe that Anseth was a getaway driver for two similar robberies in October, and that Mone drove a getaway car after an August bank robbery--all three of which are said to have happened in New Hampshire. Court documents filed by prosecutors claim that a man arrested on Oct. 31, Phillip Gage, had a role in all five robberies. Barry, Mone, and Ansteth face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Ocean Communities FCU is based in Biddeford, Maine, and has about $150 million in assets ...
  • WICHITA, Kan. (11/21/13)--The April 3 fatal shooting of a man who was fleeing from a robbery at Wichita-based Credit Union of America was considered a suicide, according to an autopsy report. (The Wichita Eagle Nov. 19) Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennet said on Tuesday that the findings showed Horace L. Gwyn, a suspect in the robbery, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound as a county sheriff's deputy simultaneously shot him in the back. Bennett said the deputy's shot would not have been fatal and that his actions were justified because Gwyn allegedly shot first. Credit Union of America has more than $527 million in assets ...