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Armed Suspect Killed By Police After Robbery

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ERIE, Pa. (11/4/13)--Police officers in Erie, Pa., fatally shot a man suspected of committing the armed robbery of a credit union on Wednesday afternoon.

Law enforcement officials said that Dionne Jordan, 30, was shot repeatedly after he got out of his vehicle and, allegedly, pointed a gun at four city police officers who had tracked him in the wake of the robbery (Erie Times-News Oct. 31).

The officers found Jordan in a wooded area, allegedly attempting to make a getaway 15 minutes after the nearby Widget Financial FCU branch was robbed.

Jordan was pronounced dead at the scene, and was identified afterward by Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook.

Erie Police Chief Randy Bowers said that Jordan repeatedly threatened to shoot Widget employees as he stole money from multiple sources inside the credit union (McClatchy-Tribune Regional News Oct. 31).

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the robbery because Widget is federally insured. The Erie Bureau of Police Office Professional Standards is also looking into the incident (Associated Press Nov. 1).

Widget Financial FCU, based in Erie, has $261.2 million in assets.
 

CU System Briefs (11/04/2013)

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  • CENTERVILLE, Utah (11/4/13)--A masked robbery suspect took advantage of Halloween by robbing the Centerville, Utah-branch of Ogden-based America First CU Thursday. The incident occurred at about 6:45 p.m. Halloween night. The suspect, wearing a white "Jabbawockeez" mask, gloves and hooded sweatshirt when he entered the credit union, was asked to remove the mask. Instead, he refused and demanded money. No weapons were displayed and no threats were made, said the Centerville Police Department ( Fox13now.com Nov. 1) ...
  • HARRISBURG, Pa. (11/4/13)--Staff, board members and associated business partners of Exton, Pa.-based Citadel FCU gathered for an event honoring U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach (center) and hosted by the credit union, said the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (Life is a Highway Nov. 1).  The congressman discussed what the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee is considering with the tax code reform and healthcare reform, and answered questions. Gerlach has served on the committee since 2010 and has been supportive of credit unions since taking office in 2002, said PCUA.  He has been a past co-sponsor of supplemental capital legislation and supports finding solutions to regulatory challenges faced by credit unions. Pictured with Gerlach and the group are Citadel FCU CEO Jeff March (center right) and Christina Mihalik (second from left), PCUA vice president of government affairs.  (Photo provided by the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association) ...
  • BANGOR, Maine (11/4/13)--A woman and two men have been indicted as part of a burglary ring that prosecutors say has hit at least 35 businesses in the Bangor, Maine, area. The thefts include an attempted break-in at an ATM at Lincoln Maine FCU in Lincoln on July 29. The ATM sustained several thousand dollars in damages, the indictments said. Arrested were: Matthew J. Anderson, 24, of Mattawamkeag, charged with aggravated criminal mischief; Jacey Searles, 20, of Kingman, charged with receiving stolen property, aggravated criminal mischief and two counts each of burglary, criminal mischief and theft by unauthorized taking; and Brandon R. Tolman, 24, of Lincoln, charged with burglarizing a motor vehicle, two counts of aggravated criminal mischief, four counts of burglary and five counts of theft. Searles is also charged with driving the getaway car during the credit union incident.  A fourth suspect, Steve Springer, 28, of Mattawamkeag was arrested Oct. 26 and charged in the burglary of a motor vehicle and three other burglaries. The Penobscot County District Attorney said more arrests in the burglary ring are expected (Bangor Daily News Oct. 30) ...
  • SANFORD, Maine (11/4/13)--Philip Gage, 46, of Somersworth, N.H., has been arrested as a suspect in the Oct. 26 armed robbery of the Sanford, Maine branch of Biddeford, Maine-based Ocean Communities FCU. Gage was arrested at his home Thursday morning and is being held in the York County Jail.  He also is charged with robbing the Kennebunk Savings Bank in Eliot, Maine, on Oct. 19. (Bangor Daily News Oct. 31)  ...
  • WASHINGTON (11/4/13)--Callahan & Associates Friday has changed its organizational and leadership structure, with the senior management team operating in a partnership mode and leadership roles significantly redefined. The new approach shifts the firm's emphasis from collecting and presenting information to its application, with staff working more collaboratively and with more external interaction with the marketplace.  Jon Jeffreys, currently vice president of Callahan Financial Services, will become managing partner and work with the team to allocate resources.  Jay Johnson, executive vice president, will lead development of content and assume the role of president of Callahan Financial Services while continuing as president of TRUST mutual funds for credit unions. Alix Patterson, previously the firm's chief operating officer, will lead the firm's solution development and innovation team; and Scott Patterson will be the firm's point person on its Student Choice program and leverage his technology/innovation experience to generate new business solutions. He also will lead the firm's strategic partnerships.  CEO Sean Hession will continue with the firm into 2014 to assist with the leadership transition. Co-founder Chip Filson will continue as board chairman ...

CUs Report Strong Loan Growth In September

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MADISON, Wis. (11/4/13)--Loan growth at credit unions in September continued to rise, with the past 12 months' growth pace the fastest since before the Great Recession, according to the Credit Union National Association's Credit Union Monthly Estimates for September, released Friday.
 
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Loans in September totaled $648.7 billion, up from $607.8 billion in September 2012.
 
"Credit unions reported strong loan growth in September, with balances rising 0.8%, compared to 0.5% in October 2012," said Steve Rick, senior economist at CUNA. "Over the last 12 months, credit union loan balances rose 6.7%, the fastest pace since 2008," he said.
 
Rick noted that "adjustable-rate first mortgage loan balances posted the biggest increase in September, rising 1.4%, and are up 5.3% over the last year.  New- and used-auto loan balances also grew faster than 1% in September and both posted around a 11% growth rate over the last year."
 
What's behind that growth? Rick attributed it to "both supply and demand factors," which "are driving the accelerated pace of lending: credit unions are lowering interest rates and loosening credit standards to increase the supply of loanable funds while stronger consumers' balance sheets are increasing the demand for loanable funds.
 
"Rapidly rising home and stock prices are creating what economists call a strong 'wealth effect,' whereby consumers feel wealthier and therefore borrow and spend more out of current income," Rick added.
 
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Meanwhile, savings declined 0.6% in September, compared with a 0.8% increase in August, according to the monthly estimates. However, total savings for September was up to $926.3 billion, from $888.3 billion a year earlier.
 
Individual retirement accounts rose 0.5% during September from the previous month, with regular shares increasing 0.1%. Share drafts dropped 4.3%, one-year certificates declined 0.7% and money market accounts declined 0.1%, said the report.
 
Rick also noted that "credit quality is also improving with credit unions reporting a delinquency rate less than 1% in September, down from 1.17% in September 2012.  A 9% fall in the dollar amount of delinquent loans combined with a 6.7% rise in loans outstanding created the significant drop in the delinquency ratio.
 
"The delinquency rate should fall to 0.8% in 2014, back to the level reported before the onset of the Great Recession."
 
The report also noted that the loan-to-savings ratio increased to 70% in September from 69.1% in August, bringing the liquidity ratio (the ratio of surplus funds maturing in less than one year to borrowings plus other liabilities) to 16.9%.
 
Total credit union membership continued climbing, with 0.4% growth in September to 98.7 million members across the U.S. The movement's overall capital-to-asset ratio rose to 10.4%, with total capital at $112 billion.

Carolinas Foundation Elects Officers, Caverly Named To Board

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (11/4/13)--The Carolinas Credit Union Foundation board of directors elected officers and welcomed a new member at its annual meeting on Oct. 23, said the North Carolina Credit Union League (Weekly Conversation Nov. 1).
 
Raleigh, N.C.-based Local Government FCU Executive Vice President Mark Caverly was named to the foundation's board as part of a series of decisions that saw all officers re-elected to their positions.
 
Caverly also serves as president of the Tarheel Chapter of the North Carolina Credit Union League, and is a member of the NCCUL Government Affairs Committee. He has also testified about the Credit Card Interchange Fees Act of 2009 before the U.S. House of Representatives' Financial Services Committee, speaking on behalf of the Credit Union National Association and the Electronic Payments Coalition.
 
Brian Sponaugle, chief operating officer for Greenville (S.C.) FCU, was re-elected to a three-year term on the board. He will also chair a newly formed advisory committee made up of credit union business partners advocating on behalf of the foundation.

Judy Tharp, president/CEO of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Piedmont Advantage CU, will continue to serve as chair of the foundation. Jennifer Parker, senior vice president of Strategic Alliances for Founders FCU, Lancaster, S.C., will continue as vice chair. John Slack, chief sales officer for Palmetto Cooperative Services, will retain his role as secretary/treasurer.

The foundation board of directors also includes:
  • Michelle Bragg, Sharonview FCU, Fort Mill, S.C.;
  • Steve Fowler, South Carolina Credit Union League;
  • Beverly Gagne, SAFE FCU, Sumter, S.C.;
  • Chuck Purvis, Coastal FCU, Raleigh, N.C.;
  • John Radebaugh, president/CEO of NCCUL; and
  • Mark Twisdale, State Employees' CU, Raleigh.

Maine League Endorses Michaud For Governor

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WESTBROOK, Maine (11/4/13)--The Maine Credit Union League Thursday endorsed U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine)--a former credit union board member--in his campaign for governor of Maine.
 
The league, which represents 61 credit unions and 633,000 members, announced its endorsement at its headquarters before a crowd of about 100 people that included league board members and staff.
Click to view larger image U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, left,  (D-Maine) shakes hands with John Murphy, Maine Credit Union League president/CEO, after the league endorsed Michaud's campaign for the governor of Maine. (Photo provided by Maine Credit Union League)
 
"From his time in the state legislature--including serving as Senate President--to his six terms in Congress, Congressman Michaud has been a great friend to Maine's credit unions," John Murphy, league president/CEO.
 
"Having served as a credit union volunteer for several years, he has a unique understanding of our issues and the impact that legislation can have on credit unions and members. He also has a deep appreciation of the positive role that credit unions play in the lives of thousands of Maine consumers and in the communities they serve," he said.
 
A former board member, Michaud, left, is now an honorary credit union board member at Eastmill FCU in East Millinocket, Maine.  In 2002, Michaud was first elected to Congress and was the only credit union board member serving in Congress at the time.
 
"It's our shared commitment to Maine's economy that makes the endorsement of the Maine Credit Union League so important to me," Michaud said. "Maine's credit unions are democracy in action. Locally owned and member-directed, they put the interests of their community first. Our economy relies on small businesses and the middle class. When they grow it helps everyone, and Maine's credit unions are helping them to grow."

CUNA Site Launches New Press Room

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WASHINGTON and MADISON, Wis. (11/4/13)--The Credit Union National Association's website has launched a new Press Room page, which is now accessible on www.cuna.org., to provide information and resources about CUNA and credit unions in a one-stop shop.
 
The Press Room will house CUNA's press releases and statements, bios and photos of CUNA's executive management team, and press contacts, as well as sections with recent mentions of CUNA and credit unions in the media.
 
"There is also a Press Resources page for reporters to find out information on key issues CUNA is working on, and basic facts and statistics about the credit union industry," said Paul Gentile, executive vice president of strategic communications and engagement.
 
It links to an "About CUNA" page that provides information about the nation's premier trade association for credit unions, including CUNA's committees; board members, districts and elections; executive management team; statement of vision, mission and goals; the Power of Association brochure; the Unite for Good campaign; career opportunities; and its corporate policies.
 
The link also outlines CUNA's partnership with state leagues, provides an events calendar and information about the national Maxwell/Herring/Desjardins Awards Programs, and provides a compendium of CUNA policies on legislative and regulatory issues.
 
It features information about partnerships through CUNA Strategic Services and related organizations as well as financial statements and annual reports.
 
It also tells how to find CUNA's Madison, Wis., and Washington, D.C., offices, and links to News Now's top stories.
 
The page can be accessed by clicking the "Press Room" link at the bottom of CUNA's homepage or by using the link.

Two More CU Execs Nominated For CUNA Board

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WASHINGTON and MADISON, Wis. (11/4/13)--The Credit Union National Association received two more nominations--numbers five and six--Friday for positions on the CUNA Board of Directors.
 
Eight board positions are open in this year's elections, and CUNA will accept nominations through Nov. 26.
 
Both the new nominees are running for a seat representing District 4, Class A. They are
Pat Drennen, CEO of 1st Gateway CU, Camanache, Iowa, and Geraldine Burek, president/CEO of South Division CU, Evergreen Park, Ill.
 
Other nominees so far include:
  • District 1, Class A--Edwin L. Williams, president of Discovery FCU, Wyomissing, Pa.;
  • District 1, Class D--William J. Mellin, president of the Credit Union Association of New York, Albany, N.Y.;
  • District 2, Class D--Rick Pillow, president of the Virginia Credit Union League, Lynchburg, Va.; and
  • District 5, Class C--Tony C. Budet, president of University FCU, Austin, Texas.
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.
Nominees must be an employee or a voting board member of the nominating credit union, with the nomination seconded in writing by at least two other credit unions from the same district and class.
 
Nominees to be elected by leagues must be a league president and be nominated in writing by that league, with the nomination seconded in writing by at least one other league from the district.
 
Ballots for contested elections will be sent Dec. 2, with voting continuing through Jan. 10.
 
CUNA will announce the results of contested elections Jan. 15.  Directors elected will take office upon the adjournment of CUNA's Annual General Meeting in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 24.
 
For more information, use the link.

Top 10 News Now Articles For October

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MADISON, Wis. (11/4/13)--An article about the National Credit Union Administration's approval of a final rule addressing emergency liquidity and contingency funding plans for credit unions was the most-read News Now article in October.
 
Four of the Top 10 stories dealt with the federal government's partial shutdown and how credit unions helped members with assistance programs.
 
The Top 10 articles for the month include:
 
10. Survey Shows New Mortgage Regs Could Force CUs To Reduce Programs

 WASHINGTON (10/21/13)--Some credit unions may be forced to discontinue, delay, or reduce their mortgage loan product offerings due to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau mortgage regulation changes that are set to take effect in January, a Credit Union National Association survey has revealed.
 
9. CUs Offering Help To Furloughed Fed Employees

MADISON, Wis. (10/2/13)--Once the federal government announced its partial shutdown Tuesday, credit unions lost no time in letting impacted members know their credit unions will provide special rates, skip-a-payments, financial counseling and more to ensure members survive any furloughs with their finances intact.
 
8. Payday Passes, Fed Employees Seek Help From CUs

 MADISON, Wis. (10/15/13)--Friday's payday drove home the implications of the federal government's partial shutdown for many federal employees who received half their pay. With the shutdown beginning its third week, credit unions, who already have furlough assistance plans in effect, are receiving requests for help from the furloughed workers.
 
7. NCUA: No NCUSIF Assessment In 2013

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (10/25/13)--Thursday's National Credit Union Administration open board meeting featured good news for credit unions: There will be no National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund premium assessment in 2013, agency Chief Financial Officer Mary Ann Woodson reported.
 
6. NCUA, CUNA, CUs Prepared For Government Interruption
 
WASHINGTON (10/1/13)--Federal workers walked away from their desks last night not knowing whether the U.S. government would be open for business this morning or not. But either way, the National Credit Union Administration on Monday said it would be open for business, and it encouraged credit unions to "maintain a state of readiness to help their members who may be affected by a potential government shutdown."
 
5. Bills Want To Boost Savings Via Prize-Linked Accounts

 WASHINGTON (10/31/13)--Federal legislation that would allow credit unions and other financial institutions nationwide to offer prize-linked savings accounts was introduced in the U.S. House and Senate this week.
 
4. For CUs: Agencies' Status During Gov't Shut Down

 WASHINGTON (10/2/13)--"While the gridlock in Washington has put many people in an unfortunate situation, it's important for the nation's 98 million credit union members to know that credit unions are still operating safe and sound," Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney said following Tuesday's news of the federal government shutdown.
 
3. CUNA Brief: Fed Interchange Rule Bad, Court Ruling Worse

 WASHINGTON (10/21/13)--The Federal Reserve Board has made errors in implementing the Dodd-Frank-imposed debit interchange fee cap, the Credit Union National Association said today in a legal brief, but a July 31 U.S. appeals court ruling  overturning the rule would make things "significantly worse."
 
2. NCUA Unveils Upcoming CU Exam Changes

 ALEXANDRIA, Va. (10/8/13)--Changes that will streamline credit union examination reports and improve the overall exam process by setting clearer expectations for credit unions and examiners will be introduced on Jan. 1, the National Credit Union Administration said in a letter to credit unions (13-CU-09) released this afternoon.

1. CLF And Fed Discount Window Are Only Sources For Emergency Liquidity In New NCUA Rule

 ALEXANDRIA, Va. (10/24/13)--A final rule addressing emergency liquidity and contingency funding plans for credit unions has just been approved at today's National Credit Union Administration open board meeting.

Kenyan CU Savings Is One-third Of National Savings

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MADISON, Wis. (11/4/13)--Kenyan credit unions have mobilized a record $5.7 billion in savings--which represents 33% of the national savings--while providing much-needed access to financial services to unbanked populations, especially women, according to Dr. Wilson Songa, Kenya's Industrialization and Enterprise Development principal secretary.
 
Kenyan credit unions, known as savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs), play "a key role in creating vibrancy and competitiveness in the financial sector," Songa said at a recent Kenyan Teachers SACCO Association annual general meeting.
 
Most of the 13 million Kenyan SACCO members are savers with modest incomes, according the World Council of Credit Unions. SACCOs help increase their stability and wealth through savings.
 
SACCOs also provide low-interest capital resources that are critical to economic growth. Kenyans, who would have been denied access to loans by most banks due to lack of collateral, have access to low-interest loans through SACCOs. As a result, SACCOs help ordinary Kenyans transform their lives, said World Council.
 
By introducing financial services to women and other unbanked populations, who have been traditionally excluded from the formal financial sector, SACCOs give more Kenyans the ability to generate wealth and invest in their families. When empowered to make financial decisions, research shows that women are much more likely than men to make investments that benefit their entire family.
 
Women with access to formal savings accounts will save more and increase business investments by 40% in four to six months, according to Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research. With greater financial autonomy, women also invest more in education, access to medical care and better-quality food for their families. These types of choices, made possible by financial access through Kenyan SACCOs, are good for economic growth and transformative for individual families.
 
Kenyan SACCOs have the highest growth rates in Africa and rank seventh worldwide, said World Council. Songa stressed that the Kenyan government is committed to continuing to support the SACCO subsector, which creates employment and provides economic empowerment to Kenyans.

GlobeSt.com: Seven Reasons To Get CRE Loan From CU

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WASHINGTON (11/4/13)--A NASA FCU executive predicted that the institution's commercial real estate (CRE) loan portfolio will grow between 30% and 35% this year. And he gave seven reasons why people should get their CREs from a credit union.

Andy Stafford, the Bowie, Md.-based credit union's director of commercial real estate, made the prediction in the publication GlobeSt.com (Nov. 1).

Stafford laid out seven reasons why he thinks NASA FCU is seeing a steady increase in its CRE portfolio--in 2011 and 2012, it grew by 16% and 23% respectively.

He told the publication the credit union offers simple service, with one point of contact for borrowers. It also offers competitive rates and doesn't charge prepayment penalties for refinancing.

NASA FCU has deep community ties and obligations that allow it to avoid defaults by leveraging knowledge and by catering to businesses' needs, he said.
 
Stafford added that NASA FCU is straightforward about its credit products, allowing it to close loans in under two months, and said that because credit unions are accountable to members instead of shareholders, the institutions are more attractive to consumers.
 
For the full article, use the link

MBLs Among Fastest-growing Loans In Pennsylvania

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (11/4/13)--Member business loans (MBLs) led loan growth at Pennsylvania credit unions in the second quarter of 2013, according to the Pennsylvania Credit Union Profile for Second Quarter 2013.
 
MBLs increased 24.4% in the past year, bettering the national growth rate of 8.2%. For the quarter, MBLs rose 7%, compared with 4% in the first quarter of 2013. Pennsylvania's quarterly statistics also exceeded the national growth rate of 2.5%, said the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (Life is a Highway Nov. 1).
 
Second quarter lending at credit unions nationwide showed more members were more willing to borrow and less willing to save than a year earlier. Loan balances rose 2.1% in the second quarter, compared with 1.8% for the same period in 2012. Next to MBLs, first mortgage loans grew the fastest at 7%. Used-auto loans were also on the rise at 3.9%.
 
Credit unions have been urging Congress to lift their MBL cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25% so credit unions can make more business loans.  Lifting the cap would help create 140,000 new jobs and inject $13 billion in small business loans into the economy, without costing taxpayers a dime, said the Credit Union National Association.
 
The increase in loan balances combined with the simultaneous drop in the dollar amount of delinquent loans, brought down the national credit union loan delinquency rate (delinquent loans to total loans) to 1.04% in the second quarter of 2013 from 1.21% in the second quarter of 2012.
 
In a report issued this week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) supported more than $29 billion in lending in fiscal 2013, its third-highest total. The other record highs came in fiscal 2012 ($30.25 billion) and fiscal 2011 ($30.5 billion).
 
The SBA loans were made through two programs, 7(a) and 504. Credit unions may participate in 7(a) loans. The SBA-guaranteed portion of a 7(a) loan is not counted against a credit union's MBL cap, said the article. Roughly, 347 credit unions had more than 8,100 SBA loans outstanding, totaling $921 million in funds, at the end of 2012.