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Wisconsin CUs have net income growth of 96

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MADISON, Wis. (11/9/12)--Wisconsin credit unions increased net income by 96% in the first three quarters of 2012, compared with the same period in 2011, according to data compiled by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI).

Net income totaled $164.7 million, up from $84 million in 2011. The rise in net income was fueled in large part by a 26% improvement in "other income" that includes things such as income from mortgage-lending activities.

"Wisconsin credit unions have returned to pre-recession levels of strength," DFI Secretary Peter Bildsten said. "Continued strong growth in net income is having a positive impact on return on assets (ROA) and net worth."

Through Sept. 30, Wisconsin's 188 state-chartered credit unions:

  • Posted ROA of 0.98%, up from 0.59% in 2011 and the highest since 2005;
  • Grew net worth to 10.09%, the best since 2008; and
  • Increased total assets by 5.5% to $23.1 billion, due in part to loan growth of 2.9%.
Bildsten noted that the number of state-chartered credit unions declined to 188 from 194 in the third quarter as "industry consolidation and merger activity continues."

"Credit unions' loan quality continues to show steady improvement," said Ginger Larson, director of the Office of Credit Unions--the DFI division that oversees state-chartered credit unions. "The provision for loan losses is down nearly 16% through the third quarter. In addition, the ratio of delinquent loans is 1.50% and trending down."

Use the resource link below to read the News Now story on CUNA economist's analysis of September's monthly sample of credit union data.

CUNA open Veterans Day no INews NowI

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WASHINGTON and MADISON, Wis. (11/9/12)--The Washington, D.C., and Madison, Wis., offices of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will be open Monday, which is Veterans Day, a federal holiday.

News Now will not publish a Monday edition, but will resume regular publication Tuesday.

2012 Community CUs of the Year named

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MADISON, Wis. (11/9/12)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) presented the 2012 Community Credit Union of the Year Award to four credit unions for their exemplary displays of credit union principles and positive influence in the field of service. The awards luncheon was held at this year's CUNA Community Credit Union & Growth Conference, Oct. 23-26 in Denver.

This award honors credit unions that consistently excel in the advancement of credit union ideals, are proactive in their community, and meet the needs of their own diverse member-bases. The yearly judging process considers three aspects of each credit union applicant: Member Impact, Community Impact and Financial Impact.

This year's award was presented to credit unions in two asset categories--less than and greater than $250 million in assets, with a first place and honorable mention winner in each.

2012 Community Credit Union of the Year Award winners:

  • First Place, Credit unions with more than $250 million in total assets: First Community Credit Union, N.D. Accepted by: Janna Bergstedt, marketing manager.
  • Honorable Mention, Credit unions with more than $250 million in assets: 1st MidAmerica Credit Union, Ill. Accepted by: Amber Scott, marketing vice president.
  • First Place, Credit Unions with less than 250 million in total assets: Gulf Coast Community Federal Credit Union, Miss. Accepted by: Lisa Graham, president/CEO, and Debbie Pidek, executive vice president/chief communications officer.
  • Honorable Mention, Credit Unions with less than 250 million in total assets: Dakotaland Federal Credit Union, S.D. Accepted By: Dan Cumbee, president/CEO, and Dawn Mutchelknaus, marketing vice president, and Emily Remund, marketing assistant.
For more information about CUNA's Community Credit Union of the Year Award, use the link.

SECU hosts and educates Chinese banking delegation

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RALEIGH, N.C. (11/9/12)--State Employees' CU (SECU) in Raleigh, N.C., recently hosted members of a Chinese banking delegation who were interested in learning more about the philosophy, practices, strategy and innovation of the not-for-profit cooperative.

The visiting group of 17 emerging financial leaders consists of members of the Youth Federation of China, an association of the Chinese government for rising leaders of the nation. The delegation is the second group from China to visit the credit union in recent years. This year's visit also included a tour of a local branch and SECU's Information Services area.

Click to view larger image A group of 17 emerging financial leaders who are members of the Youth Federation of China, an association of the Chinese government for rising leaders of the nation, recently visited State Employees' CU in Raleigh, N.C., to learn more about the philosophy, practices, strategy and innovation of the not-for-profit cooperative. (Photo provided by State Employees' CU)
SECU President Jim Blaine and Senior Executive Vice President Bobby Hall were among the credit union officers who met with the group. 

The visiting delegates were in North Carolina for a five-day training program through

North Carolina State University's Global Training Initiative, designed to enhance international relationships among businesses in North Carolina through short-term international programs. 

The group represented three of China's "Big Four" state-owned commercial banks, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Agricultural Development Bank of China (ADBC) and China Construction Bank (CCB), as well as Export-Import Bank of China, a leader in export financing.

With China's active and competitive financial system, the emerging leaders were interested in learning more about automation, internet account access and mobile access programs in the U.S.

ICBC, with over $2 trillion in assets, recently purchased a bank in the U.S. with plans to expand its franchise. Both SECU and Chinese banking representatives noted many similarities in underwriting of vehicle, mortgage and credit card loans, while acknowledging higher savings rates available in China.

"We sincerely appreciate the reception of SECU leadership and the opportunity for questions and discussion," said delegation leader Zhou Bo of China Construction Bank. "Compared with the banks in China, SECU is a very unique institution in terms of its purpose, ownership and management. The principle at SECU of 'high quality service with low cost' should be the driving force for every financial institution, even in China."

"This visit really offered these emerging leaders the opportunity to see how SECU's unique not-for-profit model functions in today's financial marketplace through its practices, strategies and innovative services," said Jim Blaine, SECU president.

CUANY offers economic forum

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ALBANY, N.Y. (11/9/12)--Credit union leaders heard from investment experts, economists and industry leaders during the Credit Union Association of New York's 2012 Economic Forum last week.

William J. Mellin, president/CEO of the Credit Union Association of New York, welcomes attendees to the 2012 Economic Forum. (Photo provided by the Credit Union Association of New York)
Despite the ongoing impact of Hurricane Sandy, more than 100 attendees from New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island traveled to Albany for the event.

The Economic Forum kicked off Thursday morning with opening remarks from Association President/CEO William J. Mellin and a presentation titled "Investing in an Uncertain World," led by Kristina Muller and Gregory Perry of Balance Sheet Solutions.

Perry emphasized how the economy is, in and will continue to be in, a low-rate environment. He also noted that, in light of the current financial climate, it is important for credit unions to pay extra attention to their balance sheets and investments, and not sit on a substantial amount of cash.

Thursday afternoon, attendees had their choice of three concurrent breakout sessions. With topics including liquidity, a 2013 economic outlook and risk management, the sessions spurred both thought and discussion.

On Friday, Alloya Corporate FCU's resident economist Dr. Nick Perna and keynote speaker Mark Sievewright, president of Credit Union Solutions at Fiserv, addressed the conference.

Perna focused on how Federal Reserve policies will impact credit unions in the future. Sievewright challenged attendees to adapt to changing consumer preferences and industry innovations.

Results roll in Leagues report election successes

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MADISON, Wis. (11/9/12)--Credit union leagues continue to report strong outcomes for credit union-backed candidates in Tuesday's general election.

All four candidates endorsed by the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) as 2012 Credit Union Champions won their respective races. Winners include:

  • Rep. Lacy Clay (D-District 1);
  • Rep.-elect Ann Wagner (R-District 2);
  • State Rep.-elect Jon Carpenter (D-District 15); and
  • State Rep.-elect Michael Frame (D-District 111).
In Maine, four of the six credit union board volunteers running for the Maine Legislature were victorious, the Maine Credit Union League reported. Representatives re-elected included:

  • Rep. Michael Lajoie (D-Lewiston), chair at Lewiston (Me.) Municipal FCU;
  • Rep. Ken Fredette (R-Newport), board member at Sebasticook Valley FCU, Pittsfield;
  • Rep. Jeffrey Gifford (R-Lincoln), board member at Lincoln (Me.) Maine FCU; and
  • Rep. Ray Wallace (R-Dexter), a member of supervisory committee at Maine Highlands FCU.
In the Maine Senate, of the 28 races the league endorsed, 19 endorsed candidates won their races, for a 68% success rate.

In the Maine House, the league achieved a 79% success rate with 56 of 71 endorsed candidates winning their races.

The Texas Credit Union League's (TCUL) Political Action Committee scored at 95% success rate in races in the state, and at the national level Credit Union Legislative Action Committee scored 96% success rate. In Congress, all 32 Texas congressional representatives (23 Republicans and 9 Democrats) were up for re-election.

Leagues report more election success for CU-backed candidates

For more news on the election of success of credit union-backed candidates, see "CUNA, CU-backed candidates have a strong outcome" in the Thursday edition of News Now. Use the resource link below.

Aid weather problems continue for New Jersey credit unions

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MADISON, Wis. (11/9/12)--Support from the credit union community for East Coast credit unions affected by Hurricane Sandy continues to roll in.

Heavy snow fell on trees and power lines on Wednesday in New Jersey, causing major power outages across the state. (Photo provided by New Jersey Credit Union League)
Donations to CUAid to assists credit unions affected by Hurricane Sandy have surpassed $136,000, the National Credit Union Foundation reported Thursday.

CUAid is the only program of its kind that enables credit union employees, volunteers, and members, as well as credit unions and credit union organizations across the United States, to contribute directly to support other credit union people. The National Credit Union Foundation coordinates with credit union leagues in the disaster area to distribute contributions to affected credit union employees and members.

Also, CU*SWAG, a graphic T-shirt provider for the credit union industry, has designated Friday as a day of donation. CU*SWAG pledges to donate 100% of profits from orders placed Friday to NCUF.

The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues donated $10,000 to CUAid.

"Our thoughts go out to all those impacted by Hurricane Sandy, and we want to do our part to assist our colleagues and their members in their efforts to recover from this devastating storm," said Leagues President/CEO Diana Dykstra.

In New Jersey, a Nor'easter named Athena wreaked havoc Wednesday on the roads and power lines that were just beginning to recover from last week's storm, according to the New Jersey Credit Union League

Inches of heavy, wet snow fell on already weakened trees and newly repaired power lines and transformers last night, causing downed trees and lines, and major power outages across the state.

Many of those who just had their power turned back on are now in the dark again. Commuting has become difficult with drivers having to dodge tress and lines as well as being detoured off normal routes.

New Jersey residents are hopeful that effects of this storm will not slow down or deter power restoration efforts already underway across the state.

"Just when we were starting to see many more New Jerseyans have their power turned back on, we unfortunately were hit with a snowfall that is delaying power restoration and has taken many areas backwards because of downed trees and lines from the snow," said NJCUL President/CEO Paul Gentile. "I want to thank credit unions, leagues and system players from around the country who have stepped up and donated to the National Credit Union Foundation's CU Aid. The funds are needed and appreciated. We will never forget the outpouring of support."