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CU System Archive

CU System

Bankrate CUs offer better auto loan rates

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NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. (12/11/09)--Credit unions offer lower rates on auto loans than banks, a personal finance expert from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) told Bankrate.com. Credit unions’ auto loan rates tend to be about 1% to 1.5% lower than banks’ rates, Jim Hanson, CUNA vice president of personal finance, told Bankrate. The Bankrate story listed 10 tips to help consumers receive the best rates on auto loans. The tip mentioning credit unions’ rates was listed as No. 1. To read the full article, use the link.

TowerGroup Be a technology leader

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NEEDHAM, Mass. (12/11/09)--Consumer-based financial institutions, including credit unions, either can choose to be technology leaders or be pulled into a wake created by competitors, according to TowerGroup research. TowerGroup recently released a study, “Emerging Consumer-Facing Technology Trends: Change is the Only Constant,” which focuses on the technological changes that will affect financial institutions in the future. “Web 2.0, mobility, rich Internet applications and social networking must be come part of a consumer banker’s vocabulary, or the phrase ‘Do you want fries with that’ will,” the study said in its findings. Technology vendors also should help financial institutions create realistic business cases for emerging technologies and demonstrate their business value--more than just their “coolness.” Several consumer self-service technologies have already demonstrated economic value--such as account alerts, e-statement and check images, account-to-account transfers, and expedited payments, TowerGroup added.

Virginia CU sponsors school CU to educate students

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HAMPTON, Va. (12/11/09)--A Virginia credit union is sponsoring a full-service student-run credit union inside Windsor (Va.) High School primarily to give students a financial education. Operated under the supervision of Hampton (Va.) Road’s Educators CU (HRECU), the Blue’s Gold Student-Run CU--a reference to the school’s colors--opened Oct. 30 (Daily Press Dec. 9). The move to place a credit union in the high school comes in advance of an initiative from the Virginia Board of Education that requires schools to teach personal finance classes in a proposed Standards of Learning for Economics and Personal Finance test, the newspaper said. The test will be effective for students entering the ninth grade in the 2010-2011 school year. The school credit union functions in the same manner as a regular credit union, allowing students, faculty and staff to make withdrawals and deposits, and cash checks Tuesdays and Fridays during the school’s three lunch periods, Stephanie Adams, HRECU marketing coordinator, told the paper. “We have lots of really good support from school staff and teachers,” she told the paper. “It gives us a chance to push for financial education.” Blues Gold CU, situated in the school’s main hall connecting the gym and cafeteria, is designed to help students learn how today banking is and lending works “before they go off to college and are left to fend for themselves,” Adams told the paper.

CUs make Googles Zeitgeist 2009 list

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MADISON, Wis. (12/11/09)--Several credit unions made Google’s Zeitgeist 2009 list, meaning that they have been some of the most popular searches for residents of cities nationwide. The lists are divided by city, region, entertainment, celebrities and news items. The list that credit unions were featured prominently on was divided by major U.S. cities-- including Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Boston, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and others. Credit unions receiving top hits in their respective cities include:
* Johns Hopkins FCU, Baltimore; * A+ FCU, Austin, Texas; * Boeing Employees CU, Seattle; * GTE FCU, Tampa; * Arrowhead CU, Los Angeles; * Community America CU, Kansas City; * Dade County FCU, Miami, Fla.; * OnPoint CU, Portland, Ore.; and * Grow Financial CU, Tampa.
Other popular search terms on cities’ Top Ten lists were for local schools, colleges, transportation, sports teams and local city or government websites. Major banks did not make the lists. For the full list, use the link.

Maryland CU adopts families through housing commission

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ROCKVILLE, Md. (12/11/09)--MCT FCU in Rockville, Md., adopted four underserved families this holiday season for its third annual Holiday Wishes donation drive. The families all receive housing subsidies from the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) of Montgomery County. MCT will collect monetary donations in its branches from community members and employees through Dec. 18. Member contributions will be used to purchase movie-themed gift baskets for each family, which will include a DVD player, family-friendly DVDs, and a grocery store gift card for a holiday meal. MCT employees will participate in the holiday giving by “adopting” the children of these families and purchasing gifts and clothing for them. The mission of HOC is to preserve and expand affordable housing in Montgomery County, to make housing available to eligible families of low- and moderate-incomes, and to provide necessary support services to encourage resident self-sufficiency, MCT said. HOC’s use of mixed-income developments has contributed to Montgomery County’s reputation for innovation in affordable housing solutions, the credit union said. MCT FCU has $414.6 million in assets.

Pa. assoc. CUs popular alternative to big banks

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (12/11/09)--Even though credit unions only own a 3% to 5% financial market share in Pennsylvania, they remain a popular alternative to larger banks, the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) told the AltoonaMirror.com Monday. With 550 credit unions and $27 billion in assets, Pennsylvania has the most credit unions of any state, Mike Wishnow, PCUA senior vice president, told the newspaper. The number of Pennsylvania credit unions reached its zenith at 1,593 in 1980, with membership totaling 1.74 million. While the consolidation trend in the business community during the 1980s and 1990s affected the credit union movement, membership rose to nearly 3.5 million in 2008, the paper said. “We have seen membership growth over the last two years,” Wishnow told the paper. “The national growth over the last quarter was 1.9%; Pennsylvania's rate increased by 2.2%.” Most credit unions are small, with less than $10 million in assets, Wishnow added. “Many banks won’t even open a branch unless it has $25 million in assets or higher,” he said. Despite current troubles with the economy, the future for credit unions is bright, Wishnow told the paper. “We did not get caught up in the mortgage and securities crisis,” he added. “The economy has been different, but we think we are better-positioned than any of the competition to weather the storm.” To read the article, use the link.

CU System briefs (12/10/2009)

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* MADISON, Wis. (12/11/09), CLARIFICATION--The offices of the Illinois Credit Union League in Naperville, Ill., and CUNA Mutual Group in Madison, Wis., were open on Wednesday. In a story about snowstorms in the Midwest and its effect on credit unions, News Now reported that the offices were closed ... * COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (12/11/09)--Ent FCU raised $119,170 for
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the United Way, surpassing its goal of raising $100,000. The credit union offered fundraisers such as online auctions, casual days, barbeques, and tickets sold to a breakfast cooked by Ent FCU management staff. Pictured are David Vincellette (left) and Julie Gwisdalla, Ent’s co-chairs for the credit union’s fundraising campaign. Ent FCU, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., has $3 billion in assets. (Photo provided by Ent FCU) ... * ALBANY, N.Y. (12/11/09)--Community Resource FCU, Latham, N.Y., has joined the Universal Sharing Network (UsNet). The credit union is now a part of UsNet’s shared branching network. Betsy Kindlon, Community Resource FCU president/CEO, said participation in UsNet’s network allows the credit union to expand branch locations at manageable costs. UsNet, a partner of CO-OP Shared Branching, provides shared branching for credit unions. Community Resource FCU has $65 million in assets ...