Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

CU System Archive

CU System

CUNAs Schenk quoted in IMarketWatchI on housing starts prices

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (12/17/08)--A Credit Union National Association (CUNA) economist was quoted in two separate MarketWatch stories Tuesday regarding lower numbers of U.S. housing starts, and a falling consumer price index. New housing starts fell 18.9% in November to a seasonally adjusted rate of 625,000--the lowest rate since 1959 when the Commerce Department started keeping such records, MarketWatch said. “The market needs to be clear,” Mike Schenk, CUNA senior economist, told the newspaper. “But this is bad news; it’ll be a painful process, and many more people will be out of work.” Also, U.S. consumer prices dropped in November at the fastest rate since 1932, due to declining prices of energy, commodities and airline fares during the month, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. “This is scary stuff,” Schenk told the paper. “We are teetering on the brink of a massive downward spiral. Deflation is a threat.”

Hampel to IN.Y. TimesI Braking economy lowers prices

 Permanent link
NEW YORK (12/16/08)--With retail prices in November falling at their fastest rate on record, a Credit Union National Association (CUNA) economist told The New York Times Tuesday the economy has experienced an unprecedented slowdown in the past few months. “I’ve never seen the economy slam on the brakes as much as it has in the last three months,” Bill Hampel, CUNA chief economist, told the newspaper. “And as the tires are squeaking on the pavement, that’s pulling prices down too.” With oil prices falling, and retailers cutting prices to get business back from worried consumers, retail prices tumbled last month, analysts told the paper The drops in consumer prices piggyback reports of a downward trend in the wholesale sector of the economy, analysts added. The Labor Department last week said the price of finished goods dropped 2.2% in November--the fourth straight month of declines, the paper reported.

Pa. Foundation partners with CU to promote student branches

 Permanent link
HARRISBURG, Pa. (12/17/08)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation and Meadville (Pa.) Area FCU presented and promoted the benefits of student credit union branches to representatives of three school districts in northwest Pennsylvania-- Penncrest, Conneaut and Crawford Central. Joe Wambach, foundation executive director, discussed classroom education, Web site development, Train the Trainers, and student branch components that represent the foundation’s financial literacy portfolio (Life is a Highway Dec. 16). Heather Clancy-Young, CEO of the $43.2 million asset Meadville Area FCU, emphasized community benefits and the attraction of younger credit union members as reasons for credit union interest in developing a student branch program. Georgeann Chamberlain, CEO, Wacopse FCU, Warren, Pa., and a former association board member, discussed the two branches maintained by her credit union in Warren, as well as liability issues that can impact student branch development. The session was organized and coordinated by Christina Reynolds, business development representative for Meadville Area FCU. Decisions by the three school districts are expected during the first quarter of 2009. There are 17 student credit union branches in Pennsylvania.

Chrysler joins Invest in America CU partnership

 Permanent link
LANSING, Mich. (12/17/08)--After the launch of the “Invest in America” credit union loan partnership last week, Chrysler Corporation LLC announced it will join the alliance. This gives 1,295 credit unions in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois access to cash discounts for its members from two of America’s three domestic automakers and access to financing on new vehicle purchases. “Invest in America” is also one step closer to going nationwide; Chrysler will expand the pilot program in eight additional states, as well as the original four Midwest states. This will make available an additional $12 billion in auto loans for the program and bring discounts to another 14 million credit union members. The program started Tuesday and runs through June 30, 2009. It offers “Credit Union Member Cash” rebates of $500 or $1,000 on eligible Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles. The rebates will be exclusively for credit union members who also obtain their financing from a credit union, layering on top of other incentives. “The Invest in America” program will provide access to affordable financing options and special discounts for credit union members who want to purchase a new Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge vehicle,” said Steven Landry, Chrysler executive vice president of North American Sales. “We are confident that the ‘Invest in America’ program and 'Credit Union Member Cash' will provide significant value for our customers and the economy as a whole during these challenging economic times.” To gain access to the rebates, credit union members can bring proof of credit union financing to a Chrysler dealership. Credit union loan rates average 5.4% compared to 6.9% for bank rates according to Datatrac, a survey company that tracks auto loan rates. Participation requires that the consumer belongs to a credit union. Credit union members in the pilot states or those that would like to join can learn more about the special rebates by using the resource link. “‘The Invest in America’ vision is to create a win-win program in which credit unions pledge billions in low-cost credit union financing and strong marketing support in return for exclusive credit union member discounts and rebates,” said David Adams, Michigan Credit Union League president/CEO. “Credit unions have always focused on service to their members and communities. This program simply expands that vision to apply much needed financing assistance to help boost domestic auto sales.” Eight additional states taking part in the “Credit Union Member Cash” rebates are Oklahoma, Texas, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, New Mexico and Mississippi. “Invest in America” was created by CUcorp, a marketing company based in Livonia, Mich., and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Michigan Credit Union League. There are plans to bring “Invest in America” nationwide, possibly by the second quarter of 2009.

CU System briefs (12/16/2008)

 Permanent link
* RENO, Nev. (12/17/08)--Greater Nevada CU’s Carson City, Nev., branch recently offered 10 financial literacy presentations to Carson High School (Reno Gazette-Journal Dec. 12). The presentations were included as classroom material in a government class and were taken from the National Endowment for Financial Education’s high school program. The presentation topics focused on saving, credit, and budgets. The students were surprised to learn that Americans saved at a rate of 8% per year 20 years ago, compared to the current national average of -2%, the credit union told the newspaper ... * GREENSBORO, N.C. (12/17/08)--Latino Community CU, Durham, N.C., opened a new branch in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday. The public was invited to celebrate the opening of the credit union’s seventh branch, said the North Carolina Credit Union League (Weekly Update Dec. 12). Guest speakers included Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.). Several institutions, including the North Carolina Minority Support Center and the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, have supported the branch ... * CHICAGO (12/17/08)--LaVerne Orton, 86, of LaGrange, Ill., died Friday from Multiple Myeloma (The Chicago Tribune Dec. 14). Orton lead the Evergreen Park Teachers CU in Evergreen Park, Ill., and served on its board for 48 years. Evergreen Park Teachers CU has $9.8 million in assets ... * TEMPE, Ariz. (12/17/08)--Tempe (Ariz.) Schools CU was recently ranked 18th out of the top 25 winners in the category for companies under 100 employees in a 2008 “Best Place to Work” competition sponsored by the Phoenix Business Journal and BestCompaniesAZ. The credit union was acknowledged for creating an enjoyable culture and work environment. Winners were announced Thursday. Tempe Schools CU has $160 million in assets ...

Michigan league unveils CUBE TV

 Permanent link
PLYMOUTH, Mich. (12/17/08)--The Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL), with CU Village, has launched CUBE TV--an online video hub to provide credit unions with news, information and training. CUBE TV, or the Credit Union Broadcast Experience, covers national and state credit union issues and education for credit union staff, the league said (Michigan Monitor Dec. 15). Visitors can watch CU National Update, a weekly Webcast with national credit union news; the Michigan Priority Report, a state Webcast with information about credit unions and programs; video podcasts, special reports and training videos. Each sub-section of videos will be placed on its own channel. Credit unions can embed the videos on their own websites so members can view programs. “We want CUBE TV to be the place credit unions turn for the latest developments in the industry that affect them, analysis of credit union issues and valuable education that can benefit credit union staff from CEOs to tellers,” said MCUL President/CEO David Adams. “The MCUL is committed to delivering quality content that covers both national and Michigan-specific credit union topics,” he added. “I think credit unions will be impressed with the look of the video player and how easy it is to use. “It's our hope that credit unions will begin to utilize it regularly for credit union-related news,” Adams said. “We may also see credit unions wanting to stream the video content through their own websites for members in some cases, as well as internally for informing staff and volunteers.”

Charlotte Metro CU membership spikes 45

 Permanent link
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (12/17/08)--Despite media reports of a troubled economy, Charlotte Metro CU has grown its membership by about 45% since the end of September. Many members have joined because they believed they would pay fewer fees than they had at their previous banks, Nathan Tothrow, Charlotte Metro CU marketing vice president, told News Now. The credit union also has doubled the total amount of deposits members have in money market accounts since 2006, Tothrow said. Charlotte Metro’s assets are at $181 million--a jump from $131 million three years ago. The credit union attributes its growth in part to a shaky economy. But a bigger factor was a branding effort Charlotte Metro launched in 2006. The credit union conducted focus groups, and ran television and creative ads to attract consumers. Charlotte Metro began using the word “banking” in its advertising, because many area consumers were not aware of what credit unions had to offer. “They didn’t understand credit-unioning,” Tothrow said. The credit union also was careful how it used the term “membership” so that it didn’t alienate any consumers. “Membership implies exclusivity,” Tothrow said. Charlotte Metro recently opened a fifth brand in West Charlotte, and hopes to expand to another location in South Charlotte next year. It also has plans for a new headquarters building. “We’re running out of room for staff,” he said. “We have new hires planned for 2009.”

2008 ELLy award winners announced

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (12/17/08)--Exceptional credit union trainers and training programs were honored during an awards presentation at the 2008 Experience Learning Live (ELL) conference Oct. 26-29 in Tempe, Ariz.
Click to view larger imageThe Organizational Development Department of First CU, Chandler, Ariz., received the Training Professional of the Year Award at the 2008 Experience Learning Live conference. From left are: Kara Kirschner-Brooks, Lisa Krogstad, Lori Gallegos, Christina Adams, Heidi Kim, Patti Spino and Geary O’Donnell. (Photo provided by the Credit Union National Association)
The ELLys are the only national awards presented to credit union trainers who do outstanding things in the area of professional staff development. First place awards and awards of merit were presented in the following categories: Coach Award--Recognizes a trainer who has changed a person’s career and life through education, mentoring, and coaching.
* First Place (small credit union category): Michelle Greear, Technology CU, San Jose, Calif.; and * First Place: Roberta Smith, Missoula (Mont.) FCU.
Training Professional of the Year Award--Honors exceptional achievements in performance and learning by a credit union training professional or department.
* First Place: Organizational Development Department, First CU, Chandler, Ariz.; and * Award of Merit: Learning and Development, Affinity Plus FCU, St. Paul, Minn.
WOW! Award--Recognizes a credit union with the best overall training curriculum or event that energizes, empowers and excites participants.
* First Place (small credit union): O Bee and WSECU Chix, O Bee CU. Tumwater, Wash.; * First Place: Training Department, A+ FCU, Austin, Texas; * First Place: Denise Romanelli, Sun East FCU, Aston, Pa.; * Award of Merit (small credit union): Human Resources, Neches FCU, Port Neches, Texas; * Training Department, Award of Merit: Texas Dow Employees CU, Lake Jackson, Texas; and * Amanda Swartz, Award of Merit: Christian Community CU, San Dimas, Calif.
Training Champion Award--Singles out senior management staff in a credit union that go beyond the call of duty to support and develop the training in his or her credit union.
* First Place: Lori Gallegos, First CU, Chandler, Ariz.; * Award of Merit: Tammy Davis, The Golden 1 CU, Sacramento, Calif.; and * Award of Merit: Larry Keller, Apple FCU, Fairfax, Va.
Chi Phi Delta X II Award--This award represents the best development of a Credit Union University, and its effect on staff learning and performance, using the Credit Union National Association’s Center for Professional Development products as the foundation.
* Award of Merit: Training and Development Department, Apple FCU, Fairfax, Va.; and * Award of Merit: Tina Hall and Justin Martin, Verity CU, Seattle.
eLearning Award--Winners had to demonstrate how technology-based training was incorporated into, and enhanced credit union training programs.
* Award of Merit: Consumers Employee University, Consumers CU, Round Lake Beach, Ill.; and * Award of Merit: Training and Development Department, Apple FCU in Fairfax, Va.
Three CPD Energizer Awards were presented during the conference. The awards recognize credit unions with innovative training programs that support CUNA’s Center for Professional Development training products and its mission of helping individuals reach their personal and professional potential. Winners include:
* Small Market: Latino Community CU, Durham, N.C. * Medium Market: AEA FCU, Yuma, Ariz.; and * Major Market: Suncoast Schools FCU, Tampa, Fla.