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CU System Archive

CU System

Cordray to Texas CUs: Much to Admire in CU Model

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FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (12/18/13)--Saying "there is much to admire in the credit union not-for-profit model," Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray met with a group of Texas credit union leaders last week, according to the Cornerstone Credit Union League.
 
Cordray said he wanted to hear concerns Texas credit unions have about the CFPB, and noted several times that the comments he heard were "fair."
 
Among the issues discussed were the new CFPB qualified mortgage rules; the new remittance rules; concerns about overregulation; the perception that CFPB lacks appreciation for the credit union "difference," especially considering credit unions did not contribute to the financial crisis; and concerns about upcoming CFPB overdraft regulations, said the Cornerstone Credit Union League (The Advocate Dec. 18).
 
During the discussion of the remittance rule, Cordray asked for a show of hands by credit unions that had discontinued offering remittances in response to new regulations. Most audience members raised their hands. Cordray then asked how many remittances, on average, each credit union previously had annually processed. The number ranged from a few hundred to a thousand per year. Cordray said he was not aware that the regulation had created such a dramatic impact.
 
In addressing the qualified mortgage rules set to take effect Jan. 10, Cordray said that in the early months examiners are will not look for perfection, but rather a good faith effort by financial institutions.
 
One audience member suggested that while finding a good faith effort may be the CFPB's goal, the reality in the field when examiners visit credit unions may be different. Cordray said he had discussed the issue with National Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz, who agreed with the CFPB's approach. If credit unions have a different experience, he suggested they take the matter to their league, which could intercede with CFPB on their behalf.
 
One participant asked if the CFPB could consider not only a financial institution's asset size, but also the not-for-profit structure of credit unions in the rulemaking process. Cordray said it was not within CFPB's power to treat credit unions differently in rulemaking, since the agency was created to regulate markets as a whole and on an even-handed basis.

CU System Briefs (12/19/2013)

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  • FEDERAL WAY, Wash. (12/19/13)--The Northwest Credit Union Association has set Feb. 6 as its Credit Union Day in the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., where Washington's credit union advocates will "hike the hill" in small groups to share the credit union story with state lawmakers. "Our goal is to have every legislator--there are 147 of them--meet with a credit union representative in their district," said Mark Minickiello, NWCUA's vice president for legislative affairs (Anthem Dec. 17). The free event starts at 10 a.m. and will finish at 4 p.m. "Credit Union Day is a great way to educate our state legislature about credit unions and how the bills they'll be working on could impact service to members," Minickiello added ...
  • COLUMBIA, Mo. (12/19/13)--A St. Louis man on parole for second-degree murder was sentenced to 28 years in prison for holdups at two credit unions in Columbia, Mo. Hillary Miller, 41, pleaded guilty to robbery of Academic Employees CU in June 2012 and Columbia Municipal CU in July of 2012. He was sentenced to 14 years for each robbery.  At the time of the robberies, Miller was on parole from a 30-year sentence for second-degree murder, robbery and armed  criminal action at the time of the robberies (Associated Press Newswires Dec. 17) ...
  • PORTLAND, Maine (12/19/13)--Brianne Mone, 27, of Dover, N.H., pleaded guilty Dec. 12 in a Portland, Maine, U.S. District Court to participating in credit union and bank robberies in New Hampshire and Maine (New Hampshire Union Leader Dec. 13). Mone allegedly served as the getaway vehicle driver for the Oct. 26 robbery of the Sanford, Maine, branch of Biddeford-based Ocean Communities FCU and an Aug.  21 robbery of a Citizens Bank branch in Somersworth, N.H.  Daniel Barry, 38, of Pembroke, N.H., and Marvin Eugene Ansteth Jr., 40, of Somersworth, N.H., also were arrested for the credit union robbery and a robbery of Kennebunk Savings Bank (ExeterPatch.com Nov. 20) ...
  • ELMIRA, N.Y. (12/19/13)--For the sixth year, the Small Business Administration has named Corning (N.Y.) CU as the top lender among small community lenders in the Southern Tier.  The $1 billion asset Corning had the highest approved SBA 7(a) loan rate in its category, with $1.9 million in approved loans--an increase of 39.6% from 2012. "Small business owners are the engine that drives our local economy, and since 2006, CCU has helped to provide our business members with access to the capital they need," said Ted Goldwyn, Corning's director of business services, in an announcement on Corning's website. "Everyone benefits when we can take steps to support the growth and success of the community we serve" ...

Nebraska CUs' Mortgage Loans Up 7.7% in 3Q

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OMAHA, Neb. (12/19/13)--A 7.7% surge in first mortgages led Nebraska credit unions to the highest level of growth in that category since the recession, according to the Nebraska Credit Union League.
 
The league's analysis of data from the National Credit Union Administration found that credit unions added $53.5 million in first mortgages through the third quarter, resulting in a total of $752.6 million in first mortgages and a 7.7% annual growth rate.
 
The level of overall loans outstanding reached $2.41 billion.
 
Also, the number of members that have auto loans at their credit unions rose 33 basis points, or 21.2% annually, for the third quarter. That penetration is higher than the national credit union average of 16.5%.
 
Credit union shares rose to $3.17 billion--a 4.1% increase compared with a year ago. Nebraska credit unions showed positive annual growth in all core deposit categories, said the league.
 
Membership at Nebraska credit unions reached 452,798 with a 2.1% growth rate that is on par with the national average.

Northwest CUs' 3Q Loan Growth More Than Banks

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BEAVERTON, Ore., and SEATAC, Wash. (12/19/13)--Credit unions in Oregon and Washington posted higher loan and asset growth than the region's banks, according to an analysis of third-quarter numbers from the National Credit Union Administration.
 
"Northwest credit unions continued to post strong growth in the third quarter," said Dan Hein, vice president of finance at the Northwest Credit Union Association (Anthem Dec. 17).  
 
Buoyed by autos loans and first mortgages, loans grew by 2.48% at Northwest credit unions, compared with 0.95% at banks.
 
Credit unions and banks both saw an increase in assets: Credit unions grew 1.4% to $52.4 billion, and banks had 1% growth to $87 billion.
 
Delinquent loans continued to decline for Northwest financial institutions overall. Credit union delinquency ratios of 68 basis points remain well below that of banks' 158 basis points.
 
Other states with notable third-quarter growth include Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, and Cornerstone Credit Union League's members--Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas (News Now Dec. 17).

Missouri's First #TweetUpTuesday Deemed 'Smashing Success'

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (12/19/13)--A credit union professional "TweetUp" in St. Louis, Mo., was hailed as "a smashing success" by the Missouri Credit Union Association.
 
Missouri credit union professionals met at a restaurant in St. Louis on Dec. 10 to discuss social media strategy at the first "#TweetUpTuesday"--organized by Vantage CU Social Media Manager Kenny DeShields. (Photo provided by Missouri Credit Union Association)
Employees from eight credit unions--Anheuser-Busch Employees' CU, American Eagle CU, Vantage CU, Alliance CU, Arsenal CU, West Community CU, Scott CU and Purina CU--met at a restaurant on Dec. 10 to discuss holiday content and social media strategies (The Missouri Difference Dec. 18).
 
Discussions focused on the optimal time for social media posts, outreach to fans and encouraging employees to become social media advocates. Participants also discussed sources for social media strategy analysis, including a blog maintained by internet marketing consultant Jon Loomer.
 
The next "#TweetUpTuesday" will be held on Jan. 14 at the Blue Sky Tower Grill in St. Louis. The group is slated to discuss content calendars and best practices for both finding and scheduling updates.
 
Kenny DeShields, social media manager for the Bridgeton, Mo.-based Vantage CU initially proposed the idea to hold "TweetUpTuesdays" to foster collaboration (News Now Dec. 10).
 
"Tweetups are a great way for like-minded individuals to gather and share ideas on everything ranging from business to everyday life," said DeShields.

PSCU Magic Minute Yields Huge Haul for Members, Charity

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (12/19/13)--Ten minutes: that's how long it took 10 members of PSCU member-owner credit unions to reap nearly $100,000 worth of high-end goods in a Chicago warehouse--their prize for winning the Credit Union Magic Minute Loyalty Sweepstakes.

In a related contest for a "Best Credit Union Magic Moment" video, employees from St. Petersburg, Fla.-based PSCU, the sweepstakes sponsor, and Oak Ridge, Tenn.-based ORNL FCU, grabbed another $20,000 in goods such as flat screens, tools, PlayStations, iMacs, home appliances and toys to donate to their community charities.

Winners of the Magic Minute Loyalty Sweepstakes received an all-expense paid trip to Chicago, a stay at the historic Palmer House downtown, and a place at the starting line in the loyalty dash Dec. 5. Their objective: push an oversized shopping cart through the warehouse and load as much as possible in 60 seconds.

PSCU created the sweepstakes as a way to give its member-owner credit unions a no-cost opportunity to reward members. As sponsor, the credit union service organization provided digital and print marketing and public relations to help credit unions create awareness about the sweepstakes with their members and communities.

Names of members who registered their contact information on their credit union's CURewards loyalty program website and used their credit union's credit or debit cards at least twice a week during the eligibility period were automatically entered in eight weekly drawings.

"The Magic Minute represents the soul of the credit union/member relationship, the feeling that good things happen to good people when they have mutual trust and loyalty," said Suzanne LaProva, PSCU vice president of product development. "This is why credit unions exist, to help their members prosper. And loyalty is a two-way street. Credit unions give back to the loyal members who support them."

PSCU plans to make the Magic Minute Loyalty Sweepstakes an annual event.

PCUA Foundation OKs $36K in Grants

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (12/19/13)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation board approved eight grants valued at $36,034 in its latest board meeting, held Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association said.
 
The board also approved its 2014 budget, which includes $242,200 in revenues; $92,200 in operating expenses; and $150,000 in non-operating expenses (Life is a Highway Dec. 18)
 
Board Chairman Michael Kaczenski welcomed Patrick Conway, new president/CEO of PCUA, as an ex-officio to the foundation board.
 
"The credit union philosophy and social mission of the movement were key attractions to my joining PCUA," said Conway. "As this was my first foundation board meeting, I was truly impressed with the dedication of the board and the great work the foundation does to promote financial literacy and help the underserved."
 
In other actions, the board:
  • Acknowledged 2013 contributions from PCUA ($5,000), Pacul Services Inc. ($5,000), and Pennsylvania Credit Union Service Centers ($1,000);
  • Agreed to hold a strategic planning session on fundraising and other related issues in 2014; and
  • Received details on a PCUA team's recent visit to Haiti to evaluate the capacity of credit unions to assist the Haitian people.