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CU System Archive

CU System

Staatz Dzuris elected to CUNA Board

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MADISON, Wis. (12/23/08)--Rod Staatz, president/CEO of State Employees CU of Maryland, Linthicum, Md., and Pete Dzuris, CEO of Northland Area FCU, Oscoda, Mich., have been elected to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Board of Directors. Staatz will represent District 2, Class C credit unions. His opponent was Ron Collier, CEO of Indiana Members CU, Indianapolis. Dzuris will represent District 4, Class B credit unions. He ran against Bohdan Watral, president/CEO of Selfreliance Ukrainian American FCU, Chicago. The new board members will take office Feb. 27 for three-year terms to expire at the adjournment of the 2012 CUNA Annual General Meeting.

IAmerican BankerI notes CUs push for mortgages

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NEW YORK (12/23/08)--The American Banker reported that small to midsize credit unions and banks are pushing to boost their share of the mortgage market by taking applications online and training more staff to take applications at local branches during the economic downturn. Mark Wilburn, chief lending officer at 66 FCU, a $470 million asset credit union in Bartlesville, Okla., told the newspaper the credit union offers an online mortgage program because 70% of its members live more than 20 miles from any of its four branches (American Banker Dec. 22). He noted credit unions are making a big push into mortgages and now have 4.5% of the market, compared with 2% five years ago. This year, 66 FCU expects to originate $140 million in mortgages. Currently, it services under $500 million in loans, with another $125 million in its held-for-investment portfolio. 66 FCU installed several computers in the lounge area of its main branch, so potential borrowers could fill out applications there. Its completion rate is 50%--about 20% of the applications are denied and another 30% don’t make it to the closing stage.

CU System briefs (12/22/2008)

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* LIVONIA, Mich. (12/23/08)--Co-op Services CU has joined a consortium of more than 1,200 Midwest credit unions participating in the “Invest in America” campaign, a program offering cash discounts for credit union members from both Chrysler and General Motors as well as affordable financing on new vehicle purchases. The program includes all members in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Members will receive the GM Supplier Discount plus $250 cash on most new GM vehicles through Jan. 5. Chrysler’s program, “Credit Union Member Cash,” which runs through June 30, and offers rebates of $500 or $1,000 on eligible, Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles. The Credit Union Member Cash rebates are also available in Oklahoma, Texas, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, New Mexico and Mississippi … * BILLINGS, Mont. (12/23/08)—Two Montana-based credit unions plan to merge, pending state and federal regulator approval (Billings Gazette Dec. 11). If approved, the $58 million asset Summit CU of Billings, which is under new management after writing off $2.7 million in loans through September, would merge with the $135 million asset Avanta FCU, also located in Billings.(Billings Gazette Dec. 14). Avanta FCU President/CEO Rhonda Diefenderfer said the merger would lower expenses and enable the credit unions to offer diverse products and services. The remaining entity would keep the Avanta name … * HAVERHILL, Mass. (12/23/08)—The CEOs of Northeast Community CU and Haverhill Bank met Dec. 15 to sign documents sealing the merger of the credit union and the community bank (The Eagle-Tribune Dec. 18). CU Treasurer/CEO Peter DiBenedetto and bank President Thomas Faulkner met in Boston to officially complete the merger. All former credit union offices are operating under the Haverhill name. All branches will be closed on Jan. 10 to merge the two institutions’ computer files. The resulting bank will have roughly $260 million in assets … * CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (12/23/08)--Fort Campbell FCU, Clarksville, Tenn., announced that it will distribute a $1.5 million patronage dividend to its members (The Leaf-Chronicle Dec. 17). The credit union has distributed dividends totaling $5 million the past four years. Members will receive their share of the dividend based on the number of services each has and the amount of interest they pay on consumer loans. Fort Campbell FCU has $278.6 million in assets ... * ATLANTA (12/23/08)--CDC FCU, Atlanta, announced its participation in the “Buy and Build” mortgage program, which is a 203(k) streamline loan through the Federal Housing Administration. Homebuyers can finance up to an additional $30,000 on their mortgage to improve or upgrade their home before moving in. The product allows homebuyers to use the funds to pay for property repairs or improvements. Once the loan is written, homeowners have 90 days to complete the work. The loan has a low fixed rate for 30 years and the owner can put down a 3% down payment. CDC FCU has $163 million in assets ...

New Jersey league elects board officers (12/22/2008)

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HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (12/23/08)--The New Jersey Credit Union League elected its board of directors for 2009 Dec. 15 with 56% of credit unions voting. All nine seats were up for election, the league said. This also was the first year credit unions could vote through the Internet (Weekly Exchange Dec. 15). The 2009 board for Tier A (credit unions under $25 million in assets) includes:
* Christina Olender, president/CEO, Parlin Dupont Employees FCU, Parlin, three-year term; * Tracy Sussman, president/CEO, Mid-State FCU, Carteret, two-year term; and * Calvin Jackson, manager, St. James AME FCU, Newark, one-year term.
Directors for Tier B (more than $25 million in assets) include:
* Shawn Gilfedder, president/CEO, McGraw-Hill Employees FCU, Hightstown, three-year term; * Lou Vetere, president/CEO, Garden Savings FCU, Parsippany, two-year term; and * Mike Reilly, president/CEO, Central Jersey FCU, Woodbridge, one-year term.
Tier C (at-large) directors include:
* Raymond Del Nero, president/CEO, Merck Employees FCU, Rahway, three-year term; * Leo Ardine, president/CEO, United Teletech Financial FCU, Red Bank, two-year term; * Steve Schlundt, president/CEO, Atlantic City Firemen’s FCU, Northfield, one-year term; and * Bob Steeves, president/CEO, Essex County Teachers FCU, one-year term.
Steeves and Schlundt are tied and that seat has yet to be decided, the league said.

Montana CUs offer alternatives to payday loans

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BILLINGS, Mont. (12/23/08)--Montana credit unions are teaming up to offer payday alternative loans to the state’s consumers, the Montana Billings-Gazette reported Monday. The Montana Credit Union Network recently partnered with Rural Dynamics Inc. to create Montana Credit Unions for Community Development. The program was designed to help low-wealth and underserved residents, said Tracie Kenyon, president/CEO of the network. Nine credit unions in the state offer the service and each credit union can create its own guidelines. Missoula FCU is offering 30-day loans up to $500 with a 12% interest rate. Application fees are $10. Park Side FCU, Whitefish, created a program that requires participants to take a financial stability class so they can open checking accounts and receive low-interest loans up to $300. Credit unions aren’t looking to profit from the loans, Kenyon said. They hope that the members using the payday loan alternatives will use other services as well. Many don’t realize that there are alternatives to payday loans. Credit unions need to help their members and consumers fill those needs, she added. Montana is seeking a 36% cap on the interest payday lenders charge, the newspaper said. Ninety percent of payday lending revenues are from fees charged to borrowers, according to the Center for Responsible Lending, the newspaper noted.

Texas Sunset Commission votes to continue TCUD

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FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (12/23/08)—The Texas Sunset Commission unanimously voted in favor of continuing the Texas Credit Union Department’s (TCUD) operations for 12 years during a final hearing on the issue last week. Commission members also voted in favor of an amendment, proposed by Rep. Dan Flynn and backed by the Texas Credit Union League, addressing two key league concerns: monetary fines and joint 990 filings (LoneStar Leaguer Dec. 17). The amendment strikes language that would have allowed TCUD to level monetary administrative penalties on credit unions. It also strikes language that would have removed TCUD’s authority to file joint 990s in the future. The commission also made a minor adjustment regarding providing member access to various types of credit union financial information at annual meetings. There was no dissent from the Sunset committee staff during the decision process, said TCUL.

IUSA TodayI Small FIs see more deposits from banks

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NEW YORK (12/23/08)--Credit unions are mentioned favorably in a USA Today article about smaller financial institutions receiving deposit inflows stemming from the problems of the nation’s larger banks. The nationwide newspaper reported that “as the top tier of the financial services industry faltered, small and regional banks, as well as credit unions, started seeing their cash deposits rise dramatically as nervous Americans shied away from big banks. And despite rampant headlines about a credit freeze and plunging housing market, they have even been writing more home loans this year than last year” (USA Today Dec. 22). Sebrina Verburgt, senior vice president of operations at United Heritage CU, Austin, Texas, told the newspaper that new members bearing cash are streaming into the $552 million asset credit union’s 11 branches. The deposits are from accounts at larger banks. In September, the credit union’s new checking accounts increased 52% from a year earlier. They also grew 35% in July and 43% in August. Verburgt, who said the increases were unprecedented, noted the account with the most growth offers an annual yield of 5.01%, compared with the nationwide average of 0.22% on bank checking accounts. USA Today also interviewed a United Heritage CU member, Clay Strange of Lakeway, Texas, who moved $20,000 into United Heritage from his money market account at Charles Schwab after reading that some money market funds were unstable. He told the newspaper he wanted his money in something that was “clearly insured.” The newspaper also interviewed Mina Worthington, CEO of Yakima Valley CU, a $240.9 million asset credit union based in Yakima, Wash. The credit union took in 433 new members in September, a 57% increase from a year earlier. It added 416 new members in October, a 22% increase. The balances on these accounts are higher, on average, she said. Washington is headquarters of Washington Mutual Bank, which became the largest bank failure in U.S. history. For the entire article, use the resource link.

Indiana leagueservicecorp take steps to help CUs

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INDIANAPOLIS (12/23/08)--The Indiana Credit Union League and its service corporation subsidiary are helping affiliated credit unions benefit financially and assisting with membership growth strategies. “Credit unions are working hard to deal with the impact of the economic downturn, while also seizing the opportunity for membership growth presented by the current financial services environment that consumers face,” said league President John McKenzie. “We have taken a number of extra steps to help Indiana’s credit unions meet financial challenges and pursue growth opportunities.” The league has:
* Announced a 2009 dues rebate of $93,570. “We are in a position, because of prior years’ successes, to operate next year at a deficit and provide a rebate to affiliated credit unions,” McKenzie said; * Launched a statewide advertising campaign titled “You Belong Here.” The campaign includes 129 billboards, 2,767 radio spots on 27 stations, and 1,195 spots on 16 network and seven cable TV stations; * Authorized financial assistance to help affiliates attend the Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). Assistance will cover costs for 16 attendees, and one of the 16 scholarships will be funded by Indiana Members CU, Indianapolis; * Provided $1.5 million in incentives as part of a contract extension process for clients in the league’s Credit Union Card Center. The extensions included an aggregate reduced pricing of $400,000 for the group; and * Refunded excess premiums for CUCare group health insurance to credit unions--totaling $1.785 million. Another $1.5 million also will be refunded next year.
For more information about You Belong Here, use the link.

Louisiana CUs 3Q results strong

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HARAHAN, La. (12/23/08)--Louisiana credit unions experienced a 1% increase in assets in the third quarter--to $7.21 billion from $7.14 in June, the Louisiana Credit Union League said. Louisiana credit unions’ asset growth ratio is 9.86%, down from 12.46% in June. Net worth is 13.23%, up from 13.16% in June and higher than the national ratio of 11.18%. The statistics indicate the state’s credit unions are in a better position to ride out the economy, the league said. The total number of Louisiana credit unions is 234, down from 237 last year. The number of credit union branches increased by 1.6% to 433 as of June. Membership increased 0.8% in September to 1,139,995 members. Year-to-date membership growth is 2.08%, compared with 1.53% nationally. Other state-level results:
* Credit union loan growth is 7.25%, up from 5.71% in June; * Total loans increased to $4.46 billion from $4.35 billion; * Real estate loans increased 3.1% from June; * Delinquent real estate loans increased 18.3% from June 2008; * Net charge-offs are up 16% compared with last year; and * Louisiana credit unions’ yield on loans is 7.28%, compared with 6.60% nationally.
“In light of the current economic conditions and the future uncertainty, credit unions are being advised just to stay the course,” the league said.