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CU System Archive

CU System

Snow storm closes CUNAs Madison office

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MADISON, Wis. (12/9/09)--Due to severe weather conditions in Wisconsin Tuesday and today, the Madison, Wis. offices of the Credit Union National Association's will be closed today. CUNA's Washington, D.C. offices remain open. News Now will provide a weather update in its regular edition Thursday.

Hampel to media Consumer holiday spending OK

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MADISON, Wis. (12/9/09)--News-Journal Online mentioned a Credit Union National Association (CUNA) economist’s comments on consumer holiday shopping being decent this year, and also cited the CUNA/Consumer Federation of America holiday shopping survey. “Consumers are telling us they will not cut back as much on spending as last year, but more so than in previous years,” Hampel said in a prepared comments about the survey that the publication picked up. “The survey also found that consumer concerns--at least where paying debts is concerned--is easing somewhat,” the Journal said. “Many Americans say they remained concerned about their financial condition, but it is good news that fewer people are concerned about meeting monthly debt payments this year than last,” Stephen Brobeck, consumer federation executive director, told the Journal. To read the article, use the link.

CU System briefs (12/08/2009)

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* BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (12/9/09)--OMNI Community CU, Battle Creek, Mich., is returning a dividend of $750,000 to its membership. Qualifying members will receive an extra 0.22% back on their 2009 average yearly loan and account balances (Michigan Monitor Dec. 7). Qualifying loans include auto loans, credit cards, home equity loans, mortgages, savings account, money market accounts, checking accounts, certificates of deposit and non-investment individual retirement account balances. Members also can visit www.omnicashback.com to calculate their rebate. OMNI has given back more than $1.4 million to its members through dividends ... * MIAMI LAKES, Fla. (12/9/09)--The Puerto Rico branch of JetStream FCU has partnered with Iniciativa Comunitaria de Investigacion Inc. to provide free AIDS testing for local residents. The event will take place Dec. 16 at the Puerto Rico branch. More than 26 of 100,000 people in Puerto Rice have AIDS--nearly double that of the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. Employees at the credit union also recently wore red clothing to support International Combat AIDS Day. JetStream FCU has more than $122 million in assets ... * FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (12/9/09)--Huey May, director and immediate past chairman of City CU in Dallas, died Nov. 29. “May’s dedication and commitment to the credit union spirit was irreplaceable,” said the Texas Credit Union League (LoneStar Leaguer Dec. 8). Funeral services will take place Thursday ... * HARRISBURG, Pa. (12/9/09)--Kathy Cropper, 55, former manager of A&S CU, Aliquippa, Pa., died Dec. 5 after battling a lengthy illness (Life is a Highway Dec. 8). Cropper would have been 56 on Dec. 31 ...

Tenn. CU gives back 1 million to members

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CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (12/9/09)--A Tennessee credit union will be giving $1 million in patronage dividends back to its members this year. The $334.2 million asset, Clarksville, Tenn.-based Fort Campbell FCU’s more than 36,600 members will see the patronage dividend deposited into their share savings accounts this week, the credit union said (The Leaf-Chronicle Dec.8). “We have given over $6 million back to members of the credit union over the past five years alone and we're so proud to be able to continue this tradition,” said Stewart Ramsey, Fort Campbell president/CEO, in a prepared statement. The amount that each member will receive is based on length of membership and number of services used, including checking, loans and online banking. “Credit unions are unique in the financial services industry in that they are cooperatives and therefore members directly benefit when the credit union has a successful year,” Ramsey told the paper. “Without stockholders to pay, Fort Campbell FCU is able to return those savings to members. “We are committed to investing in our community and giving back to our members, because the credit union was started here in 1954 and our members and employees call this home,” Ramsey concluded.

Filene announces two partnerships to help CUs

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MADISON, Wis. (12/9/09)--The Filene Research Institute announced two new partnerships to help credit unions move from think to do, from ideas to actions, which Filene said builds on its history of young-adult and innovation research. Filene is partnering with:
* Matt Davis, a former executive at Members CU in Winston-Salem, N.C, who will advise and help credit unions implement i3 innovation plans; and * Brent Dixon, a leading designer and credit union innovator, who will advise and help credit unions launch young-adult product and outreach strategies.
“Filene refuses to retrench,” said George Hofheimer, Filene chief research officer. “We’re investing in innovation during this downturn. We think there are unique opportunities to help credit unions right now.” Davis will help credit unions implement ideas from Filene’s innovation and i3 catalog. He has been at the center of credit union innovation since 2004. Projects such as What are you saving for? and Football Pick’em have earned Davis international recognition, including features in Fast Company, Yahoo! Finance, Bankrate.com and credit union publications. Davis’ innovation portfolio will focus on helping credit unions help their members:
* Build wealth; * Navigate financial waters; * Meet life’s milestones; * Make community connections; and * Borrow responsibly.
“The Filene Research Institute’s i3 program has developed a significant portfolio of financial services innovations over the years,” Davis said. “My goal is to help as many credit unions as possible deliver these programs to their memberships.” Dixon will help credit unions customize and build products and programs to attract young-adult members, employees and volunteers. Dixon is the founder of The Haberdashery, a creative studio based in New York City. He spent five years as creative director of Trabian, an Indianapolis-based interactive agency. He has worked with dozens of credit unions and with credit union organizations, such as the Credit Union Executive Society and the National Credit Union Foundation. Dixon’s young-adult portfolio will build on Filene research to help credit unions attract young adults. Dixon will help credit unions develop:
* Social media and online advertising campaigns; * Young-adult-oriented transaction and credit products; * Improved physical and e-delivery of products; and * Initiatives that recognize changing financial behavior and decision-making models.
“Young adults and credit unions are two groups that desperately need each other right now, yet have the darndest time looking each other in the eyes,” Dixon said. “I am floored about the opportunity to help credit unions bridge that gap.”

Czech Republic CUs membership grows to 44000

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CZECH REPUBLIC (12/9/09)--The number of Czech Republic credit union members grew by 8,000 to 44,000 in the first three quarters of 2009, according to recently released statistics. Roughly 11,000 joined credit unions, while 3,000 ended their memberships, according to Czech National Bank statistics (CTK Business News Dec. 4). Assets of 17 credit unions in the country also rose to roughly $95.7 million from $37.5 million. Deposits at the credit unions have grown steadily since 2002. “Credit unions are now a legitimate and firm part of the Czech financial market,” the newspaper added.

Citing economy Elevations CU to close branch Jan. 30

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BOULDER, Colo. (12/9/09)--Elevations CU, Boulder, Colo., announced that it will close its Erie branch on Jan. 30 and eliminate 13 staff positions. The changes will result in an annual savings of $1.2 million, the credit union said in a press release. Employees working at the Erie branch will be transitioned to other open positions within the credit union. The branch opened in September 2008. “The branch in Erie was the first time we had entered into an emerging and undeveloped market,” said Gerry Agnes, president/CEO. “In the initial analysis, there was a significant projected increase in the number of households within the market area, in addition to large retail developments that were planned for this area. “The projected growth and economic assumptions simply did not materialize, and we do not foresee the market conditions changing substantially over the next several years,” he added. Elevations has eight other branches that serve Boulder and Broomfield counties. The credit union opened two branches in 2008--serving Broomfield/Westminster and Longmont, Colo. “Both are doing well with no changes planned,” the credit union said. “The difference was that these two branches were opened in established market areas with an adequate number of households and businesses nearby.” Members affected by the Erie closing can use shared branching, the CO-OP ATM network and online banking to meet their banking needs, Elevations added. Elevations CU has $920 million in assets.

CUNA Brokerage Services helps sick children

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ATLANTA (12/9/09)--Members of CUNA Brokerage Services’ Senior Advisor Leadership Team recently met in Atlanta to help sick children as part of the team’s Give Back Program. Give Back allows team members to give back to communities and families in need. Fifteen team members traveled across the country to meet in Atlanta for the event.
Click to view larger image CUNA Brokerage Services volunteers recently visited a children’s hospital in Atlanta as a part of the team’s Give Back program. Pictured are, from left, Stewart Conover, Cornerstone Community CU, Lockport, N.Y., and Greg Rhodes, Valley First CU, Modesto, Calif. (Photo provided by CUNA Brokerage Services)
Stewart Conover, financial adviser and event organizer, said the experience was life-changing. “We spend every day helping individuals plan and prepare for their financial future, while many of these kids are fighting to have a future,” he said. During their trip to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Pediatric Hospital, team members played games, sang songs, and worked on craft projects with patients and their parents as a part of Camp Children’s, a program that allows corporate groups to interact with young patients. “Having community members come in and provide this kind of outlet for patients is great,” said Stephanie Oprea, special events coordinator at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “It allows the kids to be kids, rather than just hospital patients. These are kids who want to draw pictures and sing songs and do all the things they would do if not in the hospital.” Oprea said the children who participated in Camp Children’s with the CUNA Brokerage Services volunteers are suffering from life-threatening diseases or chronic illnesses. CUNA Brokerage Services also donated money to Camp Children’s.