Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

CU System Archive

CU System

CU System briefs (02/10/2012)

 Permanent link
  • FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (2/13/12)--The Texas Credit Union League (TCUL) is accepting nominations for the Texas Credit Union Hall of Fame through Feb. 24 (LoneStar Leaguer Feb. 10). Initiated in 1998, the hall of fame honors those in the Texas credit union movement who reflect a rich history of service. Nominees for the award are selected for their records of achievement within their own credit union and for achievements that have benefited other credit unions. Recipients are inducted into the hall because they have been key players in organizing and running credit unions. Also, they have contributed to other credit unions through service to the chapters, TCUL and in some cases, the Credit Union National Association. The individuals chosen will be recognized at TCUL's upcoming Annual Meeting & Expo, April 18-20 in Galveston. A nomination form is available online ...
  • WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (2/13/12)--Kimberly V. Brown, 35, a former Robins FCU employee, Thursday was sentenced to a three-prison term for stealing people's identities to apply for loans and credit cards (Macon Telegraph Feb. 10). Brown pleaded guilty to aggravated identity fraud and identity theft. She must pay $76,000 in restitution according to her attorney, Floyd Buford. Beginning in October 2007 and continuing through March 2008, Brown allegedly applied for three loans and five credit cards using stolen identities and false information. Using the credit lines provided by the credit cards, Brown allegedly obtained cash advances and kept the money. She also is accused of allegedly pocketing proceeds from the loans, according to the indictment. Robins FCU, based in Warner Robins, Ga., has $1.53 billion in assets ...
  • TOPEKA, Kan. (2/13/12)--A would-be robber was caught by a security guard when he was caught just moments after allegedly holding up Educational CU, Topeka, Kan. In attempting to flee on foot, the man stumbled and fell dislocating and breaking his ankle (Topeka Capital-Journal Feb. 10). He was apprehended about 50 feet from the credit union door. A security guard apprehended him and held him until police officers arrived. The alleged robber's gun was recovered between two cars in the parking lot where he fell. The credit union was also robbed at gunpoint on Dec. 30. No arrests were made in that incident …

Catalyst Corporate announces town hall webinar

 Permanent link
PLANO, Texas (2/13/12)--Catalyst Corporate announced it will host a town hall webinar Feb. 22, following a town hall meeting tour spanning six weeks and as many states.

The webinar and town hall meetings are a follow-up to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) December announcement that Catalyst Corporate in Plano, Texas, was selected to acquire the operations of Western Bridge Corporate FCU in San Dimas, Calif. NCUA's decision led to a plan that provides for a non-disruptive, low-cost transition of Western Bridge member credit unions, said Catalyst Corporate.

Although 556 people from nearly 300 credit unions attended the in-person meetings, Catalyst Corporate executives say that it's important to reach all of Western Bridge Corporate's members to explain Catalyst's future and member value proposition.

"The receptivity at each town hall has been outstanding," said Catalyst Corporate CEO Dianne Addington, following the completion of the corporate's 16th such meeting. "Credit unions have been very engaged and appreciative of the efforts Catalyst is making to ensure they are well informed."

Their reaction underscores how important it is that the Catalyst Corporate message makes its way to all potential members, explained Addington.

"As a career credit union CEO, I am thoroughly convinced that Catalyst is an excellent choice for any credit union, anywhere, of any size," she added. "And this consolidation is the best opportunity Western Bridge Corporate members have for a smooth transition. I believe it's critical that all Western Bridge Corporate members take part in a town hall meeting to ensure they make the right decision for the future of their credit unions."

Not only does Catalyst Corporate encourage executives and volunteers who did not attend an in-person meeting to tune-in for the webinar, it is recommending repeat participation.

"As the planning process unfolds, we learn more details, and we're able to expand on what we've communicated all along," Addington said. "And in many cases, a credit union may have been able to send only one or two representatives to a town hall meeting, but would benefit from having additional staff and volunteers learn what they need to know about the transition as well."

The purpose of the Town Hall meetings is to provide Western Bridge member credit unions with information about the Catalyst Corporate business model, investment requirements, and products and services, and to offer details of the upcoming transition, and provide an opportunity to ask questions.

Addington said that Catalyst Corporate is already exceeding many of the financial measures included in the business plan, such as the coverage ratio, the key measure of efficiency: "Our coverage ratio expectation was high--estimating a ratio of about 82%, compared with an industry average of about 55%; we were delighted when we realized that for the September-December period, Catalyst had achieved 94.1%."

Addington explained that Catalyst's model is designed to be less dependent on member contributed capital over time as a result of strong growth in retained earnings. "Attendees are pleased to learn that Catalyst's membership capital requirement is a one-time occurrence with no future adjustments," she said.

The town hall webinar is scheduled to occur Feb. 22, at 1 p.m. Pacific Time. Interested credit unions can register by visiting the special Western Bridge Member region of the Catalyst Corporate website. Use the link.

Indiana CUs have withstood recession well

 Permanent link
INDIANAPOLIS (2/13/12)--Indiana credit unions have seen increases in membership and deposits during the past five years of the national recession, said the Indiana Credit Union League. The state's increase in membership reflects a national trend.

That good new comes even though at least 25 credit unions have merged or ceased independent operations, the league said (Indianapolis Star Feb. 10).

There currently are 184 credit unions in the state--down from 209 at the end of 2007 when the recession started.

Money deposited in Indiana credit unions is roughly $16.8 billion--a 25% increase from the beginning of the recession, John McKenzie, Indiana league president, told the Star.

Lower costs of credit union operations--relative to banks--because of lower operating costs and conservative management result in up to a $90 million benefit each year for credit union members, McKenzie told the newspaper.

The article also mentioned that Eli Lily FCU in Indianapolis--the third largest credit union in the state with $974 million in assets--has added services and has grown to serve 40,000 members despite Eli Lilly, the sponsoring company, cutting thousands of jobs from its work force.

The credit union added 15 new employees in the past three months, taking the total work force to 126, and expects to add $1 billion in assets by next year, the credit union told the paper.

To read the article, use the link.

NWCUAs public funds bill passes Washington State Senate

 Permanent link
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. (2/13/12)--The Northwest Credit Union Association's (NWCUA's) public funds bill ( SB 5913), which would increase credit unions' capacity to accept public funds deposits--passed the Washington State Senate Thursday by a vote of 43-2, with four excused. The bill now heads to the State House, where a similar public funds bill was passed last week.

SB 5913, "An act relating to increasing the permissible deposit of public funds with credit unions and authorizing the deposit of public funds at federally chartered credit unions," would increase the permissible deposit of public funds with credit unions to the federal deposit insurance limit of $250,000 (NWCUA Anthem Feb. 10).

The bill's passage follows last week's NWCUA Washington Governmental Affairs Conference, which saw roughly 100 credit union advocates from around the state converge in Olympia, Wash., the capital city, with support for the public funds bill as a top priority. Last year's attempt to modernize the public funds law for credit unions hit roadblocks in the Senate, so association lobbyists were awaiting the result of yesterday's vote, NWCUA said. 

"The strong vote in the Senate is the result of a lot of great advocacy by our members over the past year," said Mark Minickiello, NWCUA vice president of legislative affairs. "To top that off, we received several key commitments from senators to help our bill along after credit union advocates came to Olympia last week. I have no doubt that had a significant impact when senators met in caucus before the vote," he added.

The bill will next receive a hearing in the House Business and Financial Services Committee, after which it will need to pass through the Rules Committee before being pulled to the House floor for a vote.

House Bill 1327 passed the Washington State House on Jan. 30 by a vote of 86-10 with two excused, indicating that the Senate's public funds bill should face few if any obstacles in the House, NWCUA said. The Senate version contains some technical language that is missing in the House version.

The bill also allows federally chartered credit unions to become depositories. Current law only allows state-chartered credit unions to act as public depositories.

CalNevada league CU member representation tops 90

 Permanent link
ONTARIO, Calif. (2/13/12)--The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues now represent more than 90% of the more than 10 million credit union members in both states.

Eight new members--those not affiliated in 2010--either rejoined or joined the league in 2011 and 2012. They are:

  • Operating Engineers #3 FCU, Livermore, Calif.
  • Cedar-Sinai FCU, Los Angeles;
  • E-Central CU, Pasadena, Calif.;
  • Pepsi Cola FCU, Buena Park, Calif.;
  • Polam FCU, Los Angeles;
  • Rolling FCU, Turlock, Calif.;
  • Tehachapi (Calif.) FCU, Calif.; and
  • Union Oil Santa Fe Springs Employees FCU, Brea, Calif.
"While there are many benefits we see to being league members, probably the two main reasons are all the educational information now available to our employees, and our support of league representatives who constantly lobby on behalf of credit unions," said Michael Donohue, Operating Engineers #3 FCU CEO, whose credit union rejoined the league.

"We appreciate the widespread participation from credit unions, and we're especially pleased to welcome returning members to the league," said leagues President/CEO Diana Dykstra. "Their renewed affiliation adds to the strength of league membership and speaks well of the value we bring to credit unions in our two states."

The number of associate members--those headquartered out of the state that provide services or have branches locally--has remained steady at 17, according to League Membership Director Traci Miller Olszowy. "It is gratifying to see such strong participation--particularly in advocacy and educational activities--from our member credit unions."

Pa. CU Foundation tops 2M grant milestone

 Permanent link
HARRISBURG, Pa. (2/13/12)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation announced Friday it has--since its inception--topped the $2 million milestone for awarding grants.

During its nearly 16 years in operation, the foundation has regularly funded small credit union development grants. The most recent grant recipient--after approval of a $3,000 grant request-- Philadelphia Mint FCU, with less than $1 million dollars in assets, represents the 454th grant approved by the foundation board.

That also brings the total dollar value of grants awarded by the foundation since its inception to $2 million.

"Normally, such a grant would be used to purchase a computer for a credit union of this size," says foundation Executive Director Joe Wambach. "What is unusual is that the grant will enable the credit union to implement an automatic clearing house  and a bill pay program to increase membership."

Foundation Chairman Ray Brunner lauded the board for its commitment to advancing the credit union motto of people helping people. "The ongoing support for small credit unions and community development projects is consistent with the foundation's mission to serve the underserved," Brunner said.

Jim McCormack, president/CEO of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, also hailed the achievement. "In its 16 years, the foundation has far surpassed its founders' expectations," he noted. "Its work not only strengthens the credit union movement by assisting our smallest credit unions, but also through its role in the areas of financial literacy and disaster relief projects."

Since 1996, the foundation has assisted more than a half million beneficiaries and has raised more than $3 million.

The foundation, a subsidiary of the association, was formed in 1996 to benefit consumers and credit unions. The foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization with a main purpose of providing individuals, credit unions and their communities with the human and financial resources to stimulate socio-economic growth.

N.C. CU employee runs for State House

 Permanent link
GOLDSBORO, N.C. (2/13/12)--John Bell, manager of sales and business development at North Carolina Community FCU, Goldsboro, N.C., announced his candidacy for the North Carolina House of Representatives last week.

John Bell manager of sales and business development at North Carolina Community FCU will compete in the North Carolina House of Representative's 10th District Republican primary in May. Bell (left) fields a question from WITN-TV moments after announcing his run for the North Carolina House. (Photo provided by North Carolina Credit Union League)
Bell will compete in the 10th District Republican primary in May (North Carolina Credit Union League Weekly Update Feb. 10).

Bell cited his experience at the credit union as a key qualification for the District 10 seat. "I see people struggling, looking for jobs, trying to grow their businesses every day," Bell told News Now. "My experience with credit unions, with the Boy Scouts and my background in agriculture, that all helped feed my desire to want to stand up and do make a difference."

"He's an outstanding individual," said North Carolina FCU President/CEO Mark Lesnau. "He has the fire to do whatever he sets his sights on doing, and he will do well for the counties he represents, as well as for North Carolina."

Bell cited three major goals in his campaign: bringing jobs to eastern North Carolina by investing in infrastructure, reducing wasteful spending in education while investing in the community college system, and working across party lines to strengthen eastern North Carolina's voice in Raleigh.

Bell's political career began in 2008 when he managed the campaign of Efton Sager, who at one time served as a volunteer at North Carolina FCU. Sager won his election to the North Carolina House representing the 11th District. Although Bell has been active in Republican Party politics in the years since, this is his first run for elected office.

Portland mayor calls for local investments

 Permanent link
PORTLAND, Ore. (2/13/12)--Portland, Ore., Mayor Sam Adams has introduced a resolution under which the city will re-examine its investment practices and allow more investment in local financial institutions, including credit unions.

"I believe we should do as much business locally as is feasible, as a city and as individuals," Adams told the Northwest Credit Union Association. "I've long had a 'buy local' passion. This isn't to take away from national or international corporations. Responsible banking is one of the reasons I was attracted to and supported Occupy Wall Street."

Portland currently has roughly $7.2 million in accounts with Wells Fargo, which was selected through a public bidding process in 2009. Umpqua Bank, based in Portland, also holds nearly $30 million of the city's funds. The proposal would have the city deposit up to $250,000 in 10 credit unions and community banks this year.

While the Portland recognizes the importance of national banks and the indispensable services they provide, the city also recognizes the value of having a portfolio that includes local investments in community-based institutions," Adams wrote in a blog post.

"In order to better serve these priorities--while still maintaining the stated principal, liquidity, and return goals of the Investment Policy--the city would like to be able to explore potential options for investment in credit unions and community-based banks and to include community investment practices as part of the evaluation criteria for selecting banking services in future contracting opportunities," Adams wrote. "This draft resolution seeks to accomplish those goals."

Current Oregon law only allows local governments to invest up to the limits of the National Credit Union Administration insurance, which is currently at $250,000. This will change in 2013 when Oregon House Bill 3700 takes effect. The bill will allow credit unions to become approved by the state treasurer if they meet the same collateralization requirements as banks.

While current Oregon statute does allow the city of Portland to invest up to $250,000 in local credit unions, the city's investment policy does not. The draft resolution amends the city's investment policy to allow investments up to the $250,000 in credit unions.

Adams was seeking input from the public through Friday.