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CU System Archive

CU System

Aging boomers pose challenges for CUs

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MONTEREY, Calif. (3/20/08)--Baby boomer business is worth attracting and retaining, according to statistics provided to the California-Nevada Credit Union League at its annual Big Valley Educational Conference Wednesday. Heather Thiltgen, vice president of Consumer Segment Programs at CUNA Mutual Group, told that baby boomers are:
* Influential--78.2 million strong as the largest generation in U.S. history; * Rich--$46 trillion in assets, $17 trillion in investable assets, $3 trillion in spending power, $750 billion in discretionary income and $489 billion in annual IRA rollover dollars; and * Profitable--boomers will continue to freely borrow and spend throughout retirement.
“To determine how to approach this consumer segment, it’s important to know how they think, what drives them to make decisions,” said Thiltgen. “Knowing their characteristics will help us develop a successful strategy.” Based on her research, Thiltgen reported that baby boomers:
* Favor simple, customized options; * Are interested in staying young, healthy and active; * List improving their community and the world as top concerns; * Believe experience and convenience are more important than price; * Remain focused on their families, especially grandchildren; and * Are optimistic about the future.
Thiltgen suggested several strategies to attract and retain the baby boomer business:
* Build simple financial products that can be customized to a variety of needs and circumstances; * Help them save for sickness, based on their anticipated higher life expectancy; * Provide ways for them to finance their desire to stay young, such as home gyms, plastic surgery, dental procedures and travel; * Partner with them to improve the planet through increased green messaging, more volunteer programs and working to emphasize collaborative roots and shared values; and * Help their families by providing education savings accounts, home equity loans and credit monitoring.
“There are dozens of ways to provide enhanced products and services to baby boomers,” said Thiltgen. “Customizing those products to meet their needs while respecting their active lifestyles will help attract their business.” Joining Thiltgen was Sherry Reams, vice president of Investment and Insurance Services at Financial Partners CU (FPCU), Downey, Calif. Reams emphasized her credit union’s mission of building lifetime financial partners. “We want to be trusted advisors for the long term, not just product pushers or single service providers,” said Reams, whose credit union serves people who live or work in Orange or Los Angeles counties. “Our aging membership, as well as the aging country, requires us to shift our program emphasis.” Reams said providing complementary retirement road tests, establishing retirement centers in branches and placing greater emphasis on retirement services in marketing materials are just some of the ways FPCU is addressing the baby boomer market.

Three CU pros honored for marketing biz development

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MADISON, Wis. (3/20/08)--Rob Kimmett, Kelley Parks and Sean McDonald were honored for their credit union marketing and business development achievements during the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council Conference held Sunday through Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn. Kimmett, senior vice president of marketing and public relations for the Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island Credit Union Leagues was the 2008 Hall of Fame inductee. The award recognizes excellence in performance for marketing professionals throughout their professional career. For 22 years Kimmett has headed league communication efforts, which include print and electronic publications, media relations, brand strategy, advertising, community giving, and website development. He also assists individual credit unions with their public relations efforts and mentors young credit union marketing professionals. The 2008 Marketing Professional of the Year Award was presented to Parks, vice president of marketing and business development for Call FCU in Richmond, Va. Parks helped create The Office Hero Campaign--a free-spirited marketing campaign to recruit potential select employee groups. In this guerrilla-style campaign, credit union staff dressed as superheroes “flew” into area businesses and radio stations seeking out potential members. Prior to launching, the credit union went through a rebrand that involved defining the organization and creating an image to reflect this. The marketing department exceeded four rebranding goals tied to the business plan for new loans, community involvement, member education and survey ratings. Sean McDonald, director of business development and marketing for Liberty Savings FCU in Jersey City, N.J., was presented with the Business Development Professional of the Year Award. McDonald introduced new financial services and acquired 100 new employer groups for Liberty in two years. He also created an ambassador program and a formal marketing department, and he conducts training and community events to educate others about financial, personal, and professional growth issues.

Members approve 3-way merger create Albertas largest CU

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EDMONTON, Alberta (3/20/08)--Community Savings CU members voted Tuesday night 99% in favor of merging with two other Alberta-based credit unions to create Canada’s first province-wide credit union. The credit union does not yet have a name, but will begin operating Nov. 1 as the third-largest credit union in the country. It will have $9 billion in assets and 92 branches (Canada.com March 19). Tuesday’s vote was the third and final membership vote needed to approve the proposed merger among Community Savings CU, Red Deer; Servus CU, Edmonton; and Common Wealth CU, Lloydminster.

CU System briefs (03/19/2008)

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* SAN ANTONIO, Texas (3/20/08)--Security Service FCU has exceeded the $4 billion mark in loans, the credit union announced. The $4.3 billion asset credit union began with eight members pooling $25 in deposits in 1956 and approved its first loan five months later. Today it offers an array that ranges from auto and mortgage loans to lines of credit and student loans. Security Service is the No. 1 auto lender and fifth-largest mortgage lender in San Antonio, as well as a Preferred Lender with the Small Business Administration. "We are proud of this milestone and look forward to continuing to provide our members the resources to help them realize their financial goals," said President/CEO David Reynolds … * SAN DIMAS, Calif. (3/20/08)--"OnDeck With Dwight Johnston," a weekly podcast produced by Overland Studios and presented by WesCorp FCU, is a bronze winner in the nonprofit and education categories during the 29th Annual Telly Awards. The podcast features WesCorp economic and market research analyst Dwight Johnston offering an eight- to 10-minute summary of the past week's market and financial events, and a look at events scheduled "on deck" for the next week. The series, launched last June, is distributed weekly through iTunes and WesCorp's Internet site. It can also be accessed via telephone (360-526-6307) through PhoneCasting.com. The podcasts complement Johnston's daily commentaries and quarterly and "Breaking News" webcasts. The Tellys showcase the best work of advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators and corporate video departments in the world. (Photo provided by WesCorp FCU) … * RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (3/20/08)--Ron Fong, vice president of state government affairs at the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, will become president/CEO of the California Grocers Association and its educational foundation, effective March 31. His final day with the leagues is March 28. Fong, a former stock broker and college business law instructor, joined the leagues in 1966 and helped build the leagues' advocacy program at the state legislative and regulatory level. As vice president, he oversaw the leagues' Sacramento office and its advocacy program. In his new position, Fong will serve as the association's chief legislative advocate and oversee its government relations, member services, convention and communications program … BURNSVILLE, Minn. (3/20/08)--USA FCU CEO Bill Raker was a speaker at an International Brown Bag Series at University of Minnesota Duluth, where he discussed a recent trip to Cambodia with the World Council of Credit Unions and the Credit Union Foundation of Australia. During the trip he assessed prospective credit unions while trying to foster credit union growth and visited credit unions in two villages near Phnom Penh. "The visit to Cambodia was an eye-opening, life-changing experience," Raker said, noting the trip "illustrated how the power of the credit union 'people helping people' philosophy can take root in even the most remote corners of the world." … *
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CAPITOLA, Calif. (3/20/08)--Bay FCU was recognized as one of California's Best Places to Work with an honorable mention in the medium-sized company category. The program was sponsored by Employers Group, a human resources firm serving California's employers. More than 400 companies were considered. President/CEO Carrie Birkhofer noted that "we focus first on taking good care of our employees, and creating a positive work environment." Pictured here are Bay FCU staffers, from left, front row: Doug Kuepfer, Alicia Flores, Jalene Gladstone and Tonee Picard; and back row, Dana Sales, Diane Lipska, Judy Coleman, President/CEO Carrie Birkhofer, Faye August and Cameron Haste. (Photo provided by Bay FCU) …

Hannaford says its hacked system was compliant

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PORTLAND, Maine (3/20/08)--A grocery retail chain that announced a major data breach earlier this week says its computer systems were compliant with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) data-security standard for encryption. The breach occurred in the system of Hannaford Bros. Co., based in Portland, and resulted in the theft of up to 4.2 million customer debit and credit card numbers from more than 200 stores in New England, New York State, and Florida. The data was accessed illegally from the company's computer systems during the card verification transmission process in transaction, said Hannaford President/CEO Ronald C. Hodge, in announcing the breach on the company's website (News Now 3/18/08). In an interview with Digital Transactions News (March 18), Hannaford Vice President of Marketing Carol Eleazer told the publication that Hannaford was certified as PCI-compliant last spring and it was recertified in February. PCI standards require encryption of data that are in transit. Older payment-processing technology can leave wireless data exposed to interception for a fraction of a second during authorizations. Eleazer said Hannaford used data encryption all of last year and had upgraded its wireless encryption in 2007. She would not comment about whether insiders or vendors may be involved in the theft.

DFCU Financial disappointed in court ruling

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DEARBORN, Mich. (3/20/08)--DFCU Financial FCU expressed disappointment Wednesday over a Michigan Circuit Court ruling that the credit union must hold a special meeting demanded in a petition members presented during the credit union's attempt in 2006 to convert to a mutual savings association. "DFCU Financial recently received a copy of the decision by Judge Cynthia Stephens of Wayne County Circuit Court in which she ruled in favor of a petition submitted April 26, 2006, to hold a special membership meeting to recall the board of directors at DFCU Financial," said the credit union in a statement Wednesday. The credit union "is disappointed by and disagrees with Judge Stephens' decision, which fails to take into account events that have occurred since the lawsuit was filed in 2006. In particular, eight of the nine directors named in the recall petition have either resigned or been re-elected by the membership since 2006," the statement said. "DFCU Financial will continue to evaluate the court's decision and the appellate and other options available to it," the credit union said. The court also ruled in the Feb. 25 decision that the members of the Dearborn, Mich.-based credit union had a right to inspect the credit union's books and records under state law. The court scheduled a hearing for March 25 to consider the reasonableness of the terms and conditions under which the inspection would occur and said the special membership meeting must take place within 60 days after the hearing. The Michigan Credit Union League said it hoped the matter would be resolved quickly and fairly. "We hope that this is resolved quickly and fairly in the interest of all the credit union's members who are being very well-served by their credit union," said David Adams, league president/CEO. He noted that DFCU Financial has had two years of strong, record patronage dividends to members. Last October, the credit union issued a dividend exceeding $17 million for the second consecutive year to nearly 134,000 members (News Now Oct. 25). "It serves no one's interest to have an extended battle," Adams said. "There is too much at stake in the Michigan economy for the state's largest credit union to be embattled for an extended time," he added. The league believes in the principles and rights of members and in observing the credit union's bylaws, Adams said, adding the credit union's "positive track record the past two years" should be considered and that the matter not be extended to "finish a crusade." Because the credit union dropped its attempt to convert to a mutual savings bank, it's not clear how the decision will play out. "We don't know what this means, but the members and the officials need to talk more and work things out," Adams said.

CUs continue to watch for data breach effects

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MADISON, Wis. (3/20/08)--Credit unions continue to monitor potential effects from a data breach involving 165 Hannaford supermarkets in New England and New York, and 106 Sweetbay stores in Florida. Paula Stopera, Capital Communications CU CEO in Albany, told News Now that the credit union has about 13,000 members who shopped at Hannaford stores during the period in which card information was compromised--Dec. 7, 2007 to March 10. The credit union responded to news of the breach by sending letters to all members. The good news is that members are covered under the Visa zero liability protection, she said. If the credit union finds fraud on the accounts, it will block and re-issue cards. Replacing the cards could cost up to $100,000, Stopera said. She encouraged members to look at their statements online and check for suspicious activity--including small purchases. “(The hackers) are not making large purchases, like flat screen televisions,” she added, noting that she’d heard the average purchase amount was around $150. In addition to the New England leagues contacted by News Now Tuesday, the New York State Credit Union League (NYSCUL) is monitoring the situation and will make sure that any information about the investigation that is pertinent to credit unions is disseminated to them in a timely fashion, Bonnie Sklar, league public relations coordinator told News Now. No credit unions have reported fraud to the league. Sklar said that Covera, a card solutions provider operated by the league that works with credit unions in the state, will not be affected “at all.” The league heard about the breach through alerts from Visa and MasterCard Friday, but the companies did not confirm the retailers involved. Hannaford has 40 stores in New York, Sklar said. During a conference call yesterday, the Florida Credit Union League (FCUL) asked the Office of Financial Regulation in Florida if it had heard about any breach ramifications. The office had not heard of any losses from credit unions as a result of the breach, Amy Jowers, FCUL communications coordinator, told News Now. The question was also opened up to the audience of credit unions on the call and no one reported any problems, she noted. News Now also contacted several credit unions in Florida, including GTE FCU, Tampa, and Fairwinds CU, Orlando, who did not have any problems to report. The grocery’s credit union, Hannaford Associates FCU, Scarborough, Maine, placed a warning on its website about the breach. To date, none of the credit union’s cardholders have been affected, and cards are protected by MasterCard and Visa zero liability standards. The credit union encouraged cardholders to contact the credit union if they spot unauthorized activity on their accounts.

MarketingBiz Development Council officers announced

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MADISON, Wis. (3/20/08)--The CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council announced its executive committee and officers during the council’s 15th annual conference, which wrapped up yesterday in Nashville, Tenn. Anne Legg, vice president of marketing for Cabrillo CU, San Diego, was named as the new council chair. She replaces Mike Weber, vice president of marketing and public relations for Dupaco Community CU, Dubuque, Iowa. Weber reached his term limit and will remain a committee member. Rich Hones, vice president of marketing for Elevations CU, Boulder, Colo., was appointed vice-chair. Executive committee members elected to a three-year term include:
* Lesley Carrell, vice president of marketing, Fibre FCU, Longview, Wash.; * Tyler Disburg, chief administrative officer, Montana First CU, Missoula, Mont.; * Michelle Hunter, senior vice president of marketing and development, Credit Union of Southern California, Whittier; Calif.; and * Kerry Goodliffe Parry, vice president of marketing, Premier Members FCU, Boulder, Colo.
Other members of the committee include:
* Sandi Carangi, vice president of marketing and business development, Erie FCU, Erie, Pa.; * Carol Payne, vice president of communications and marketing, California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues; * Susan Miller, business development representative, Delta Community CU, Atlanta; and * Rene McKee, vice president of marketing, California Coast CU, San Diego.