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$85B In Record Earnings Set By CUs In 2012

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (3/4/13)--"Credit unions had a pivotal year in 2012," recording $8.5 billion in earnings in that year, National Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz said in an agency release.

"The NCUA data shows the credit union movement is healthy, vibrant and on the rise," said Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney. "We believe these figures only reinforce our assessment that burdensome new regulations are not needed for credit unions, especially in this environment. We will continue to press NCUA and other regulators to minimize new requirements," he added.

The $8.5 billion earnings total is the highest figure ever for the credit union industry, according to the agency. This 2012 total represents a 36.1% increase from 2011's earnings total of $6.3 billion, and the NCUA said the increase is mainly a result of loan loss reserve reductions.

Total credit union assets increased by $60 billion in 2012, taking federal credit union assets across the $1 trillion mark. Industry net worth increased by $8.4 billion, and membership grew by more than 2 million in 2012, the NCUA reported. Industry net worth ratio rose to 10.44%, and delinquencies declined, the agency added.

Credit union share and deposit accounts increased by $50.4 billion in 2012, a year-to-year increase of 6.1%. Regular shares, share drafts, money market shares and non-member deposits all showed quarterly increases, while share certificates and IRA/Keogh accounts experienced nominal quarterly declines, the NCUA said.

Overall, credit union lending increased by 4.6% in 2012, "meaning more people got the loans needed to buy homes, purchase cars, and go to school," Matz said.

Net member business loan balances also increased by 6.5% in 2012, bringing that total to $41.7 billion at the end of 2012.

The NCUA report on credit union financials also found:

  • First mortgage real estate loans increased 1.2% in the fourth quarter, and 5.7% between 2011 and 2012, to total $246.3 billion at the end of the year;
  • Used auto loans increased by 1.1% in the fourth quarter and 7.9% for 2012, totaling $115.2 billion at the end of the year; and
  • New auto loans increased by 2.2% in the fourth quarter and 8.7% in all of 2012, totaling $63.3 billion at the end of the year.
The NCUA noted that growth was strongest in credit unions with more than $250 million in assets. However, credit unions with assets of $10 million and less lost members and reported slower loan growth than their larger system partners. Matz said it was the agency's responsibility to monitor the health of these small credit unions "and, to the extent possible, find ways to keep them sustainable."

Just over 44,000 credit union members filed for bankruptcy in the fourth quarter, a 10.4% decrease from the total reported in the third quarter of 2012, the NCUA reported. Loan charge-offs due to bankruptcy and credit unions' net charge-off ratio both held steady from quarter-to-quarter, totaling 21.5% and 0.73%, respectively. The delinquency ratio reported by credit unions fell by 2 basis points to total 1.16%.

These and other NCUA figures are based on Call Report data submitted to and compiled by the agency for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2012.

For more on the numbers, and CUNA analysis, watch for more on this in News Now this week. The full NCUA release on the credit union stats can be found by clicking the resource link.

March 7 'Pressing Issues' Audio Conference Is Free To CUNA Members

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WASHINGTON (3/4/13)--The Credit Union National Association is now offering its popular "Pressing Regulatory and Compliance Issues Audio Conference" free to affiliated credit unions and its first program of 2013 is being offered March 7.

This Thursday's program will feature:
  • The latest legislative developments affecting credit unions;
  • An update on CFPB rules, including international remittance transfers, mortgage servicing, ability to repay and originator compensation;
  • NCUA issues, including pending proposals & a summary of the February NCUA Board Meeting;
  • Proposals currently open for comment;
  • The three Reg Z provisions that go into effect June 1, 2013; and
  • The credit agency rating regulation that goes into effect June 11, 2013.
CUNA recommends that registrants attend all four free audio conferences to ensure a complete view of the latest regulatory and compliance issues, first-hand, throughout the year.

CUNA will develop in-depth training programs to cover select key issues discussed during the calls.

Topics for the spring, summer and fall offerings will be announced as those programs are finalized. Those sessions are scheduled to be held on June 4, Sept. 5 and Dec. 5.

For more on this week's session, use the resource link.

Fair Housing App Launched By HUD

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WASHINGTON (3/4/13)--Apps abound, as everyone knows, and just last week the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) did a "ta-da" on the first housing discrimination mobile application for iPhone and iPad.

It was developed by HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity and Hewlett Packard.

HUD says the app uses the latest technology to provide the public with a quick and easy way to learn about their housing rights and to file housing discrimination complaints, and inform the housing industry about its responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.

Use the resource link to see the press release.

Co-ops A 'Sleeping Giant': GAC Panel

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WASHINGTON (3/4/13)--Credit unions are considered by many as the "sleeping giant" of the co-op sector. Awakening that potential through collaboration and cross-sector interaction was the topic of a panel discussion Tuesday during a Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs breakout session, "Building Powerful Alliances Across Co-op Sectors.

Serving on the panel were Mark Cummins, president/CEO of the Minnesota Credit Union Network and chairman of CUNA's Cooperative Alliances Committee; Adam Schwartz, founder and principal of The Cooperative Way; and Joanne Todd, CEO of Northeast Family CU, Manchester, Conn.

The panel was moderated by Michael Beall, the new president/CEO of the National Cooperative Business Association. He joined NCBA after serving as CEO of the Missouri Credit Union Association.

In October, CUNA's Cooperative Alliances Committee published a white paper that provided a guide on how credit unions can improve their interactions with cooperative from other sectors to grow their businesses, build advocacy and, in so doing, strengthen their communities.

Cummins told the session audience credit unions can differentiate themselves in the marketplace as cooperatives.  Today's consumers, especially, find that cooperative values resonate positively at a time of growing distrust of big corporations.

"Your members may not even know they are members," Cummins said. "They may not know they are members of a credit union, and they may not know they are members of a cooperative. You have to tell them, and tell them and tell them. But you also have to live it."

Cummins offered several suggestions from the Cooperative Alliances Committee white paper for credit unions to cultivate alliances with other cooperatives:

  • Be sure to give your new employees and board members a good, solid orientation about the cooperative business model. CUNA and the NCBA can provide resources.
  • Host a meeting of other co-op leaders at your credit union. It's a good way to network, get acquainted, and can lead to joint projects and initiatives.
  • Invite other co-op leaders to speak to members at your credit union's annual meeting.
  • Assign someone at the credit union to be a liaison with other cooperatives.
  • Once connections with other cooperatives are made, see what business opportunities exist.If the credit unions can serve other co-ops, are there certain financial products that are of particular interest to them?
  • Recruit board members that have ties to other cooperatives in your community.
  • Make cooperation among cooperatives one of the credit union's strategic objectives.
  • Use groups like the NCBA as a resource.
Among the advantages of working with other cooperatives is attracting members with cooperatives based values, said Todd, whose credit union partners includes a food co-op among its select employee groups. Todd also serves as a board member of the food co-op.

"The members of the food co-op are members of the food co-op because social responsibility and equity and fairness are important to them," Todd said. "They see the same qualities in the credit union. So they do business with us because of our place in the community. They are not rate sensitive. Think of your own credit union. Isn't that the kind of members that you want?"

NCBA's Beall said fostering more co-op interaction and advocacy partnerships will be high on his agenda as the organization's new leader.  He praised the committee white paper and urged the credit union community to embrace it as a valuable resource.

NCUA HMDA Webinar Now Available Online

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (3/4/13)--The National Credit Union Administration has posted an archived version of a recent webinar on the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and Loan Application Registers (LARs).

NCUA staff during the webinar addressed common HMDA LAR submission errors, and provided tips on how credit unions can avoid those errors and prepare LARs in a timely fashion.

For the NCUA webinar, use the resource link.

GAC Successes, 'Unite For Good' Featured In Cheney Report

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WASHINGTON (2/25/13)--In the latest edition of The Cheney Report, Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney recaps a successful and eventful 2013 Governmental Affairs Conference, and discusses the future of CUNA's new vision for the credit union system.

Cheney at the GAC called on credit unions to rally together and "Unite for Good" to help create a nation in which "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner." In The Cheney Report, the CUNA CEO reiterates that "we are seeing a values-driven cultural shift in this country that is right in our wheelhouse. People are drawn to businesses they can trust and that have their best interests at heart--that's credit unions all over!"

While increasing consumer awareness of credit unions is a key pillar of CUNA's new vision, the "Unite for Good" campaign is not meant to serve as an awareness campaign, Cheney clarifies. "Our focus is on rallying credit union leaders toward shared goals that advance us toward our common vision. One of those goals centers on raising consumer awareness," Cheney says in the Report. CUNA is urging credit unions to find the best way of doing this in their own communities through earned media, social media, civic organizations or state and local cooperative ad campaigns, he adds.

The Cheney Report delivers CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney's latest thoughts on three to four key events and policy developments affecting credit unions into the email inboxes of credit union CEOs each Friday.

This week's Cheney Report also includes:

  • Noteworthy comments heard during the GAC;
  • Details on House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling's (R-Texas) positive comments about the credit union tax status; and
  • Tips on how to succinctly speak with legislators about the credit union tax status.

Past issues of The Cheney Report are archived on