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Dakota CUs see loandeposits growth strong net worth

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BISMARCK, N.D. (4/20/11)--North and South Dakota Credit Unions ended 2010 with a strong combined net worth of 9.97% (9.35% for South Dakota, 10.57% for North Dakota), according to the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas (CUAD). Roughly 91% of credit unions ended 2010 with a net worth above the 7% well-capitalized requirement. This includes 47% of the credit unions that have a net worth in excess of 10%. “Credit unions in the Dakotas generally are well-capitalized and are in sound financial position to serve their members in the coming years,” said Robbie Thompson, CUAD president/CEO. Loan growth for credit unions in the two states also increased in 2010, although by a smaller amount than the previous four years when loan growth was over 10%. Their loan growth in 2010 was 3.29% (0.55% S.D., 5.95% N.D.). “Credit unions in the Dakotas have money to lend and have continued making loans in the current economic environment. They have been and continue to be there for their members even in difficult times,” said Thompson. “However, it is not surprising that overall loan growth is down as this corresponds to the nationwide trend of consumers paying down their existing debt and not taking on new debt,” he added. Since 2006, share deposits in North and South Dakota credit unions have grown more than 34% or $1.04 billion. The national trends of consumers attempting to save more and spend less are reflected in the growth trend in consumer deposits at Dakota credit unions over the past years. However, saving growth slowed in 2010. Dakota credit unions saw a deposit growth rate of 7.94% (6.85% S.D., 9.04% N.D)--lower than the 20+% average annual growth rate they have seen in thepast five years. Credit union membership in the Dakotas has remained virtually unchanged since 2006. For 2010 credit unions membership growth was 0.58% (0.76% S.D., 0.38% N.D.). Membership at the end of 2010 totaled 444,873 credit union members in the states, compared with 438,415 members at the end of 2006. Membership growth from 2006 to 2010 was 1.47%, for an average annual growth of 0.37% (0.31% S.D., 0.44% N.D.). These numbers reflect credit union membership growth rate well below population growth rate in both states during the same period. At the end of 2010, North Dakota credit unions report just over 30% of the population as members (202,181 members out of 675,591total population). South Dakota has just over 29% of the population as members (242,692 members out of 814,180). “Obviously we know that credit unions are the best place for most Americans to perform financial services, yet we still have less than one-third of the population of our states as members and only around 10% of the deposits. We need to create greater awareness of credit unions, the credit union difference, and the benefits of credit unions,” said Thompson.

PCUA letter to editor addresses tax-CUs suggestion

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (4/20/11)--Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) CEO Jim McCormack turned around a quick response to a letter to the editor published Monday in a Pennsylvania newspaper. The original letter suggested taxing credit unions. "Credit unions do pay taxes--payroll taxes, real estate taxes and some other property taxes. In addition, dividends paid to credit union members are taxed as ordinary income," said McCormack's letter to the Centre Daily Times (Life is a Highway April 19). "Credit unions' unique tax status allows them to serve all consumers, including those of modest means and those who the bankers find to be unprofitable," McCormack continued. "In addition, credit unions also provide a market alternative that helps moderate bank fees and charges for all consumers by putting downward pressure on all fees and charges by virtue of their presence in the marketplace." He closed by adding, "If you are not a member of a credit union, clearly you should be," and pointed the reader to iBelong.org. In the original letter published Monday and entitled "Time to tax credit unions," Richard Wilbur of State College, Pa., advocated credit unions paying "federal and state taxes like every bank does."

EasCorp now well-capitalized members told

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BURLINGTON, Mass. (4/20/11)--Eastern Corporate FCU 's recent voluntary capital subscription program has sold out, which means EasCorp now operates as a "well-capitalized" corporate credit union under the National Credit union Administration's corporate credit union regulation. The announcement was made by EasCorp President Jane Melchionda at EasCorp's 33rd annual meeting in Burlington, Mass. More than 150 credit union officials attended the event. Melchionda also reported that EasCorp and its subsidiary, Vertifi Software LLC, experienced growth in new members and product sales during the most recent four quarters. EasCorp also elected two new directors: Audrey Phinney, president, Bridgewater (Mass.) CU, and Stewart Steele, CEO and treasurer, Quincy (Mass.) CU. They were elected to three-year terms. The meeting's educational program featured keynote speaker Maya Bourdeau of Attune LLC, who spoke about "Psychological Marketing: Bringing the Science into the Art of Marketing." Her presentation discussed how human subconscious an affect a consumer's decision to purchase an item or service and how credit unions can frame their marketing to more effectively deliver their message. A panel on Channel Delivery Strategies featured Douglas Allman, president, NASA FCU, Upper Marlboro, Md.; Sonya McDonald, senior vice president of market development, Randolph-Brooks FCU, Live Oak, Texas; and Jim Morrell, senior vice president, support services, iQ CU, Vancouver, Wash. Moderating the discussion was Craig Roy, senior vice presideht, support services, Digital FCU, Marlborough, Mass.

ACUC Big Time Thursday winners announced

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MADISON, Wis. (4/20/11)--An iPod nano was among the prizes for first-time winners of the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) America’s Credit Union Conference (ACUC) & Expo Big Time Thursday contest. The online contest, built around CUNA’s blog, CUNAverse, creates discussion around ACUC keynoters and speaker topics. Each week, CUNAverse blog writers feature a speaker and invite readers to share innovative ideas from their credit unions. Big Time Thursdays have generated posts from all over the U.S. with ideas on youth outreach, Hispanic initiatives, tapping into employee ideas, differentiation and more. Each week a winner is randomly selected from contributors. Prizes tie to the blog post’s theme. First round Big Time Thursday winners, prizes and their ideas include:
* Cheryl Hart won the Apple iPod nano and a copy of Charlie Todd’s book, “Causing a Scene: Extraordinary Pranks in Ordinary Places with Improv Everywhere” for commenting on how TruMark Financial CU, Trevose, Pa., uses a mix of social media and in-person activities to get the word out about financial literacy and more. * Amy Ackerman won a copy of Doug Hall’s book, “Jump Start Your Brain,” and a magic kit to jump start her next big idea for commenting on how 1st MidAmerica CU, Bethalto, Ill., used idea generation techniques to brainstorm ideas on wowing, engaging and having great interactions with members. * Katherine Dyer won a copy of Eric Saperston’s documentary, “The Journey,” on DVD and a $15 Starbucks card for responding with questions she has asked herself to improve as an individual and excel in her role at Hiway FCU, St. Paul, Minn.
Big Time Thursdays will take place weekly through early May. Upcoming conversation topics include best-selling author Dan Pink and using key motivators to drive top performance; and renowned adventurer and West Point professor Alison Levine and surviving and thriving through change.

Western Bridge Corp. charter committee selects board

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SAN DIMAS, Calif. (4/20/11)--The Western Bridge Corporate Charter Committee Monday elected a seven-member board of directors and three supervisory committee members to govern the new corporate entity while it pursues approval of a new charter from the National Credit Union Administration's (NCUA). The corporate plans to submit its new charter application within two weeks. In addition to board director criteria mandated in NCUA's new Corporate Regulation 704, the committee established asset-size criteria that reflect the corporate's broader membership. Two directors must be from credit unions with assets greater than $1 billion, two from credit unions with $100 million-$1 billion assets, and two with assets less than $100 million. There also will be one “at large” director. At least one director must be from a credit union outside of California. The board and supervisory committee will meet within the next two days to elect their respective leadership. Members of both groups will be listed as official sponsors on the new corporate’s charter application, which is on track to be submitted to NCUA within the next two weeks, said Western Bridge Corporate. Elected to the board of directors are:
* Bill Before, chief financial officer (CFO), Spokane (Wash.)Teachers CU, $1.46 billion assets; * Matt Davidson, CFO, Kern Schools FCU, Bakersfield, Calif., $1.35 billion; * Jim Aley, CFO, Honda FCU, Torrance, Calif., $540 million; * Shane Berger, CEO, Beehive FCU, Rexburg, Idaho, $160 million; * Paul Lewis, CEO, San Diego Medical FCU, $71 million; * Elizabeth Lipke, CEO, Bourns Employees FCU, Riverside, Calif., $43 million; and * Charles Papenfus, CEO, Inland Valley FCU, Fontana, Calif., $38 million.
Supervisory Committee members are:
* Francisco Nebot, CFO, SchoolsFirst FCU, Santa Ana, Calif., $8.5 billion; * Mike Harden, chief operations officer (COO), F & A CU, Monterey Park, Calif.,$1.13 billion; and * Donna Young, COO, Vons CU, El Monte, Calif. $372 million.
“These credit union leaders were elected because of their technical capability, and strategic experience," said Mendell Thompson, CEO of America’s Christian CU, Glendora, Calif., and member of the Charter Committee. "Having representation from CEOs, CFOs, and COOs will provide the new corporate the right balance of credit union talent," he said. The Charter Committee will continue to work with the new corporate’s initial board of directors throughout the chartering process. “There is still much work to be done and we will continue to work with the new board as we set a solid foundation on which to build our new corporate,” Ken Burns, CEO, Patelco FCU, Pleasanton, Calif., added. The Charter Committee has more than 50 members representing credit unions in California, Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. It is actively soliciting more members. “We encourage our member credit unions to join the Charter Committee to help us launch this new corporate credit union. We truly value our member input, and seek their advice and council as we continue on the path to a new future,” said Western Bridge CEO Phil Perkins.

N.Y. CUs promote CU difference at state GAC

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ALBANY, N.Y. (4/20/11)--More than 80 credit union leaders attended the Credit Union Association of New York’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) last week in Albany, N.Y.
Click to view larger image During the Credit Union Association of New York’s annual Governmental Affairs Conference last week credit unions and lawmakers met outside the Senate Chamber. From left: Association President William J. Mellin; Marsha Brauer, Clarence Community & Schools FCU, Clarence, N.Y.; Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer (R-Buffalo); and Al Frosolone, Niagara’s Choice FCU, Niagara, Falls, N.Y.
The two-day conference kicked-off with an afternoon compliance and legal update session led by the association’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel Michael Lanotte and Director of Compliance Michael Carter. Day One closed with a welcome reception where attendees reconnected with peers from across the state. Three bill sponsors, Sen. Joseph Griffo (R), chairman of the Senate Bank Committee, and Assemblymen Charles Lavine (D) and Harvey Weisenberg (D), attended the next morning’s legislative briefing. After reviewing key legislative priorities during the briefing and honing their messages, group members converged on the State Capitol and Legislative Office Building.
Click to view larger image Credit union leaders made more than 40 legislative visits during the Credit Union Association of New York’s annual Governmental Affairs Conference last week in Albany, N.Y. Here, participants visit Sen. Jack Martins (R-Long Island), a sponsor of pro-credit union legislation. Pictured from left: Melissa Pagdanganan and Robert Suarez, Bethpage FCU, Bethpage.; Sen. Martins; Robert Nemeroff, Melrose CU, Briarwood; and Michael Lanotte, Credit Union Association of New York. (Photos provided by the Credit Union Association of New York)
During more than 40 legislative visits, credit union leaders promoted the credit union difference and the value credit unions offer their members. They advocated for key issues: preserving credit unions’ earned tax-exempt status; advancing the state charter; limiting information subpoenas; toughening punishment for robbers of financial institutions; gaining access to municipal deposits; establishing Credit Union Development Districts; funding community development financial institutions; and protecting consumers from identity theft, financial illiteracy, predatory credit card practices and abusive mortgage lending. Representatives also shared community-based credit union stories, results from the Credit Union National Association’s Project Zip Code, which matches credit union members by congressional district, state legislative district and county, and the state association’s just released 2010 MORE Report documenting state credit union community outreach efforts. “Events like our GAC are critical to the continued success of credit unions and thereby their members and communities,” said William J. Mellin, the state association’s president/CEO. “Now that it’s over, we will continue to encourage our credit union leaders to keep on advocating and building relationships with their elected representative on their home front.”

National CU Youth Week celebrates 10th anniversary

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MADISON, Wis. (4/20/11)--Celebrating its 10th anniversary this week, National Credit Union Youth Week has grown up in its decade of existence. Started in 2002, youth week was initially a byproduct of the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) partnership with the National Endowment for Financial Education, according to Phil Heckman, CUNA’s director of product development and delivery. “NEFE really brought financial literacy to the classroom,” explains Joanne Sepich, CUNA’s National Credit Union Youth Week coordinator. “National Credit Union Youth Week brought more kids into the credit union branches.” In 2004, the National Youth Saving Challenge was added to youth week to generate a measurable outcome for both organizers and participants. The first year of the challenge, 143 credit unions took part, with 1,857 new youth accounts opened. Roughly 15,958 kids deposited a total of about $1.4 million, or $87 per child. That compares with 10,385 accounts opened in 2010 at 384 credit unions. About $24.8 million in deposits was received from 168,438 children, $147 per child, last year. In 2005, CUNA recorded 274 credit unions participating, with 4,451 new youth accounts opened. Deposits were made by 35,071 children, who saved about $4.5 million, or $130 per child. In 2006, about 7,624 accounts were opened at 346 credit unions during National Credit Union Youth Week. Also, 66,269 kids saved about $9.6 million, or $145 per child. In 2007, roughly 9,067 accounts were opened at 393 credit unions. About $10.1 million was deposited by 71,844 kids--$141 per child.
Click for slide show For a look at the past 10 years of National Credit Union Youth Week Posters, click on the slide show.
In 2008, 6,748 youth accounts were opened at 400 credit unions during National Credit Union Youth Week. About $12 million was deposited by 76,524 children, or $157 per child. In 2009, National Credit Union Youth Week expanded to include the entire month of April; 397 credit unions participated with 10,006, new youth accounts opened. Deposits were made by 139,669 children, who saved about $26.5 million, or $190 per child. “The really exciting thing is that all these youth accounts will pay dividends for both the credit unions and the children for decades,” Sepich said about the continued growth of the savings challenge. One of the signature elements of the National Credit Union Youth Savings Week is the annual poster that is displayed in credit unions nationwide, inviting kids to celebrate saving. Sepich says the process of choosing a theme becomes more sophisticated each year, with as many as 1,000 volunteers available to offer input. She credits CUNA’s in-house designers for coming up with something compelling each year. “The challenge is coming up with something that kids are in touch with,” Sepich said. “That can change from year to year.” She specifically cites a “green” theme that was floated one year, but didn’t take off with kids. In 2008, “Got Green” was perfect, and was “posterized” as the year’s theme. Check out the slide show of all the years' posters for youth week. As for the future, Sepich said a mentoring program began this year with representatives from credit unions who took part in the celebration by helping those interested in getting started is just gaining traction. “Each year, we try to make it more convenient and flexible for everyone who wants to participate,” she said. “A variety of the leagues play a big role in helping us do that.”

W.Va. newspaper reports Cheneys appeal for reg relief

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CHARLESTON, W. Va. (4/20/11)--Credit unions need relief from regulatory burden caused "by a crisis we didn't create," Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney told attendees at the West Virginia Credit Union League's 75th Annual Meeting last week, reported the Charleston Daily Mail (April 18).
Click to view larger image Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney discussed regulatory relief in a session at the West Virginia Credit Union League’s 75th Annual Meeting. (Photo provided by the West Virginia Credit Union League)
Cheney told about 300 credit union leaders meeting in Charleston, W.Va., that about 20 of the largest banks control about 70% of the financial market. "In many cases, they've turned their backs on consumers, focused on themselves, their shareholders. Credit unions have focused on their customers," he said. CUNA's No. 1 goal is to delay implementation of the proposed debit-card interchange-fee rule in the Dodd-Frank Act, Cheney noted. If it isn't delayed, "our free debit cards and checking accounts aren't going to be free," he said, adding credit unions will 'wait until the last minute" before they raise fees. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and others have introduced a bill in the House to delay the proposed rule. Cheney said. Ken Watts, president of the league, named two other congressmen from the state who have indicated their support for the delay, said the Daily Mail. Cheney also told the conference that lifting credit unions' member business lending cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25% is a reasonable request. "We're asking Congress and the president to give credit unions the ability to lend as much as $13 billion in the first year to create up to 125,000 new jobs at no cost to the taxpayer," he said, adding the only group opposing the cap lift "is the banks," according to the article. To read the full article, use the link.