Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

CU System Archive

CU System

Mazuma CU innundated with calls in smishing attack

 Permanent link
KANSAS CITY (5/1/08)--Mazuma CU, Kansas City, Mo., received an overwhelming number of phone calls regarding a smishing attack April 23. Identity thieves sent fraudulent text messages to cell phone users in the Kansas City area, claiming to be Mazuma CU. The messages told recipients their accounts had been closed because of suspicious activity and asked that they call a phone number (CourierNet April 30). Mazuma is working to disable the fraud attempts, but new phone numbers and e-mails appear after old ones are shut down, according to the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA). The credit union also has posted alerts to its website, and a local ABC affiliate has warned consumers about the attacks. Mazuma implemented a credit-card fraud detector that applies to debit transactions and saved more than $8,000 by stopping fraudulent transactions to Mexico, said Mazuma CU President/CEO Rob Givens told MCUA. “No credit union is immune to this type of attack,” said Don Cohenour, MCUA senior vice president of credit union development. “It’s important to educate your members not to reply to messages like this or provide personal information to an unsolicited phone call, text message or e-mail.” Smishing is phishing via SMS, or short message service. Smishers target users of mobile phone text messaging (News Now April 22).

Tampa chooses CU as backup dataops center

 Permanent link
TAMPA, Fla. (5/1/08)--The City of Tampa plans to use GTE FCU's headquarters as a backup data and operations center in case of a disaster or other disruption of municipal services. Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio visited GTE FCU's headquarters in Tampa Heights April 22 to see the areas that would serve as a data center and base of operations for city officials if a widespread natural disaster, such as Hurricane Katrina, or a more localized event, such as a fire in a city building, occured. Iorio will present the initiative and contract for the proposed agreement to the Tampa City Council for review and approval on May 15. Discussions and planning meetings began in mid-2007 after GTE FCU management offered to act as the backup location. President/CEO Wendell "Bucky" Sebastian and GTE FCU's board saw the proposal as an opportunity to demonstrate the credit union's commitment to the city. "We basically opened our arms to them," said Stephen Foster, GTE FCU's vice president of real estate, who oversees the credit union's facilities, security and real estate operations. GTE FCU has a 12.5 acre campus just north of downtown Tampa. The technology infrastructure between the credit union and the city are compatible, the credit union said in a press release. The partnership would include completely separate but pre-staged infrastructure for emergency operations programs and exercises.

CU System briefs (04/30/2008)

 Permanent link
* LATHAM N.Y. (5/1/08)--New York State Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith, left, shown with William J. Mellin, president/CEO of the New York State Credit Union League, met for breakfast with a group of credit unions leaders and league representatives last week in New York City. The meeting was arranged by the league to further educate Smith about the credit union difference and the value credit unions bring to millions of New Yorkers. They discussed depository choice, the Excelsior Linked Deposit Program and the Banking Development District Program. Participants included: Brian Clark and Evan Gotlob, Bethpage FCU; Robert Nemeroff and Marion Smith, Melrose CU; Darlene Greene, New York Times Employees FCU; Shirley Jenkins, Municipal CU; Mark Johnson, Qside FCU; Rossana Creo, John Lewis and Liz Philippe, United Nations FCU; and Bogdan Chmielewski and Paul Sosnowski, Polish and Slavic FCU. Representing the league were Mellin; Michael Lanotte, senior vice president/general counsel; and Amy Kramer, vice president, governmental affairs. (Photo provided by the New York State Credit Union League) … * PHOENIX (5/1/08)--Arizona State CU was featured in the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco's 2007 Annual Report. The $1.1 billion asset, Phoenix-based credit union was one of three members featured and the only credit union. David E. Doss, the credit union's president/CEO, was pictured and his comments were part of the feature about ways in which the Federal Home Loan Bank has reached out to assist member institutions. Doss noted that the bank "is a strategic partner that assists us in balance sheet management, liquidity management and even product development. If we have a need, we know we can go to the Federal Home Loan Bank." The credit union has received the bank's community assistance grants, including a $600,000 affordable housing grant and a $25,000 worker training grant (Business Wire April 29) …

No one hurt when robber shoots way into CU

 Permanent link
VANCOUVER, Wash. (5/1/08)--Nobody was physically hurt when a robber shot his way into Northwest Navigation FCU, Vancouver, Wash., Tuesday morning. Several news outlets reported that a masked man attempted to enter the credit union before it was open. When he realized the doors were locked, he fired two shots, breaking the glass on the doors (The Columbian April 30). He entered the credit union and pointed his gun at a manager. One employee dropped to the floor behind a counter when she saw the robber, and another ran to the vault after a bullet narrowly missed her (The Oregonian April 30). The man left after stealing several thousands of dollars, instructing Northwest the credit union’s staff not to call police, the newspaper said. News Now contacted the credit union but did not receive further information before press time.

KCUA honors CU individuals lawmakers

 Permanent link
Eric Schaefer (left), chairman, board of directors, Kansas City Credit Union Association (KCUA), and Marla Marsh (right), KCUA president/CEO, pose with three of the nine legislators honored for supporting Kansas credit unions during the four-year process leading to Senate Bill 535, (from left): State Rep. Cindy Neighbor (D-Kan.); State Rep. Mike Kiegerl, (R-Kan.); State Rep. Nile Dillmore (D-Kan.); State Rep. Clark Shultz (R-Kan.).
Lovell Frazier (left), Kansas Super Chief CU, Topeka, winner of the Hall of Fame Award for Distinguished Service to the Kansas credit union movement, is pictured with Marilyn Wells, president, Catholic Family FCU, Wichita, winner of the Henry Peterson Professional of the Year Award; and Robert Reeves, chairman, Kansas State University FCU, Manhattan, winner of the John Michener Volunteer of the Year Award. (Photos provided by the Kansas Credit Union Association)
WICHITA, Kan. (5/1/08)--The Kansas Credit Union Association honored several credit union professionals and lawmakers at its 73rd Annual Meeting and Convention held Friday and Saturday. Lovelle Frazier, retired founder of Kansas Super Chief CU, Topeka, was inducted into the Kansas Credit Union Hall of Fame. Marilyn Wells, president, Catholic Family FCU, Wichita, received the Henry Peterson Professional of the Year Award. Robert Reeves, board chair, Kansas State University FCU, Manhattan, was awarded the John Michener Volunteer of the Year Award. Larry Damm, manager, Cessna Employees CU, Wichita, was awarded the Political Involvement Award for his commitment to Kansas credit unions during 2007 and in the 2008 legislative session. Nine Kansas legislators were honored for their support of Kansas credit unions in the events leading up to Senate Bill 535 and during legislative sessions. They include:
* State Rep. Clark Schultz, (R-Kan.), chair, House Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee; * State Rep. Nile Dilmore, (D-Kan.); * State Rep. Mike Kiegerl, (R-Kan.); * State Rep. Cindy Neighbor (D-Kan.); * State Sen. Jim Barone, (D-Kan.); * State Sen. Anthony Hensley (D-Kan.); * State Sen. Phil Journey, (R-Kan.); * State Sen. Roger Pine, (R-Kan.); and * State Sen. Vicki Schmidt (R-Kan.)

Kansas elects incumbents to board

 Permanent link
WICHITA, Kan. (5/1/08)--The Kansas Credit Union Association (KCUA) elected four incumbent board members at the 73rd Annual Meeting and Convention Friday and Saturday in Wichita.
From left: Larry Damm, president, Cessna Employees CU, Wichita; Marla Marsh, president/CEO, Kansas Credit Union Association (KCUA); Erich Schaefer, president, Golden Plains CU, Garden City; and Mark Keilig, president, United Northwest FCU, Norton, are pictured following the KCUA annual business meeting held Friday and Saturday in Wichita. Damm, Schaefer and Keilig were elected to KCUA’s executive committee (Photo provided by the Kansas Credit Union Association)
Incumbents re-elected to serve two-year terms on the KCUA board of directors were:
* Larry Damm, manager, Cessna Employees CU, Wichita; * Don Homan, board chairman, Frontier Community CU, Leavenworth; * Erich Schaefer, member/president, Golden Plains CU, Garden City; and * Garth Strand, president, Hutchinson (Kan.) CU.
Re-elected to serve as members of the executive committee were:
* Chairman--Schaefer; * Vice Chairman--Mark Keilig, president, United Northwest FCU, Norton; and * Secretary/Treasurer--Damm.
Reappointed to serve on the Shared Financial Solutions board of directors were:
* Cheryl Smith, manager, USPLK FCU, Leavenworth; * Angie Miller, manager, Emporia State FCU, Emporia; and * Vickie Hurt, president, Credit Union 1 of Kansas, Topeka.

Faith-based CU takes over church in foreclosure

 Permanent link
OCEANSIDE, Calif. (5/1/08)--Evangelical Christian CU (ECCU) took over Ambassador Family Church in Oceanside at a trustee sale in April. Church membership dropping to 200 from 800 in recent years, and cost overruns and financial turmoil that arose from building a new church on the property purchased in 2000, led to the foreclosure (NCTimes.com April 29). “We’re negotiating with the church regarding a variety of month-to-month rental options to remain in the property while it is being sold,” Jac Latour, ECCU communications and public relations manager, told News Now. “This is a rare occurrence because when a ministry is in a relationship with ECCU, we try to help them navigate through any rough waters that they are in,” he added. The property fell into default in December and the $1.029 billion asset, Brea, Calif.-based credit union took back the property--valued at $5.6 million--April 17, the newspaper said.

51 designated as certified CU execs in April

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (5/1/08)--Certified Credit Union Executive (CCUE) designations were awarded to 51 individuals from 12 different states, bringing the nationwide total to 2,581. CCUE is designed for managers and those aspiring for credit union leadership. It teaches advanced credit union management and operations techniques. Ten individuals also earned the Certified Financial Services Professional (CFSP) designation. The CFSP program began in 1999 to educate credit union professionals specializing in financial services. The Certified Executive Program (CEP) awarded specialty certifications to 12 credit union professionals. The certifications require in-depth courses in a specialty area, including compliance, lending, financial management, marketing and human resources. The CEP is the name for the self-study program allowing for the designations. Recommended for college credit by the American Council on Education (ACE), the classes are tailored for those working in the credit union system. High CCUE honors went to Lisa L. Gray, Dow Chemical Employees CU, Midland, Mich.; and Kim A. Rooney, UnitedOne CU, Manitowoc, Wis. Honors CCUE designees include:
* Shelley K. Fick, Community Educators CU, Rockledge, Fla.; * Petra Harris, Suncoast Schools FCU, Tampa, Fla.; * Jason C. Boesch, Oklahoma RE&T Employees CU, Oklahoma City, Okla.; and * Nataliya Vivcharyk, State Employees CU, Raleigh, N.C.
Honors CFSP designees were:
* Julie D. Flatt, Florida Central CU, Tampa, Fla.; and * Scott Hanna, State Employees CU, Raleigh, N.C.
For a complete list of designees, use the link.

Moodys Australian CU sector outlook rated negative

 Permanent link
SYDNEY (5/1/08)--Pressures from the global financial crisis are affecting the credit outlook for Australia's credit unions, according to Moody's Investors Service. The tightened credit market has pushed the credit union sector for the country into a "negative" outlook, Moody's said Wednesday (Business Spectator April 30). The outlook rating examines a broad range of areas, including the impact of the subprime crisis on the sector's funding, consolidation trends and the sector's financial performance. Australia's credit unions are more reliant on warehouse facilities than mortgage-backed securities, and warehouse funding is still available to a limited degree for certain credit unions to continue making mortgage loans, said Moody's. The number of credit unions has dropped to 144 from 833 in 1973 and mergers in the sector are set to accelerate, the firm said, adding smaller credit unions may be holding back the movement's efficiency levels because they are struggling with rising operating costs. On the positive side, credit unions' asset quality remains strong in the short term, with low impaired asset levels and loss rates. Moody's noted that Australia's credit unions benefit from the common bond concept, which provides them with stable retail depositions--a significant advantage in the current conditions in wholesale funding markets.

Michigan Chippewa tribe applies for CU charter

 Permanent link
MT. PLEASANT, Mich. (5/1/08)--The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan has submitted an application for the proposed Chippewa Eagle FCU to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). This will be the first newly chartered credit union in Michigan in the past 21 years, according to Greg Carroll, project manager for the credit union. The field of membership for Chippewa Eagle FCU includes tribal members, their families and descendants, as well as employees of the tribe and their families. The tribe’s application for the proposed credit union is now being reviewed by an NCUA economic development specialist, Carroll told News Now. An initial letter from NUCA should be received in 30 days, and the charter should take effect 60 days after that, NCUA told Carroll. “We should be opening the credit union by the end of summer,” Carroll said. The credit union building has already been built on a strip of land next to the tribe’s casino in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., he added. The project was first discussed by the tribe in the 1980s, but started in earnest the past two years, Carroll explained. Funding for the credit union was provided in October, and Carroll has been working full-time on the project since December. The Michigan Credit Union League helped with the project, Carroll said. Why did the tribe decide to form a credit union? “It always interested the tribal members to have a financial institution on their land that was theirs--and of course their members’,” Carroll explained. “Tribal members are one of the most discriminated-against population segments with other financial institutions--which take advantage of them because of their relatively low incomes.” The tribe--which employs about 5,000 people--operates the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mt. Pleasant, and the Saganing Eagles Landing Casino in Standish, Mich.

Ohio CUs march nets 118000 for CMN

 Permanent link
COLUMBUS, Ohio (5/1/08)--Ohio's credit unions presented a check for $103,000 to Children's Miracle Network (CMN) as a result of its annual march-a-thon fundraiser, Marching Miles for Miracle Kids.
Twelve-year-old Devon Eley, Ohio's Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Champion, accepts a check for $103,000 on behalf of CMN from Steve Behler, chairman of the Ohio Credit Union League. Devon is joined by his mom and sister, and the Credit Unions for Kids mascot. (Photo provided by the Ohio Credit Union League)
Spearheaded by the Ohio Credit Union League's Credit Unions for Kids Committee, the march-a-thon raises funds to benefit Children's Hospitals. After an additional wine auction to benefit the hospitals, Ohio credit unions have raised a grand total of $118,000 during the 2008 Marching Miles for Miracle Kids event. "A fundraising event of this magnitude is a great display of the cooperative spirit embraced by Ohio's credit unions," said Paul Mercer, league president. The 190-mile relay-style march kicked off in Toledo on April 6 and concluded in Columbus on April 24 at the league's Zenith 2008 convention. On average, marchers traveled 10 miles a day during the 19-day trek. For more information, photos, and diaries of each day's march, use the Marching Miles resource link.

Early registration deadline for WOCCU conference is May 9

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (5/1/08)--The “early bird” deadline for the World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) 2008 World Credit Union Conference is May 9. The conference will be in Hong Kong on July 13-16. Those who register early can take advantage of discounted registration fees. To register online, use the link. Hosted in Asia for the first time in more than 30 years, the conference will convene at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. Attendees can network with credit union peers from around the world, learn best practices from industry leaders and participate in social events and activities, including a special reception for WOCCU supporters. Visits to local credit unions will offer insights on ways financial cooperatives compete in other markets and allow participants to gain new perspectives on better serving their members, WOCCU said. The roster of speakers for this year’s conference includes: Paul Sarbanes, former U.S. senator, who will share his perspective on Sarbanes-Oxley legislation and its role in promoting good governance and corporate responsibility. Madam Wu Xiaoling, former deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, and Anna Tibaijuka, United Nations under-secretary-general and executive director of UN-HABITAT, also will keynote. Space is limited but still available on the pre-conference tour to Beijing, China, and post-conference tour to Bangkok, Thailand.