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Winners of National Youth Week saving challenge announced

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MADISON, Wis. (5/5/08)--Ten credit unions participating in this year's Fifth Annual National Youth Saving Challenge as part of National Youth Week last week were selected randomly to receive $100 each from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Winners are:
* Advance Financial FCU, Schererville, Ind.; * Fort Sill FCU in Fort Sill, Okla. * Good Shepherd CU in Lincoln Park, Mich.; * Horizon Community CU in Green Bay, Wis.; * Kansas Blue Cross Blue Shield CU in Topeka, Kan.; * M-C FCU in Danville, Pa.; * Members First CU in Columbus, Ohio; * Sandia Area FCU in Albuquerque, N.M.; * Sikorsky Financial CU in Stratford, Conn.; and * Sun FCU in Maumee, Ohio.
Through the saving challenge, credit unions sought to motivate youth and their parents to become more active users of credit union services. Participants tallied the total amount of deposits, number of new accounts opened and total number of deposits made by youth during the week. CUNA sponsored the event. Young members deposited nearly $11.8 million in their savings accounts throughout the week.

CU System briefs (05/02/2008)

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* HARAHAN, La. (5/5/08)--The Louisiana Credit Union League has awarded scholarships to four Louisiana credit union professionals to attend the Southeast CUNA Management School in Athens, Ga. They are Lloyd Cockerham, president/CEO of Breco FCU, Baton Rouge; Jean Helmer of The New Orleans Firemen's FCU; Cindy Beauregard of Heart of Louisiana FCU, Pineville; and Brian Leger with Lafayette Schools FCU, Lafayette. Cockerham will receive full tuition the first year and 50% tuition for the second and third years of the three-year school. The other scholarships will pay $1000 each toward tuition … * Fort Wayne, Ind. (5/5/08)--Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy delivered the keynote address at the Pro Fed CU 75th Anniversary Gala April 12. Dungy's speech focused on the vital role credit unions play in providing financial literacy and affordable financial services. He attributed the long-term success of Pro Fed CU to its commitment to families, community service and volunteerism. Both his parents were members of a credit union, he said. Nearly 1,500 people attended. President/CEO Barbara Berghoff highlighted the credit union's volunteers serving on its boards and committees, and Mayor Tom Henry delivered a proclamation naming April 12 Pro Fed CU Day in Fort Wayne. (Photo provided by Pro Fed CU) … * SUITLAND, Md. (5/5/08)--Andrews FCU tripled the amount it raised for the Annual March for Babies event to $15,000 this year. For the past five years, Andrews Federal has raised more than $5,000 in member and staff contributions for the March of Dimes. Andrews Federal served as a sponsor for the march, which took place April 27. From left are employee volunteers Karen Mangum, Maria Taura, Jennifer Taura and Kendall Mangum. (Photo provided by Andrews FCU) … * RIVERSIDE, Calif. (5/5/08)--Altura CU, which recently upgraded coin counting machines in two of its branches, has offered its previously owned machines to small credit unions through the Shapiro Group program of the California Credit Union League. The two credit unions receiving the machines were El Futuro CU, Porterville, which has operated since 1966 and is the oldest Latino credit union in the country, and Ketema FCU, El Cajon, which has operated since 1956 and has 569 members. The Shapiro Group pools the resources of the credit union community to help smaller credit unions. Shown with one of the donated machines is Lorna Stafford-Bentley, CEO of Ketema FCU. (Photo provided by Altura CU) ...

CUNA CSS audited financials available online

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MADISON, Wis. (5/5/08)--The 2007 audited financial results for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and for CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) are available online. The reports--CUNA 2007 Audited Financial Results and CSS 2007 Audited Financial Results--are posted separately as downloadable PDF files on CUNA's proprietary site for the association's members. They are also accessible to association members through CUNA's "About Us" page at www.cuna.org. For more information, use the resource links.

Check out Americas CU Conference speakers podcasts

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MADISON, Wis. (5/5/08)--Two new podcasts are available that feature samplings of speakers who will be presenting at the 2008 America’s Credit Union Conference & Expo in New York City June 29-July 2. The conference is presented by the Credit Union National Association. Mark Adams will present “Play to Your Strength: Real Championship Coaching.” Adams is a former basketball coach, a broadcaster for ESPN and a professional speaker. In his podcast, Adams says that “playing to your strengths” means that, to face challenges, people need to focus on what they’re good at doing. He challenged individuals to move 10% of their lives away from their weaknesses toward their strengths or talents. Credit union professionals should focus on some activity that they can do over and over again to develop their talents, and then meld those talents with the fundamentals of personal service, Adams said. To find inspiration, credit union managers must motivate themselves, and hold themselves accountable first before looking to others in the industry or community, Adams said. The second podcast features David Merman Scott, author of “The New Rules of Marketing & PR.” He will present a breakout session called “Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing, Online Media: How to Reach Your Members Directly.” He also is a featured speaker in the Executive Book Series. Attendees who sign up for the series will receive his book and seven other books.

Officers gun discharges in CU wounds fellow officer

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CONCORD, N.H. (5/5/08)--A Concord, N.H., police officer was shot inside an under-construction branch of Granite State CU Thursday when another officer's gun discharged. The officer was treated and released from a local hospital. "We're glad nobody was seriously injured," Denise Caristi, president/CEO of Granite State CU told News Now. Four officers were inside the branch around 4:30 a.m. when the incident occurred. The officer, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was shot in the chest. "We're not sure why the officers were in the building," Caristi added. "The state attorney general's office is investigating." There was no damage to the branch, and construction is still on schedule, she said. The credit union branch is scheduled to open this summer. Granite State CU is located in Manchester, N.H. It has $205 million in assets.

CUSN shared branches surpass bank branches in Denver

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. (5/5/08)--Credit Union Service Network (CUSN) announced that participating CUSN shared branching credit unions in the Denver area have surpassed several Denver area banks in number of locations. CUSN has 31 Denver area credit unions participating in shared branching, for a total of 125 locations throughout the Denver metro area. Research conducted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and DBJ Research--commissioned by the Denver Business Journal--compared the top 50 Denver area banks, by branch locations and deposits in and outside their market share. The top three banks were FirstBank, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo, according to the study. The three banks have 88, 86, and 79 locations, respectively. Denver area credit unions participating in shared branching have more locations than the top three banks, the study indicated. The popularity of shared branching continues to rise with the nationwide adoption of the service distribution channel, and the cooperation between credit unions is really paying off, CUSN said. Because it provides more members with convenient account access points and further levels the playing field between banks and credit unions, shared branching now ranks third in the nation in terms of branches. It is expected to soon surpass its closest competitor, Wells Fargo, CUSN said. "The numbers don't lie,” said Doug Burke, CUSN president/CEO. “Credit unions are clearly turning to CUSN as their partner for shared branching.” Shared branching offers more than 3,200 locations nationwide, serving roughly 37 million members throughout all networks.

CUs have power outages after storms hit Kansas City

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KANSAS CITY (5/5/08)--Some Missouri credit unions experienced power outages late Thursday and early Friday after storms bringing a tornado and straight-line winds swept through Kansas City, said the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA). There were no reports of credit unions suffering serious damage as of Friday afternoon, said MCUA (CourierNet May 2). Missouri Family FCU, Independence, was without power for most of Friday morning but power was restored at 12:30 p.m., President Stan Boursheski reported to MCUA. About half of the building remained without power Friday late afternoon. MCUA said it had not been able to make contact with several other credit unions in areas that suffered significant damages. Homes and businesses were damaged, predominantly in the northeast Kansas City area.

Remote deposit makes its way to CUs

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BURLINGTON, Mass. (5/5/08)--With the high price of gasoline putting a financial crimp in car travel, credit union members are starting to see the benefits of remote deposit, which allows them to scan a check at home, deposit it online and then destroy the check a few days later. EasCorp, based in Burlington, Mass., is a corporate credit union that offers remote deposit service called Deposzip. So far, seven credit unions in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Indiana and Oklahoma use the service. Nine more credit unions nationwide are in the process of adding the service, George Dow, Eascorp assistant vice president of product development and member relations, told News Now. Why does EasCorp offer Deposzip? “We think it can satisfy a huge need for credit unions,” Dow said. “They can’t always be everywhere the members are. We believe Depsoszip will help credit unions overcome this problem. Combining this product with other online services, there’s nothing a credit union cannot do for its members online. “Now with an electronic deposit mechanism, the member doesn’t need to depend on mail, a credit union branch location or an ATM for deposits,” he continued. Deposzip interfaces with a credit union member’s home banking system, Dow explained. The member goes to a link, logs in and follows the steps of the process through a menu. The Deposzip software works with standard desktop scanners--basically scan and deposit--so no special equipment is needed. Deposzip also works with businesses through merchant deposit capture. Businesses would buy a more robust scanner--a duplex multi-feed scanner--that gives them the capability to scan and deposit several checks at a time, Dow said. Credit unions pay a transactional fee to buy service from EasCorp. “We developed a fee schedule that is inexpensive enough so that credit unions do not have to pass the cost on to members,” Dow said. The credit union can control access to the program through an administrative platform, Dow said. This way, credit unions can control the deposit limits of individual members. For instance, one member may have a $10,000 per day deposit limit, while another member, who may have a more questionable financial history, might only have a $1,000 per day deposit limit, Dow explained. “This is probably the least expensive deposit collection channel a credit union can come up with. It’s cheaper than getting deposits from mailing envelopes, ATMs, shared branches or walk-ins,” Dow concluded.

U.S. Central acts to obtain full access to Fed credit

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LENEXA, Kan. (5/5/08)--U.S. Central FCU has taken all necessary action to obtain full access to Federal Reserve credit facilities, including intraday credit and the discount window, the corporate credit union announced Friday. As the nation’s only wholesale corporate credit union, U.S. Central is the central source of liquidity for the nation’s Credit Union System. Access to the Fed discount window adds the nation’s central bank--the ultimate source of backstop liquidity--to U.S. Central’s arsenal of $20 billion in market-based sources of liquidity. “With access to Federal Reserve credit, U.S. Central has further strengthened the resources available to assure that we will be in a much better position to fulfill our role as a liquidity provider to the Corporate Credit Union Network,” said Francis Lee, U.S. Central’s president/CEO. “We have always had a solid footing as a liquidity provider; now we have the Fed discount window as an added safety net as well,” Lee added. Federal Reserve policy makes the discount window available only to institutions that maintain required noninterest-bearing balances, called “reserves,” with the Fed. Because U.S. Central is a “bankers’ bank,” it previously had been exempt from the reserve requirement. However, U.S. Central opted to waive its bankers’ bank exemption from reserve requirements, and gained full access to the Fed discount window, just like most other depository institutions. The impetus for the plan was to facilitate U.S. Central’s ability to work more closely with the Fed in reducing payment system risk and improving efficiency in processing credit union payments. Recent events in the economy have underscored the benefit of having expanded sources of liquidity available to the Credit Union System. “In these turbulent market conditions, everyone in the Credit Union System should take an added measure of comfort knowing U.S. Central has all the liquidity it needs to continue to provide vital services to the Corporate Credit Union Network,” said Lee.