Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

CU System Archive

CU System

CFO Council Announces 2013 Exec Committee

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (5/30/13)--The CUNA CFO Council announced its executive committee during the council's 19th annual conference, May 19-22 in Chandler, Ariz.

David D'Annunzio, senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) for Heritage Trust FCU, Charleston, S.C., was elected to his second term and will remain council chair. Suzanne Weinstein, CFO for Orlando (Fla.) FCU, Orlando, Fla., was elected vice chair. Bryanna Tapley, CFO for CP FCU in Jackson, Mich., will become second vice chair.

Steven Arbaugh, CFO for SECU, Linthicum, Md., and Bradley Schone, senior vice president of finance and lending for Park Community FCU, Louisville, Ky. were elected to their first terms on the executive committee.

Arbaugh and Schone replace outgoing committee members Pam Finch, vice president of administration and chief financial officer, Mid Minnesota FCU, Baxter, Minn. and Mary Torsney, senior vice president and chief financial officer, Financial Partners CU, Downey, Calif. 

Other executive committee members include:

  • Joan Hill, vice president accounting, VyStar CU, Jacksonville, Fla.;
  • Sonya Jaynes, CFO/strategic planning coordinator, Red River Employees FCU, Texarkana, Texas;
  • William Kennedy, CFO, Interior FCU, Washington, D.C.;
  • John Meeker, senior vice president and CFO, Caltech Employees FCU, La Canada Flintridge, Calif.;
  • G. Scott Morgan, senior vice president, finance and administration, League of Southeastern Credit Unions, Tallahassee, Fla.; and
  • Jason Peach, senior vice president and CFO, West Community CU, O'Fallon, Mo.

CU System Briefs (05/30/2013)

 Permanent link
  • REDDING, Calif. (5/30/13)--Father's Day is June 16 and one California credit union is conducting a video contest to celebrate the most deserving dad in Shasta and Tehama Counties. Members 1st CU in Redding, Calif., will offer two tickets to a San Francisco Giants game to the winning Dad. "We want to know what makes your dad special and the most deserving," said the $101 million asset credit union. "Does your dad go above and beyond in his daily actions? Has he overcome obstacles and given back to those in need? How has he fulfilled the role of being a good father?"  Fathers can be nominated by a child, spouse, family members or friend by creating a 30-second video explaining what sets Dad above the rest. Videos are due Friday; voters can vote between Saturday and June 14. The winner will be announced on Father's Day. For credit unions interested in the details, check out the credit union's Facebook page at facebook.com/members1stcu ...
  • SAN ANTONIO (5/30/13)--Security Service FCU has unveiled myBranch, a redesigned online banking platform formerly known as CompuBranch, to its nearly 190,000 online members. The new platform is on the heels of the $7 billion asset, San Antonio-based credit union 's launch of its mobile banking solution, myBranch Mobile. The overhaul includes a new design, the ability to pay loans and transfer funds from other institutions, pre-filled deposit account applications and download options for personal financial management software programs such as Quicken and Quick Books. "It's a long step from 1996, when SSFCU leapt into the online arena with one of the first interactive banking websites that featured 'handy little calculators' called wizbots, up-to-date rates and online loan applications," said Mike Chapman, SSFCU executive vice president and chief operating officers.  "myBranch is our new digital banking convergence platform that will provide members the same level of self-service no matter what device they choose to use."  SSFC plans to roll out additional myBranch functionality in the coming months ...

Patent Troll's Latest Lawsuit Includes Texas CUs

 Permanent link
PLANO, Texas (5/30/13)--A company that has been filing remote-capture-image patent-infringement lawsuits against financial institutions and data processors for over a decade, filed another one Tuesday in a Texas federal court, naming 49 defendants, including four Texas credit unions and several credit union check processors as defendants.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, the suit by DataTreasury Corp., names among the defendants  $30 million asset Cherokee County FCU in Rusk, Texas; $636 million asset DATCU CU in Denton, Texas; $1 billion asset Advancial FCU in Dallas; and $718 million asset United Heritage CU in Austin.

DataTreasury's complaint alleges infringement of its "Ballard Patent," which the company said, is "foundational to modern day, image-based check processing, enabling technological improvements that save the banking industry billions of dollars annually." It asks for a permanent injunction to prevent them from employing the technology and asks for damages based on reasonable royalty.

The Credit Union National Association is aware of DataTreasuryand its claims. The company has targeted large financial institutions with patents related to check processing and the digital capture and storage of checks, and has recently begun targeting small and mid-sized financial institutions, including credit unions and community banks.  The Eastern District of Texas, where the lawsuit is filed, is known to be particularly friendly toward patent plaintiffs.

DataTreasury is one of the earliest and perhaps most well-known "patent trolls" of the financial services industry. The company has generated more than $350 million from at least 41 financial institutions through settlements or license agreements. The companies with which DataTreasury has entered into license agreements include JPMorgan Chase, HSBS Bank, UBS, Citibank, Edward  D. Jones & Co., Merrill Lynch & Co., Bank of New York/Mellon, PNC Financial Services Group, Electronic Data Systems Corp., Diebold, and First Data Corp.

Alamo FCU To Offer Concierge Services

 Permanent link
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (5/30/13)--Alamo FCU has announced a plan to offer concierge service to its members. A credit union representative will arrive at members' home or office to provide personalized services.

"It's a differentiator for us," Max Villaronga, Alamo FCU president/CEO told News Now. "We are in a market with great credit unions and great banks. We wanted to develop a solution for people that don't think banks are that convenient, whether it's 10 branches, or 30 or 40 branches."

The $43 million asset San Antonio, Texas-based credit union will send a branded SUV with a representative to take loan applications, open accounts or assist with other products that Alamo FCU offers (The Financial Brand May 21). The vehicle will not carry cash, the credit union said.

The service is available to all prospective and current members, the credit union said.

The concierge service also saves Alamo the "headache" of further branch investment and maintenance, Villaronga said. "Rather than spending our members' money on facilities, we can provide a significantly upgraded level of service," he added.

The service is offer seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

After a soft roll out 90 days ago, and a formal announcement earlier this month, the service has received an "excellent reception," Villaronga said.

"If they are not at appointments, they are busy prospecting for appointments," he added.

MCUL, MCUF Honor Achievement At Annual Meeting

 Permanent link
LANSING, Mich. (5/30/13)--The Michigan Credit Union League's annual Honor Awards Breakfast took place May 18, recognizing the achievements of outstanding members of the credit union community during the past year.

Winners of this year's league awards (Michigan Monitor May 28) include:

  • Award for Excellence in Consumer Education--Jeremy Cybulski, Co-op Services CU, Livonia;
  • Credit Union Youth Advocate of the Year--Cindy Lardie, TBA CU; Traverse City;
  • Young Professional of the Year-- Kaye Chervenak, Alliance Catholic CU, Troy;
  • Chapter Effectiveness Award--Metro West Chapter;
  • Outstanding Credit Union of the Year--United FCU, Saint Joseph;
  • Credit Union Professional of the Year--Dan Harp, vice president of lending, Dort FCU, Flint; and
  • Distinguished Service Award--Catherine Roberts, in-Fusion Group;
The Michigan Credit Union Foundation also presented its annual awards.

Jan Rose, president/CEO of E&A CU in Port Huron was the recipient of MCUF's Community Volunteer of the Year award. Rose has served on the boards of Habitat for Humanity, the Economic Development Association, Community Action Agency, The Community Foundation, YMCA and the Blue Water Land Fund, and the Board of Trustees of Port Huron Hospital.

Communicating Arts CU in Detroit received the MCUF International Credit Union Development Award. CACU has impacted credit unions and their members in more than 10 countries during the past nine years through its involvement with World Council of Credit Unions.

Beginning in 2003 through a partnership with FULM Savings House in Macedonia, CACU lobbied to establish credit union law and development trainings for Macedonian staff. CACU also is involved in World Council in Africa, supporting the Busia Compassionate Centre program in Kenya and Global Women's Leadership Network initiatives.

This year's Chapter Effectiveness award went to the Metro West chapter, recognizing its efforts in political action committee fundraising, legislative advocacy and community service. In 2012, the chapter helped start up a food pantry, provided healthy alternatives to at-risk girls and women in Detroit, worked on boarding up abandoned homes, and helped with a center for troubled youth. Through 47 grant applications the chapter received, the chapter also was able to support 12 smaller charities.

Equifax: Auto-loan Originations At Eight-year High

 Permanent link
ATLANTA (5/30/13)--Auto-loan originations and the number of new-auto loans in the U.S. each set eight-year highs during January and February, according to Equifax Inc.'s National Consumer Trends Report, released Wednesday.

The two months saw $69.6 billion originated in new credit for auto loans--more than 70% above the recession low of $40.2 billion for the same period in 2009, said the Atlanta-based credit information company.

Equifax noted that 3.5 million new-auto loans originated in January and February, with the total number of loans at 59.8 million, nearly a four-year high.  New loans funded during that time by credit unions, banks and thrifts increased by more than 20% to $35.6 billion from $29.5 billion.

"Sales of new cars and light trucks hit a five-year high in the first quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis, and consumers' demand for auto loans is similarly strong," said Equifax Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts. 

"Light trucks in particular are in demand for the newly energized housing construction trade, and there is a lack of supply of used trucks available so prices on these vehicles are currently rising," said Crews Cutts.  "Consumers are also funding purchases of used cars with loans at attractive rates, and low delinquency rates are allowing lenders to make credit a bit more easily available."

For credit unions' loan portfolios, the auto-loan portion increased into a slightly bigger slice of the pie. New-auto loans in March accounted for 10.7% of loan portfolios, up from 10.1% in March 2012, according to the Credit Union National Association's March Monthly Credit Union Estimates. Used-auto loans in March were 19.4% of the loan portfolios, compared with 18.7% in 2012. (Note: CUNA's monthly estimates for April will be out early next week).

Other key findings:

  • Outstanding auto loan balances totaled $798 billion as of April, up more than 8% from the same time a year ago and a 51-month high;
  • The total number of loans is 59.8 million, nearly a four-year high;
  • As of April, total outstanding balances on loans funded by auto finance companies are $416.9 billion, a 50-month high, while the total number of outstanding loans is more than 31 million, a 46-month high; and
  • For outstanding balances funded by credit unions, banks and thrifts, balances totaled $381.1 billion, a more than 60-month high, while the number of loans outstanding totaled more than 28 million, a 41-month high.
Serious delinquencies on auto loans fell in April for loans funded by banks, credit unions and other depositories to 0.32% of outstanding balances, a 13.9% decline from March and a 9.1% drop from a year earlier.

For loans financed by auto finance companies, serious delinquencies dropped to 1.75% of outstanding balances--down 11.7% from March and 15.4% from April 2012.

Mid-Atlantic Corporate's Net Income Up 124%

 Permanent link
MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (5/30/13)--Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU reported net income of $13.56 million in 2012--a 124% increase over 2011.

Year-end capital at the corporate was $176.05 million, including $167.65 million in tier-one capital. Assets were $3.22 billion, compared with $3.08 billion in 2011. Average assets totaled $3.43 billion, or $501.4 million more than in 2011.

Mid-Atlantic Corporate's merger in February 2012 with VACORP FCU contributed to the increase in assets, capital and net income.

"Mid-Atlantic Corporate is a safe and fiscally sound financial cooperative," said Jay Murray, Mid-Atlantic Corporate president/CEO. "We exceed all four of the required capital ratios that ensure our Corporate is adequately prepared for the future."

At year-end, the corporate's leverage ratio stood at 5.13%--or 1.13% higher than the level mandated by the National Credit Union Administration. The retained earnings ratio was 0.75%, which exceeds the 0.45% that will be required by October.

Its tier-one risk-weighted capital ratio was 20.84%, while its total risk-weighted capital ratio was 22.32%. Both ratios exceed the regulatory requirements of 4% and 8%, respectively.

WOCCU Initiates CU Revitalization In Liberia

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (5/30/13)--Thanks to a US$2.45 million, four-year grant to rapidly expand savings and improve livelihoods of poor and low-income households through credit unions in Liberia, the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) is working with its new member organization, the Liberia Credit Union National Association (LCUNA), to revitalize the credit union system there.

Click to view larger image Liberia Credit Union National Association staff, shown here, and the World Council of Credit Unions will work to revitalize the credit union system in Liberia through a MicroLead program funded by the United Nations Capital Development Fund. (Photo provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
WOCCU recently received the grant from the United Nations Capital Development Fund through its MicroLead program. It is WOCCU's first credit union development in the West African country.

"Liberia is celebrating its 10th consecutive year of peace and is transitioning from a period of stabilization to transformation," said WOCCU President/CEO Brian Branch. "Credit unions are a vital component to Liberia's economic and democratic revitalization as they have become a primary means of rural communities rebuilding their agricultural production and market trade."

The program will establish new credit union savings products, build credit union capacity and strengthen LCUNA's ability to establish and maintain a network of safe and sound credit unions in Liberia. WOCCU also will work with LCUNA to establish four regional credit unions as models for the national credit union system.

Today, LCUNA has 300 affiliated credit unions serving a combined 36,000 members. Before the first of two civil wars from 1989 to 2003, Liberia had 71 credit unions with US$10 million in savings and 20,000 members. Of the pre-war population of 2.8 million, more than 200,000 people lost their lives and 1.8 million were displaced.

Many credit unions lost member deposits and records during the conflicts. Since then, the volunteer-run institutions have received little training in modern standards or marketing strategies, said WOCCU.

Liberia's population today totals four million people. Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said the country can become a middle-income country by 2030. WOCCU said its program supports Liberia's hopes for financial inclusion to achieve that goal.

HGTV Host, CU Dedicate Playground

 Permanent link
LANSING, Mich. (5/30/13)--Lake Michigan CU partnered with HGTV host Carter Oosterhouse to dedicate a new playground in Holland, Mich., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 11.

Click to view larger image From left, U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R); HGTV personality Carter Oosterhouse; Jeremiah Kossen, vice president of operation for Lake Michigan CU, Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Holland, Mich., Mayor Kurt Dykstra cut the ribbon opening a new playground at Holland's Windmill Island. (Photo provided by the Michigan Credit Union League)
The project was initiated by Oosterhouse's charitable foundation, Carter's Kids, which aims to create and promote awareness of fitness and self-esteem for America's youth, the Michigan Credit Union League said (Michigan Monitor May 29).

U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich) and Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra took part in the dedication ceremonies.  

Funded by Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Lake Michigan CU and built by its employees, the new playground serves west Michigan youths as part of Windmill Island in Holland.

Huizenga is a long-time credit union supporter. In 2012, he co-sponsored legislation to raise the cap on credit union member business lending.

Lake Michigan CU recently landed Oosterhouse as its spokesman. Oosterhouse, the host of the new HGTV network show "Million Dollar Rooms," is a native of Traverse City, Mich., and a member of the credit union (News Now March 8).

Three Michigan CUs Net Innovation Awards

 Permanent link
LANSING, Mich. (5/30/13)--The Michigan Credit Union League's first annual Innovation Awards were given to three Michigan credit unions at its Annual Convention & Exposition.

MCUL launched the innovation contest earlier this year to showcase and highlight cutting-edge programs, products and services in the state's credit unions (Michigan Monitor May 28).

Jackson (Mich.) Community FCU, which began offering a recourse lending program in partnership with a local auto dealer, was the winner in the up to $50 million asset category. It allows members who have bad credit or unusual financial situations to get regular financing for responsible vehicles with affordable prices, payments, terms and rates. Through the program, the dealership backs the loan 100%.  If the member does not make the payments, the car is repossessed and returned directly to the dealership.

Frankenmuth (Mich.) CU is the winner in the $50 million-$400 million asset category. A few months ago, the credit union launched The Great $2 Million Community Challenge. The credit union is tracking how much it saves members who refinance their loans with Frankenmuth. When it saves members $2 million in interest, it will donate $10,000 to five charities. Members had the chance to vote on which charities would receive $2,000 each on Facebook and the credit union's website. Since September, the credit union has saved members more than $700,000.

Michigan First CU in Lathrup Village won in the more than $400 million asset category for its Every Member's Experience Counts program. The program induces members to build stronger emotional connections with the credit union by treating them the way they want to be treated. Members are broken into four different groups, depending upon how they emotionally approach handling finances. The groups are identified by different colors. Members' particular emotional or color predominance is then stored at the account level to help staff know how to best connect with a particular member.

Sixteen credit unions of all asset sizes submitted entries.

"We salute the winning credit unions for their forward-thinking, creative programs that take the credit union difference to a whole new level," said MCUL CEO David Adams.

Half of Bank Customers At Risk Of Switching

 Permanent link
NEW YORK (5/30/13)--Within the next six months, 10% of retail banking customers worldwide say they likely will leave their bank, and an additional 41% of customers say they are unsure if they will stay or go, according to the World Retail Banking Report 2013.

That indicates one out of every two banking customers are at risk of switching, said the report.

Credit unions will want to take steps to make sure the people who do switch banks, switch to credit unions.

Meanwhile, banks are being told to make their customers a more important concern. "With half of retail banking customers globally not feeling loyal to their bank, it's clear that banks need to close the gap and build customer-centricity into their DNA," said Jean Lassignardie, chief sales and marketing officer, Capgemini Global Financial Services.

One way to draw new members--or keep existing members--is to go mobile. "The future of retail banking is mobile," said Patrick Desmares with Efma. "By the end of 2013, there will be more mobile devices than people. Banks need to go where the opportunity is ... and that is mobile."

The report is an annual survey of 18,000 customers globally conducted by Capgemini and Efma. The results are worse for banks but not for credit unions. In the 2012 survey, less than half of customers said they might leave their banks.

"Quality of service" emerged as the single most important factor driving customers to switch banks across the 35 markets studied, with the exception of North America, where fees mattered most, followed closely by quality of service.

Positive customer experiences are strongly correlated with the trust customers place in their financial institutions, and with customers' belief that their financial institutions have a good understanding of their needs, said the report. However, trust in banks worldwide has been eroded by scandals, including the rigging of benchmark interest rates, antimoney laundering schemes and other controversies, it added. Today, 49% of all consumers don't completely trust their financial institution.

Customers traditionally were hesitant to change banks because of the perceived complications or barriers involved. Britain plans to stimulate competition by introducing portable account numbers and new rules that allow customers to switch accounts within seven days.

In the survey, banks in nearly every region improved the percentage of customers having a positive experience in 2013. Latin America witnessed the greatest increase at 11.9%, followed by Western Europe at 7.2%, and North America at 5.5%.

Eleven of 35 markets recorded an increase of more than 20% in the number of customers with positive experiences, according to the study. Conversely, nine markets saw a decline in positive experience. Fifteen markets remained even.

Customer satisfaction was greatest in North America, with Canada taking the top spot with a 61% rating and the U.S. following with 57%. Italy, Saudi Arabia, China and Brazil saw the greatest improvements in share of customers with a positive experience. Hong Kong had the lowest rating at 15%, and Japan scored 22%. The report attributed the low ratings to more demanding customers in these markets.

Forty-four percent of those surveyed say they are satisfied with the consistency of experience at their bank across channels, while 57% don't think there's a good product-channel fit, and 63% feel strongly that banks could do a better job understanding their needs and learning their preference.

Fostering service excellence is one of the three prongs of the Credit Union National Association's Unite for Good campaign toward reaching CUNA's strategic vision for the credit union movement, in which "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partners."

To download the full report, use the link.