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CU System

CU System briefs (06/18/2009)

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* SYDNEY, Australia (6/19/09)--Australian credit unions experienced a 13% growth in deposits in the past year, according to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Australian Financial Review. Deposits in the nation's credit unions totaled $4.5 billion. Of that amount $4.3 billion were term deposits, the regulator said. It did not state what caused the increase, but credit unions in the country, like credit unions all over the world, have seen an inflow of deposits from consumers worried about the economy … * HARRISBURG, Pa. (6/19/09)--Credit Union National Association senior economist Mike Schenk provided a look at the state of the economy, both national and in Pennsylvania, during a CEO Leadership Workshop in Harrisburg Wednesday, said the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association. Schenk noted that while numbers are bleak, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The outlook will still be dark for some time, but the economy is moving in the right direction, he said. The good news: credit union loan growth is nearly double the rate found during times of economic downturns, he told the group (Life is a Highway June 18) …

Internet use tripled from 1997 to 2007 says Census

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CHICAGO (6/19/09)--Credit unions might want to make more use of online delivery channels for their members, if the use of the Internet among the general population is any indication. Household Internet use has tripled in the decade between 1997 and 2007, reports the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2007, about 62% of households used the Internet. That's an 18% increase from 1997--the first year the Census Bureau began noting the population's Internet habits. Sixty-four percent of survey respondents age 18 and older accessed the Internet from any location in 2007. That compares with 22% the decade before. Of households accessing the Internet in the most recent survey, 82% did so with a high-speed connection, while 17% had dial-up connections. In 2007, households in Alaska and New Hampshire had the highest rates of Internet use from any location, such as work, home or public access, for residents aged three and older. Mississippi and West Virginia had among the lowest rates of Internet use--52%. Education played a role in how much the population accessed the Internet. Eighty-seven percent of individuals aged 25 and older and who had earned a bachelor's degree accessed the Internet from any location in the most recent study. That compares with 74% of those with "some college," 49% of those with a high school diploma, and 19% of those without a high school diploma. As for race and origin, 69% of whites use the Internet, compared with 51% of blacks, 73% of Asians, and 48% of Hispanics. It is no surprise that younger people were more likely to have online access--73% of 18- to 34-year-olds access the Internet. That figure is more than double the 35% of consumers aged 65 and older online. Of children age 3 to 17, roughly 56% used the Internet.

INews NowI will blog tweet from ACUC

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MADISON, Wis. (6/19/09)--Credit unions can get instant online coverage of the latest happenings during America's Credit Union Conference and Expo (ACUC) in Boston via blogs, twitter, and daily stories in News Now and Credit Union Magazine's website. The conference, presented by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), will kick off Sunday and end Wednesday afternoon. Leigh Gregg, CUNA online editorial director, will provide frequent convention updates on the America's Credit Union Conference blog produced by News Now. She also will tweet shorter tidbits on News Now's LiveWire, a service through Twitter, as well as provide stories daily to News Now. Kathy Kuehn, CUNA director of credit union periodicals, and Jim Hanson, CUNA vice president of personal finance, also will be on site reporting for the ACUC Daily coverage in creditunionmagazine.com, as well as providing coverage for News Now. Coverage will begin Sunday night. Watch for the ACUC Daily and ACUC icons appearing on CUNA's website at www.cuna.org.

Record attendance at Louisiana GAC

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HARAHAN, La. (6/19/09)--Nearly 100 Louisiana credit union professionals and volunteers representing 30 credit unions statewide attended the 2009 Louisiana Credit Union League Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) June 9-10 in Baton Rouge. The event had record attendance. The Louisiana GAC is an annual opportunity for Louisiana credit unions to be heard by their elected officials in Baton Rouge. Anne Cochran, league president/CEO, thanked credit unions for their support and political efforts on behalf of the movement. Featured guest speakers included, John Flagg, National Credit Union Administration; Kirk Cuevos, Dollar & Associates; Loren Scott, Loren C. Scott & Associates; Sid Seyour, Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions; and Michael Xenos, Ph.D., Louisiana State University. El “Bubba” Henry and Jeff Brooks, both with the league’s retained lobbyist/legal counsel, Adams & Reese, briefed attendees on state and national political activities. Attendees shared their position on credit union issues with a number of senators and representatives. Also present and representing the attorney general’s office was Malcolm Myer, director of capitol operations and legislative affairs. “Opportunities to interact one-on-one with our state legislatures provide great inspiration to our credit union officials, showing them that their long-term commitment to political action and fundraising efforts truly do make a difference,” said Connie Major, league executive vice president. “By attending the 2009 Louisiana GAC, attendees were informed and are now prepared to make decisions on upcoming legislation and regulations,” Cochran said. “They are able to play a more proactive role in the legislative future of the Louisiana credit union movement. Individually we are but one voice that could easily get lost in the crowd. But together, credit unions are a force to be reckoned with.”

Wegner Awards deadline extended

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MADISON, Wis. (6/19/09)--The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) has extended the deadline for Wegner Awards nominations from today to June 30. “We understand several credit union leaders are still preparing Wegner Awards nominations, and we want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to compete for the movement’s highest national honors,” said NCUF Awards and Recognition Committee Chairman Bob Schumacher. Nominations are for:
* The Individual Achievement Award. * The Outstanding Organization/Program Award. * The Lifetime Achievement Award.
Nominations can come from individuals and/or organizations. To make a nomination:
* Print out the Wegner Awards nomination form on the NCUF website; * Fill out the nomination form; * Gather at least five letters of recommendation citing examples of the nominee’s achievements relevant to the award criteria; and * Send the nomination form and recommendation letters to NCUF by June 30.
Winners will be honored during the Credit Union National Association’s 2010 Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. The 22nd Annual Wegner Awards Dinner will take place Feb. 22 at the Grand Hyatt Washington.

Three states raise 180k for Homes for Our Troops

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BOSTON (6/19/09)--Homes for Our Troops and title sponsors--the Massachusetts Credit Union League, the New Hampshire Credit Union League and the Credit Union Association of Rhode Island--hosted a gala June 13 in Boston to honor severely injured soldiers, and to raise money to build them specially adapted homes.
Click to view larger image The Massachusetts Credit Union League, the New Hampshire Credit Union League and the Credit Union Association of Rhode Island presented a check for $180,000 to Homes for Our Troops president and founder John Gonsalves. Gonsalves (left) and Dan Egan, president of the credit union leagues, presented the check at a June 13 gala in Boston. (Photo provided by the Massachusetts Credit Union League)
During the event, Dan Egan, president of the credit union leagues, presented a check for $180,000 to John Gonsalves, president and founder for Homes for Our Troops, a national nonprofit that helps build specially adapted homes for injured soldiers. “Because of the help given by credit unions, we will be able to move another severely injured veteran, Nathan Hunt, off of our waiting list and start the process of building a home for him and his family,” Gonsalves said. Staff Sgt. Mathew Keil, a quadriplegic as the result of a sniper attack in Afghanistan, spoke at the event. He talked about his recovery and his admiration for the wives and families of severely injured veterans. The Credit Union National Association and credit unions have been active in helping Homes for Our Troops, and worked with the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions to build two homes near the sites of the conventions. Credit unions helped build the homes for Army Sgt. Marcus Kuboy in St. Paul, Minn., site of the Republican convention, and Staff Sgt. Travis Strong in Golden, Colo., near the Denver site of the Democratic convention.

ATM fraud ring arrests made stole from Florida CUs

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (6/19/09)--Police in Jacksonsville, Fla., recently made three arrests in a complex ATM fraud ring involving more than 100 people. The ring defrauded a number of Florida credit unions. Ophel Day, Tony Fudge and Jacob Dunn were arrested for depositing bad checks into ATMs and then making withdrawals or purchases before the checks bounced, according to federal investigators (WJXT Jacksonville June 17). The fraud has cost local credit unions from $300,000 to $500,000, police said. Affected credit unions include Jacksonville-based Vystar CU and Mulberry, Fla.-based Community First CU. More arrests will be made, Paul Elliot of the Secret Service, told the newspaper. The scam begins when account holders sell their ATM cards and personal identification numbers for up to $500 to a “recruiter” in the ring, authorities said. The recruiter then passes the information on to the scam’s ringleader. Individuals giving up their card then report the card as stolen (Jacksonville.com June 17). Recruiters deposit checks that are counterfeit, stolen or from closed accounts into ATMs. The active accounts allow a percentage of the money deposited to be immediately withdrawn, with subsequent withdrawals and purchases from businesses conducted before the check is returned, authorities said. Account holders often report that their cards are stolen or lost after the thefts occur. Many are reimbursed for losses they claim--which results in a double whammy to the financial institutions involved, authorities added. In the end, costs are borne by legitimate customers through fees--or in the case of credit unions through the increased cost of conducting business, police and a credit union official told Jacksonville.com.

Newest report shows fraud trends

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MADISON, Wis. (6/19/09)--The recently released May 2009 Online Fraud report from RSA Security Inc.’s Anti-Fraud Command Center provides information for credit unions and others about the latest fraud trends and forecasts for the next 12 to 18 months. These include:
* Muling--the evolution of recruitment scams directed towards unsuspecting individuals to aid in the monetization of stolen goods; * Evolving supply chains, including fraud-as-a-service, which helps online criminals commit fraud; * Significant increase in attacks against the enterprise; * Evolution in crimeware and attack vectors including: a rise in use of the latest crimeware delivery method; fast-flux botnets (a network of compromised computers); improvements in both Trojan functionality and infrastructure; and consolidation of “traditional” phishing and malware attacks.
The number of phishing attacks in April dropped 7% from March attacks, the report said. In the next 12 to 18 months, RSA said it expects to see an increase in enterprise fraud in which online criminals can gain access to sensitive corporate data such as intellectual property and business plans. To stay ahead of the fraudsters, RSA recommends that companies deploy a layered approach to security, which has three core elements:
* Understand the threat landscape--Organizations must understand the threats that are targeting their business and the relative risks they pose. By doing so, organizations can mitigate the risks of online fraud or even prevent it from occurring at all. * Use multi-factor authentication to protect the login--Username and password authentication is not enough to protect access to sensitive data today. Multi-factor authentication--including two-factor and risk-based authentication--are critical to preventing unauthorized access to a user’s sensitive and personal data. * Monitor transactions and activities that occur post-login--Going beyond authentication solutions that can challenge users to assure their identity login, organizations should consider implementing a transaction-monitoring solution that analyzes and challenges high-risk transactions after login has occurred. Transaction monitoring can help identify suspicious post-login activities and mark them for further review.
For more information, see the RSA website.

ACUC attendees can sign True Commitment to CUs

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BOSTON (6/19/09)--Attendees at America's Credit Union Conference (ACUC) next week can pledge their "True Commitment" to credit unions by signing a "Sign of Commitment" for a 5-by-8 signature wall. With each signature, they also will raise funds for the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF). CUNA Mutual Group will contribute $5 to NCUF for every ACUC attendee who signs the wall. The wall will be displayed at CUNA Mutual's booth, No. 209, in the ACUC exhibit hall. Everyone who signs will receive a wristband to wear as a symbol of their commitment to the credit union movement. The additional support will go toward NCUF's Development Education program, which helps credit unions leverage their commitment to cooperative principles as a competitive advantage in the financial marketplace. Nearly 900 people have earned the Credit Union Development Educator designation. Throughout 2009, the centennial year of the first credit union law, CUNA Mutual has taken the Sign of Commitment to major credit union events to honor credit unions and their members. It was first displayed at the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington. During the GAC, 600 credit union advocates signed their commitment and raised $3,000 for NCUF (News Now Feb. 25). America's CU Conference and Expo will be held Sunday through Wednesday at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. It is presented by CUNA.

FirstCorp announces new board members

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PHOENIX (6/19/09)--First Corporate CU (FirstCorp) announced that Robert Swick and Joe Mirachi were elected as new members to the FirstCorp board of directors. Swick, president/CEO of Tucson, Ariz.-based Hughes FCU will serve a two-year term. Mirachi, president/CEO of Tucson Old Pueblo CU, will serve a three-year term. David Doss, president/CEO of Arizona State CU, Phoenix, was elected FirstCorp Board chair. Other board officers are:
* Vice Chair Bruce Rodela, Frontier Financial CU, Reno, Nev.; * Treasurer Robert Ramirez, Vantage West CU, Tucson; * Secretary Dan Desmond, TruWest CU, Scottsdale, Ariz.; and * Director Harry Mateer, Altier CU, Tempe, Ariz.
First Corporate CU is based in Phoenix.

DEs re-enact Estes Park photo of 1934

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BOULDER, Colo. (6/19/09)--A group of Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) met in Boulder, Colo., last week for its annual development educators (DEs) workshop and traveled to Estes Park to re-enact a historic photo of a group that met there to create the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in 1934.
Click to view larger image Credit Union Development Educators met in Boulder, Colo., last week for the annual development educators workshop. Re-enacting a historic photo and meeting of the group that met in Estes Park to create the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in 1934 are seated, from left, Claire Ippoliti, Kara Kirschner-Brooks, Lois Kitsch, Susan Luke, Barbara Main and Michael Ray. Standing, from left, Theodora Turula, Steven Serfozo, Jake Lay, Tom Decker, Larry Blanchard, Mike Banks, Pamela Tremblay, Bob Schumacher, Jim Dixon, Jeff Purvis and Walt Laskos. (Photo provided by the Credit Union Development Educators)
In 1934, roughly 52 delegates representing 20 states and the District of Columbia gathered to form the Credit Union National Extension Bureau--the predecessor of CUNA. This year is CUNA’s 75th anniversary. The famous photograph of the delegates and their families was taken by Fred Clatworthy Jr. The 20 DEs last week re-enacted the Clatworthy photo to pay tribute to the early pioneers of the credit union movement, and to re-dedicate CUDES to the same spirit, passion and vision of CUNA’s founders. While in Estes Park, the DE group sang a song that delegates 75 years ago sang after completing the by-laws of CUNA. The song and photo re-enactment was documented in a short video created by the group and posted to YouTube. To view it, use the link. Attendees of the workshop also discussed cooperative social responsibility to credit union sustainability. Presenters included Pat Sterner, JFB & Associates; George Hofheimer, the Filene Institute; Dennis Paul, Elevations CU, Boulder; and Mary Roosevelt, Thistle Community Housing.

Americas CU Conference kicks off Sunday in Boston

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MADISON, Wis. (6/19/09)--America's Credit Union Conference and Expo will kick off Sunday afternoon in Boston with a special general session highlighting a special year--the 100th anniversary of credit unions--and honoring the revolutionaries who created the U.S. credit union movement. About 1,500 attendees are expected this year, said Todd Spiczenski, vice president of the center for professional development at Credit Union National Association (CUNA). CUNA is presenting the conference, which will end at noon on Wednesday. "Given the economy, the attendance is better than we hoped. Last year we had 1,600 attending in New York." Spiczenski noted that 52% of attendees already registered are executives and credit union staff, with CEOs having a slight edge in numbers. Forty-eight percent of attendees are volunteer/directors. They represent credit unions averaging $803 million in assets, with the median amount at $263 million in assets. On Sunday, attendees can register for tours of America's Credit Union Museum, housed in the first credit union building in the U.S. Credit Union Magazine's Hero of the Year Award will be presented, and a reception and session honoring the first 100 years of credit unions will follow. The events will include five keynoters.
* Bert Jacobs, co-founder of Life is good, who will tell how he and his brother John turned those three words into a major T-shirt brand with more than $100 million in sales. He will address making a difference while making a profit; * Bill Hampel, CUNA's senior vice president of research and chief economist, and Mike Schenk, CUNA's vice president of economics and statistics, will discuss the best ways to respond to current economic challenges and provide an outlook for the economy; * Dan Roam, author of "The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas With Pictures"; and * Guy Kawasaki, best-selling author of "Rules for Revolutionaries: The Capitalist Manifesto for Creating and Marketing New Products and Services."
The Exhibit Hall grand opening will be Sunday night. More than 325 vendors will be manning 148 booths during the conference. For more information, use the link.