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CU System

Many ATMs destroyed in Iowas flood

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CHICAGO (6/25/08)--The water in several flooded Iowa cities took its toll on ATMs serving credit unions and banks in the area, according to several ATM manufacturers. Although the totals will be sketchy until waters recede and branch managers can get to their buildings to assess the damages, officials from Diebold Inc. told ATM & Debit News (June 19) that a large number of ATMs were destroyed. All ATMs that came in contact with the water are "totaled." Once the personal computer that drives the ATM gets wet, the ATM must be replaced, Diebold spokesperson Mike Jacobsen told the publication. Staff making repairs had to use boats to get to branches and ATMs. Johnston, Iowa-based Shazam Inc., an electronic funds network that serves ATMs in Iowa, estimated that 60 ATMs there have stopped operating because of the flooding in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. A Wells Fargo & Co. Inc. bank shut down six of its ATMs in Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Des Moines and Waterloo. It also closed an off-site ATM in flooded Jefferson, Wis. Power outages also make it difficult to assess the extent of the damage. ATMs are considered a key part of recovery efforts during a disaster because victims find it reassuring if they can withdraw funds from their accounts to handle emergency expenses related to the disaster, the article said.

Iowa Corporate donates 100000 for flood relief

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DES MOINES, Iowa (6/25/08)--Iowa Corporate Central CU donated $100,000 to the Iowa Credit Union Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund after issuing a $50,000 matching grant challenge to the credit union community. The money will help thousands of Iowa credit union members affected by recent flooding. The foundation already has received more than $220,000 in contributions to aid credit union members and employees. “Thousands of Iowans are in need of support as they begin to recover from the devastating floods,” said Tom Kuehl, Iowa Corporate CEO. “Our contribution will help families get back on their feet, and we are happy to be able to give back to the credit union community.” Collins Community CU, Cedar Rapids, donated $50,000 to the fund. The Iowa Credit Union League donated $25,000 to the fund and Linn Area CU, Cedar Rapids, donated $25,000 to help its members. Fourteen other credit unions in the state have contributed to the fund, along with Car Solutions/CFS Financial Services, Atlanta; the Louisiana Credit Union League; Members United Corporate FCU; and the Ohio Credit Union Foundation. The foundation also received private contributions from individuals in the credit union industry. “There has been an incredible outpouring of financial support from the entire credit union industry,” said Marybeth Foster, foundation executive director. “We will work to get these funds distributed in a timely manner to credit union members in need throughout the state.”

Online personal finance sites open door for ID theft

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NEEDHAM, Mass. (6/25/08)--New non-bank online personal finance sites that combine traditional account aggregation services with Web 2.0 concepts such as social interaction are missing a critical component: adequate fraud prevention capabilities. New research from Needham, Mass.-based TowerGroup says such sites' failure to have adequate fraud prevention capabilities leaves an open door for identity thieves. Many new online personal finance websites, such as Banzai, Mint and Wesabe, leverage intuitive user interfaces to offer personal financial management tools, financial advice and social interaction. This contrasts to the online account aggregation services offered by traditional financial institutions, said TowerGroup. The new sites leverage consumers' propensity for online interaction and information sharing to provide services and insights not usually found on most online banking portals--such as viewing personal financial information, seeing how others manage and spend their money, and receiving free financial advice. "By incorporating state-of-the-art Web technologies and community-sharing features like Web forums and blogs, these sites seek to tap into individuals' desire to interact, share, learn and belong to a like-minded community," said George Tubin, senior research director of the delivery channels and financial information security practices at TowerGroup. However, most of these new sites pose a security risk because they use single-factor authentication--just a username and password, he cautioned. That means these sites likely will become the next target of phishers and other fraudsters--especially since most credit unions and banks have moved to multifactor authentication and they aggressively educate members and other consumers about security. The newer sites must understand the sensitive nature of their customer data, and bolster their data and Web security capabilities with stronger online authentication technologies, said TowerGroup. TowerGroup also suggested that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) consider adopting regulations and guidance imposed by the federal banking regulators for such online sites. Consumer banks will "watch this market space closely, and will either adopt similar capabilities or partner with new independent players or acquire them," said Tubin, noting the combination of new online personal finance sites and traditional institutions' product, service and security capabilities "could lead to a compelling new combination currently unmatched in the industry." For more information about the research, "The Impact of Online Personal Finance Offering: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," use the resource link.

CMG Mortgage Insurance offers guidance for floods

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (6/25/08)--CMG Mortgage Insurance Company (CMG MI) Tuesday announced that its insured policyholders can take advantage of payment relief options for their members facing financial hardship related to the flooding in the Midwest. “CMG MI offers credit union mortgage servicers a number of ways to provide relief to members in the declared disaster areas,” Brian Shepherd, senior vice president and general manager of CMG MI, said. “For example, at their discretion following consultation with CMG MI, servicers may reduce or suspend mortgage payments for up to 12 months for members with CMG MI-insured mortgages.” To help mitigate the impact of the flooding and preserve homeownership, CMG MI is instructing servicers of insured loans to work with members affected by the flood disaster to implement several relief measures, including:
* Forbearance on the member’s mortgage payments for up to 12 months; * No reporting of forbearance or delinquencies caused by the disaster to credit bureaus; * Suspension of foreclosure and eviction proceedings for up to 12 months; and * Suspension of termination of CMG MI-insured certificates for non-payment of premium by servicers.
“Helping these flood victims stay in their homes is CMG MI’s goal,” said Kathy Schroeder, senior vice president and general manager of CMG MI. “These homeowners need to focus on repairing the damage to their properties and rebuilding their lives. "CMG MI supports their efforts through the significant relief options available to our insured policyholders, which are modeled on those offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We recognize that preserving homeownership is essential," Schroeder said. Contact Chris Eckenroad, CMG MI claims and customer service manager, at 800-909-4264, ext. 2539, or Mark Berkowitz, CMG MI’s vice president for operations and underwriting, at ext. 2504, for additional information on the company’s disaster relief effort. Eckenroad and Berkowitz will conduct case-by-case evaluations to establish payment alternatives for credit union members affected by the disaster.

PCUA OKs 100000 for Community Investment Fund

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (6/25/08)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) board approved an investment of $100,000 in the Community Investment Fund (CIF) in a three-year certificate, the association said yesterday (Life is a Highway June 24). CIF is the National Credit Union Foundation’s (NCUF) primary funding mechanism for national, state and local programs that benefit credit unions and their members. Investors in CIF, through their corporate credit union donate up to 2% of the dividend to NCUF, which dedicates up to 1% to national programs including:
* REAL Solutions, which helps credit unions offer new services to serve consumers who are struggling to save or build assets; * Biz Kid$, the first PBS-TV series devoted to youth financial education and underwritten by America's Credit Unions; * Credit Union Development Education, which promotes cooperative principles and credit union philosophy to make a positive impact in communities around the world; * Social Impact Management Institute, which makes the business case for social responsibility initiatives that meet a “triple bottom line” benefiting credit unions, their members, and their communities; and * Innovation Grants, which encourage credit union innovations through creative grant-making.
NCUF then grants up to 1% to the state credit union foundation or league in the state where each investment originated. States can use these CIF grants to:
* Educate credit union employees and volunteers; * Educate credit union members and potential members; * Support new credit unions, small credit unions, or community development credit unions; * Extend credit union services to their full fields of membership; * Fund affordable housing projects; * Enhance league projects with similar missions; and * Build a statewide credit union disaster relief reserve.

CUDL honors CUs for auto lending achievements

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LAS VEGAS (6/25/08)--CU Direct Corporation (CUDL) honored 12 credit unions Monday with the 2008 Best Practices Awards and Diamond Awards at its 10th Annual Auto Lending Symposium in Las Vegas.
Click to view larger image Pictured are the CU Direct Corporation (CUDL) Best Practice and Diamond Award winners (from left): Mike Chapman, Security Service FCU; Stuart Phillips, UBI FCU; Ken Carlson, University of Wisconsin CU; Diane Richard, Digital CU; Carl Roer, Sound CU; Craig Durkey, Redwood CU; Marti Rubino, Community First CU; Pete Van Graafeiland, Coastal FCU; Jenni Blair, First Tech CU; Eric Brotherson, Erie FCU; George Kite, Call FCU; and Cynthia Seymour, Tucoemas FCU. (Photo provided by CU Direct Corporation)
Awards were distributed in five categories:
* Business Development and Dealer Relations: Tucoemas FCU, Visalia, Calif., and Sound CU, Tacoma, Wash.; * Portfolio Growth and Risk Management: North Carolina Coast FCU, Raleigh, N.C., and First Technology CU, Beaverton, Ore.; * Marketing to Members: Call FCU, Richmond, Va., and UBI FCU, Plainville, Conn.; * Remarketing and Collections: Community First CU, Santa Rosa, Calif., and Redwood CU, Santa Rosa, Calif.; and * Marketing AutoSMART: Erie (Pa.) FCU, and University of Wisconsin CU, Madison, Wis.
Security Service FCU, San Antonio, Texas, and Digital CU, Marlborough, Mass., were honored with the CUDL Diamond Award for advancing their auto lending programs. CUDL, based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., provides indirect and point-of-sale lending services for credit unions.

MarylandDC foundation elects leaders

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COLUMBIA, Md. (6/25/08)--Lisa Jester, CEO of Central CU of Maryland, was elected as chair of the Credit Union Foundation of Maryland and the District of Columbia during its annual meeting May 19. She replaces immediate past Chair Rob Windsor, CEO, First Financial FCU, Lutherville, Md. Jester joined the board in 2003 and has served as vice chair for the past four years (Focus Newsletter June 23). Other officers elected include:
* Vice Chair, Windsor; * Treasurer, James Higbee, partner, Rowles & Co.; and * Secretary, Michael Beall, president of the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association.
Elected to three-year terms as directors were Bert Hash, CEO of Municipal Employees CU of Baltimore; Higbee; and Frank Taddeo, senior vice president, PFP Inc. According to foundation Executive Director Kyle Swisher, the foundation has provided more than $35,000 in funding the past four years to support the credit union movement through programs in financial literacy, credit union staff development and outreach to the underserved.

Filene research focuses on CUs most valuable asset people

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MADISON, Wis. (6/25/08)--Credit unions can learn how to optimize their operations through people with a new report from the Filene Research Institute. Filene recently held a colloquium at Loyola University in Chicago to examine the roles that compensation, human resource management and organizational development play in a credit union’s ability to create a culture of excellence that engages in exceeding members’ expectations. A report on the colloquium, “Building a Culture of Credit Union Excellence,” is available and features presentations by Paul Davis, president, Scanlon Leadership Network, about his Scanlon Plan. The plan aims to cut the worker in on the adventure, decisions and profits of increased production, and help management tap the ingenuity of employees as a means of improving production.
“The Scanlon Plan is one truly big idea that stands out,” said Denise Gabel, Filene chief innovation officer. “Employee participation, management and labor cooperation, collaborative problem-solving, teamwork and trust are all part of the elusive formula to overall organizational success.” Dow Scott, professor of human resources, Loyola University, and president of Performance Development International, argues that based on the Scanlon plan, an organization must meet the needs of three groups. He also describes the relationship between a culture of excellence and innovation. The report details a case study of Watermark CU, Seattle, which used the Scanlon process and is building on W. Edwards Deming’s principles to drive growth and generate revenue. Charles Cockburn, Watermark CU CEO, describes the changes the credit union made by eliminating standard incentives like employee-of-the-month awards and individual sales incentives. He also shares his gain-sharing formula, which uses a ratio of operating expense to gross income to measure increases in productivity. The plan develops baselines over three-year periods, creates pools of monies and attaches percentages are attached for payouts.

Wisconsin CUs provide relief to flood victims

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PEWAUKEE, Wis. (6/25/08)--Wisconsin credit unions are stepping up to help members affected by recent flooding in the state, according to the Wisconsin Credit Union League. Health Care CU, Oshkosh, is offering low-interest loans to help members. “We’re working with members on a case-by-case basis,” Pat Blades, Health Care CU president said. “We’re trying to find out what people’s needs are and how we can help them.” Oshkosh Community CU is offering several low-interest loans to help members, said Cathie Steiner, Oshkosh Community loan officer and marketing director. “Our members are waiting for help from their insurance and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but they need the help now,” she said. “Most of these members had to throw everything out of their basements because of bacteria that could be in the water. So it’s been mostly members in need of washers and dryers and hot water heaters.” County-City CU, Jefferson, offered its members free debit cards. Fond du Lac CU is offering loans up to $5,000 per household with no payment or interest for 120 days. After 120 days, the members will get a discounted interest rate depending on their credit history. The credit union also is offering payment extensions on loans for up to three months. One Fond du Lac CU board member who volunteers with the American Red Cross overheard a woman saying she was grateful her credit union helped her get a loan, Fond du Lac CU President Chris Rockweit reported. Southshore CU, Cudahy, is accepting contributions for a relief fund for its former board chairman, Tom Pekar, who lost his home located on land between Lake Delton and the Wisconsin River when the lake drained. Westby Co-op CU suspended overdraft charges for two days for all members after the flooding, said Kevin Hauser, Westby Co-op president. “We realize that when people are trying to save their homes and belongings, they may not be thinking about getting a deposit to the credit union,” he said. The credit union suspended charges for a week in harder-hit areas and authorized loan payment extensions for up to three months. Staff at the credit union also help sandbag the area and volunteered at local shelters. The Reedsburg branch donated $200 to a local relief fund from their Causal for a Cause program, where employees contribute $1 each Friday to wear jeans to work.

Federation election results announced

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NEW YORK (6/25/08)--The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions held its 2008 board elections at its Annual Membership Business Meeting in Dallas June 14. New board members are: Region 1: Shirley Spruill, CEO, Renaissance Community Development CU, Somerset, N.J.; and Region 4: Ginger McNally, Santa Cruz (Calif.) Community CU. Others elected include:
* Board chairman and Region 2 director: Eunice J. Rogers, CEO, NRS Community Development FCU, Birmingham, Ala.; * Vice chairman: Randy Chambers, chief financial officer, Self-Help CU, Durham, N.C.; * Treasurer: Helen Godfrey Smith, CEO, Shreveport FCU, Shreveport, La.; * Corresponding secretary and Region 3 director: Lynda Milton, CEO, Houston (Texas) Teamsters FCU; and * Recording secretary and Region 1 director: Deyanira Del Rio, chairman, Lower East Side Peoples’ FCU, New York.
Marvin Jensen, board member, Episcopal Community FCU, Los Angeles, was re-elected as a regional director to complete the remaining term of a vacancy in Region 4. For a complete list of the federation’s board of directors, use the link.