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Study Americans re-set retirement expectations

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LOS ANGELES (7/14/11)--Credit unions should prepare for a renewed focus on retirement planning and education as Americans re-set their post-recession retirement expectations. According to a new study, Americans emerged from the recession with a significant shift since 2001 in their expectations around the purpose, timing and funding of retirement. The SunAmerica Retirement Re-Set Study, sponsored by SunAmerica Financial Group in collaboration with Age Wave, is based on a national opinion telephone survey conducted in April by Harris Interactive among 1,001 Americans age 55 and older. "While the recession clearly had a financial and emotional impact, it was very encouraging to see that three out of five Americans 55 and older have remained hopeful for the future," said Jay S. Wintrob, SunAmerica Financial Group president/CEO. "Americans are emerging from the experience with new knowledge, new discipline and have re-set their vision of an ideal retirement." Credit unions might need a re-set, too, of their retirement savings products and financial education. Americans are clearly interested in more financial help and from many sources, said the report. Before, during and after the recession, only about 50% of Americans felt financially informed. Today, 80% want education and advice on saving and investing for retirement at their workplace and 92% feel that financial management should be a standard part of a high school education. Key findings about today's pre-retirees and retirees:
* They have a new outlook, with 54% viewing retirement as a new chapter in life rather than a winding down. That compares with 38% holding a similar view a decade ago. * Retirement is being postponed. Pre-retirees now say they intend to delay retirement by five years--from 64 to 69--because of increasing longevity, the recession and financial need. * Retirement no longer means the end of work. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed indicated they would like to remain productive and work some in retirement to stay active and involved. * Financial peace of mind is now six times more important than accumulating wealth, with 82% of respondents naming it their key financial goal. * Unexpected multigenerational family assistance is the new retirement wild card. Pre-retirees must balance their retirement plans with the possibility supporting aging relatives, adult children, grandchildren and siblings. Nearly half of those surveyed expect to provide this support, and 70% believe their adult children will need financial assistance.
Many of those surveyed felt the negative impact of the recession. One-third said their financial assets still have not recovered to pre-recession levels and nearly half (46%) indicated their home is worth less now than before the recession. Today's retirement mindset re-set is defined by:
* A more flexible balance of work and leisure; * A re-setting of values and obligations, with better appreciation for quality family/friend relationships with friends while 96% said it is important to protect themselves and their families against financial uncertainties. "The financial services industry will be called upon to provide new solutions in retirement planning as people are concerned about a need to plan financially not only for parents, but also adult children, grandchildren, siblings and in-laws," said Wintrob. * Re-setting long life expectations. Of those surveyed, 67% said they want to live to 100, remain productive, establish deep relationships, witness new discoveries and experience years of leisure. However, their concerns include health problems, being a burden to family and running out of money. Also, the study found that Americans may not have as many years to save for retirement as they expect. Nearly half of today's retirees retired earlier than planned; 41% did so because of unexpected health problems and 19% due to loss of employment. * Re-setting retirement for Boomers. The boomers likely will have less in entitlements, less money for retirement and less respect from younger generations. However, they likely will be more active and youthful, and have more opportunities to learn and grow than previous generations. * Re-setting financial strategies. Seventy-six percent agreed the last few years were a needed financial wake-up call; 84% today exercise more cautious investment strategies. Protecting assets is five times more important today than investing aggressively to make up for lost time. Retirees now want investments guaranteed not to lose value and investments that protect their income from market loss.
"This is a significant shift and a clear lesson resulting from the recession, with Americans now seeking the preservation of assets as a top investment goal," said Wintrob. "The appetite for risk has clearly diminished. As Americans approach and enter retirement over the next decade, their need for asset protection, risk management and lifetime income solutions will take on even greater significance."

Court NCUA can sell building from liquidation

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LAS VEGAS (7/14/11)--A federal bankruptcy court has given the go-ahead so the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) can foreclose on a vacant Las Vegas office building, a liability the agency inherited when it liquidated the Henderson, Nev.-based Ensign FCU in 2009. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Washington, D.C., lifted the stay last month, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal (July 13). The agency holds a $1.5 million loan on a vacant, 10,000-square-foot, one-story office building that was used as collateral for a $1.4 million loan in 2005 by the credit union to Los Angeles real estate investor Isaac Norman and two partners, Hamid Mahban and Ali Moradshahi. The property was appraised at $5 million before the collapse in 2008 of the real estate market, said the article. The real estate partners had leased it to the state of Nevada and Clark County, but the government entities terminated their leases to save costs. The borrowers did not have the income to make the loan payments and defaulted on the loan. When NCUA started foreclosure proceedings, the borrowers sued to stop the sale of the property. The credit union was closed on Sept. 25, 2009 (News Now Sept. 25, 2009) and involuntarily liquidated on Nov. 13, 2009. It had 7,900 members and $98 million in assets at the time of liquidation. EDS CU of Plano, Texas, assumed the members' share accounts.

Rein-Zima fills final N.J. foundation board seat

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HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (7/14/11)--The New Jersey Credit Union Foundation announced the addition of Cindy Rein-Zima, president/CEO of Hamilton (N.J.) Horizons FCU, to its board of directors. Rein-Zima fills the ninth and final board seat, vacant since a 2009 bylaw change that expanded the number of board seats from seven to nine. Foundation board officers are:
* Chairman--Ann South, president/CEO, Novartis FCU, East Hanover, N.J. * Vice chairman--Michael Hou, United Teletech Financial FCU, Tinton Falls, N.J.;and * Secretary/treasurer--Paul Gentile, president/CEO, New Jersey Credit Union League, Hightstown, N.J.
Remaining NJCUF board members include:
* Kevin Brauer, senior vice president, Members United Bridge Corporate, Warrenville, Ill.; * Eileen Crean, president/CEO, Members 1st of NJ FCU, Vineland, N.J.; * William Kennedy, chief financial officer, Jersey Shore FCU, Northfield, N.J.; * Rodney May, senior vice president, Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU, Middletown, Pa; and * Tracy Sussmann, president/CEO, Mid-State FCU, Carteret, N.J.

CU donating 1060 per weekday to charities

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PLYMOUTH, Mich. (7/14/11)--Community Financial CU, Plymouth, Mich., is giving away $1,060 every weekday for 60 days as part of its Summer of Sharing program to help local nonprofit organizations. Charities, communities or school groups can be nominated by people going online at to answer the question, “What good could you do with $1,060?”(PR Newswire July 13). The $457 million asset credit union launched the program June 13 to celebrate its 60th anniversary. “We know tough economic times can impact groups that rely on donations to keep running,” Said Sarah Cosineau, Community Financial marketing manager. “Community Financial has remained a strong financial choice for our members, and the Summer of Sharing is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to our communities for their faith in us.”

Mid-Atlantic Corporate announces ITSecurity Conference

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MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (7/14/11)--Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU, Middletown, Pa., is offering credit unions practical advice during its first IT and Security Conference, Aug. 16-17 in Harrisburg, Pa. Brian Krebs, editor of, a daily blog that focuses on cyber security news and investigations, will be the keynote speaker. He will talk about organized cyber-crime gangs and the threat they pose to corporations, sharing what he has learned during 16 months of in-depth investigations. Kreb’s blog has been named one of the best non-technical security blogs. Kirk Drake, president/CEO of Ongoing Operations LLC, A CUNA Strategic Services provider, will discuss business continuity and disaster recovery best practices. In the six years since he founded Ongoing Operations, the company has supported clients through more than 35 disasters and 250 tests. Other industry specialists presenting at the conference will discuss social-media risk, business continuity, disaster recovery, incident response, e-mail archiving, storage visualization and patch management. They include:
* Tyler Britten, EMC2 Corp.; * Angie Singer Keating, Reclamere Inc.; * Alan White, Del SecureWorks; * Jill Hearn, EMC2 Corporation; * Mark Bell, Digital Defenses Inc,; and * Rocky Giglio, Arraya Solutions.
For more information, use the link.

Redwoods Amazing Savers contestants make progress

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SANTA ROSA, Calif. (7/14/11)--Santa Rosa, Calif.-based Redwood CU’s (RCU) Amazing Savers contestants are reshaping their financial lives during 2011 as they compete for a $10,000 prize. The Amazing Savers contest follows five teams of RCU members through the year as they work with coaches from the credit union to improve their finances through budgeting, refinancing, reducing debt and investing. Among the savings realized so far by each team:
* Team Van Patten is saving $387 each month by refinancing its car loan and credit cards. * Team Flores reduced its auto loan interest rate from to 4.74% from 7.50%, saving $130 per month. It also plans to start a 401(k) to help with retirement savings. * Team Jaworski saved $800 and will pay off its car loan two months early by refinancing. It also increased its credit score by 84 points, is saving $274 a year on insurance and received additional coverage plus renters insurance by shopping different carriers. * Team Lynch reduced credit card interest rates to 7% from 29.99%, cutting its payments half and saving more than $2,000 in interest alone. It also has found creative ways to save on everyday expenses through coupons and other deals. * Team Campbell has put aside a $6,000 emergency fund to help through tight times as a small business owner, and has cut its grocery spending by more than 50% using the provided budgeting tools.
The contestants’ financial transformation progress is chronicled online through contestant and coach blogs. RCU also is promoting the contest through staff T-shirt days; radio, print and online ads; and on Facebook and Twitter. Followers of the contest can cast their vote for the contestant they believe has made the most progress. At the end of the year, the team with the greatest improvement to its finances will win $10,000 to put toward its financial goals.

CU helps keep local business open senator told

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ST. LOUIS (7/14/11)--Nine Missouri credit unions took action July 7 to urge U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) to move forward on member business lending (MBL) legislation. The Small Business Lending Enhancement Act (S.509) bill would raise the MBL cap to 27.5% of total credit union assets from 12.25%, with requirements that address safety and soundness concerns. There is an MBL bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 1418, with identical language (The Missouri difference July 12).
Emily Brown (left), owner of Emily Hart Bridal, shows Amber Eichman lace details of her gown’s train. Brown opened the bridal shop after receiving a loan from Community America CU, Kansas City. (Photo provided by the Missouri Credit Union Association)
More than a dozen credit union presidents and MBL staff outlined concerns and emphasized the need to support and pass the Senate bill during a conference call with Blunt staff member Jamie Hollenberg. Emily Brown, a CommunityAmerica CU member and owner of Emily Hart Bridal, described to Hollenberg how she was turned down by two banks before getting a loan and line of credit from a Kansas City branch of the $1.71 billion asset Lenexa, Kan.-based credit union. This allowed Brown to purchase her new location. “Without the credit union, I probably would have had to close the doors,” Brown said. “In one year since getting the loan, business has grown 200% and I have hired several people.” It’s estimated that by lifting the cap, 1,676 new jobs could be generated in Missouri and an additional $154 million in business loans could be made to small-business entrepreneurs in the first year, said the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA). Nationwide, it would bring 140,000 new jobs and $13 billion in new member business loans. “This is a zero-dollar stimulus that is needed, and it has no cost to taxpayers,” said Mike Beall, MCUA president/CEO. CU Community CU, Springfield, is one of several Missouri credit unions nearing the arbitrary MBL limit. “It’s frustrating because I have to turn people down every day, even though our credit union has money to lend,” said Carolina Decker, CU Community vice president of lending. “These are good loan opportunities with small-business owners who need our help, and we are limited in what we can do.” Credit unions participating in the call included:
* Alliance CU, Fenton; * Assemblies of God CU, Springfield; * Central Communications CU, Kansas City; * CommunityAmerica CU, Kansas City; * CU Community CU, Springfield; * Mazuma CU, Kansas City; * Metro CU, Springfield; * United CU, Mexico; and * West Community CU, O’Fallon.
Participants urged Blunt to co-sponsor and support the MBL bill. Currently, there are no Missouri co-sponsors on the Senate bill. U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-District 3) is a House MBL bill co-sponsor. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions are pressing Congress to increase credit unions’ MBL cap and support the bills in Congress so they can open up more opportunity to offer MBLs.

Community CUs conference celebrates innovation growth

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MADISON, Wis. (7/14/11)--With the theme, “Where innovation takes flight and growth happens,” the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) 2011 Community Credit Union & Growth Conference will be held Oct. 24-27 in San Francisco. Keynote speakers at the conference include Jeanne Bliss, founder of CustomerBliss, and Doug Hall, CEO of Eureka! Ranch. Hall’s session, “Accelerating Your Innovation Process” will provide practical ideas for new product and service design. Bliss will offer insight on superior customer service during her session, “I Love You More Than My Dog: The Impact of Company Culture.” “Ms. Bliss and Mr. Hall, in addition to the rest of the thought leaders at this conference, will provide insights on best practices, the state of the credit union movement, growth strategies, innovation and membership growth,” said Bill Cheney, CUNA president/CEO. General sessions and speakers include:
* "Legislative and Regulatory Update," Ryan Donovan, CUNA vice president of legislative affairs, and Mary Dunn, CUNA senior vice president and deputy general counsel; * "Economic Outlook for Credit Unions," Steve Rick, CUNA senior economist; and * "The Credit Union Road Trip," Mark DeBellis, president, PSB Integrated Marketing.
Conference sessions and workshops will be built around issues such as serving members of modest means, supporting microenterprise, reaching out to the Hispanic community and generating sustainable growth strategies. Attendees also will discover methods for growing credit unions from an organizational perspective, such as creating a high-performance sales culture and recruiting board members that reflect the changing demographics of a credit union’s membership. CUNA will present the Community Credit Union of the Year Award at the conference. The award is bestowed on community credit unions that have reached new heights in serving their communities. Only four credit unions receive the award each year, with a first place and honorable mention winner in each asset category of less than $250 million and more than $250 million. The deadline for Community Credit Union of the Year submissions is July 25. To facilitate participation by operational teams, CUNA is offering a special rate to credit unions that bring three or more attendees.

CU System briefs (07/13/2011)

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* VANCOUVER, Wash. (7/14/11)--The Small Business Administration's (SBA) Portland district office has awarded Columbia CU two awards: Credit Union Lender of the Year for the second consecutive year and Outstanding Performance for Underserved Markets for 2010. SBA's Small Business Week gala honored more than a dozen local companies and individuals. Columbia CU is the only credit union in the western Washington and Portland area to earn SBA's Preferred Lender status … * DOWNEY, Calif. (7/14/11)--Downey (Calif.) FCU is in its ninth year
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of awarding student enrichment grants to Downey educators. It awarded grants to 35 educators in 2011. Robert Peterson, choir director at Warren High School, received a grant that enabled the school's Art Club to work on a musical-themed mural outside the choir room entrance. Peterson, former student Yesenia Calderon, Michael Bracamontes and art teacher William Russell designed the mural. Russell and art teacher Nadia Roldan worked with the students for about four months after school and on Saturdays on the project. From left: front row: Roldan, art students Carlos Valladares and Ayana Pepaj, and men's choir student Gabriel Guzman. Back row: Men's choir student Landon Eaves; Peterson; Kari Johnson, DFCU's community education and development representative; and Russell. (Photo provided by Downey FCU) … * CHATSWORTH, Calif. (7/14/11)--A member of Lake Forest, Calif.-
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based Eagle Community FCU was presented a new 2011 Nissan Sentra as winner of Autoland's 2010 Member Giveaway Sweepstakes. Connie Bethurum's entry was selected from hundreds of thousands of entries, said Autoland, a credit union car-buying service based in Chatsworth, Calif. And held by CU Vehicles LLC, a collaborative credit union service organization. Bethurum received the new car, as well as $1,500 from the $186 million asset credit union for vehicle tax, title and registration expenses. More than 270 credit unions participated in the sweepstakes. In addition to the grand prize, the sweepstakes also featured monthly prizes of $150 in gas cards. Shown at the ceremony are, from left: Lynne Crother, Autoland account executive; Bethurum; and Bethurum's husband. (Photo provided by Autoland) … * DALLAS (7/14/11)--Sooper CU, a $242 million asset credit union based in Denver, Colo., has won the CU Members Mortgage's 2011 Q2 Marketing Achievement Award. To increase loans within its Gen Y membership segment, Sooper CU used new marketing tools and garnered 18 new mortgage loans in three months. It combined a personalized URL (PURL) with a postcard and push e-mail campaign. The credit union also marketed the campaign on its website and within its branches. Dallas, Texas-based CU Members Mortgage provided additional incentive to members for visiting Sooper's PURL, helping the credit union gain more business and exposure in the community, said Linda Clampitt, senior vice president of CU Members Mortgage … * WARRINGTON, Pa. (7/14/11)--Mario Incollingo Jr., 72, who was CEO of Feasterville, Pa.-based IGA FCU when it shocked the nation's credit unions and became the first credit union to convert to a bank, has died, according to the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (Life is a Highway July 13). Incollingo died Saturday at his home of thyroid cancer ( July 12). He was president/CEO and a director of the credit union when it converted to IGA Federal Savings Bank on July 1, 1998 (News Now June 2, 2006). A year later, it converted to stock ownership. Within months it was a subject of a hostile takeover bid. It was bought, along with Jade Financial Corp., by PSB Bancorp, which then merged with First Penn Bank. Incollingo became chief operating officer and director at First Penn Bank before retiring in 2003. In 2007, he came out of retirement to serve as president of Colonial American Bank in Horsham through October 2008 …