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NCUFs annual report focuses on fin ed

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MADISON, Wis. (7/20/11)--The theme of the National Credit Union Foundation’s (NCUF) 2010-2011 annual report reflects its new focus on financial education. Titled “Building Consumer Financial Capability Through Financial Education,” the report highlights NCUF activities from late 2010 to early 2011. The foundation shifted its focus to financial education in late 2010. “In the following pages, you’ll see how NCUF programs and grants are working to build consumer financial capability through financial education,” writes Bucky Sebastian, NCUF executive director, in the report’s introduction. “You’ll also see how our programs change lives through the ‘people helping people’ philosophy that drives the credit union movement.” The report also includes:
* Descriptions of REAL Solutions’ financial education initiatives; * Financial-education grant highlights; * Credit Union Development Education (DE) program updates; * CUAid--disaster relief updates; * Community Investment Fund (CIF) overview and investor listing; * 2011 corporate supporter listings; * 2010 NCUF donor listings; * 2010 financial statements; and * 2011 Herb Wegner Award winners.
To view the report, use the link.

CO-OP to sponsor 30 scholarships to conference

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MADISON, Wis. (7/20/11)--Thirty scholarships to the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) 2011 Community Credit Union & Growth Conference will be awarded through a partnership between CUNA and the CO-OP Financial Services. The conference will be Oct. 24-27 in San Francisco. This is the second year that CO-OP Financial Services is sponsoring scholarships to the event. The conference will focus on how to turn growth-generating ideas into action plans. CUNA also will present the 2011 Community Credit Union of the Year Award during the event. "Through CO-OP Financial Services' generous sponsorship, we will be able to expand our diverse audience at this CUNA signature event," said Todd Spiczenski, vice president of CUNA's center for professional development. In explaining why CO-OP is sponsoring the attendance of 30 people again, Stan Hollen, president/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services, noted, "The conference offers a top-notch speaker line-up and highly relevant breakout sessions. Supporting participation at this event is a strong fit with our commitment to help credit unions prosper and bring innovative ideas into practice." To be considered for a scholarship to the CUNA Community Credit Union & Growth Conference, applicants must:
* Be a credit union employee or volunteer; * Be with a credit union that is affiliated with its league/CUNA during the program for which the scholarship funds are requested; and * Stay at the designated conference hotel.
Thirty scholarships will be awarded in full, with each valued up to $995. Scholarships are available regardless of charter type--recipients do not have to be from a community chartered credit union to obtain a scholarship. Applications are due Sept. 2. Recipients will be contacted by Sept. 15. To apply, or for more information about CUNA's 2011 Community CU & Growth Conference or the 2011 Community Credit Union of the Year Award, use the appropriate links.

Ohio CUs MBLs grew 20.1 in 1Q

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (7/20/11)--Ohio credit unions posted a strong first-quarter financial performance, in line or better than national credit union trends, as financial institutions operate within a more “normal” economic environment, according to the Ohio Credit Union League’s (OCUL) Quarterly Performance Summary. Annual growth figures for assets, shares, and loans through the first quarter of 2011 all exceed or are similar to national averages, with member business lending origination showing a $23.7 million gain (20.1%) from March 2010 to March 2011, the report indicated. “Growing, progressive and modern is how Ohio credit unions are best described today,” said Paul Mercer, OCUL president. “Despite a difficult economy and regulatory pressures, Ohio credit unions are thriving by creating financial products and services designed to help members, and member businesses, succeed. This model has worked well for 75 years, and will continue to benefit our state’s nearly three million members.” Small-business lending is becoming an increasingly important part of a credit union’s suite of products, the league said. During the first quarter, Ohio credit unions originated $28.4 million in business loans, up from the $23.7 million reported during the first quarter of 2010. As of March 31, about 101 of Ohio’s 384 credit unions reported outstanding business loan balances, totaling $386.6 million. Business loan balances in Ohio grew 8.3% from the previous March, which is faster than the national average (6.4%) during the same period. “Ohio small businesses are in need of credit to help them sustain, grow and create jobs. Credit unions are in a strong position to lend, and have embraced the need,” Mercer said. “With congressional help, we can do more.” The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions are pressing Congress to increase credit unions’ MBL cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%. Doing so would open up more opportunity to offer MBLs, inject $13 billion in loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers, CUNA said. Ohio credit unions originated $329 million in first mortgages in the first quarter, 2011, up 33.4% from the same period in 2010. The new originations propelled outstanding first mortgages 5.7% to $4.2 billion at the state’s credit unions. Year to date, U.S. credit union first- mortgage loan originations increased 12.7% from March 2010, with Ohio credit union originations ticking higher at 14%, a $1.2 billion increase over the previous year. Credit unions in Ohio have historically reported above-average auto loan growth and have avoided the large declines experienced nationally, with balances rising by 1.3% annually. Similar to national trends, growth was reported exclusively in the used-auto loan portfolio. Used-auto loan balances in Ohio increased 6.6% annually, as new-auto balances fell 6.7% during the past 12 months. Asset quality in Ohio remains strong, with the delinquency rate falling to 1.21% from the reported 1.36% in March 2010. Delinquency in Ohio remains well below the national average of 1.63%. Credit card delinquencies declined 39 basis points the past 12 months to 1.33% as of March. Credit card balances also posted growth during the year, as balances increased 3.2% annually to $722 million as of March. Credit unions in Ohio added 30,749 members over the past year, growing membership by 1.2% to 2.69 million members. That growth rate was more than double the national average of 0.56%. The first-quarter statistics mark the ninth straight quarter in which Ohio has seen membership growth, after years of relatively flat growth. Credit unions in Ohio and nationally have seen total revenue slide during the past year because of historically low interest rates. Total revenue for Ohio credit unions fell 2.7% to $283 million during the first quarter. However, Ohio credit union economic indicators remain positive overall, with capital levels at 10.93% on average, which is higher than Ohio banks and thrifts, and credit unions and banks nationally, said the league.

Georgia CUs help residents afford life

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DULUTH, Ga. (7/20/11)--A new report by Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA) shows how credit unions in the state are using community outreach and financial education initiatives to help Georgians achieve their financial goals. As the economy rebounds, many Georgians are setting their sights on improving their financial situation and adopting a “new normal” lifestyle of saving and frugality, said GCUA. “Credit unions help working people afford life,” said Mike Mercer, GCUA president/CEO. “Average people share common goals--owning a home and a reliable car, being able to send their kids to college, saving for a rainy day, building their retirement nest egg. These are goals we all can relate to. Credit unions help people get there.” The 2011 REAL Deal Outreach Report highlights the impact Georgia credit unions made in 2010 to provide products and services to improve the lives of consumers with middle-class aspirations. Some of the report’s findings:
* 84% of credit unions surveyed offer used-vehicle loans for low-credit-score borrowers; * 79% of credit unions provide a small-value loan of less than $500; * 70% of credit unions have free checking--no monthly or per-check fees and no minimum balance requirements; * 69% of credit unions offer a program to help modest-income members save; * 31% of credit unions provide a mortgage product for moderate-wealth or first-time homebuyers; * Credit union members saved an average of $180 per year on interest expense when financing a $25,000 new auto for 60 months at a credit union, compared with another banking institution in Georgia; and * Small businesses in Georgia were awarded $196 million in business loans from credit unions.
Through outreach to communities and schools, Georgia credit unions offer financial education programs to people of all ages. Credit unions held more than 2,000 educational events in 2010 for youth and adults, according to the report. Also, more than 60% of credit unions offer basic financial education programs and tools to members, and 69% have programs to help modest-income members save. As a natural extension of credit unions’ “people helping people” philosophy, many families have benefitted from partnerships between credit unions and charitable organizations. More than $3.8 million was donated to charitable/community organizations by credit unions in 2010, and more than 51,000 volunteer hours--worth in excess of $1 million--were contributed by credit union staff.

CDFI Funds awards 28M to CDCUs

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WASHINGTON (7/20/11)--The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) Monday awarded $142,302,667 to 155 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), including 25 credit unions, serving economically distressed communities nationwide. The organizations awarded are headquartered in 40 states and the District of Columbia. The awards are granted through the fiscal year 2011 round of the CDFI Fund’s cornerstone program, the Community Development Financial Institutions Program, and represent the largest single round of monetary awards in the CDFI Fund’s history, announced director Donna J. Gambrell. The awards will help the specialized, community-based financial institutions spur local economic growth and recovery, and expand access to affordable financial products and services. The 25 awards to credit unions totaled nearly $25.7 million, according to the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. The federation also received $1.5 million, as did the North Carolina Minority Support Center, a Durham, N.C.-based CDFI supporting CDCUs statewide. Credit union awards represented 18.06% of the number of CDFI Fund awards granted in this round. All but three of the credit unions receiving awards are federation member CDCUs. A full breakdown of the credit union awards from this round is available on the federation’s website. Use the link. Federation President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal broke down the numbers further. “The total amount of $28,696,617 made to credit unions and credit union support organizations, compared to the $142,302,667 made to all CDFIs, represents 20.17% of award dollars. This is a very good showing for our movement by historical standards.” CU Strategic Planning, a firm that specializes in credit union grant writing, said it established a record by winning $5.3 million in the CDFI grant awards for seven credit unions in six states. Of the more than $448 million in application requests by CDFIs, only 31.7% was approved. For credit unions, that percentage was higher--47.2% of funds requested were approved--and that was in part because of CU Strategic Planning, said the firm. It more than doubled the CDFI success rate with 76.7% of the funds it requested for credit unions approved.

Texas CUs in strong position says league.

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FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (7/20/11)--Texas credit unions are benefitting from the state’s strong economy by experiencing significant growth in assets, loans and savings, according to the Texas Credit Union League (LoneStar Leaguer July 18). Private-sector employment in Texas has recovered with more strength than the U.S. as a whole. Part of the reason behind the recovery is the state manufacturing sector’s reliance on computer, electronic and petrochemical firms, according to a monthly report by Houston-based private equity firm SigmaBleyzer. While credit unions in many areas of the country have struggled with loan growth, Texas credit unions have remained relatively strong in lending, the league said. In the first quarter, overall loan growth increased 2.5% in Texas, compared with a decrease of 1.1% nationwide. Used-auto loans jumped 8.6% in Texas during the quarter; nationally used-auto loans increased at a 3.5% rate. New-auto loans dropped 5.5% in Texas during the first quarter, compared with a 14.6 decline nationwide. First mortgages rose 6.8% in the first quarter in Texas. Nationally, first mortgages were up 3.3%. Credit cards grew at a 6.6% rate in Texas, compared with a 1.9% rate nationwide. The delinquency rate was 1.03% among Texas credit unions during the first quarter, compared with a national rate of 1.63%. Responsible lending resulted in strong asset quality for Texas credit unions, the league said. Assets increased 7.2% in Texas during the first quarter. Nationwide, assets rose 4.6%. The yield on total assets jumped 4.28% at Texas credit unions. The yield on total assets increased nationwide at 4.14% rate. Texas consumers also continue to save, said the league. Savings rose 7.7% at Texas credit unions during the first quarter, compared with a 4.9% increase nationally.

Study Connecticut FIs double mobile tech use

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HARTFORD, Conn. (7/20/11)--State-chartered financial institutions--including credit unions--in Connecticut are expected to more than double their mobile technology offerings this year, according to a 2010 survey of electronic banking activities in the state by the Connecticut Department of Banking. Greg Bordonaro discussed the results of the survey in his weekly “Financial Sense” column posted on HartfordBusiness.com (July 18). The study showed that 10% of state chartered credit unions offered mobile banking to their members in 2010, but that figure was expected to double this year. Less than 20% of state-chartered banks made mobile banking available to their customers, but that number was expected increase to nearly 50% in 2011. The survey also found that less than 10% of Connecticut credit unions had a social media presence in 2010. Credit unions use their websites for loan activity, according to the survey, with 60% reporting they provide loan application downloads and nearly 60% providing loan history information.

CU System briefs (07/19/2011)

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* TULSA, Okla. (7/20/11)--A man claiming to have a bomb in a briefcase robbed Tulsa (Okla.) FCU Monday morning. The man stood in line and allowed a person who arrived after him to be waited on first. The robbery suspect walked up to the teller at about 10:40 a.m. and presented a note that his briefcase, which he had placed on the counter, had a bomb inside. He fled with the money, but left the briefcase. The credit union was evacuated, and a bomb squad brought in. The bomb squad took the briefcase outside and determined it was empty (Tulsa World July 19) … * WEST LAFAYETTE Ind. (7/20/11)--A second suspect has been arrested in a takeover-style robbery that occurred the morning of May 24 at Purdue FCU, West Lafayette, Ind. Xxavier Jones, 25, was arrested in Maywood, Ill. (Journal & Courier July 16). Details of his arrest and the charges were not available. Christopher A. Whirl, 24, was arrested earlier and is being held in Racine, Wis. In the robbery incident, two men armed with semi-automatic handguns entered the credit union, with one jumping onto the counter and demanding cash. One suspect placed his handgun against an employee's chest before they fled with an undisclosed amount of money. Whirl was arrested after the getaway vehicle was discovered to be registered in his name. The vehicle contained two cell phones--one with a photo of a handgun used in the robbery and a photo of a suspect, believed to be Jones, pointing the weapon at the phone. The two men are awaiting extradiction to Tippecanoe County… * NASHVILLE, Tenn. (7/20/11)--Phillip M. Cochran has been promoted to vice president/chief investment officer of the Volunteer Corporate CU, based in Nashville, Tenn. He will continue to manage VolCorp's investment portfolio and oversee sales of all liquidity and investment products to member credit unions, including marketable securities. Cochran joined VolCorp in 2004 in the consulting department developing asset liability management models for member credit unions and leading strategic planning sessions for executive management and board of directors. In July 2007, he became investment services manager and began working with credit unions on their investment portfolios. He took over management of VolCorp's portfolio in May 2009. With 12 years' experience in the financial services industry, Cochran previously worked with Robinson Investment Group, Brentwood, Ind. … * TACOMA, Wash. (7/20/11)--TAPCO CU, a $251 million asset credit union based in Tacoma, Wash., has selected Carlyn Roy as its new CEO. Roy has 25 years' experience with credit unions, most recently serving as executive vice president and chief operating officer at OSU FCU, Corvallis, Ore. Prior to that, Roy was vice president of lending services at the Oregon Credit Union League, where she developed and led one of the first credit union lending call centers in the nation, and at the Oregon branch of a national mortgage corporation serving credit unions. She also has served as a consultant for credit unions and trade associations throughout the U.S. and Canada, and was contributing editor to several Credit Union National Association publications. She is a graduate of Western CUNA Management School and Pacific Lutheran University … * SAN JOSE, Calif. (7/20/11)--Stephen Baker, 64, of San Jose, Calif., died on July 6. He was vice president of Treasury operations at San Jose-based Technology CU and had planned to retire Aug. 3. He is survived by his wife, Anita; his son, Michael, three brothers and two sisters (The San Diego Union-Tribune July 15) … * RACINE, Wis. (7/20/11)--William Terence "Terry" Tanger died July 13 at the age of 55 in Milwaukee, Wis. He worked as a vice president/branch manager at Racine, Wis.-based Educator's CU. The $1.3 billion asset credit union's employees were very caring and supportive during his more than two years of battling kidney cancer. Tanger was a veteran of the Milwaukee music scene, performing more than 30 years in various bands. He is survived by his wife, mother, step brother and stepsister (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel July 15) …