Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive
150x172_CUEffect.jpg
Contacts
LISA MCCUEVICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
MICHELLE WILLITSManaging Editor
RON JOOSSASSISTANT EDITOR
ALEX MCVEIGHSTAFF NEWSWRITER
TOM SAKASHSTAFF NEWSWRITER

CU System Archive

CU System

FBI reports breakthrough in infamous botnet case

 Permanent link
WASHINGTON (7/29/10)--Slovenian police have questioned a 23-year-old man suspected of creating the Maripos Botnet--a network of remote-controlled compromised computers that stole passwords for websites and financial institutions, captured credit card and bank account information, launched denial of service attacks and spread viruses to nearly 12 million computers in 190 countries. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the software that created the botnet had been sold the past two years to hundreds of other criminals. That made it "one of the most notorious in the world," said FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III in a press release issued Wednesday. It is not known if the botnet directly affected credit unions or their members, or if they suffered losses as a result of fraud initiated by the botnet participants. The Slovenian man, known only as "Iserdo," was arrested last week in a partnership of law enforcement agencies worldwide. Slovenian authorities said the man, arrested 10 days ago, was released but would be charged with computer crimes (Associated Press via The New York Times July 28). In an earlier development, police in Spain arrested suspected three Mariposa Botnet operators, "Netkairo," "Jonyloleante," and "Ostiator"--also known as Florencio Carro Ruiz, Jonathan Pazo Rivera and Juan Jose Bellido Rios--in February. They are charged with computer crimes in Spain. The Mariposa Botnet was built with a computer virus known as "Butterfly Bot," which was sold the past two years to criminals. In addition to selling the program, the Slovenian who allegedly created it developed customized versions for clients and created and sold plug-ins or add-ons to augment the botnet's features and functionality, said the FBI. Mariposa had infected the computers of Fortune 1000 companies and major banks. Its authors changed the botnet's code as frequently as every 48 hours to stay undetected by security software. However, Mariposa's controllers used one of their real names to register domains that were used to control the bots. Although they used a private domain name registrar, the company cooperated with investigators. Security researchers formed the Mariposa Working Group in order to take down the botnet. Its command-and-control servers were disabled in December, and the group passed information to law enforcement agencies in Spain and the U.S.

CU System brief (07/28/2010)

 Permanent link
* GREENSBORO, N.C. (7/29/10)--Forty representatives from North Carolina and South Carolina credit unions stood along the main entryway to Victory Junction Gang Camp in near 100-degree heat Sunday to welcome nearly 70 incoming campers from as far away as Wisconsin and Kansas. Credit unions are the largest non-NASCAR donors to the camp, which provides young people living with serious conditions such as spina bifida, hemophilia, diabetes and heart/lung disease a fun-filled week. Credit unions have donated nearly $2 million to the camp and are sponsoring "Pirate Week" this week." The Carolinas Credit Union Foundation coordinated the credit union sponsorship, so no camper had to pay to attend the camp. "Times are tough and money is tight for all of us," said foundation President/CEO John Slack, "but good times or bad--this is money well spent." For a video report, use the link (North Carolina Credit Union League Weekly Update July 28) ...

CO-OP monitoring bills impact on debit exclusivity

 Permanent link
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (7/29/10)--CO-OP Financial Services, which operates the CO-OP Network for credit unions, said it is actively monitoring a clause included in the regulatory reform bill that could affect debit exclusivity. Specifically, the provision states that an issuer or network cannot restrict the number of payment card networks on which a transaction can be processed to one or more networks that are owned, controlled or operated by affiliated networks. Some financial services companies, including Discover Financial Services, told American Banker (July 28) that the provision could boost their business, while others said the changes could impact financial institutions’ debit programs. American Banker said most executives it talked to interpret the rule to mean debit cards must be connected to at least one network other than those operated by Visa and MasterCard. CO-OP Financial Services, whose CO-OP Network has more than 160 million transactions per month, told News Now the “clause is of great interest to us.” “For now, we are monitoring to see how it is interpreted in the rule-writing process,” said Caroline Lane, CO-OP senior vice president of business development and marketing. “It is our hope that financial institutions will retain their [current] competitive choices.” CO-OP offers more than 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs and 4,000 shared branch locations for credit unions.

CUs in IHuffPoI IBlack EnterpriseI IConsumer ReportsI

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (7/29/10)--Credit unions can benefit college students, consumers seeking credit cards, and kids looking to learn financial lessons, according to articles in the Huffington Post, Consumer Reports and Black Enterprise magazine, respectively. Credit unions can help ensure that college students get a good deal when they look for credit cards, according to a Tuesday article in the Huffington Post titled “The Lifeline for College Students: Credit Unions,” by Scott Gamm, founder of HelpSaveMyDollars.com. “If you see credit card companies on your campus, stay away,” Gamm wrote. “Most colleges have their own credit union, which offers credit cards to students at much lower interest rates than the ones available at a marketing booth from a credit card company. As an incoming college student at New York University’s (NYU) Stern School of Business, the credit union I use, the NYU FCU, offers a credit card to NYU students with an interest rate of about 7%--much better than 25% at a regular bank. “Another benefit at credit unions is limited fees,” he added. “For-profit banks generate tens of billions of dollars from charging consumers high annual fees.” The October issue of Consumer Reports, which will go on sale Sept. 2, analyzed hundreds of credit cards in a an article titled “Best and Worst Credit Cards, According to Consumer Reports.” “Consumers should select the right card for the type of borrower they are,” the magazine said. “Consumer Reports also found that smaller issuers including credit unions and community banks, are worth checking out for various interest-free offers,” said the article. The Credit Union National Association’s Thrive by Five program--which teaches preschoolers about spending and saving--is listed as a resource in Black Enterprise magazine’s article on communicating financial lesson to kids, titled “Teach Them Well.” To read the articles, use the links.

Australian banks behind CUs in customer satisfaction

 Permanent link
SYDNEY, Australia (7/29/10)--Australia's credit unions and building societies have maintained their edge over the country's banks in the latest customer satisfaction survey. Australia's banks improved their customer satisfaction rate the past year but are still well behind credit unions and building societies, according to a June survey by Roy Morgan Research, an Australian marketing and public opinion survey firm (Business Day July 28). Credit unions had 86.3% in customer satisfaction, compared with banks' 73.5% and building societies, which are mutual associations, with 89%. Although Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), the third largest bank in Australia, was the market leader among the nation's Big Four, it remained at 75.5% in customer satisfaction. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which has the largest market capitalization, gained a little on ANZ, the study said. A similar poll studying small business owners' satisfaction with banks found that the small businesses' satisfaction level with each of the four big banks--ANZ, CBA, NAB and Wespac--fell further behind the rate for smaller financial institutions. Their satisfaction level was nine percentage points lower than other customers' satisfaction with the four banks and 8.9% lower for all banks. Generally, small businesses rated their satisfaction levels 7.3 percentage points lower than other bank customers, according to a press release (RoyMorgan.com July 10).

Calif.-Nevada league small-CU summit attracts 50

 Permanent link
At the networking reception before the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Shapiro Summit are, from left, California Credit Union League Board Chairman and CoastHills FCU (Lompoc, Calif.) CEO Jeff York; Interim California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues President/CEO David Chatfield; and Jon Hernandez, CEO of CalCom FCU, City of Downey FCU, and Mattel FCU. (Photo provided by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues)
ONTARIO, Calif. (7/29/10)--The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ annual Shapiro Summit attracted more than 50 credit union leaders from the two states Friday and Saturday. The summit provided a networking and learning forum for small asset-sized credit union members of the leagues. The event was held at the leagues’ offices in Ontario, Calif. “It was a great event; one that offered crucial survival tips and growth strategies participants could take back and implement at their credit unions,” said Cathy Arra, staff liaison to the leagues’ Shapiro Advisory Committee, which hosted the event. Participants took in presentations by credit union leaders and league representatives, including interim league President/CEO David Chatfield and California League Board Chairman Jeff York, CEO of CoastHills FCU, Lompoc, Calif. “Smaller credit unions are special, have special needs, and need to continue maintaining their independence,” Chatfield said. “This is a strange time, and we’ve got some big challenges ahead. But with your support, we’re moving ahead.” Jon Hernandez--CEO of CalCom FCU, City of Downey FCU, and Mattel FCU--moderated a panel presentation on “Taking the Bullets Out of the Regulator’s Gun.” Panelists included Eric Bruen, CEO of Desert Valleys FCU, Ridgecrest, Calif; Diana Michaels, CEO of Western Healthcare FCU, Concord, Calif.; and Linda White, CEO of United Health CU, Burlingame, Calif. Other presenters included executive leadership coach Larry Gassin and Pat Neighbors, strategic development officer with the Sacramento, Calif.-based The Golden 1 CU. The leagues’ Shapiro group is a cooperative effort to pool the resources of the Nevada-California credit union community to help small credit unions operate efficiently and effectively. The group consists of credit unions with $42 million or less in assets.

DuTrac assists Iowa flood victims

 Permanent link
Jason Norton, left, senior vice president, marketing and development, at DuTrac Community CU, Dubuque, Iowa, presents a check for $500 to Danny “Sully” Sullivan from Queen B Radio, and Jill Reimer from Rainbow Oil to support the Trucks of Love program assisting flood victims in northeastern Iowa (Photo provided by DuTrac Community CU).
DUBUQUE, Iowa (7/29/10)--DuTrac Community CU was one of the first organizations to step up and help area residents impacted by recent flooding in and along the Maquoketa River in northeast Iowa. Record flooding reached the river Monday, sending the river more than 11 feet above flood stage (wqad.com July 26). “After a site review of the Lake Delhi area and after conversations with local, regional and state relief organizations there is an incredible, broad-scale need for relief supplies to those affected by recent flooding,” said Jason Norton, DuTrac senior vice president, marketing and development. “Relief organizations are stating they simply don’t have the resources to respond to the growing flood damage need. “Therefore, DuTrac wanted to be first out of the door to help provide a cash donation and challenge other area residents and businesses to donate to those in need,” he added. DuTrac presented a check for $500 to the Trucks of Love program sponsored jointly by Rainbow Oil--the parent company of the Kwik Stop convenience stores--Cumulus Radio, Queen B Radio and Radio Dubuque Residents and businesses are being encouraged to take household items, cleaning products, diapers and other much needed supplies to any Kwik Stop location where semi tractor trailers--Trucks of Love--and volunteers are on hand to accept in-kind and cash donations. DuTrac is offering its members impacted by flooding a Water Damage Loan Program--a personal loan offered at a reduced rate. DuTrac, based in Dubuque, Iowa, has $465 million in assets.

Missouri league welcomes NYIB conference attendees

 Permanent link
ST. LOUIS (7/29/10)--More than 100 credit union representatives gathered in St. Louis for the National Youth Involvement Board (NYIB) Conference, which started Monday and ends today.
Rosie Holub, Missouri Credit Union Association president/CEO, welcomes attendees of the National Youth Involvement Board Conference on Tuesday.
Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) President/CEO Rosie Holub welcomed attendees. “The NYIB is an integral part of the credit union industry, and our future,” she said. “One of our biggest challenges is to engage the younger population as a part of the greater credit union community.” Vantage CU, Bridgeton, Mo., presented a breakout session, “Top of the Class Techniques.” Rachel Parrent, community education specialist, shared new ideas for engaging young students in financial literacy concepts.
Rachel Parrent, Vantage CU, Bridgeton, Mo., presents a breakout session during the National Youth Involvement Board Conference in Missouri. (Photos provided by the Missouri Credit Union Association).
NYIB fosters youth participation in the credit union movement on a national scale. The conference offers four days of workshops for credit union representatives focused on youth. Some of the sessions scheduled to take place at the conference included:
* Becoming Your Younger Members’ Financial Advocate; * Truly Connecting With the Youth Market; * Youthful Products for a Youthful Membership; * The Top 12 Technology Trends; and * A tour of Mad City Money, a financial simulation game for teenagers from the Credit Union National Association.
Speakers included:
* Matt Davis, who was a member of Filene’s inaugural 30 Under 30 group, and author of “The Credit Union Warrior” blog; * Brent Dixon, an adviser for the Filene Research Institute; * Ron Galloway, who directed the noted documentary film "Why Wal-Mart Works & Why That Makes Some People Crazy"; * James Robert Lay, founder of PTP NEW MEDIA; * Kym Moore, education specialist and student program administrator at High Plains FCU in Clovis, N.M.; * Claudine Oriani, chief creative officer of As If Productions; and * Felicia Pope, director of marketing and business development for ArrowPointe FCU, Catawba, S.C.
The conference took place at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in St. Louis.