Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

CU System Archive

CU System

Southwest Corporate overall credit quality remains high

 Permanent link
DALLAS (8/14/08)--The overall credit quality of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) held by Southwest Corporate remains high, says John Cassidy, CEO. All those securities are "paying as expected and the overwhelming majority are rated AAA," he said in the corporate's newsletter (eFacts Aug. 12). Cassidy was responding to an article in The Wall Street Journal Monday that focused on the effect of the mortgage market dislocation on several large corporate credit unions, including Southwest Corporate, and U.S. Central. The article "really did not present anything new related to Southwest Corporate," Cassidy said. "We have been communicating the same facts and assessments to our members for almost a year." The corporate increased the level of information and frequency of communications to its members about the market dislocation and plans to expand its communication efforts with these steps:
* Increasing the frequency of quarterly financial webinars to monthly; * Scheduling in-person presentations to Southwest's membership to supplement the webinars and providing opportunity for expanded discussion. The schedule and locations will be announced in the next few weeks; * Focusing on the mortgage market during the upcoming annual Economic Forum as a venue to share updated information about the impact on the corporate; and * Providing forward-looking assessments of the mortgage market impact during webinars and meetings.
The communications efforts aims to "clearly explain to our members why we believe our asset quality remains high, and why we believe any losses we experience will be manageable and therefore not represent a credit concern for our members," he said.

White paper CUs need remote deposit

 Permanent link
FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (8/13/08)--Credit unions need remote deposit to compete with banking competitors who have more convenient branch locations, according to a free white paper from Southwest Corporate FCU. “Remote Deposit for Small Businesses: Greater Convenience Should Not Mean Less Service” encourages credit unions to stagger their offerings of new member business services, including remote deposit. It also gives credit unions a procedure to follow (LoneStar Leaguer Aug. 12). In the paper, Larry Middleman, president/CEO of CU Business Group, a corporate credit union-owned credit union service organization, states that remote deposit “removes geographic constraints and puts a whole new light on credit union capabilities.” The 10-page paper also answers the following questions:
* What opportunities does remote deposit afford the credit union seeking to attract and retain business members? * What businesses benefit most from remote deposit? * Can the credit union maintain personal relationships and cross-sell services to business members who manage their finances remotely? * Where will this technology lead? and * What should a credit union look for in a remote deposit service provider?

CU System briefs (08/12/2008)

 Permanent link
* COLUMBIA, Md. (8/13/08)--Members of the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association (MDDCCUA) are voting on a proposed bylaw change and dues reallocation plan, according to MDDCCUA (Focus Newsletter Aug. 11). Votes are due by Sept. 5 at midnight … * SAN DIMAS, Calif.(8/13/08)--Operation Best Wishes, an annual holiday program sponsored on behalf of America's credit unions through a partnership of the Defense Credit Union Council, Overland Studies, and Western Corporate FCU (WesCorp), received an Award of Distinction during the 14th Annual Communicator Awards. The international group honors creative excellence for communications professionals. More than 5,000 entries were judged. Operation Best Wishes is a national campaign that visits military-affiliated credit unions having heavy deployment among their membership. It sets up a mobile webcast studio where spouses and families can send holiday greetings free to their loved ones from Halloween through New Year's … * MADISON, Wis. (8/13/08)--A member praised Madison-based Summit CU on livejournal.com after he saved roughly $1,440 in interest by switching to the credit union's credit card. The Summit card charges 10% interest. That compares with 26%--estimated at $2,340 a year in interest--charged on his former card. He also noted that credit unions are cooperatives that don't pay huge CEO salaries, employee incentive bonuses or dividends to investors." The member said all his finances are now handled through the credit union. "Frankly, I was an idiot for not looking into this sooner," he said … * PONTIAC, Mich. (8/13/08)--T&C FCU members were voting Tuesday on whether the Pontiac, Mich.-based credit union would merge with $588.7 million asset USA CU, based in Auburn Hills, Mich. T&C announced its plan to merge in May. The merger, if passed by a majority, would create a new financial institution, named Genisys and have $1.2 billion in assets and 130,000 members. The pending merger was endorsed by the credit union's board and by the leadership of United Auto Workers Local 594, which maintains close ties to the credit union (The Oakland Press Aug. 10) … * LAKE JACKSON, Texas (8/13/08)--Texas Dow Employees CU has launched a new financial management program called Young & Free for 19- to 25-year olds to help them manage their money effectively. The $1.222 billion asset credit union based in Lake Jackson is taking entries online for a prospective spokesperson position for this age group. Young adults can submit and view entries, and vote for their favorites online at www.youngfreetexas.com. The winner will serve as the voice for Young & Free members by attending events and keeping the site fresh with blogs, vlogs and polls that educate, entertain and engage Generation Y. The program uses nontraditional media including Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube …

Mid-Atlantic Corporate solidly positioned says letter

 Permanent link
MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (8/13/08)--Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU remains “as solidly positioned as ever,” wrote President/CEO Jay Murray Monday in a letter to members. Murray’s letter was written in response to a Wall Street Journal article that reported the market’s impact on corporate credit unions and their central bank, U.S. Central. As of May 31, five corporate credit unions reported $5.7 billion in unrealized losses. The paper didn’t mention Mid-Atlantic by name (The Wall Street Journal Aug. 11). “Certainly no financial institution is untouched by the current dislocation in the marketplace; however Mid-Atlantic has and continues to manage our investment portfolio very conservatively,” Murray said. Mid-Atlantic does not invest directly in residential mortgaged backed securities, commercial mortgage backed securities, collateralized debt obligations or specialized investment vehicles, said the letter. “Mid-Atlantic continues to monitor and conduct our due diligence on all our investment sources,” Murray said. “We have also continued to diversify our portfolio, and have added additional lines of credit. Because we have structured our portfolio in this manner, our equity position remains very strong.”

Thursday is deadline for Youth Week theme ideas

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (8/13/08)--Thursday is the last day to submit ideas for next year’s National Credit Union Youth Week theme. “We’re looking for a theme that appeals to youth (birth to age 18) and credit unions,” said Joanne Sepich, National Youth Week coordinator. Short themes of four to seven words are preferred. The theme will be on posters, handouts, pencils, balloons and other materials. Previous themes include:
* Got Green? Grow it at Your Credit Union; * Stash Your Cash at the Credit Union; * My Money, My Credit Union, Where I Belong; * Want it ... Save it ... Get it; * YOUth Make a Difference; * Youth Count at Credit Unions; and * Your Future. Your Money. Your Choice.
For more information or to submit a theme, use the link.

Convention CU volunteers to landscape vets home Friday

 Permanent link
ST. PAUL, Minn. (8/13/08)--More than 60 volunteers from local credit unions and staff of the Republican National Convention will join Homes for Our Troops and the National Journal Group Friday for a "Volunteer Day" to landscape a home being built for a wounded Iraq war veteran in Minnesota. The event will be in Woodbury, Minn., where the home is being built for Sgt. Marcus Kuboy. His home is one of two specially adapted homes built for wounded veterans in conjunction with the 2008 Republican and Democratic National Conventions in St. Paul and Denver, respectively. Minnesota's credit unions, the Minnesota Credit Union Network, and state and national partners and organizations raised more than $150,000 to finance building the home. Kuboy, a Minnesota native who served three years' active duty with the Minnesota National Guard, was wounded when an improvised explosive device exploded under his vehicle. Homes for Our Troops, a non-profit organization that builds homes around the country for seriously injured American soldiers, is working with the Credit Union National Association, the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention Committee on the projects. The Republican National Convention will be Sept. 1-4. The Democratic National Convention will be Aug. 25-28. Deeding ceremonies for the homes will take place during the conventions.

IParade magazineI Apply for a card with a CU

 Permanent link
NEW YORK (8/13/08)--Parade magazine Sunday encouraged readers to apply for credit cards at a credit union because credit unions are “less likely to impose burdensome fees.” Parade, which has nationwide distribution, also advised readers to pay their monthly balances, avoid using cards when traveling abroad because of high conversion fees, and to be aware of changes in rules or rates. Consumers are being hit with high interest rates and fees, and are being burned by credit card agreements they don’t understand, the magazine said. The article also noted that Congress has proposed rules to ban deceptive and unfair credit card practices. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation that would create a Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights, which would require credit card companies to give consumers notice of rate changes and 25 days to pay bills. Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) has introduced a bill that would prevent card companies from charging consumers for paying their bills online or through mail. His bill also would stop companies from marketing to consumers under age 21. Credit card debt in the U.S. has reached $1 trillion. As of 2007, the average American household has $9,840 in debt, compared with $2966 in 1990 (Parade Aug. 10).

ICU Day materials available online

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (8/13/08)--Artwork for his year’s International Credit Union (ICU) Day theme “It Belongs to Me” and sample materials for marketing and public relations are available online from the Credit Union National Association and the World Council of Credit Unions. ICU Day will be celebrated Oct. 16. Credit unions can download materials, which can be customized and include a press release, advertisement, model letter to the editor, newsletter article, proclamation, talking points and a speech. The materials soon will be available in Spanish. Graphics are available in English and Spanish and include the “It Belongs to Me” poster featuring a globe of photos of credit union members. Four different logo icons and coloring pages for kids also can be downloaded. International Credit Union Day has been celebrated every year on the third Thursday in October since 1948. On that day, credit unions offer open houses, picnics and community service events to show appreciation for their members and staff. This year’s theme was developed by Laquita Normore, marketing and communications manager, Eagle River CU, L'Anse au Loup, Newfoundland, Canada. For more information, use the link.