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CU System Archive

CU System

Canadas Central 1 CU reports first-half 2010 income

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TORONTO (8/27/10)--Central 1 CU, which serves credit unions in British Columbia and Ontario, Canada, posted a net income of $12.7 million during the first six months of 2010, it announced. That compares with $53.1 million in net income for the same period in 2009 (melodika.net Aug. 26). Central 1 experienced higher financial margin and larger trading gains than in the first half of 2009, but financial markets' current volatility meant more mark-to-market losses this year compared to last year. Last year Central 1 was able to take advantage of the market situation and made exceptionally strong gains. "In the current financial climate, we had no expectation of matching last year's exceptional performance," said President/CEO Don Rolfe. Central 1 expects a strong financial margin in the second half, but noted it will be accompanied by ongoing market volatility, he said. Assets at Central 1 grew by 8.4% year-over-year to $10.3 billion as of June 30, compared with $9.5 billion for the same period in 2009. Central 1's return on equity was 4.6%, compared with 23% a year earlier. The credit union provides liquidity management, payments, Internet banking and trade association services to member credit unions, as well as banking and transaction services to customers in corporate and public sectors.

CU one of 10 companies in nation honored for benefits

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TEXARKANA, Texas (8/27/10)--Red River FCU is one of only 10 growing companies to earn national honors for its benefits offered employees, according to the Texas Credit Union League. An independent panel of employee benefits experts named the Texarkana, Texas-based credit union as one of the 2010 winners of The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security, citing the credit union's exceptional retirement benefits and its wellness program (LoneStar Leaguer Aug. 26). "Red River CU faces the same challenges as other businesses. What makes them extraordinary is the priority they place on employee financial security," said Luke Vandermillen, vice president of The Principal Financial Group. He noted the more than $452 million asset credit union did not cut benefits and will soon offer full-time benefits to employees working at least 30 hours a week. The credit union understands the direct connection among "strong benefits, a strong workforce and a strong bottom line--in the best and worst of times," he added. Red River has 100% participation in its 401(k) plan and offers an employer match that can be as high as 7.5% of the employee salary. It also adds another 3% for profit sharing. "That shows their real commitment to financial security," said Deborah Hall-Pope, a judge, and chief human resources and organizational services officer at ASCD, which was a 2009 winner. "We believe that our benefits are one of the hallmarks of the organization, even in these difficult times," said Robert Buck, Red River's president/CEO. "We have not taken away any of our benefits as a result of the economy--we didn't want our employees to suffer. We have actually tried to step up our benefits in some ways," he added. The Principal sponsors the program, which is in its ninth year. It will publish a summary of best practices of the winners, which will be available in January on its website at www.principal.com/10best. The credit union was the only financial institution among the winners.

Man in death penalty case to get life in prison

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DETROIT (8/27/10)--Timothy O'Reilly, 37, who was convicted in the killing of an armored-truck guard outside a Dearborn, Mich.-based credit union, will get a life sentence, without parole, instead of the rare death penalty sought by prosecutors. The death penalty would have required a unanimous decision from the 10-woman, two-man jury, but only four jurors voted in favor of the death penalty (The Detroit News Aug. 26). The jury returned its verdict late Wednesday afternoon. The guard, Norman Stephens, 30, was shot twice while restocking ATMs at Dearborn FCU (now DFCU Financial CU) on Dec. 14, 2001. Six people were involved in the $204,000 heist. Three testified against O'Reilly. Two others face the death penalty in pending trials. A sixth suspect is deceased. O'Reilly was convicted by the same jury on Aug. 3. He will be sentenced formally on Feb. 8. Michigan was the first state to outlaw the death penalty, but the penalty can be used in certain federal cases. The last execution in the state occurred in 1938. The last person sentenced to death under federal law in Michigan is still on federal death row in Terre Haute, Ind., said the Detroit Free Press (Aug. 26).

Pannier named CEO of REALTORS FCU

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ROCKVILLE, Md. (8/27/10)--The REALTORS FCU Board of Directors announced that Jane Pannier will be its new president/CEO. Pannier had been serving as acting CEO of the two-year-old virtual credit union, following the departure Aug. 1 of previous CEO Tom Glatt. “There was no need to do a large search to fill the position,” said REALTORS FCU Chairman Mike Brodie. “We knew right away that Jane would be the perfect candidate and have certainly solidified our decision in the past few weeks.” Chief Information Officer Jesse Boyer has moved into the chief operating officer role. Tamara Schiavone, chief financial officer, rounds out the senior management team. Before joining the credit union, Pannier was a partner with The Rochdale Group, a credit union consulting firm. She also served as senior compliance counsel for the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, as director of its Regulatory Compliance Department, and as CEO for the then-named, UAW FCU, now International Uaw FCU.

Como Northtown Community CU seeking merger

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (8/27/10)--Como Northtown Community CU in St. Paul, Minn., is looking at the possibility of merging with a larger credit union. The board of the $37 million-asset Como Northtown approved plans last week to explore a merger with Affinity Plus FCU, a $1.34 billion asset, St. Paul credit union (StarTribune.com Aug. 25). “The [Como Northern] board passed a resolution to pursue a merger for sometime in the future … maybe,” Bryan Roegge, Como Northern president/CEO, told News Now. “We’re looking to see if it’s in the best interest of our members. So far, it looks to be, but it’s far from being a done deal. “We’ve had many suitors, but chose to look at Affinity Plus, because they’re the best,” Roegge added. “In the long run, this is best for our members. They’re going to thank us.” “Our board passed a similar resolution Wednesday night to accept Como Northern’s resolution and continue with the merger process,” Kyle Markland, president/CEO of Affinity Plus, told News Now. “We still need to submit merger documentation to our respective regulators. We expect the merger to pass by year-end.” “Their brand fits in really nicely with our brand structure,” he added. “Also Como Northern’s members will have 23 additional locations to go to for their financial needs.” Como Northern began receiving phone calls about six months ago from other credit unions that were interested in merging, Roegge told the paper. Roegge noted that the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) began asking about the credit union’s plans for future growth. “The NCUA didn’t come out and say, “You have to merge,” Roegge told the paper. “But reading between the lines at the questions they were asking, you could tell that [a merger] was their desire.”

Savers seeking alternatives such as CUs

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MADISON, Wis. (8/27/10)--Consumers looking to save more of their money from being depleted by rising or new fees at banks may turn to credit unions or smaller banks as an alternative, according to a Thursday article in the San Francisco Chronicle. “The average interest on savings, checking, money market and certificate of deposit accounts fell to 0.99% in July, the first decline below 1% in a decade," the article said, citing statistics from San Anselmo researcher Market Rates Insight. In response to the financial services overhaul bill that became law July 21, banks also have raised or added new fees, the article added. “The result? An increasing number of people, seeing their deposit earnings eaten up by charges, may wind up at smaller banks and credit unions,” the article continued. "Almost 80% of the 50 largest credit unions offered free checking as of April, Bankrate.com data show, while unconditional free checking is no longer offered by the four biggest banks--San Francisco’s Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc.” Another article noted that consumers can save by refinancing their car loans at credit unions. Consumers with decent credit and newer vehicles should look to credit unions to refinance their car loans, said the Las Vegas Review Journal (Aug. 26). The article mentioned Nevada credit unions--such as Boulder Dam CU, Boulder City--that can save members money through refinancing auto loans at lower rates. Many credit unions in the region offer auto-loan refinancing, Daniel Penrod, senior industry analyst with the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, told the Journal. Members with good credit often can save from 0.5% to one or two points, especially if the consumer has a loan from another lender, he added. Credit unions typically offer refinance deals and other car loans in the range of 3.9% to 4.9%, compared with 6.9% at the beginning of the decade, Penrod told the Journal. To read the articles, use the links.

Gerlach touts small biz legislation

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READING, Pa. (8/27/10)--Small businesses create most jobs, and legislation should be enacted to allow them to grow, U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) told attendees at a town hall meeting Wednesday in Wyomissing, Pa. Gerlach is a co-sponsor of the Small Business Assistance Relief Act, according to Reading (Pa.) Eagle (Aug. 26). He met with 25 members of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noting the act would make it easier for small businesses to obtain credit. Edwin L. Williams, CEO of Discovery FCU, Wyomissing, and a board member of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), told Gerlach that CUNA is backing legislation that would enable credit unions to lend more money to small businesses. The legislation would increase credit unions' member business lending cap to 27.5% from 12.25% of assets, he said. Gerlach noted that credit unions have a good record for supporting small businesses, but banks likely would oppose efforts to expand credit unions' lending ability. The ideal solution, he said, would be to find ways to help both, the newspaper reported.

Kansas CU regulator testifies in fin lit hearing

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (8/27/10)--Among those testifying as to Kansas credit unions' efforts in financial literacy before a House subcommittee Wednesday was the state's credit union regulator, John Smith, administrator of the Kansas Department of Credit Unions (KDCU). He and Chris Wolgamott, community development liaison at Wichita-based Meritrust CU, testified before the House Financial Services Committee subcommittee on oversight and investigations' hearing on "Empowering Consumers: Can Financial Literacy Education Prevent Another Financial Crisis?" "A key lesson that we've learned from the financial crisis is that we need to do a better job across sectors--local, state and federal government, private industry, non-profits, etc.--to utilize scarce resources to better promote financial literacy education," said subcommittee Chairman Dennis Moore (D-Kan.), in his opening statement. In his testimony, Smith noted that many credit unions are committed to increasing financial literacy among their credit union membership and into the community. He cited three examples:
* First Choice CU, Maize, which has sponsored an in-school branch at a local high school the past three years; * Sunflower U.P. FCU, Marysville, which provides in-class financial education for grades K-12 in surrounding parochial and public schools; and * K-State FCU, Manhattan, which has participated in the State Treasurer's Save@School program since 2004.
Financial literacy enhances KDCU's position as a safety and soundness regulator, and the department supports such financial literacy efforts, Smith told the subcommittee. Wolgamott's testimony, which was featured in Thursday's News Now, highlighted Meritrust CU's financial education efforts and experiences. Wolgamott testified at the request of the Kansas Credit Union Association (KCUA). Throughout the hearing, Kansas credit unions were referred to repeatedly for their work in this area, said KCUA. Financial Services Committee member Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), who has worked with credit unions since her tenure as Kansas State Treasurer, said, "Kansas credit unions have stepped up to the plate in a big way to address financial literacy issues in Kansas." Current State Treasurer Dennis McKinney called the state's credit unions one of his department's "largest partners" in financial literacy efforts.

Minn. FIC helps CUs with fin lit strategies

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (8/27/10)--The Minnesota Family Involvement Council (FIC) debuted its Start 2 Go Workshop Aug. 19, guiding more than 40 credit union professionals on how to infuse energy into lifestage programs, clubs and overall financial literacy strategies.
Click to view larger image During the Minnesota Family Involvement Council’s Start 2 Go Workshop on Aug. 19, Nathan Dungan (center), founder and president of Share Save Spend, discussed with credit unions how they can help their members engage, educate and equip families to have discussions about money. (Photo provided by the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation)
FIC is a committee of the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation. In the workshop, credit unions explored ways that they can fill the gap in fiscal knowledge that exists in today’s society. Led in part by nationally recognized speaker Nathan Dungan, the workshop focused on the importance of facilitating money conversations among credit union members of all generations. Dungan is the founder and president of Share Save Spend, an organization dedicated to helping families link their money decisions to their values. He emphasized credit unions’ role in engaging, educating and equipping families to have discussions about money. “Families today lack a value system to talk and teach about money,” Dungan said. “By playing an active role in helping members participate in money conversations, credit unions will begin to see healthy spending habits develop in their members.” Dungan said this would benefit credit unions in the long run. Participants investigated steps for increasing members’ financial literacy and explored techniques for marrying financial literacy tactics with their credit union’s strategic plan and vision. “Credit unions have the opportunity to instill lifelong money management habits across multiple generations,” said LeAnn Achtenberg, FIC chair. “The Start 2 Go Workshop provided credit unions with the tools to make financial literacy more than just an event. They left with a blueprint enabling them to give financial literacy a more strategic role within their organizations.” FIC is committed to enhancing the future of the credit union movement by supporting Minnesota credit unions’ efforts to provide financial education programs and encourage full-family involvement. Through the Start 2 Go program, FIC has assisted credit unions in increasing their financial literacy efforts through the development of kids, teens and senior citizens clubs.

CU System briefs (08/26/2010)

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* ORLANDO, Fla. (8/27/10)--Orlando-based Fairwinds CU has announced a multi-year partnership with the city's pro basketball team, the Orlando Magic (Orlando Business Journal Aug. 26). Under the contract, Fairwinds will maintain a presence in the city's new Amway Center and will offer an Orlando Magic-branded debit card. The deal also means Fairwinds can have digital signage, location sponsorship of the Amway Center's tower hospitality space, ATMs and on-court promotions. The Fairwinds Tower Room will be located on the promenade level of the arena. The team and the $1.5 billion asset credit union recently hosted an online contest for the new design of the official Orlando Magic debit card. New cards will be distributed this fall in Fairwinds' local branches as the exclusive Magic-branded debit card for the team's fans ... * ONTARIO, Calif. (8/27/10)--The Richard Myles Johnson (RMJ)
Click to view larger image Click for larger view
Foundation/CUNA Mutual Golf Tournament Monday at Pechanga, Calif., raised more than $30,000 for the state foundation for California and Nevada credit unions. The event attracted 80 players and 14 sponsors, with Madison, Wis.-based CUNA Mutual serving as title sponsor. The support will enable the foundation to fund more community service grants to help credit unions with their youth financial education efforts, said RMJ Executive Director Tena Lozano. The tournament's winning group is, from left, Steve VanSickler of Visterra CU, Penny Sandifer of Pacific Marine CU, and Jim Plotkin of The Plotkin Group. (Photo provided by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues) ... * PORTLAND, Ore. (8/27/10)--As officials of Credit Union Miracle Day (CUMD), PSCU Financial Services and others looked on, the Tom Sargent Safety Center at Doernbecher Children's Hospital was formally dedicated in Portland, Ore. The center is named for Sargent, who recently retired as CEO of Beaverton-based First Technology CU. Sargent has been a long-time supporter of Credit Unions for Kids, which raises funds for Children's Miracle Network hospitals around the country. "This is a great tribute to Tom and a significant honor for the credit union movement," said Juri Valdov, chairman of CUMD. CUMD is the title sponsor of the annual Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten-Mile Run in Washington, D.C., a nationwide fundraiser for the hospitals. PSCU Financial Services covers expenses for the annual event to ensure 100% of donations by credit unions go back to their area hospitals ...