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CUs CUNA featured in Forbes other major media

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WASHINGTON (9/2/09)--Credit unions and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) were featured prominently in national media such as The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and Forbes.com last week. CUNA served as a key a resource for a positive student lending story in Forbes.com (Aug.26). Entitled "When a Credit Union Beats a Bank," the story advised college students that "it pays to check out the university's not-for-profit credit union." The story spotlighted several credit unions with university ties--including Princeton FCU, Michigan State University FCU, and the University of Nebraska FCU--as well as the CO-OP Network's surcharge free ATMs. William Jordan of The Sentinel Group told the publication that a few years of loyalty to a national bank does not generate the same benefits as membership in a credit union. He noted credit unions' better rates. Forbes also included a testimonial from Megan Collins, the first student at the University of Nebraska to open an account at the University of Nebraska FCU. Other media hits last week included:
* CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel was interviewed Thursday on CNBC's "Closing Bell," discussing whether the economy is really recovering and whether the government stimulus funds are playing a role in the signs of recovery so far. Hampel also was interviewed by Reuters about consumer spending (News Now Sept. 1). * Mary Dunn, CUNA deputy general counsel, was featured in The Wall Street Journal (Aug. 27), discussing the temporarily increase in deposit insurance to $250,000 per person, per account, which some believe may become a permanent change. When consumers are accustomed to a higher level of government protection, "it will be tough to roll it back," she said. The article notes credit unions can help consumers make their cash work hardest, and gave as an example Baton Rouge, La.-based Pelican State CU's eXtra Bonus Checking account, which pays 5.25%. * Credit unions as payday lending alternatives was the subject of three op-ed pieces by Brett Thompson, president/CEO of the Wisconsin Credit Union League. His articles all appeared Sunday in Wisconsin newspapers--the Capital Times in Madison.; The Northwestern in Oshkosh; and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

CU first in Ireland to offer real-time accounts

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NEWRY, Ire. (9/2/09)--Newry CU is the first credit union in Ireland to offer a "current" or real-time account service for its members. The new service means members will have access to direct debits, standing orders, ATM and Visa access at no cost to them. Members will be able to access their funds around the clock both locally and globally and pay for online and in-store purchases (Newry Democrat Aug. 4). Newry CU Manager Brendan Jackson said the current account is part of the credit union's ongoing aim to tackle financial exclusion.

Calif. DFI authorizes FI closures for fires CU closed

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. (9/2/09)--At least one California credit union closed because its area was evacuated during wildfires raging about 12 miles from Los Angeles, and the California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has authorized financial institutions to close for the emergency, if necessary. CalTech Employees FCU based in La Canada Flintridge was closed, not because of damage but because it is near NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which closed as a precaution, the California Credit Union League told News Now. The laboratory and Mt. Wilson Observatory were in danger from the so-called "Station" fire, but JPL's situation eased on Monday. The fire burning in the Angeles National Forest is near homes on the north side of La Canada Flintridge. The fire was within one-quarter to one-eighth of a mile from JPL on Saturday but retreated. The 50,000-acre fire doubled in size overnight Monday, charring another 50,000 acres. Tuesday morning Bloomberg.com said conditions are favorable for the fire to spread. The Station fire, which began on Aug. 26, is the largest of eight blazes burning in the state. It was about 5% contained Monday and estimates were that the blaze won't be under control until Sept. 8. Smoke from the fire is visible from the city. The areas evacuated include: La Canada Flintridge, Acton, Altadena, and La Crescenta. The latter three areas have no credit union branches. The state's DFI Monday authorized financial institutions located in areas declared to be a state of emergency by the governor to close any or all offices affected by the fires. Commissioner of Financial Institutions William S. Haraf authorized the closures in these counties: Los Angeles, Mariposa, Monterey, Placer and Yuba. He noted that consumers can have access to their funds through their financial institutions' ATM network, Internet or telephone banking. He urged financial institutions to review their lending policies in order to grant appropriate latitude to existing member/customers affected by the fire and to expedite the extension of new credit to finance cleanup or building. Use the link to access a photo of the Station fire.

Federation notes Micas work in advocacy

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NEW YORK (9/2/09)--The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions Monday commented on the strong working relationship it has had with Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica, who announced he would step down from the position in January 2011. "It's been a pleasure for the federation to work with Dan Mica and his dedicated team, especially Richard McBride, for more than a decade," said federation President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal. "In the months before he actually departs, we expect to have an opportunity to express our appreciation and respect more extensively, but for now, we look forward to Dan's continued and vigorous advocacy on behalf of all credit unions at a critical time in our shared history," Rosenthal added. Others commenting included Missouri Credit Union Association President/CEO Rosie Holub and Pennsylvania Credit Union Association President/CEO Jim McCormack. Mica "has been a tremendous asset to the credit union movement, and his leadership will be missed. CUNA, under Dan's leadership, has become an exemplary trade association and one of the most respected and influential organizations in our nation's capital," said Holub. "Dan has done a great job and led us in a new direction. He will be missed," said McCormack. McBride, who works closely with and was brought to CUNA by Mica, will also step down. Mica, a former Democratic congressman who represented Florida from 1979 to 1989, has been one of the longest-serving CEOs in CUNA's history.

TCUL announces state award recipients

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FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (9/2/09)--The Texas Credit Union League (TCUL) has announced the Dora Maxwell, Louise Herring and Desjardins award winners. The awards are sponsored by the league and the Credit Union National Association. The Austin Chapter of Credit Unions received a first place award in the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award program for its Credit Unions for Kids project. The credit union raised $344,985 for the Children’s Medical Foundation for 2008-2009. Four Texas credit unions also received the award:
* Coastal Community FCU, Galveston; * Coastal Community and Teachers FCU, Corpus Christi; * DATCU, Denton; and * Mobiloil FCU, Beaumont.
Coastal Community was recognized for its efforts to help members during Hurricane Ike last year. Mobiloil FCU was noted for participating in a forestry project with elementary school students. Coastal Community and Teachers was honored because of its “Steppin’ Up and Out for Kids” fundraiser, while DATCU was recognized for its Apple Tree project to help students from low-income families receive school supplies, clothes and shoes. DATCU also received first place in the Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action for its financial literacy efforts. A+ FCU in Austin is the Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award recipient for its efforts to teach youth about money and help them develop strong savings habits, TCUL said.

Maine CUs youth fin ed efforts featured on radio

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WESTBROOK, Maine (9/2/09)--The Maine Credit Union League participated in radio interviews to discuss the teaching and learning opportunities that back-to-school shopping can offer to help children better understand personal finance and money management. Jon Paradise, league governmental and public affairs manager, told parents how to incorporate simple financial skills and topics into a back-to-school shopping trip. In separate interviews that aired recently on the morning shows of two of the top stations in the Augusta/Waterville radio markets, he discussed setting a budget, taking advantage of coupons and sales, and getting the most value and return on spending. “Helping children of all ages better understand money does not have to only happen in schools but can be incorporated in simple, everyday events and activities,” Paradise said. “Making kids a part of shopping is an easy way to introduce and strengthen fiscal responsibility concepts in a way in which it can be fun and educational.” The interviews also referenced the free resources that the league and Maine’s credit unions offer for youth financial education, including fitness fairs held throughout the state, in-school presentations and a growing clearinghouse of resources and ideas on the league’s Youth Financial Services link on the league’s website. Jon James, co-host of the Moose Morning Show on 92 MOOSE radio in Augusta, one of the stations that aired the interview, applauded Maine credit unions for “taking the initiative to look for ways in which kids can be exposed to financial education by bringing attention to tasks and activities that parents can talk and work with their children on. “Credit unions are doing a great service by bringing awareness to this issue and offering ways in which we can engage our children and help them become financially responsible and successful adults,” he added. “As a parent, I really appreciate that.”

Calif.Nev. leagues Hertz offer rental discounts

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ONTARIO, Calif. (9/2/09)--California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues staff and member credit unions can receive discounts on rental cars through a partnership with the leagues and Hertz Corp. Staff and credit union members can receive discounts between 5% and 15%, depending on the vehicle, by using a discount program code--available on the leagues’ website-- when they rent cars. The leagues are developing marketing materials for credit unions to advertise the discounts to their members. Hertz is a rental car company with more than 8,100 locations nationwide and in 148 countries.

Top 10 News Now stories for August

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MADISON, Wis. (9/2/09)--Stories about the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which went into effect last month, dominated five of the 10 top News Now stories for August. The Credit CARD Act sets rules for card companies including those that arbitrarily change interest rates and terms on cards with existing balances. A story about Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica stepping down from his post in 2011 was the 12th most read story of August. Here are the top 10 most requested News Now stories during July. Use the links to read the stories online. 10. Letter to editor questions CU/bank merger AUGUSTA, Maine (8/11/09)--A letter to the editor appearing in the Saturday Kennebec Journal questioned Kennebec Valley FCU's proposed merger with Kennebec Savings Bank. 9. Dodd urges Fed to extend CARD Act deadline for CUs WASHINGTON (8/13/09)--Working closely with the Connecticut Credit Union League, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) yesterday urged the Federal Reserve Board to provide relief to credit unions regarding the 21-day rule under the CARD Act as it applies to open-end plans other than credit cards. 8. Eight former CU employees under prohibition orders ALEXANDRIA, Va. (8/13/09)--The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has issued orders prohibiting eight individuals from participating in the business of any federally insured financial institution. 7. Fed to CUNA: CUs have some leeway on 21-day rule WASHINGTON (8/19/09)--The Federal Reserve Board on Tuesday reiterated that credit unions will be allowed to be technically "inconsistent" with the 21-day requirement under the new Credit Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act for a "short period of time." 6. CFA asks Fed to extend CUs’ open-end credit deadline WASHINGTON (8/12/09)--The Consumer Federation of America Tuesday has sent letters asking that credit unions be granted more time to comply with the 21-day Credit CARD Act notice requirement for open-end plans other than credit cards. 5. CUNA, CUs rebut USA TODAY item NEW YORK (8/4/09)--CUNA is providing resources so leagues and credit unions can answer questions that may be prompted by a front-page article in Monday's USA TODAY that was critical of some credit unions' payday loan alternatives. The article cited the loans of a single credit union in Nevada. 4. CUNA doc helps CUs cope with CARD Act regs WASHINGTON (8/6/09)--CUNA is working for legislative or regulatory relief for the by-now-well-known 21-day notice provisions for open-end credit plans, other than credit cards set, set to take effect Aug. 20. Meanwhile, however, CUNA has created a compendium of information to help credit unions tackle the "horrendous" compliance challenges that loom ahead. 3. IRS issues a new UBIT opinion WASHINGTON (8/5/09)--The Internal Revenue Service has released a new Technical Advice Memorandum stating that income derived by state-chartered credit unions from shared-branching arrangements, management services to other credit unions, certain CUSOs, and sales of financial management services and certain insurance products are subject to unrelated business income tax. 2. 21-day rule: CUNA urges CUs ‘document everything’ WASHINGTON (8/20/09)--Starting today, periodic statements sent to members on their open-end loans must be provided at least 21 days before the payment due date in order for a credit union to charge a late fee, report the account as delinquent to credit bureaus, or impose a penalty interest rate. 1. Credit CARD Act: CUNA addresses CUs’ FAQs WASHINGTON (8/18/09)--CUNA has prepared a document to assist state leagues and credit unions with credit unions' questions regarding CARD Act provisions--especially on the 21-day periodic statements provision.

Bruen TUCOEMAS FCU honored for assisting small CUs

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (9/2/09)--The California Credit Union League’s 2009 Kim Bannan Eternal Flame Awards went to Eric Bruen, CEO of Desert Valleys FCU in Ridgecrest, and to TUCOEMAS FCU, Visalia. The awards recognize contributions to the success and future of Shapiro Group credit unions through the cooperative spirit of “People Helping People.” The Shapiro Group is a league group providing assistance to small credit unions. Kim Bannan was the league’s former vice president of credit union development and research and information. Bruen, this year’s recipient in the individual category, was recognized for his assistance to Shapiro Group credit unions in understanding net worth restoration plans and management of prompt corrective action concerns. One Shapiro Group credit union he helped was Palm Springs FCU--formerly Palm Springs City Employees FCU. Bruen helped the credit union--among other things--file its quarterly National Credit Union Administration 5300 reports, with its allowance for loan loss calculations. He also assisted and with issues related to the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. Bruen has served on the league board of directors and various league committees, including the Shapiro Group Advisory Committee. The award recipient in the credit union category, TUCOEMAS FCU, was honored because of assistance it provided to El Futuro CU, Porterville, in handling a Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) annual audit. El Futuro was unable to hire an accountant to complete the audit this year, so TUCOEMAS’ certified BSA officer and certified assistant BSA officers visited El Futuro and completed the audit and tested transactions. Also, TUCOEMAS has agreed to help El Futuro with BSA staff training and using online league resources. Both will be honored during the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Annual Meeting and Convention Nov. 16-18 in Las Vegas.

CU System briefs (09/01/2009)

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* NAPERVILLE, Ill. (9/2/09)--A food drive conducted by the Illinois Credit Union League collected 405 pounds of food for the hungry served by the Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB), said the league. "Hunger never takes a vacation and we received a great response by our staff to this first-time event," said Dan Plauda, ICUL president/chief executive officer. NIFB--a member of Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest, the Nation's Food Bank Network)--distributed more than 22.5 million pounds of food in 2008 to more than 520 sites in 13 northern Illinois counties … * CHICAGO (9/2/09)--Alliant CU Foundation announced its official launch of operations as a 501c3 not-for-profit organization by
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presenting a $35,000 grant to Operation HOPE, a national organization promoting financial literacy and economic opportunity. The foundation was established through a $4 million grant from Chicago-based Alliant CU to promote economic empowerment and self sufficiency of people in the communities where Alliant CU members and employees live and work. Pictured at the check presentation are, from left: Patricia Robles, program manager, Operation HOPE Chicago office; John HOPE Bryant, Operation HOPE founder and chairman; David W. Mooney, president/CEO of Alliant CU and foundation president; Wayne Rosenwinkel, foundation vice president; and Mona Leung, Alliant CU senior vice president/chief financial officer. (Photo provided by Alliant CU) … * FORT WORTH, Texas (9/2/09)--American Airlines FCU (AA CU) donated $40,000 Friday to the United Way
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of Tarrant County after raising the funds through the 13th Annual AA CU Golf Tournament May 15 in Grapevine, Texas, and through several fund-raising activities throughout the year. This year's tournament was sponsored by several credit union partners: CO-OP Financial Services; GlobalVision Systems Inc.; Fiserv; PSCU Financial Services Inc.; DMN3; BIT; Diebold; Intercontinental Warranty Service Inc.; Mercedez Benz USA; Manheim; Prime Alliance Solutions Inc.; Providence Title; and others. Here, Tim McKinney, left, president/CEO of United Way of Tarrant County, receives the check from AA CU President/CEO Angie Owens and AA CU eMarketing Manager Pedro Noda. (Photo provided by American Airlines FCU) … * HONOLULU 9/2/09)--Aloha Pacific FCU, Honolulu, announced Monday its second merger of the year, this time with First Insurance FCU (FI FCU), a $2.3 million asset credit union based in Honolulu. Aloha Pacific has more than $575 million in assets. The National Credit Union Administration has approved the deal, Aloha Pacific said. FI FCU was established in 1951 for employees of the insurance company. The combined credit union will have $578 million in assets, 31,000 members, 130 employees, seven branches and 45 ATM locations. Aloha Pacific intends to keep all of First Insurance's employees and a branch in the First Insurance building. Last December, Aloha Pacific merged with Inter-Island FCU (Pacific Business News Aug. 31) … * MANITOWOC, Wis. (9/2/09)--Dennis Lombard retired Friday from the position of president of UnitedOne CU, Manitowoc, after 34 years in the position. He is being succeeded by Kim Rooney, former vice president at the $178 million asset credit union. During Lombard's tenure, the credit union's assets grew from $3.1 million to $178 million in assets with 25,000 members in Manitowoc, Kewaunee and Sheboygan counties (htrnews.com Aug. 28) … * APPLETON, Wis. (9/2/09)--A 17-year-old former employee of the Green Bay branch of Appleton-based Fox Community CU was charged with robbing the credit union Thursday morning. Julian Rubio is charged with using wearing a bandanna, forcing his way into the credit union when employees opened for business and threatening them with a nine-inch knife. The robber removed money from the vault and escaped but was caught a short time later after employees said they recognized his voice. He had worked at the credit union as a co-op student from a local high school. The money, knife and clothing were recovered after Rubio led officers to a field where the items were buried (Green Bay Press Gazette Aug. 29 and wbay.com Aug. 28) …