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More marketing doesnt mean more business Texas CUs told

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FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (9/16/11)--Credit unions must embrace key marketing trends instead of falling into a complacent "marketing means more business" rut, says a speaker at the Texas Credit Union League's Leadership Conference. "Credit unions must know what marketing trends are going to work in the future, not necessarily what has worked in the past," said Mark Arnold, president of On The Mark Strategies. His breakout session covered the top 10 marketing trends, which savvy marketing staff at credit unions should embrace, according to the league (LoneStar Leaguer Sept. 13). Among the trends: marketing and technology fields are merging; rules can be broken; innovate; differentiation deals success, mobile marketing is driving today's society, and shiftening demographics are deepening. More marketing doesn't necessarily equate to more business, he cautioned. "Innovation and differentiation will equate to more business." He challenged credit unions to focus on creating, instead of copying. "When was the last time your credit union launched a new product?" he asked, adding, "If the answer is longer than 12 months, you have serious strategic problems at your credit union." Arnold told attendees they can get ideas from multiple product suggestions from the Filene Research Institute. To differentiate, Arnold advised credit unions to dig deep. "Be real with your differentiation. Try answering the question 'What makes your credit union different' without the words service, people or community. That is cliché differentiation." Also, front line staff must be able to explain what makes the credit union different. In relating shifting trends in demographics, Arnold said that credit unions "have talked for years about getting younger, but the reality is we are heading in the wrong direction." Many front line staff are from a younger generation, but members using branches are from an older demographic, he said. "Credit unions must conduct generational training to help with this culture clash," Arnold said. He also suggested embracing technology products such as QR codes, video, live chat support, mobile banking, online-account opening and account-to-account opening to reach Gen Y. "The whole world is going 'e,' and marketing is no different," he said.

SBA study CUs increasingly important in biz lending

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WASHINGTON and BERKELEY, Calif. (9/16/11)--A new independent report from the Small Business Administration (SBA) confirms that credit unions' member business lending (MBL) portfolios grew while banks' small business lending (SBL) portfolios shrank during the past two decades and especially since the financial crisis that began in 2007. The report, "The Increasing Importance of Credit Unions in Small Business Lending," is authored by James A. Wilcox of the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley and was released by the SBA's Office of Advocacy. "Credit unions devoted increasingly important shares of their assets to SBLs since the 1980s. Strikingly, over the same period, banks did the opposite," wrote Wilcox in the report. "SBLs as a share of credit union assets rose gently during the 1990s and increased much more rapidly through 2010. In contrast, banks devoted a fairly steady share of their assets to SBLs until the 2000s, when the share fell substantially." In another view, the report maintained, "SBLs at banks slowed somewhat during and after the 2001 recession. Moreover, during much of the 2000s, SBLs at banks grew at lackluster rates, especially compared with the 1990s. During and after the recession of 2007-2009, SLBs at banks actually shrank, and considerably so in 2010. "In contrast, SBLs at credit unions grew faster that at banks from 1995 to 2010, with an average annual growth rate of 16% compared with 3% at banks. Furthermore, the growth of SBLs at credit unions during and after the 2001 recession continued its double-digit pace, exceeding 20% annually for several years into the 2000s." The report said growth rates of SBLs at credit unions "tended to be highest when the growth rates at banks were at historically low levels. Of course, during the crisis that enveloped the U.S. credit markets after 2007, growth rates of SBLs declined at both credit unions and banks. While growth rates of SBLs at credit unions slowed during the financial crisis and ensuring slow recovery, those growth rates remained remarkedly positive, far above those of banks, and were actually higher than those of banks at almost all points during this extended period." Part of the differential resulted in the fact that the business loan market was new to some credit unions. "Nonetheless, even during the financial crisis, the gap between annual growth rates of SBLs at credit unions and at banks continued at well over 10%," Wilcox said. Over shorter periods if the supply of business loans at banks were disrupted, "the availability of SBLs at credit unions might well be of importance to small businesses," said the report. "Indeed, because credit unions in the aggregate are relatively new to SBLs, the importance of credit unions as an alternative to bank SBLs may be greater than the amounts of SBLs at credit unions relative to those at banks might suggest," said the report. Other findings:
* SBLs at credit unions tended to partially offset declines in business loans at banks. Credit unions offset about four cents per dollar of fluctuations in business loans at banks and seven cents per dollar of fluctuations in all business loans at banks. * Credit unions offset more of the fluctuations in SBLs at small banks than at large banks, and they offset more of the fluctuations in SBLs than in larger business loans at banks. * The developments that boosted SBLs at credit unions tended to reduce business loans at banks. The offset was about 20 cents per dollar of additional SBLs at credit unions. That reduction in business loans at banks implies that a $1 increase in the supply of SBLs by credit unions would lead to a net increase in business loans of 80 cents.
The report's conclusion: "If credit unions can appreciably and increasingly offset fluctuations in banks' SBLs, potential small business borrowers should be made aware of this alternative source of loans." It also noted, "credit unions perhaps should be included as alternative suppliers of business loans when regulators assess the effects on market concentration and competition of bank mergers. In addition, regulators might consider the extent to which credit unions could otherwise offset fluctuations in business loans at banks when setting ceilings on business loans at credit unions. And small businesses might face better loan terms and availability if more credit unions recognized more opportunities for more SBLs." The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), state-level associations and credit unions are pressing Congress to pass bills that would enable credit unions to make more MBLs by lifting their MBL cap to 27.5% of assets from the current 12.25% of assets. Doing so would enable credit unions to infuse $13 billion into the economy in small business loans and help create 140,000 jobs the first year--without costing taxpayers. CUNA also is encouraging the Obama administration to include credit unions as a source of MBLs in his jobs package.

SunCorp announces success in raising 60M capital

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WESTMINSTER, Colo. (9/16/11)--System United Corporate FCU (SunCorp) in Westminster, Colo., Thursday announced it successfully raised more than $60 million in capital to meet the requirements of the National Credit Union Administration’s regulation 704. The new regulation requires corporate credit unions to obtain a minimum 4% interim leverage ratio by October, which can be comprised of any form of capital: retained earnings, perpetual contributed capital, or nonperpetual capital (similar to membership capital accounts). SunCorp raised more than $60 million in new capital subscriptions from 176 members. It said it is looking to expand membership as credit unions in the West continue to choose provisions of settlement and payment services, and liquidity and investment support. “Because of [our capitalizing members], we can now look to the future and the many new opportunities for SunCorp as the cooperative solution to credit unions throughout the West,” said Tom Graham, SunCorp president/CEO. Earlier this week, Southeast Corporate FCU in Tallahassee, Fla., announced Tuesday it signed a letter of intent to merge with Corporate One FCU, based in Columbus, Ohio (News Now Sept. 14). Southeast Corporate fell short of the $80 million it needed in capital commitments to operate as a stand-alone corporate. The membership of Southwest Bridge Corporate, Plano, Texas, voted Aug. 30 to approve the corporate’s merger with Georgia Corporate, Duluth, Ga., a consolidation that created Catalyst Corporate on Sept. 6 (News Now Aug. 31). Western Bridge Corporate in San Dimas, Calif., did not meet the capital requirements. Alloya Corporate announced success in meeting its capital requirements.

Dakota flood victims receive 36K from CUAid

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BISMARCK, N.D. (9/16/11)--The Credit Union Association of the Dakotas (CUAD) brought good news to some flood victims in Minot, N.D., this week when staff hand delivered more than $36,000 in aid checks to seven Minot-area credit unions.
Click to view larger image Robbie Thompson, left, president/ CEO of the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas, hands CUAid disaster relief checks to Kim Colbenson of GEM FCU of Minot, N.D. GEM FCU lost its entire credit union building in a recent flood, and several GEM employees were severely impacted by personal losses. (Photo provided by the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas)
The checks will be distributed to individual credit union employees and members who were severely affected by the flood waters this summer. The checks were made possible by donations to the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) online disaster relief system,, which solicited funds from credit union people nationwide. The donations will help credit union employees and members who were displaced or experienced massive damage to their personal property by the high waters. NCUF coordinated with the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas to distribute money efficiently to credit union employees and members in the affected areas. “This is what credit unions are all about,” said Robbie Thompson, CUAD president/CEO. "Through CUAid and the efforts of credit unions and others all around the country, we were able to give a helping hand to credit union employees and volunteers in the Minot area who have had their lives turned upside down by the devastating flood.

WOCCU launches Year of Co-ops online resources

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MADISON, Wis. (9/16/11)--The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) this week launched a special section on its website to provide a platform for credit union organizations to share ideas about cooperative services and ways to celebrate 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC).
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The U.N. earlier this year designated 2012 as a time to recognize the contributions of cooperative enterprises worldwide, including credit unions. “Credit unions play a critical role in the lives of their members, and it is important to recognize and celebrate that role,” said Brian Branch, WOCCU president/CEO. “We encourage our members to add to the International Year of Cooperatives section on our website by sharing ideas related to member service in general and the year-long celebration in particular.” The International Year of Cooperatives will officially launch the week of Oct. 31-Nov. 1, with a series of meetings and workshops at the U.N.’s New York City headquarters. WOCCU’s online IYC platform contains information and resources for WOCCU member organizations interested in recognizing and celebrating the year-long designation. The website also features a forum through which members, credit unions and other cooperative business leaders can share ideas, photos and videos about IYC and current issues affecting credit unions. The website features celebration and service ideas, financial cooperative information, links to related sites and events and IYC branding guidelines. To subscribe to the RSS feed on the IYC Forum, use the link. The Credit Union National Association’s theme for International Credit Union Day, “Credit Unions Build a Better World,” ties directly to the IYC theme, “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World." International Credit Union Day is Oct. 20.

NASCUS installs officers honors Little

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CHICAGO (9/16/11)--The National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) Wednesday named two officers and bestowed an annual award at its annual State System Summit in Chicago this week.
Click to view larger image Orla Beth Peck became the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) chairman for a two-year term. Pictured, from left, are: NASCUS President/CEO Mary Martha Fortney; Peck, Utah’s Supervisor of Credit Unions; and Catherine Tierney, Community First CU, Appleton, Wis., the new chairman of the NASCUS Credit Union Advisory Council.
Click to view larger image Roger Little, retired credit union regulator from Michigan and past National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) chairman and director, was honored with the 2011 NASCUS Pierre Jay Award during NASCUS' State Summit this week. From left are: Little; Tom Candon, Vermont regulator; and NASCUS President/CEO Mary Martha Fortney. (Photos provided by the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors)
Utah’s credit union regulator, Orla Beth Peck, became the NASCUS chairman for a two-year term succeeding Tom Candon of Vermont. Also, Catherine Tierney, Community First CU, Appleton, Wis., was installed as the new chairman of the NASCUS Credit Union Advisory Council, succeeding the chairmanship of Parker Cann of BECU, Tukwila, Wash. Peck, the supervisor of credit unions for the Utah Department of Financial Institutions, joined the Utah agency as an examiner in 1981. She was named supervisor of credit unions in 1992. A longtime member of NASCUS, Peck has been active on NASCUS committees and served as a trustee and chairman of the National Institute for State Credit Union Examination. Peck has served on the NASCUS Board of Directors since 2007. Tierney has been active with the credit union community and NASCUS for many years. She joined Community First CU in 1976 and was named president/CEO in 1994. Under her leadership, the credit union has grown to $1.5 billion in assets with 88,000 members. Tierney has been a director of the NASCUS Credit Union Executive Council since 2003 and received the NASCUS Pierre Jay Award in 2009. Also at the summit, Roger Little, Michigan retired credit union regulator, past NASCUS chairman and longtime NASCUS Board Director, was honored with the 2011 NASCUS Pierre Jay Award. Recipients of the award best demonstrate outstanding service, leadership and commitment to NASCUS and the dual chartering system. The award, first awarded in 1997, is named after the first commissioner of banks in Massachusetts. Little began his state regulator career at the Michigan agency in 1984 as a credit union examiner. He later served as an examiner supervisor before his role as deputy commissioner, in which he was responsible for the oversight of Michigan’s more than 200 state-chartered credit unions. He was actively involved in NASCUS and served on the board of directors from 1999-2011. He was NASCUS chairman from 2003 to 2005. He was also an active participant in the NASCUS Accreditation Program and testified before committees in the U.S. House and Senate during his involvement with NASCUS, and co-authored a NASCUS white paper. Little retired on Jan. 1.

CUAid update 24K raised Irenes effects linger

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MADISON, Wis. (9/16/11), the National Credit Union Foundation’s (NCUF) online disaster relief system, has generated more than $24,000 for victims of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
Click to view larger image National Credit Union Foundation has raised more than $24,000 for victims of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee through, its online disaster relief system. Harrisburg, Pa., is among the areas that has experienced major flooding. (Photo provided by National Credit Union Foundation)
The effects of Hurricane Irene are still being felt by credit union people along the East Coast, particularly in New Jersey, New York and Vermont. Tropical Storm Lee has caused severe flooding in Pennsylvania, said NCUF. “We are still in the process of surveying the damage to credit unions, employees, and members,” said Jim McCormack, president/CEO of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA), Harrisburg, Pa. “There has been substantial flood damage in several areas across Pennsylvania and our association, through the Pennsylvania and National Credit Union Foundations, will work with credit unions to help ease some of the financial burden on people who may have lost everything.” Belco Community CU, Harrisburg, is offering a special hardship loan at a reduced rate for those affected in the central Pennsylvania area. Flood victims will pay a 4.99% annual percentage rate on a personal, unsecured loan for up to a 60-month term and a maximum loan amount of $5,000. This loan is designed to cover the costs of structural home repairs to restore basic livability or replacement of major appliances. Cross Valley FCU, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., worked with the American Red Cross to prepare its branches as collection sites for cleaning supplies and monetary donations, according to the PCUA (Life is a Highway Sept. 15). On Monday afternoon, Cross Valley FCU staff visited affected areas and offered food and water to those helping with clean-up efforts. M-C FCU, Danville, Pa., formed volunteer groups to help clean up homes of members and residents in the Lewisberg, Bloomsburg and Danville areas. The credit union is also accepting donations for the American Red Cross and flood victims. People’s Choice FCU, Duryea, Pa., is accepting cleaning supplies and donations for distribution to needy families in the community. “While Irene may be long gone, the damage that remains is significant,” said Paul Gentile, president/CEO of the New Jersey Credit Union League, Hightstown, N.J. “Thousands of New Jersey residents have been displaced because of severe flooding. Implementing CUAid is a testament to the credit union spirit and reflects credit unions’ willingness to help those who need it most.” Credit union supporters in every state can donate through a secured website that accepts credit cards and wire transfers. CUAid is the only program of its kind through which credit union employees, volunteers, and members and credit unions and credit union organizations nationwide can contribute directly to support other credit union people. NCUF will coordinate with the credit union leagues in the disaster area to distribute money to affected credit union employees and members. CUAid was developed by NCUF in cooperation with state credit union foundations, state credit union leagues, and the Credit Union National Association’s Disaster Preparedness Committee in 2006. In 2011, NCUF has raised over $250,000 in disaster relief donations that were disbursed as grants to credit union employees and members who suffered losses from tornadoes in Alabama and Missouri and from flooding in North Dakota. (See related story: “Dakota flood victims delivered $36K from CUAid.”)

CU System briefs (09/15/2011)

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* MADISON, Wis. (9/16/11)--Wisconsin credit unions and affiliated industry partners contributed $50,000 million in 2011 to the state's
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Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Of that $15,000 will go to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; $15,000 to the Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, La Crosse; and $20,000 to St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, Marshfield. The money was donated through the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, held in April in Washington, D.C. CUNA Mutual Group is one of the lead sponsors of the run. Others include the Credit Union National Association, Fiserv, Credit Union Executives Society and the National Credit Union Foundation. Credit unions have made the children's hospitals their charity of choice through Credit Unions for Kids. From left are Carrie Williams, Sheila McNeal and Holly Fearing, all of CUNA Mutual Group; U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), honorary co-chair of the run held in April; Derick Stace-Naughton, CUNA Mutual; Tom Liebe and Mark Bender, both of the Wisconsin Credit Union League; and Christopher Roe, CUNA Mutual, who serves on the board of Children's Miracle Day. (Photo provided by CUNA Mutual Group) … * FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (9/16/11)--The Texas Credit Union Foundation's (TCUF) 14th annual golf tournament during the Texas Credit Union League's Leadership and Marketing Conference in San Antonio, generated roughly $90,400, a record amount raised to help TCUF provide resources for financial education initiatives and educational grants and scholarships for Texas credit union staff and volunteers. The tournament hosted 136 golfers and 43 sponsors, along with dozens of volunteers. Title sponsor Vantiv enabled TCUF to feature a Helicopter Ball Drop. Participants purchased golf balls in advance, which were dropped from a helicopter over the golf course. The ball that landed closest to the hole won. Border FCU's Ruben Cisneros won the drop (LoneStar Leaguer Sept. 15) … * BRIGHTON, Mich. (9/16/11)--David A. Snodgrass has been named CEO/President of Lake Trust CU, Brighton, Mich., announced the $1.6 billion asset credit union's board Wednesday. The appointment is effective in late October. He succeeds Stephan L. Winninger and William Thiess. Winninger and Thiess had headed the credit union since their credit unions--NuUnion and Detroit Edison CUs--merged in April 2010. Snodgrass served as executive vice president and chief strategy officer at Affinity FCU, a $2 billion asset credit union in Basking Ridge, N.J., where he provided leadership in marketing/e-commerce, human resources, Affinity Learning Institute, external and political affairs, financial education, strategy and innovation, and business intelligence functions. He is active in several national credit union organizations …