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CU System

CU System Brief(3)

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FARMERS BRANCH, Texas. (9/9/13)--The Cornerstone Credit Union League has recognized Randolph-Brooks FCU, Universal City, Texas, with its Juntos Avanzamos designation for serving the financial needs of Hispanic families in Texas (Leaguer Sept. 4). The league will present the credit union with a Juntos Avanzamos flag on Sept. 5. The Juntos Avanzamos or "Together We Advance" designation is presented to credit unions that have successfully completed and passed a rigorous application process that demonstrates their commitment to Hispanic families. Some of the services RBFCU provides includes bilingual services and information and affordable products and services that fit the needs of Hispanic families ...

NCBA's Beall: Co-ops Offer CUs Opportunity For Growth

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MADISON, Wis. (9/9/13)--By working with their fellow cooperatives--and thereby serving one of the seven cooperative principles---credit unions have a tremendous opportunity for growth, Mike Beall, president/CEO of the National Cooperative Business Association told an audience of Credit Union National Association employees in Madison, Wis. Friday.
 
Mike Beall, president/CEO of the National Co-operative Business Association, addressed Credit Union National Association employees Friday. (CUNA photo)
"I'm convinced if credit unions worked in their communities with other co-ops, they would see membership growth" sparked by those relationships, Beall said. Similarly, credit unions could also promote credit union membership with the membership of the other local co-ops, he added.
 
Beall is very familiar with credit unions, having served as the president/CEO of the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association and the Missouri Credit Union Association before accepting his position with the NCBA in 2012.
 
Beall highlighted a vibrant, cooperative economy in Austin, Texas, as one where co-ops assist each other starting new business ventures. "What I find is that other co-op leaders may have a passion for brewing or baking, but don't have a lot of financial background. How do they get a business loan? How do they comply with local and state regulations? Credit unions have a good basis and background for that."
 
Lending to other cooperatives, especially food cooperatives, could also help credit unions increase their member business lending portfolios, Beall said. He also noted that, from a values standpoint, food co-ops' competition with for-profit competitors is similar to competition between credit unions and banks.
 
"If you listen to (food co-ops) talk in their industry meetings and took out the words 'food co-op' or 'consumer co-op' and inserted 'credit unions,' it's the same discussion,"  Beall said. The food co-ops talk about how to compete with the Wal-Marts of the world,  and credit unions have the same discussions about big banks. "We can do it together. I think NCBA can play a big role in that."
 
For credit unions, working with other co-ops is similar to working with underserved segments of the community: Community involvement is rewarded with membership growth. "Do whatever it takes to make your business plan hum," Beall said. "Do whatever makes your membership grow."
 
Before Beall's discussion, CUNA employees shared their experiences from a series of "field trips" they made to Madison-area cooperatives throughout the summer. Among the Madison-area co-ops CUNA employees visited were Union Cab, Willie Street Co-op, Summit CU, Isthmus Engineering and REI.

Golf Tournament Raises $50K for Calif./Nev. State Foundation

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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (9/9/13)--The Richard Myles Johnson Foundation/CUNA Mutual Golf Tournament--held Aug. 19 at the Newport Beach Country Club in Newport Beach, Calif.--raised nearly $50,000 for the state foundation for credit unions in California and Nevada. It's the largest amount raised in recent years, according to the California Credit Union league.
 
The event drew 102 players and 14 sponsors. CUNA Mutual Group, based in Madison, Wis., served as title sponsor.
 
"The RMJ/CUNA Mutual Golf Tournament was a huge success. The funds we raised will go a long way toward funding the Bite of Reality, our signature youth financial education program for teens in California and Nevada," said RMJ Executive Director Tena Lozano.
 
In addition to CUNA Mutual, other major sponsors included CO-OP Financial Services; CU Direct; Educational Employees CU, Fresno, Calif.; Wescom CU, Pasadena, Calif.; SchoolsFirst FCU, Santa Ana, Calif.; First Tech CU, Mountain View, Calif.; and the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues
 
The Richard Myles Johnson Foundation, founded in 1958, is dedicated to supporting credit union efforts in spreading the financial literacy message to young people. It is funded through donations from credit unions, league chapters, corporations providing credit union services, and individuals.

America's Christian CU Recognized As Adoption-Friendly Workplace

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GLENDORA, Calif. (9/9/13)--America's Christian CU, Glendora, Calif., has been recognized by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption as one of the 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces for 2013.
 
The $254 million-asset credit union currently ranks in fourth place among other small businesses in the country.
 
America's Christian CU established a workplace program to support employees looking to adopt children.
 
"We believe every child deserves a forever family and will continue to support the important work of the Dave Thomas Foundation in their tireless efforts to serve foster children around the world," said Mendell L. Thompson, America's Chistian CU president/CEO.
 
Every year the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption announces America's top 100 adoption-friendly employers, the top 10 by size, and the leaders in each industry from its annual survey of U.S. employers. Rankings are determined by an analysis of a company's adoption benefits, including the maximum amount of financial reimbursement and paid leave for families who adopt.
 
There are more than 100,000 children in the U.S. foster care system waiting to be adopted. Every year, more than 26,000 children in foster care turn 18 and age out of the system without families. The seventh annual Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces list helps increase foster care adoption awareness while celebrating businesses that support adoptive families.

ATMIA Publishes Best Practices To Prevent Gas and Explosive Attacks

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LONDON (9/9/13)--The ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) has announced the publication of a new best-practice manual for helping the prevention of gas and explosive attacks on ATMs. Also, ATMIA has published a directory of special solutions for these attacks.  
 
Explosive attacks against ATMs are of increasing concern worldwide and are especially prevalent in Europe. The use of explosives, mostly combustible gas and with a migration to solid explosives, is a trend for the European ATM industry.
 
"To combat the current rise in gas and explosive attacks in several European countries, the ATM industry and law enforcement have got together to plan a counter-strategy which is working well," said Mike Lee, CEO of ATMIA. "We commend these admirable new security best practices for mitigating the risk of this kind of attack." 
 
ATMIA in Europe formed a special Task Force on ATM Gas and Explosive Attacks in April because of serious levels of attacks in seven European countries. The task force commissioned from its Steering Committee a set of best practices for the prevention of attacks, together with a directory of specialist solutions providers for Europe's ATM operators.
 
The 16-person steering committee is comprised of representatives from banks, independent ATM operators, ATM schemes and law enforcement from six countries.
 
The manual contains eight case studies that share insight on the industry's response to gas and explosive attacks in six European countries, Australia and Brazil. It is available for all ATMIA members to download from the global Best Practice Library.

ATMIA, established in 1997, is a non-profit global trade association with about 3,700 members in 60 countries.

Rep. Brady Meets With Houston CU Chapter On CU Issues

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Click to view larger image U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady (8th District - Houston), right,  met with representatives from several Houston Chapter credit unions during the Congressional Recess to discuss issues of interest to the credit union system and get an update on what Congress may do this session. (Photo provided by the Cornerstone Credit Union League).
HOUSTON (9/9/13)--Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) told Texas credit unions here that, in his experience on Capitol Hill, credit unions are the "gold standard" when it comes advocacy efforts, and he complimented the group on their advocacy efforts in the past.
 
During a meeting with the credit union and Cornerstone Credit Union League representatives during the congressional district work break, which ends this week, Brady met with the credit unions to discuss issues of interest to the credit union system and give an update on what Congress may do this session. Federal tax policy was one of the hot topics discussed.
 
Brady briefed the group on the tax reform issue, providing an overview of the options and challenges facing the Congress.
 
Brady reminded the group that the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee, which is responsible for tax-related issues, wants to move forward on tax reform this year. He strongly encouraged the group to stay in touch with him and other members of Congress about the issues of concern to the credit union system. 
 
The Credit Union National Association and credit union leagues nationwide are planning to welcome back Congress tomorrow with another #DontTaxTuesday promotion. Round two of the Don't Tax My Credit Union campaign will provide yet another opportunity to engage credit union staff, volunteers and members, and to let Congress and Washington know that a tax on credit unions is a tax on 98 million members.

Three CUs Assist With Cleanup

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MERCED, Calif. (9/9/13)--Volunteers from three California credit unions teamed up Aug. 24 to rebuild a local outdoor educational site.
 
About 120 volunteers representing Educational Employees CU, Fresno, Merced (Calif.) School Employees FCU and Merco CU, also of Merced, put in nearly 300 collective hours of work to spruce up Camp Green Meadows, an outdoor school located in Fish Camp near the Wawona entrance to Yosemite National Park.
 
The volunteers accomplished in one morning a volume of work that would have taken the Camp Green Meadows staff months to complete, Green Meadows Principal Bob Basset told the Merced Sun-Star (Sept. 2).
 
Among the projects the credit union volunteers completed were painting picnic tables, splitting firewood, rebuilding an archery backstop and constructing a retaining wall.
 
Camp Green Meadows is operated by the Merced County Office of Education. The school serves students from throughout California in single-day and weeklong outdoor settings and functions as a recreation camp in the summer.
 
In addition to credit union employees and their families, students from Merced and El Capitan high schools assisted with the work.

Carolina CU Marks Two Years Of Student-Run Branch On College Campus

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (9/9/13)--Carolina Collegiate FCU is starting a second year of a student-operated Financial Service Center on the campus of the University of South Carolina in Columbia.  
 
Click to view larger image Student workers pose at Carolina Collegiate FCU, which is starting a second year of a student-operated Financial Service Center in the Russell House on the campus of the University of South Carolina in Columbia.  (Photo provided by Carolina Collegiate CU)
The Financial Service Center represents the shared vision of the University of South Carolina and Carolina Collegiate FCU to improve the financial well-being of students, faculty and staff. 
 
"The center provides a good opportunity for financial education," said Carolina Collegiate CEO Anne Shivers. "Year one has been a win-win for both the students and the credit union."
 
Students are learning and teaching each other about being fiscally responsible in a financially challenging environment, how to avoid debt, and methods of evaluating savings, spending patterns and finances.
 
"The reality is we are doing this all by ourselves," said student employee Carmen Harris. "We had to really learn to step up and solve problems."

Student employee Joe Mader explained why he became involved with the credit union; he wanted to learn more about the financial services industry, "attain business skills, and acquire business experience that one can't quite get in a classroom."

"I have learned a lot and utilized my new experiences to help progress both my schooling and my career," Mader added about his work.

As an added benefit for students, Carolina Collegiate offers a Stress Free student checking account with perks, including Benefits Plus discounts at more than three dozen local restaurants and retailers.
 
The Financial Service Center by Carolina Collegiate, is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, with limited hours on Saturdays. Members may also use the two additional Columbia Carolina Collegiate branches.

ASI Announces 2013 Special Assessment

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DUBLIN, Ohio (9/9/13)--There will be a special premium assessment of 7.5 basis points of total shares for credit unions with private insurance from American Mutual Share Insurance (ASI) , that company announced Friday.

The premium will be assessed of all primary insured credit unions of record with ASI  as of Sept. 30 and does not apply to federally insured credit unions with excess share insurance underwritten by ASI or its wholly owned subsidiary, Excess Share Insurance Corporation.

ASI President/CEO Dennis Adams said, "Although we are seeing signs of an end to the recession, we still find ourselves facing low yields on our high‐quality bond portfolio. In addition, we remain committed to sufficiently funding our loss reserves at a slowing, but not yet normal, rate this year."

ASI, chartered in 1974, is licensed by the Ohio Department of Insurance and regulated by both the Ohio Department of Insurance and the Ohio Department of Commerce. It is a credit union‐owned share guaranty corporation and it insures the savings of credit union members up to $250,000 per individual member account.