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CUNA in the News


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Credit unions ranked number one in consumer satisfaction11/19/2014The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) ranks credit unions ahead of similar financial institutions in 2014, and has for seven years in a row. Credit unions significantly outpace all other financial services in customer satisfaction, which, for me, means that credit unions are American's best financial partner. Whether you're looking at service, value, loyalty or expectations, credit unions rank substantially better than traditional banks on every component. 

3 Senate bills that could strengthen credit union mortgage lending11/18/2014Credit unions are enduring a crisis of creeping complexity with respect to regulatory burden, and the Credit Union National Association believes at least three bipartisan bills currently before the U.S. Senate could alleviate some of that drag. "The enactment of these bills would represent a small step in the right direction toward removing barriers to credit union service," said Jim Nussle, president and CEO of CUNA. "As the Senate reassembles for the remaining weeks of the 113th Congress, we urge passage of these important bills." 

Credit unions step in to fill lending void11/17/2014 In June, the nation's 6,557 credit unions surpassed 100 million memberships. And nearly two-thirds of credit unions offer mortgages. "We've seen a very strong increase in originations over the course of the last several years," Mike Schenk, vice president of economics and research at CUNA, told the Los Angeles Times. 

Americans still don't trust big banks11/16/2014A new Harris Poll found that consumers have high trust levels in credit unions. "It's not surprising that credit unions have the highest level of trust among consumers – a position credit unions want and expect to keep," says Vicki Christner, media relations manager for the Credit Union National Association. Indeed, credit unions continue to flourish. This past summer, they surpassed 100 million memberships nationwide, roughly equal to one-third of the U.S. population. 

Banks vs. credit unions: Where's the best place to get a mortgage?11/14/2014Ever since the mortgage bubble burst, largely precipitated by irresponsible lending by big banks, lending virtually disappeared. One bright spot was credit unions. That's because, Schenk noted, credit unions operate in a manner not unlike a small financial institution. "We're more likely to listen to your story," he said. Big banks, by contrast, rely on underwriting formulas and highly automated underwriting systems that put a premium on turn-times. "We're more likely to make an exception or adjustment based on your unique circumstance," Schenk added. 

Banks: Lack of retail regs raises risk of hacking11/12/2014The top banking and credit union trade groups, sent a letter to U.S. Senate and House leadership urging for retailers to adhere by Federal laws or regulations that will require them to protect personal financial data and notify consumers when that data is breached. 

Banks tell merchants to pay up post breaches11/10/2014"The weak link in the system today is on the merchant end," the National Association of Federal Credit Unions and the Credit Union National Association said in a letter to retailer and grocer groups. "As long as the security standards on the merchant side of the system are weaker than those on the financial institution side of the system, the vulnerability for consumers and financial institutions will be at your feet." 

Shopping for a loan? Credit unions can be consumer-friendly option11/09/2014There are several reasons why credit unions have gained ground in the mortgage space, not the least of which is that they answer to their members, not outside stockholders demanding high return on investments. "As members, you are the primary focus," Schenk says. "If you have an account, you are an owner and you have a voice in running that institution." 

U.S. economy adds 214,000 in October; unemployment rate sinks to 5.8 percent11/07/2014Americans are now finding jobs with reliability unseen since the Great Recession. "What we're seeing in the labor market — it's not totally recovered yet, but it's recovering quite nicely now," said Bill Hampel, a chief economist at the Credit Union National Association. 

5 things to watch in the October jobs report11/06/2014"There's a reserve army of underemployed and discouraged workers out there," said Bill Hampel, chief economist at the Credit Union National Association. "We're not as close to full employment" as a 5.9% overall jobless rate suggests.

Credit unions offer a better financing choice11/06/2014There are several reasons why credit unions have gained ground in the mortgage space, not the least of which is that they answer to their members, not outside stockholders demanding high return on investments. "As members, you are the primary focus," Schenk says. "If you have an account, you are an owner and you have a voice in running that institution."

Card breaches: Retailers doing enough?11/03/2014Credit unions that suffered fraud losses and card-reissuance expenses in the Target breach have yet to be paid - some 10 months after Target's compromise was discovered. "What we do know is that credit unions have already paid at least $90 million this year to cover the costs of data breaches at Target and Home Depot - and there have been additional massive data breaches at [allegedly] Staples, Supervalu, Jimmy John's and others, which will only add to the $90 million cost credit unions are facing," Christner says. 

Why the right bank for you might not be a bank10/31/2014Rather than a bank, you may be better off with credit union. "We're pretty sure everybody in the country is eligible to join at least one credit union—and probably several," says Bill Hampel of the Credit Union National Association.

Home Depot breach cost credit unions almost $60M10/30/2014The CUNA survey, which asked credit unions to report the effects of the Home Depot breach, found that 7.2 million credit union debit and credit cards were affected by the breach. The results further show that the cost of the violation per card issued by credit unions was $8.02, which included costs for reissuing new cards, fraud and all other costs – such as additional staffing, member notification, account monitoring and others. 

Home Depot security breach cost credit unions at least $60 million10/30/2014CUNA said that fraud accounted for 60% of the total cost to credit unions in the Home Depot data breach, averaging $4.89 per card. But that means that even had this been a best-case security breach, with all 7.2 million of those cards cancelled before being put to any fraudulent use, it still would've cost roughly $3.13 to re-issue each card, and pay staff to notify members and monitor accounts to ensure no fraudulent activity; the best-case scenario still would've cost credit unions over $22.5 million.

Home Depot breach costs doubled Target's10/30/2014Credit unions spent $60 million following the data security breach at Home Depot in September - twice as much as the recent Target data breach, according to a CUNA survey published Thursday. Credit unions and banks had to reissue consumer cards that were breached, with current laws stipulating that they're responsible to pick up the costs. 

Economists react to the Fed statement: 'surprisingly hawkish'10/29/2014The Federal Reserve on Wednesday announced the end of its long-running bond-buying program. CUNA's Bill Hampel said: "Since today's announcement of the end of quantitative easing is simply the last installment of a winding down process that began last December, it should have no significant impact on financial markets or the economy. The fact that the economy has built momentum during the tapering period is a good sign for the economic outlook going forward." 

Banks need to do better at serving military bases, study says10/29/2014In response to a study by Pew Charitable Trusts regarding checking accounts for members of the military, CUNA's Jim Nussle said, "there is always room for improvement," but said that any calls for additional regulation of credit unions "is premature, if not outright unwarranted." 

Protecting the public from predatory loans10/27/2014CUNA's Jim Nussle weighed in on a New York Times editorial and let readers know that credit unions are an alternative to predatory payday lenders. "It's unfortunate that quick, short-term access to money is needed today by some people, but they shouldn't be ripped off in the process. Credit unions demonstrate that access to this credit doesn't have to be predatory." 

Credit Union National Association pumps $6 million into midterm elections10/24/2014The publication highlights how CUNA's contribution to the midterm elections – nearly $6 million – is about twice as much as the American Bankers Association has disclosed.