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CUNA in the News


October 2013

New Unsecured Loans Beckon, but Should Bite10/28/2013Larger banks like Citibank and TD Bank have always offered personal loans, but they tend to have higher rates. For example, the average unsecured loan from credit unions is about $2,600, at an average four-year interest rate of about 10 percent, says Paul Gentile, vice president of the Credit Union National Association, an industry trade group.At TD Bank, which offers unsecured home improvement loans of up to $50,000, interest rates posted on the bank's website range from 6.63 percent to 9.2 percent for those seeking less than $10,000. Citi's website says the bank offers a personal loan of up to $50,000 at rates from 6.74 percent to 19.49 percent.

Warning Signs of Elder Financial Exploitation10/25/2013"Ideally, if you are older, you need a trusted circle and that trusted circle could be your lawyer or it could be your financial advisor," says Paul Gentile, executive vice president of the Credit Union National Association. "Let your adult children know where all the money is." For elders who don't have anyone to trust, there are a lot of non-profits created to help manage and protect finances.

Stress Tests for Credit Unions?10/24/2013When consumers think of stress tests for financial institutions, the first thoughts most likely center on the biggest members of the banking industry. However, new plans could require the nation's biggest credit unions to undergo similar examinations. The National Credit Union Administration has issued a new proposal for credit unions with assets that exceed $10 billion to regularly determine how economic variables and interest-rate shocks could impact their stability.

Pitting Credit Unions Against the Banks10/23/2013"We're out there helping consumers get loans and helping consumers acquire and maintain savings, while banks exist to make money for their shareholders," said Ryan Donovan, senior vice president for legislative affairs at the Credit Union National Association. "They are completely different organizations." CUNA has organized "Protect My Credit Unions" rallies nationwide to highlight the millions of people who use credit unions, including members of Congress. Credit union members sent 850,000 messages to Congress during a September advocacy day, the association said.

Credit Unions Say New Rules Will Hurt Lending10/21/2013The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) released a survey on Monday showing that 60 percent of the respondents say they will have to discontinue, delay or reduce their mortgage loan product offerings because of the changes, potentially leaving consumers with fewer options. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is charged with overseeing the new rules, which go into effect in January.

Gesa Credit Union wins Excellence in Technology Award for Digital Branch10/16/2013Gesa Credit Union , a $1.2 billion credit union serving Washington state, won a 2013 Excellence in Technology award from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) for its digital branch initiative, powered in part by video banking software from NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR).

Unpaid U.S. Workers Reach Out to Creditors10/16/2013Many credit unions have also working with furloughed employees, offering services such as special loan rates, salary equivalent loans and skip-a-payment programs, said Paul Gentile, executive vice president of The Credit Union National Association.

CUNA Backs Booker10/14/2013The New Jersey Credit Union League and CULAC are supporting Newark mayor Cory Booker (D-N.J.) for U.S. Senate in New Jersey, CUNA said during a conference call on Monday.

Why You Should Care About the Debt Ceiling Debate10/14/2013Whether that will happen is still unclear. But a 48-hour resolution seemed increasingly unlikley on Tuesday after the House of Representatives and the Senate introduced competing plans. Even if lawmakers are able to stop squabbling and resolve their differences before Thursday, Bill Hampel, chief economist at the Credit Union National Association, says "consumer confidence is likely to take a major hit." And that could slow the economy for the rest of the year.

Credit Union House Attracts Bigwigs: CUNA10/14/2013Credit Union House announced on Monday that it is on track to exceed last year’s number of visitors with more than 2,500 individuals welcomed so far this year.

Tax Reform Should Put Consumers First—Not Banks10/10/2013As tax reform picks up speed in Congress, special-interest groups are storming Capitol Hill to ensure that they get favorable tax treatment. Fortunately, some groups -- like credit unions -- are looking out for the interests of hard-working Americans in this tax reform debate. For years, big banks have been trying to saddle their non-profit credit-union competitors with new taxes. They see a congressional tax reform push as their best chance to sneak such taxes in.

THE TENNESSEAN- By: Jamie McGee10/07/2013Credit unions provide members with lower fees, lower interest rates and higher returns on savings, and taxation would end up costing consumers, rather than making a difference in federal government revenues, according to the Credit Union National Association based in Washington, D.C., and Madison, Wis. The association said the tax exemption amounted to $500 million last year, and if the exemption were removed, it would cost consumers $16 for every $1 in taxes through higher fees and interest rates. "Banks don’t want to level the playing field; they just want to eliminate the competition completely – and they know that without the tax exemption, credit unions will not be able to compete," Paul Gentile, a communications executive vice president at Credit Union National Association, said in a statement.

Consumers' Credit Card Balances Decline10/07/2013The uncertainty caused by Washington gridlock could cause overall credit growth to ease, especially if a prolonged debt ceiling fight makes consumer skittish about financing cars, appliances and other long-lasting goods, said Bill Hampel, chief economist at the Credit Union National Association. "Consumers have the ability and need to replace big-ticket items, but it’s also really easy to postpone those purchases for a couple of months if they get nervous," he said.

Credit Unions Campaign to Preserve Tax-Exempt Status10/04/2013The Credit Union National Association has launched a grass-roots campaign encouraging its 96 million members throughout the United States to contact Congress in a bid deter the removal of credit unions’ not-for-profit tax status. In 1934, Congress passed the Federal Credit Union Act allowing not-for-profit credit unions a federal tax exemption status with the purpose of making credit available to “people of small means.” It gave those who needed loans an alternative to banks that would not lend to them.

Co-ops Offering Health Insurance in 23 States10/04/2013Health insurance co-operatives pose an alternative to publicly funded and single-payer healthcare as non-profits that receive federal loans. Former Sen. Kent Conrad gives The Daily Rundown's Chuck Todd insight into the coop system, which already operates in 23 states.

Furloughed by the Shutdown? Banks and Credit Union Offer Help10/03/2013Small banks may cut furloughed workers some slack, too. Alabama-based Cadence Bank is giving furloughed workers a one-month extension on loan payments and waiving related fees on request, AL.com reports. And while terms vary, dozens of credit unions are offering assistance for furloughed workers, the Des Moines Register says. Both the Credit Union National Association and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions are trying to keep track of which credit unions are helping, apparently in order to make the information easier for customers to find.

How Bad is the Shutdown? Watch Wall Street10/03/2013CUNA's Bill Hempel says the biggest concern about the shutdown is how long it lasts.

Furloughed by the Shutdown? Banks and Credit Unions Offer Help10/03/2013Small banks may cut furloughed workers some slack, too. Alabama-based Cadence Bank is giving furloughed workers a one-month extension on loan payments and waiving related fees on request, AL.com reports. And while terms vary, dozens of credit unions are offering assistance for furloughed workers, the Des Moines Register says. Both the Credit Union National Association and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions are trying to keep track of which credit unions are helping, apparently in order to make the information easier for customers to find.

Shutdown Fight Could Turn Into Debt Limit Debate-Treasury on the Most Extraordinary of the Extraordinary Measures10/02/2013The Credit Union National Association will hold a rally today at 2 p.m. to voice support for credit unions to remain tax exempt as Congress considers comprehensive tax reform.

Banks Vow to Cut Breaks for Customers Affected By Shutdown10/02/2013At least half a dozen credit unions had already implemented plans to help their members and more unions were offering things like interest-free short-term loans and letting customers skip a payment on a consumer loan at no charge. "From a member services standpoint, there is no better time to show your value than in times of need," Gentile says.