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Consumers trust CUs over merchants for data security: Bizrate

CU System
LOS ANGELES (12/18/14)--Online shoppers trust their credit unions more than merchants when it comes to data security, according to a new survey.

In a poll of 62,000 online shoppers conducted by Bizrate Insights, when asked which company they most trust with their payment and personal information, 72% of respondents listed their credit union or bank.
Click to view larger image (CUNA Graphic)
The second most-trusted entity was PayPal, which was named by 48.9% of respondents, followed by Amazon, which garnered 45.4% of responses. Apple was fourth, with 21% of responses.
Overall, three of four (76%) online buyers are dissatisfied with the strength of credit card and personal information security among retailers. Across all generations and both genders, a shopper's own financial institution is trusted the most with credit card data and personally identifiable information.
The Credit Union National Association has stepped up its advocacy efforts to protect credit unions and other financial institutions, as well as consumers' data, from ever-increasing data breaches. Resources recently made available include a Stop the Data Breaches website , a video providing an overview of retailer data breaches and increased communications to legislators and other stakeholders pressing for stricter merchant security standards.

U.K. regulators approve CU for Church of England

CU System
LONDON (12/18/14)--U.K. financial regulators have given formal authorization for the Church of England to form a credit union.
"Fair returns to savers, fair interest rates on loans and the aspiration to be a flagship credit union are among the aims of the Churches' Mutual Credit Union (CMCU)," the Church of England announced on its website this week.
CMCU has been formed to serve ordained ministers, licensed lay ministers, elders, employees and trustees of the Church of England, the Methodist Church of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church in Wales as well as their charities.

Plans call for the cooperative financial institution to eventually serve those who worship at the churches; however that expansion will require further regulator approval.
"CMCU will help many, even in its first year of operation and, in due course, it should become a significant financial resource to the church and individuals throughout England, Wales and Scotland. CMCU will enable a virtuous re-cycling of money within the church community, through a combined portfolio of savings and loan products," said Canon Anthony MacRow-Wood, CMCU president.
CMCU plans to begin to offer savings and loan services, including vehicle loans, to those eligible for membership in February.

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Kenyon named chair of AACUL, Lyons steps down from board

CU System
WASHINGTON (12/18/14)--Montana Credit Union Network President/CEO Tracie Kenyon is the new chair of the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL).
Kenyon, who most recently was AACUL's first vice chair, is succeeding Kentucky Credit Union League President/CEO Wendell Lyons, who stepped down from the position this week. 
Kenyon has led the Montana league for 13 years and has been on the AACUL board since 2010, serving as secretary, treasurer and second vice chair.
"Tracie Kenyon has a long and deep understanding of the needs of credit unions, both in her state of Montana and across the country--the result of her work on the national level over these many years," said Jim Nussle, president/CEO, Credit Union National Association. "In this new role as AACUL chair, I know she will call on this experience to best serve credit unions and leagues, as they strive to best serve credit union members. I look forward to working with Tracie in the coming months, reflecting the continued close partnership between CUNA and AACUL."
He added, "My thanks also to Wendell Lyons, the former chair, for his long dedication and continued service to the leagues and to credit unions nationwide."
While serving as first vice chair, Kenyon simultaneously served as chair of the Credit Union Legislative Action Council during its record-setting 2014 election cycle during which CULAC raised more than $4 million and won more than 90% of the races in which the organization contributed.
"On behalf of the entire board, I want share my appreciation for the leadership that Wendell has provided over the past year, and we are pleased that he will continue to be an active member of AACUL," Kenyon said. 
Other members of the board will transition to the following positions:
  • First vice chair: Mark Cummins, president/CEO, Minnesota Credit Union Network;
  • Second vice chair: Scott Simpson, president/CEO, Utah Credit Union Association; and
  • Treasurer: Diana Dykstra, president/CEO, California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.
Ex officio members are AACUL Executive Director Susan Newton and immediate past chair Bill Mellin, president/CEO, New York Credit Union Association.
The secretary position will be filled by appointment.

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Shop for Miracles day nets $450K for CUs for Kids

CU System
WASHINGTON (12/18/14)--It's hard to put a price tag on a miracle, but nearly a half-million dollars raised in one day might be getting close.

Shop for Miracles, a one-day event to raise funds for Credit Unions for Kids ( CU4Kids ), amassed more than $450,000 thanks to the widespread participation from credit unions nationwide.

The fundraiser was held on International Credit Union (ICU) Day in October.

Through the daylong event, which took place in coordination with the Credit Union National Association and the World Council of Credit Unions, credit unions pledged 25 cents, or a different predetermined amount, to their local Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Hospital for each transaction made by members with their credit union-issued debit or credit cards.

"We far exceeded our expectations for the inaugural year of this program at a national level; we had over 100 credit unions from 33 states participate," said Joe Dearborn, senior director of CU4Kids with CMN Hospitals. "Included in the $450,000 projection is over $100,000 from CO-OP Financial Service's Miracle Match program, which provides matching dollars for approved credit union applicants."

In addition to raising funds for CMN Hospitals, the event also led to stronger credit- and debit-card activity during the day for credit unions.

Desert Schools FCU, Phoenix, with $3.8 billion in assets, reported a 33% increase in transaction volume on Shop for Miracles day.

"We promoted Shop for Miracles with an online banking banner, a social media post (and print materials) for our branches to hand out to members in advance of the actual day," said Ron Amstutz, executive vice president at Desert Schools FCU. "Our members responded. They understand how important giving back to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals is, and they embrace this fundraiser enthusiastically."

The uptick in activity was not unique to Desert Schools FCU either--of the 54 credit unions to respond to a survey about the event, only 14% said transaction volume had not increased.

Other highlights from the event included Florida Customs FCU, Tampa, Fla., with $9.4 million in assets--a credit union that doesn't issue credit cards, given its size--donating $1 for every debit card transaction made by its members on the day.

"Even though we are a small credit union, we know every dollar makes a difference, and we are proud to support our local CMN Hospital," said Leianne E. Harden, Florida Customs FCU president/CEO.

The largest donation came from SchoolsFirst FCU, Santa Ana, Calif., raising $60,000 on the day.  

"Both ICU Day and CU4Kids are integral ways credit unions 'Unite for Good' to create awareness about our industry," said Jill Tomalin, deputy chief of staff for the Credit Union National Association. 

Efforts to support Credit Unions for Kids march on, meanwhile.

Credit unions and their members can contribute to the cause through the Credit Unions for Kids' Holiday Icon Campaign, which runs through Dec. 31.

Through the campaign, credit unions can order paper icons in fun, holiday-themed shapes at no charge. Then, credit unions can encourage members to donate dollars in exchange for writing their names on icons to display at their branches.

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Strong biz lending leads 3Q loan growth at Minn. CUs

CU System
ST. PAUL, Minn. (12/18/14)--Minnesota's credit unions posted healthy gains in loan growth in the third quarter, with outstanding loan balances jumping 10.1% year-over-year, according to data from the National Credit Union Administration.

Driven by business lending, which surged by 15% annually in the third quarter, the overall increase in annual loan growth was the highest since the first quarter of 2006.

"Credit unions are lending more to Minnesota businesses and consumers, which shows that confidence in today's economy also continues to grow," said Mark Cummins, Minnesota Credit Union Network president/CEO. "These loans are helping communities all across Minnesota build a brighter future."

Auto lending for both new and used vehicles also recorded a strong quarter, with increases of 7% and 11% respectively year-over-year.

Memberships also continued to climb at Minnesota's credit unions during the quarter, rising by nearly 8,000 members from the second quarter to a record high of 1,644,000.

Annually, the state added nearly 37,000 memberships.

Data provided by the Minnesota Credit Union Network also shows that memberships have risen steadily since 2011, and that asset growth has posted gains each year since 2007.

"All of these positive results show that Minnesota consumers continue to choose credit unions because they are trusted, locally owned financial partners," Cummins added. "Minnesotans see that credit unions work for people--not for profit--and they choose credit unions because they align with their own values."

Federally insured credit unions have posted healthy gains in loan growth throughout 2014, according to the data from the NCUA. In the third quarter, the pace of loan growth only quickened, with the median growth rate for loans outstanding topping 3.5%, up from 1.8% the prior year ( News Now Dec. 10).

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Tenn. CUs form community title company

CU System
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (12/18/14)--The subsidiaries of ORNL FCU and Y-12 FCU have teamed up to launch a title company.
CU Community and Credit Union Services of East Tennessee, both based in Oak Ridge, Tenn., will partner to form CU Community Title Co., effective Jan. 2.
"Our credit unions provide the absolute best mortgage services available in the marketplace and adding title services allows us to take full ownership of our members' experience," said Mark Ziegler, president/CEO of $720 million-asset Y-12 FCU.
Added Chris Johnson, president/CEO of $1.5 billion-asset ORNL FCU: "By forming our own title company, we now can be sure the same outstanding service is provided all the way through closing."
Title companies research property records to ensure the purchaser legally owns the property and that no one else can claim full or partial ownership of the property. During this research, the title company also verifies that there are no outstanding mortgages, liens, judgments or unpaid taxes associated with the property, as well as any restrictions, easements, leases or other issues that might affect ownership.

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CUNA promotes current EVP/COO Tomalin to deputy chief of staff

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MADISON, Wis. (12/18/14)--Jill Tomalin, executive vice president/chief operating officer for the Credit Union National Association, has been promoted to deputy chief of staff.
In this newly created role, Tomalin--who is based in the Madison, Wis., office--will advise Chief of Staff Rich Meade and President/CEO Jim Nussle in leading and managing all operations of CUNA.
"Jill's promotion is a clear sign that our trade association's Washington and Madison operations are in sync and complement one another," said Nussle. "I want the strongest team possible here at CUNA--and placing Jill in this leadership role assures we are building the strongest possible team."
Tomalin said, "I am fortunate to work with incredibly talented colleagues at CUNA. I look forward to building on our purpose-driven organization with this team."
In 2013, Tomalin was promoted to executive vice president/chief operating officer.
She joined CUNA in 2000 as director of educational resources in the Center for Professional Development and was promoted to vice president in 2002. Tomalin became senior vice president of Association Services in 2003.
Prior to joining CUNA, she worked for the Credit Union Executives Society and the Texas Credit Union League. She earned a BA and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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CU System briefs (12/18/14)

CU System
  • MARLBOROUGH, Mass. (12/18/14)-- Three longtime employees of the Massachusetts Credit Union League will retire at the end of this year ( Daily CU Scan Dec. 17). As vice president of educational programming, 30-year veteran Jack Morrill has been responsible for finding local, regional and national speakers for league events. Vice President of Publications and Conventions Peggie Thorsen created, edited and published league publications as well as managed the annual convention. Thorsen has been with the league for 20 years. Dorine Kapp , executive administrative assistant, has supported many league executives over the course of her 25-year tenure. All three will be missed by all those who have had the pleasure of working with them, the league noted ...
  • DULUTH, Minn. (12/18/14)-- The Carlton (Minn.) County Sheriff's Office will soon have a full-time K-9 officer thanks to a $10,000 donation from Northwoods CU, Cloquet, Minn. The board unanimously voted in favor of covering the full cost of acquiring the highly trained German shepherd. "When (President Barb) Brown brought this to the board, everyone was immediately excited about it," board Chair Debbie Larson told the Duluth News Tribune (Dec. 16). Deputy Tory Cawcutt approached the $74 million-asset credit union about financially supporting a K-9 officer, which the department has been without since 2011. "Northwoods CU supports the credit union philosophy 'people helping people,'" Brown told the News Tribune . "We feel it's imperative to have a K-9 program re-implemented to help our law enforcement officers to do their jobs" ...
  • SUITLAND, Md. (12/18/14)-- Andrews FCU, with $1 billion in assets, sponsored the 2014 Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) International Basketball Tournament Dec. 6 in Mons, Belgium. The U.S. Armed Forces men's basketball team defeated the reigning champion, Lithuania, 89-82. The six-day tournament featured teams from Italy, Kuwait, Latvia, France, Canada, the United Kingdom and Belgium. First held in 1960, the annual SHAPE International Basketball Tournament is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's largest sports competition, attracting numerous NATO and Partners For Peace nations from around the globe. "Andrews Federal not only supports its members in communities stateside, but the entire international community on SHAPE as well," said Joshua Barrett, Chievres Air Base branch manager. The credit union is headquartered in Suitland, Md., and has branches in Washington,  D.C., Virginia, New Jersey, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium (Andrews FCU Photo) ...

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