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News Now

Full Issue: October 2, 2014

CUNA investigates CU costs of Home Depot breach

Washington
WASHINGTON (10/2/14)--In an effort to assess the damages, costs and all potential consequences of the recent Home Depot data breach, the Credit Union National Association is conducting a survey on the impact of the breach on credit unions. CUNA is distributing the survey to credit unions that offer debit and credit cards.

"I assure you we are pulling out all the stops to let policymakers know just how serious the effects on credit unions are of the growing number of data breaches," wrote CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle in an email to credit unions.

"To help us deliver the message here in Washington," Nussle said, "we need to know more about the effects of this latest data breach on your credit union."

The survey is seeking information on:
  • The total number of debit and credit cards currently issued to members;
  • The number of cards that were affected by the Home Depot data breach;
  • The number of cards reissued or planned to be reissued as a result of the breach; and
  • Estimates of the costs the credit union has incurred as a result of the breach for card reissuance, fraud and all other costs.
Survey results will be reported in aggregate form and used to further CUNA advocacy efforts on the need for greater data security standards for merchants.

CUNA has asked for survey replies by Oct. 24.

The trade association executed a similar survey on the 2013 Target breach and found that credit unions incurred $30.6 million in costs directly related to the breach--not including fraud costs. The average cost per affected card was $5.68, and 4.6 million cards were compromised, the survey found.

NCUA highlights resources during Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Washington
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (10/2/14)--October marks the beginning of the 11th annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and the National Credit Union Administration is using the occasion to urge credit unions to be proactive in protecting themselves and their members from data theft.

The NCUA reminds credit unions that the agency posts tips on protecting information on its @MyCUgov Twitter account, Facebook page and will do so in the upcoming October issue of The NCUA Report .

"In the last six months, we learned about two significant vulnerabilities, Heartbleed and Shellshock, which presented serious threats to security. A credit union could be the target of an attack, or someone could try to use a credit union as a conduit to attack other businesses," said NCUA Chair Debbie Matz in a release Wednesday. "With so much of our lives tethered to the flow of personal information across the Internet, protecting that information is a constant responsibility."

NCUA's website has a dedicated page for cybersecurity resources on preventing, detecting and responding to cybersecurity threats, as well as regulations and guidance.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Internet Crime Complaint Center earlier this year logged its 3 millionth consumer complaint, and the total estimated dollar loss from those complaints is $3 billion. The Center for Strategic and International Studies in June estimated the annual global cost of cybercrime to be between $375 billion and $575 billion.

The Credit Union National Association recently wrote to President Barack Obama, asking him to establish a Cybersecurity Council that would develop an approach to cybersecurity issues. CUNA also surveyed credit unions on how the Target data breach affected them and is currently requesting the same information from credit unions on effects of the Home Depot data breach. (See related story: CUNA investigates CU costs of Home Depot breach.)

Good news for economy can mean challenges for rate risk: NCUA

Washington
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (10/2/14)--A solid second quarter for the U.S. economy has been good news for credit unions, but a change in interest rates could prove challenging, said National Credit Union Administration Chief Economist John Worth in the agency's latest economic update video.

This month's video features Worth discussing recent economic data and Federal Reserve statements about monetary policy and what it would mean for credit unions.

"Our chief concern is that credit unions be aware and prepared for the possibility of rising short-term rates," Worth said. "Credit unions should have a firm idea of how their income statements and balance sheets are affected by a rapid rise in short-term rates."

Worth cited the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which stated that in the likely event the economy continues to improve into 2015, short-term interest rates are likely to rise.

"The federal funds rate that policymakers feel will be appropriate, given the improving economy, is about 1.25% at the end of 2015, nearly 3% at the end of 2016 and more than 3.5% at the end of 2017," he said. "It's important to note that [Federal Reserve] Chair [Janet] Yellen, speaking for the FOMC, continues to emphasize that policy is data-driven. That is, if the economy improves more quickly than expected, rate hikes could come more quickly and be larger."

The NCUA encourages credit unions to explore the agency's interest-rate risk resource Web page to better understand the risk those changes present.

Use the resource links below to access the video and the NCUA's interest-rate risk Web page.

SBA continues fee waiver on small-dollar loans, expands relief for vets

Washington
WASHINGTON (10/2/14)--Fee relief for Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) guaranteed loans will be extended through fiscal year 2015, the agency announced Wednesday.

The relief was implemented last year and was set to expire Sept 30. The SBA also announced fee-relief measures for SBA Veterans Advantage loans will be renewed as well as enhanced. Both the extensions will remain in effect through Sept. 30, 2015.

Under the original fee relief for 7(a) loans that began Oct. 1, 2013, both the upfront guaranty fee and the annual servicing fee were reduced to zero on loans $150,000 and under. For loans larger than $150,000, the annual servicing fees paid by lenders will be 0.519% of the guaranteed portion of the outstanding balance of the loan.

The Credit Union National Association urged the SBA earlier this year to continue the fee relief beyond the original Sept. 30 expiration date ( News Now March 18). CUNA's then-President/CEO Bill Cheney called the waiver "an effective way to increase borrower participation in this important SBA loan program."

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said the agency does not want its fees to be an impediment to getting capital out to communities, "where it can make a game-changing difference, especially to our underserved communities who use these small-dollar loans more frequently."

As of Sept. 12, the SBA had guaranteed 28,806 loans of $150,000 or more, totaling $1.74 billion, up from 23,337 loans and $1.34 billion in fiscal year 2013. This is an increase of 23.4% and 30%, respectively. Fee reductions on these loans resulted in almost $19 million in savings to small business borrowers in fiscal year 2013, according to the SBA.

For SBA Veterans Advantage loans, the conditions implemented Jan. 1, 2014--zero upfront guaranty fee to veterans on all SBA Express loans of $150,000 up to $350,000--will also remain unchanged for fiscal year 2015.

The agency also announced that, starting Wednesday, the upfront guaranty fee will be reduced by 50% for non-SBA Express loans from $150,000 up to $5 million. There is no reduction on the annual servicing fee for loans over $150,000.

According to the agency, 70% of all SBA loans made to veterans are $350,000 or less. As of Sept. 20, the SBA has guaranteed 153 loans for $38,861,900 under Veterans Advantage. Fee relief for these loans resulted in roughly $571,000 in savings.

Other Resources

Lighthouse Title fined $200K, CFPB charges illegal referrals

Washington
WASHINGTON (10/1/14)--A Michigan-based title insurance agency has been ordered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to pay $200,000 for illegal quid pro quo referral agreements.

According to a statement from the bureau, Lighthouse Title entered into marketing services agreements with various companies with the understanding that the companies would refer mortgage closings and title insurance business to Lighthouse.

The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act prohibits providing something of value to any person with an agreement or understanding that the person will refer real estate settlement services.

The agreements between Lighthouse Title and other companies made it appear as if the payments would be based on marketing services the companies were supposed to provide to Lighthouse. However, Lighthouse actually set the fees it would pay under the marketing services agreements by considering the number of referrals it received or expected to receive from each company, according to the bureau.

The CFPB's investigation found that the companies on average referred significantly more business to Lighthouse when they had such agreements than when they did not.

In addition to the civil money penalty of $200,000, Lighthouse is also required to terminate immediately any existing agreements with companies in a position to refer business to Lighthouse and is prohibited from entering into new agreements with any such companies.

Use the resource link below to access the full consent order.

Inside Washington (10/02/2014)

Washington
  • WASHINGTON (10/2/14)--The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is requesting comment on a proposed rule to implement the Comprehensive Automated Risk Data System (CARDS). CARDS would be designed to enhance investor protection and ensure market integrity by allowing FINRA to identify and quickly respond to high-risk areas and suspicious activities that it might not identify through its current surveillance and examination programs. The rule proposal would be implemented in phases. The first phase would require carrying or clearing firms to periodically submit in an automated, standardized format, specific information from books and records relating to securities accounts and the securities accounts for which they clear. The second phase would require fully disclosed introducing firms to submit specified account profile-related data elements either directly to FINRA or through a third party. All data sent to FINRA would be encrypted in transmission and after receipt in a way that would not permit anyone to read or interpret the data without the proprietary encryption keys ...
  • WASHINGTON (10/2/14)-- Sharron P.A. Levine is the new director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency's Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI). Levine will oversee OMWI's mission of creating and supporting initiatives that promote the inclusion of minorities and women and advocating for diversity and inclusion across FHFA's business and employment activities and at the entities FHFA regulates. She joined the agency in June 2012 and has served as an associate general counsel since September of that year. Before joining the FHFA, Levine FHFA served in the general counsel's office of Fannie Mae from 1999 to 2011 and departed as a vice president and deputy general counsel for the multifamily housing division ...
  • WASHINGTON (10/2/14)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released a report which found that manufactured-home owners typically pay higher interest rates for their loans than borrowers whose homes were built onsite. The report also found that manufactured-home owners are more likely to be older, live in a rural area or have lower net worth. In 2012, about 68% of all manufactured-housing purchase loans were considered "higher-priced mortgage loans," compared with only 3% of site-built home loans. Mortgages are considered higher priced under certain consumer protection laws if they have an annual percentage rate higher than a benchmark rate that is based on average interest rates, fees and other terms on mortgages offered to highly qualified borrowers ...

Other Resources

Consumer Rates

Market

Informa Research Services, Inc.
Daily Rate Comparison

Informa Research Services, Inc.
Deposit Products Credit Unions Bank Average Difference
12 Month CD $10,000 0.47% 0.28% 0.19%
Personal Savings $1,000 0.21% 0.10% 0.11%
Personal Interest Checking $2,500 0.36% 0.15% 0.21%
NSF Fee $27.90 $32.04 $-4.14
Personal MMDA $2,500 0.17% 0.10% 0.07%
Business MMDA $2,500 0.17% 0.09% 0.08%

Consumer Loan Products Credit Unions Bank Average Difference
Unsecured Personal Loan - $5,000 - 4 Years 10.16% 10.34% -0.18%
New Auto Loan - 5 Years 2.62% 3.81% -1.19%
Used Auto Loan - 2 year Old - 4 Years 2.78% 4.00% -1.22%
HELOC - 80% LTV - $50,000 4.13% 4.40% -0.27%
HE Loan - 80% LTV - $50,000 - 15 Years 5.66% 5.94% -0.28%

Mortgage Loan Products Credit Unions Bank Average Difference
30 Year Fixed Conforming 4.16% 4.19% -0.03%
30 Year Fixed Jumbo 4.21% 4.14% 0.07%
5/1 Year ARM Conforming 2.93% 2.91% 0.02%

Credit Card Products Credit Unions Bank Average Difference
Platinum 8.97% 10.48% -1.51%
Annual Fee $25.00 $31.00 $-6.00
Maximum Late Fee $25.67 $33.49 $-7.82
Reward 9.99% 13.75% -3.76%
Annual Fee $26.71 $99.74 $-73.03
Maximum Late Fee $22.66 $33.69 $-11.03

Indirect Auto Loan Products Credit Unions Bank Average Difference
Indirect A Tier New Auto Loan - 5 Years 3.59% 3.77% -0.18%
Indirect B Tier New Auto Loan - 5 Years 5.32% 5.31% 0.01%
Indirect C Tier New Auto Loan - 5 Years 7.49% 6.77% 0.71%

Averages displayed are straight averages of all institutions within the Informa Research Services database for the selected region as of Wednesday, October 01, 2014. For detailed disclosures click here.

Other Resources

Business Rates

Market
Daily Financial Rates -- 2014-10-02

Financial Rates


Thursday, October 2, 2014

03:55 AM CDT

TREASURY YIELD CURVE
(based on the $1 million market)

TermThu
10/2
Wed
10/1
Tue
9/30
Mon
9/29
Fri
9/26
1 month0.010.020.010.010.00
3 month0.020.020.020.010.01
6 month0.040.030.050.030.03
1 year0.100.130.110.110.10
2 year0.530.580.580.590.56
3 year0.001.071.061.081.03
5 year1.691.781.771.801.75
7 year2.122.222.212.242.21
10 year2.422.522.502.542.52
20 year2.872.982.952.992.98
30 year3.123.213.183.223.22

TREASURY BILLS

Results of the September 29, 2014 auction of short-term U.S. government bills, sold at a discount from face value in units of $10,000 to $ 1 million

TermLatest
Mon, 9/29
Week Ago
Mon, 9/22
13 weeks0.0150.010
26 weeks0.0400.040

PRIME RATE

3.25% Last changed December 16, 2008

FEDERAL FUNDS

TermThu
10/2
Wed
10/1
Tue
9/30
Mon
9/29
Fri
9/26
high0.3120.3120.3120.3120.312
low0.0600.0100.0300.0500.050
near closing bid0.0600.0200.0500.0800.040
offered0.2800.0400.0800.2800.080
effective rate20.1000.1000.1000.1000.090

FREDDIE MAC (Mortgage commitments, 30 days)

TermThu
10/2
Wed
10/1
Tue
9/30
Mon
9/29
Fri
9/26
30 year0.000.000.000.000.00

FANNIE MAE (Mortgage commitments, 30 days)

TermThu
10/2
Wed
10/1
Tue
9/30
Mon
9/29
Fri
9/26
30 year3.7793.7753.7963.8093.815

LIBOR

TermThu
10/2
Wed
10/1
Tue
9/30
Mon
9/29
Fri
9/26
1 month0.253000.253000.243000.211000.21600
3 month0.379000.379000.378000.369000.36900
6 month0.541000.541000.545000.540000.53700
1 year0.841000.841000.850000.846000.84400

COMMERCIAL PAPER (Financial, 90 days)

TermWeek ended
9/30
Week ended
9/23
90 days0.230.23

NA: Data not available at time of page generation (shown at top of page)

Sources:
Wall Street Journal
U.S. Dept. of the Treasury


All rates are from the previous business day unless otherwise noted.

Other Resources

Low-cost financing driving up auto sales

Market
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (10/2/14)--Car sales in September are expected to beat out their year-ago levels by 11%, the car shopping website Edmunds.com reported, largely thanks to consumers seeking out low-cost financing and leases.

Edmunds forecasts that 1,261,380 new cars and trucks will be sold nationwide during the month, for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 16.5 million automobiles.

An estimated 2.95 million used cars will be sold in September as well, Edmunds said, for an SAAR of 36.3 million, just ahead of August's pace.

"September sales are consistent with the strength we've seen most of this year," said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst for Edmunds.com . "But topline sales aren't as interesting as the ways in which shoppers have driven those sales. Buyers have been able to secure low-financing deals and have responded to lease offers in record numbers. These behaviors bode well for the continued strength of new car sales."

Both Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds project that nearly every major carmaker will post significant gains for the month ( FoxBusiness.com Oct. 1).

Further, while August's boom in auto sales was driven by incentives to buy midsize cars, September brought good deals on pickup trucks, according to DailyFinance.com (Oct. 1).

The second half of the year often bodes well for automakers, as pickup sales climb, gas prices stabilize and unemployment and consumer confidence improve, the financial news site said.

Other Resources

News of the Competition (10/02/2014)

Market
  • NEW YORK (10/2/14)-- JPMorgan Chase, which has already forked over a $13 billion settlement for actions it took in its mortgage-lending practices leading up to the recession, was hit with another potentially damaging class-action lawsuit this week ( Housingwire.com Oct. 1). The lawsuit claims the big bank allegedly misled investors about the safety and soundness of the $10 billion in mortgage-backed securities it sold prior to the economic downturn in 2008. U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken in Manhattan approved the complaint's class-action status for JPMorgan's liability in the matter, but not for damages, as he said it was unclear how investors could have applied values to the certificates they bought, especially given the state of the market. However, Oetken said the plaintiffs could attempt to file an additional suit for damages down the road, according to Reuters (Sept. 30) ...

Other Resources

Nussle takes CUNA helm is No. 1 story of Sept. Top 10

CU System
MADISON, Wis. (10/2/14)--An article on the hiring of Jim Nussle, a former eight-term congressman and director of the White House Office of Management and Budget for President George W. Bush, as the new president/ CEO of the Credit Union National Association was the most-read News Now story in September.
 
Data security continued to dominate credit union news in September. Four of the Top 10 stories were related to data security and data breaches.
 
The 10 most-read News Now articles in September:
 
10. CU payments providers seek Apple Pay inclusion
 
MADISON, Wis. (9/11/14)--In light of Apple's announcement of its new mobile payment system--Apple Pay--CO-OP Financial Services and Fiserv are working to ensure credit unions are part of that payment environment.
 
9. Two CUs file suit against Home Depot
 
LAKEWOOD, N.Y., and NEWCASTLE, Pa. (9/25/14)--Two Northeastern credit unions have filed a pair of lawsuits against Home Depot, alleging that financial institutions nationwide have suffered millions of dollars in damages as a result of the data breach that befell the home improvement retail chain recently.
 
8. Matz to request revised RBC proposal, new comment period

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (9/29/14)--National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chair Debbie Matz announced she intends to request a revised proposed risk-based capital rule be issued with a new comment period. This is a result of "significant structural changes" being considered. CUNA requested a second comment period prior to issuing a final rule.
 
7. Refuting ABA chief, Hampel points out real difference of CUs

WASHINGTON (9/8/14)--The real reasons behind credit unions' success are their cooperative ownership structure as well as a good amount of public trust, reminded CUNA interim President/CEO Bill Hampel.
 
6. CUs, members need data security protection, CUNA urges

WASHINGTON (9/5/14)--The implications of a recent data breach at Home Depot--which has the potential to dwarf that of last year's Target Corp. incident--could weigh heavily on credit unions.
 
5. Home Depot 2nd-largest breach with 56M compromised cards
 
MADISON, Wis. (9/22/14)--Home improvement retailer Home Depot confirmed last week that the recent five-month data breach compromised 56 million credit and debit cards--second only behind the Heartland Payment Systems breach in 2009. But what does this mean to the average consumer?
 
4. Jimmy John's: Vendor data breach impacts 216 stores

MERRIFIELD, Va. (9/25/14)--Nationwide sandwich chain Jimmy John's confirmation Wednesday of a payments-vendor breach that compromised customer information at 216 locations in 39 states is yet another example CUNA and credit unions advocate passing laws making merchants more responsible for such intrusions.
 
3. Fed plans no debit fee cap change

WASHINGTON (9/18/14)--The Federal Reserve Board today said it will not propose any changes to its cap on debit card interchange fees. The Fed said the decision is based on results of its survey of costs associated with debit card transactions, a survey it executes every two years.
 
2. FOMC: QE likely phased out next month

WASHINGTON (9/17/14)--The Federal Open Market Committee said in today's policy statement that quantitative easing (QE), a tool the Fed has used to stimulate the economy since the economic downturn in 2008, likely will be entirely phased out next month.
 
1. Jim Nussle, former House Budget Committee chair/director of OMB, named president/CEO of CUNA
 
WASHINGTON (9/9/14)--Jim Nussle, a former eight-term congressman and director of the White House Office of Management and Budget for President George W. Bush, is the new president/ CEO of CUNA, the chairman of the nation's largest trade group for credit unions announced today.

Other Resources

ICU Day sparks month-long celebration of the CU difference

CU System
MADISON, Wis. (10/2/14)--With the official International Credit Union (ICU) Day two weeks away, credit unions and state leagues are gearing up to demonstrate the credit union difference throughout October.
 
In Georgia, credit unions are promoting a Switch to Save campaign that helps consumers identify savings on loans. A member or potential member can bring in two months of statements from another financial institution to determine if switching their loan to the credit union will save them money, according to the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA).
 
"During International Credit Union Week, credit unions will say thank you to the members that use their services now and 'give it a try' to those that have not yet joined a credit union," said GCUA President/CEO Mike Mercer.
 
The Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) will prepare its member credit unions for a Pay It Forward campaign. During next week's Amplify convention, NWCUA will hand out random stacks of cash to attendees. The stacks of money--to be given to away on Oct. 16--symbolize the savings credit unions generate for their members every day, according to NWCUA ( Anthem Sept. 29).
 
While handing out the cash, credit unions can take the opportunity to share the credit union difference. NWCUA advised them to tell recipients that "Credit unions in the Northwest save households an average of $114 per year. Today we're paying it forward into our community. This cash is yours, no strings attached."
 
Credit Unions for Kids will hold Shop for Miracles, a one-day fundraising program to support local Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Every time a member of a participating credit union swipes his or her credit union-issued credit or debit card, the credit union will donate 25 cents, or another predetermined amount, to a local Children's Miracle Network Hospital.

Shop for Miracles is sponsored by the Credit Union National Association, the World Council of Credit Unions and Credit Unions for Kids.
 
CO-OP Financial Services also will tie its Miracle Match program to Shop for Miracles, matching funds dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 with certain participating credit unions.
 
Watch News Now for more coverage of ICU Day events.

Defense CU Council salutes top military CUs

CU System
WASHINGTON (10/2/14)--The Defense Credit Union Council betowed its Distinguished Service awards to five credit unions from each department of the U.S. military last month during the council's 51st annual conference.

Credit unions serving the Army, Navy and Air Force were honored for the work they do serving the U.S. military community at home and abroad.

The criteria for the awards generally included delivery of financial services "above and beyond normal requirements;" special services provided at the command's request; financial education and training; action taken to combat predatory lending; community support; and professional attitude and financial leadership.

The Department of the Army honored Service CU, Portsmouth, N.H., with $2.4 billion in assets, for its outstanding commitment to community financial education and combating predatory lending. The credit union, with a branch in Grafenwoehr, Germany, also was recognized for its "tireless" support of on-base programs.

"Their unrivaled ability to support servicemembers worldwide and through multiple remote access channels enhances individual and unit readiness as well as insuring financial soundness of soldiers' families here in Germany," said U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr Commander James Saenz. "Ultimately, their 'service' helps our troops focus on the important mission at hand."

Service CU also was the sole funding source for the 2013 USO Thanks for Thanksgiving Dinner and the USO Holiday dinner. The credit union also provided financial support for programs such as the USO Fridge Fund and Grafenwoehr Military Spouses Day.

The Department of the Navy gave its awards to both Pacific Marine CU, Oceanside, Calif., with $708 million in assets, and Navy FCU, Merrifield, Va., with $58 billion in assets.

Pacific Marine at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego was honored for its work helping active-duty servicemembers avoid predatory lenders and for assisting them in establishing or re-establishing credit through free financial literacy programs.

Finally, the Department of the Air Force gave the award to both Travis CU, Vacaville, Calif., with $2.2 billion in assets, and Air Force FCU, San Antonio, with $372 million in assets.

Travis CU, which earned the honors in the more than $1 billion-asset category, was recognized for helping members battle predatory lenders by providing low-interest lines of credit to pay off predatory lender high-interest accounts, and for offering its own small-dollar loan product.

Travis also was pegged for the award for its support of military children through the "My Life: A Kids Journal" and KUDOS (Kids Understanding Deployment) programs, and for its focus on financial literacy. The credit union offers financial literacy classes, debt counseling and budgeting seminars to members at Travis Air Force Base.

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Social media presence supports CUs' credibility, says CUNA expert

CU System
MARLBOROUGH, Mass. (10/2/14)--Participating in social media helps organizations establish credibility and authenticity with their audience, Amaia Stecker, senior social media and digital media manager for the Credit Union National Association, told a group of seminar participants hosted by the Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island credit union leagues.
 
Click to view larger image Amaia Stecker, senior social media and digital media manager for the Credit Union National Association, addresses attendees at a seminar on social media hosted by the Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire credit union leagues. ( Daily CU Scan Photo)
In addition to managing social media for CUNA, Stecker oversees asmarterchoice.org, the website launched by CUNA and leagues, which, in part, helps consumers find a credit union to join.
 
"Amaia brings a tremendous understanding of how consumers use this media as well as an understanding of how credit unions can use it to their strategic advantage," said Paul Gentile, president/CEO of the leagues ( Daily CU Scan Oct. 1).
 
The Tuesday session covered the social media options available and the advantages each offers to credit unions. "Social media is a tool just like television, radio or print," Stecker said. "You have to understand it and then figure out how to make it work for your credit union."
 
Most of the credit unions represented in the group were active on social media. Facebook was the most commonly employed platform, but most credit unions maintained a presence on Twitter and LinkedIn as well. Stecker counseled the group to make sure that they commit to quality posts and a consistent schedule.
 
In the open discussion, participants agreed that there is an undeniable need for credit unions to participate in social media. Stecker noted that participating in social media makes organziations appear more in touch with their audience in a 24/7, connected world.

Other Resources

Chartway raises record $1M for We Promise

CU System
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (10/2/14)--Chartway FCU's charitable arm, the We Promise Foundation, has reached the milestone of raising $1 million in fundraising in a single year for the first time in the foundation's history.​
Click to view larger image To make the We Promise child champions feel special and to celebrate their big day away from the hospital, We Promise volunteers welcomed children who arrived via limousine and gave them high-fives as the kids traveled to and across a red carpet rolled out just for them. (Chartway FCU Photo)
The organization reached the mark during its annual two-day fundraising rally that includes a black-tie gala and a charity golf outing.
 
All proceeds from the two events and all of the foundation's fundraisers this year will benefit children in the markets the Chartway family of credit unions serve. Since launching the foundation, Chartway FCU's We Promise Foundation has raised nearly $7 million.
 
"We could not do the important, life-enriching work we do without each and every one of our supporters and volunteers," said Ron Burniske, president/CEO of the $1.9 billion-asset, Virginia Beach, Va.-based credit union. "Although we have been honored to make a difference in the lives of nearly 2,000 children, I think it's safe to say that their stories of hope and hardship have dramatically changed ours."
 
Joining the foundation for the two-day benefit was actress Gail O' Grady, a multiple Emmy nominee for the "NYPD Blue" TV series and current star of ABC-TV's drama "Revenge;" alternative rock band the Gin Blossoms; LPGA player Jill McGill; and 20 We Promise kid heroes.
 
Click to view larger image LPGA pro Jill McGill had the opportunity to meet 10 We Promise children during the ninth annual Diamonds in the Sky Gala in Virginia Beach, Va. (Chartway FCU Photo)
Emceed by O'Grady and former local TV news anchor Kerri Furey, the Diamonds in the Sky Gala featured a cocktail hour, a silent auction, dinner and live entertainment by the Gin Blossoms.
 
Professional auctioneer Kyle Hause also treated the 415 guests to a live auction with 9-year-old Anastacia as his assistant. Anastacia, along with other We Promise children who attended the gala, created the pottery featured in the silent auction.    
 
The following afternoon, a full flight of We Promise supporters had a chance to tee off with McGill at the 16th annual Charity Golf Classic. Joining the 144 tournament golfers were 10 We Promise children who arrived by limousine and received cheers and high-fives from We Promise board members and volunteers as they traveled across a red carpet rolled out just for them.

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CUNA OpSS Council bestows inaugural professional award

CU System
MADISON, Wis. (10/2/14)--The first-ever CUNA Operations, Sales and Service (OpSS) Professional of the Year Award was presented last month to Stephanie Finck, vice president of operations for First Community CU, Jamestown, N.D., with $492 million in assets.

Stephanie Finck, vice president of operations for First Community CU, Jamestown, N.D., was honored with the first-ever CUNA Operations, Sales and Service Professional of the Year Award. (Credit Union National Association Photo)
The award was presented at the CUNA OpSS Council Conference, which took place Sept. 21-24 in Las Vegas.

"It was a really tough choice between all the stellar nominees, but in the end, Ms. Finck's history, attitude and accomplishments clearly shone the brightest," said Dave Tate, awards chair and vice president of operations, Anheuser-Busch Employees CU, St. Louis, with $1.4 billion in assets.

Finck was recognized for her role in improving First Community's guaranteed asset protection/auto deductible reimbursement sales penetration, and for the implementation of Kasasa across the credit union's membership base.

"Kasasa provided a unique win/win solution to make or save the member and the credit union money," Finck said in a statement.

Finck also was recognized for her sales and service initiative, which stood out for its depth, and for her well-thought-out approaches and full inclusion of front-line and back-office staff.

The award was developed by the CUNA OpSS council to recognize individuals who exemplify excellence in credit union operations. The individual should demonstrate consistent excellence for the benefit of his or her credit union, provide outstanding direction to credit union staff to maximize service to members, and be a leader of their credit union's culture.

Finck and her work for First Community will be featured in an upcoming issue of Credit Union Magazine .

For more information, use the resource link below and click on Professional of the Year in the Events pull-down menu.

Workforce education benefits from Biz Kid$ grant

CU System
VACAVILLE, Calif. (10/2/14)--A Biz Kid$ financial education grant is helping arm California students with financial knowledge and skills as they prepare to enter the job market.
 
Click to view larger image Mark Miller, a vocational specialist with the Solano County Office of Education's Career Technical Education-Workforce Division, leads a presentation of the Biz Kid$ program at Vaca Pena Middle School in Vacaville, Calif. (National Credit Union Foundation Photo)
Travis CU, Vacaville, Calif., with $2.2 billion in assets, received a grant from the National Credit Union Foundation that helped create a work-ready certification (WRC) program with the Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce, Solano County Office of Education and the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District.
 
By helping validate that students have necessary entry-level skills--identified by the local business community--the program supports students as they enter the workforce.
 
The WRC program uses the Biz Kid$ financial education curriculum, which is sponsored by the credit union. It teaches students how to make and manage their money, sharpen entrepreneurial skills and succeed at financial planning.
 
"Work-ready certification makes a practical connection between the education and experience students learn in high school and the essential requirements of the world of work," said Jay Speck, Solano County superintendent of schools. "When students are knowledgeable about the skills necessary for success in the workplace, they will have the confidence and knowledge to apply and successfully obtain employment."
 
As part of the WRC program, Biz Kid$ was implemented in all six school districts of Solano County, which serves mostly low-income students.
 
"As a stakeholder in our community, Travis CU strives to empower our members and communities with information and knowledge that helps them understand their options, make smart choices, and take charge of their financial lives," said Sherry Cordonnier, the credit union's director of corporate relations.
 
"Credit unions can use the Biz Kid$ program to make a difference in their communities and improve people's financial lives," said Danielle Brown, NCUF director of development and donor relations. "As Travis CU's efforts demonstrate, there are so many ways the program can be used to teach kids the skills they need to be financially literate."

Other Resources

Divorcing? Pay attention to financial details

Consumer
SAN FRANCISCO (9/30/14)--If you didn't play a role in managing family finances during your marriage, you could be at a disadvantage if you're going through a divorce (USAToday.com Sept. 23).
 
It's important for both spouses to understand their current financial situation and postdivorce needs. Address these items to stay on top of your money situation:
  • Cash flow. Understand immediate cash-flow needs; if you'll need access to cash right away, look at liquid assets such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. If you won't need cash immediately, look at long-term assets such as retirement plan accounts.
  • Insurance coverage. Check for coverage gaps and ways to cut costs. Don't find out after a disaster that coverage was cancelled for lack of payments by your spouse. Remove your former spouse from your auto policy to protect yourself from liability if he or she is involved in an accident and is sued. Consider life insurance as part of the final divorce decree to cover financial obligations. If the spouse providing alimony and child support dies, this may mean a significant loss of income.
  • Taxes. Review the tax impact of investments. Even if two assets or accounts have equal value, their economic values could be very different once you factor in taxes. Keep unrealized capital gains on taxable investments in mind, since taxes will be due someday. Review the past three years to five years of taxes you filed as a married couple. This shows combined incomes and if there are tax assets that need to be considered in divorce negotiations. Tax assets, such as charitable contribution carry-forwards, provide a reduction in future taxes and should be considered an asset when splitting the marital estate.
  • Retirement assets. Handle these transfers with care. The divorce decree should classify these items in a specific way. Consult a tax adviser for assistance.
  • Account passwords. Make sure you have information for all financial accounts. You and your spouse eventually will have separate accounts for most items, but you still might need access to accounts such as college savings plans for children.
  • Joint liabilities. Cancel jointly held credit cards, pay outstanding tax liabilities and refinance your mortgage if possible. Settle all liabilities before your divorce is final by either paying them off or by transferring them to the spouse taking responsibility for the debt.
  • Beneficiaries. Check your will, all insurance policies, and financial accounts such as pensions and 401(k)s to change beneficiaries.
  • Digital assets. Though some of these assets might not have financial value, they have emotional value. If you and your spouse shared profiles on social networking sites, now's the time to create individual ones. Make sure you have passwords to access the sites in the meantime. If you have an estate plan for digital assets if you die, change the digital executor if needed.
For related information, read "Breaking Up: Your Finances in a Legal Separation" and "Life Changes Trigger Financial Changes" in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.
 

Nearly 800 CUs open health insurance enrollment with TruStage

Products
MADISON, Wis. (10/2/14)--CUNA Mutual Group announced Wednesday that more than 770 credit unions have made its TruStage health insurance available, helping their members acquire affordable health insurance coverage since the program was introduced in July.

As a result, more than 8 million credit union members can now shop for and purchase health insurance through their credit unions starting Nov. 15, the beginning of the 2015 open enrollment period.
 
"A key part of building financial security is a solid health insurance plan, and as healthcare costs increase and new changes are implemented under the Affordable Care Act, credit unions can help their members prepare," said Corrin Maier, director of the TruStage's MemberCONNECT program. "The TruStage health insurance program broadens a credit union's product offerings and value. It provides members with a unique and simplified experience to help eliminate confusion from the health insurance landscape."
 
The TruStage health insurance program, provided through GoHealth, offers consumers access to all health insurance plans on healthcare.gov, plus additional plans from other carriers. Using GoHealth's Web-based platform, members can compare health insurance plans from various carriers, get quotes, estimate available federal tax subsidies and apply them directly to their health plan to receive lower monthly premiums. They can also shop over the phone with the guidance of licensed insurance advisers and apply for coverage.
 
Starting Oct. 8, TruStage will host open enrollment readiness webinars every week until open enrollment begins to introduce credit unions to the built-in marketing program for member communication and to offer guidance for program implementation. For more information, use the resource link.
 
Credit unions enrolled in the MemberCONNECT program, the conduit for credit unions to make TruStage products available, can still sign up to offer the TruStage health insurance program until Nov. 14.

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