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Full Issue: September 22, 2014

Nussle takes helm of CUNA today

Washington
WASHINGTON (9/22/14)--Jim Nussle today formally begins his tenure as president/CEO of the Credit Union National Association, the nation's largest advocacy group for credit unions.
 
Click to view larger image CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle speaks to attendees at the Iowa Credit Union League convention last week. Nussle formally takes leadership of the national trade association today. (Iowa Credit Union League Photo)
Nussle, a former Iowa congressman and director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is taking the reins just as the credit union movement is celebrating the achievement of reaching 100 million memberships.
 
"The individuals who make up the more than 100 million memberships at credit unions trust their credit unions to provide them, their families and their small businesses with the financial services they expect and need," Nussle said, adding that he will work to ensure the credit union message and policy priorities are heard on the Hill and nationwide.
 
Nussle, 54, served in the U.S. House from 1991 to 2007 as a Republican representative for Iowa's 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts. He also served as chair of the House Budget Committee, which oversees the federal budget process, including review of all bills and resolutions on the budget.
 
Under President George W. Bush, Nussle was the 36th OMB director, serving from 2007 to 2009. He also was a member of the president's National Economic Council, National Security Council, Homeland Security Council and National Domestic Policy Council.
 
Most recently, Nussle was president of Growth Energy, a trade association of renewable energy companies and industry partners focused on alternative energy sources, such as ethanol.
 
Nussle also has been a contributor and guest host for CNBC 's "Squawk Box" and "The Kudlow Report" and has appeared on MSNBC and CNN .

Other Resources

Comments on customer due diligence, fixed assets, Reg. C due in Oct.

Washington
WASHINGTON (9/22/14)--Comments on proposals from the National Credit Union Administration, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) are due during the month of October. The Credit Union National Association is also collecting comments on the proposals in question.

The proposals are:
  • FinCEN, customer due diligence. The proposal would amend Bank Secrecy Act regulations by strengthening customer due diligence obligations for financial institutions to identify and verify beneficial owners of legal entity customers. Comments are due to CUNA today and to FinCEN Oct. 3;

  • NCUA, fixed assets. The agency has proposed to remove the waiver requirement for federal credit unions to exceed the 5% aggregate limit on investment in fixed assets. The proposal would allow credit unions to exceed the 5% limit if it implements a fixed-assets management program. Comments are due to CUNA by Oct. 1 and to the NCUA by Oct. 10; and

  • CFPB, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Regulation C. The proposal would revise tests for determining which institutions are covered under the HMDA. Covered entities, including credit unions that trigger Regulation C compliance, would be required to report HMDA data if they originate 25 covered loans other than open-end lines of credit and commercial lines of credit, in the previous calendar year. Comments are due to CUNA by Oct. 15 and to the CFPB by Oct. 29.
Use the resource links below to access CUNA's regulatory advocacy comment call homepage, as well as previous News Now coverage of the proposals in question.

FSOC lacks approach to ID emerging fin. threats: GAO

Washington
WASHINGTON (9/22/14)--The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) "still lacks a comprehensive, systematic approach to identify emerging threats to financial stability," according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released last week.

The report was done as a follow-up to recommendations given by the GAO to the council in September 2012.

The FSOC was created by the Dodd-Frank Act to identify and address threats to financial stability. The council consists of 10 voting and five nonvoting members. The 10 voting members include nine federal regulators and an independent insurance expert.

In September 2012, the GAO gave the council nine recommendations involving three areas: emerging threats and risks identification; transparency and accountability; and collaboration and coordination.

The recent report states that:
  • The Office of Financial Research (OFR) has made some progress in developing data tools to support FSOC since the 2012 report, but GAO's observations of two of these tools suggest that one tool does not focus on risks to the financial system, while another remains in a prototype phase;

  • FSOC has taken steps to improve its communication with the public but could do more to improve transparency and accountability, such as with a transparency policy approved in May. But FSOC staff said that they did not intend to keep detailed minutes of meetings because of the confidential information discussed;

  • FSOC staff also said that the impact of designating nonbanks for enhanced supervision would be assessed as part of a mandated January 2016 study. However, FSOC has not begun to prepare for this study; and

  • FSOC has taken steps to improve collaboration and coordination among member agencies but does not plan to act on some of GAO's recommendations on coordination. Staff said they did not plan to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the council, the OFR and member agencies because the overlapping responsibilities for monitoring systemic risk had not been problematic.
According to its report, the GAO "maintains that action is needed as its past work has shown that the lack of clear roles and coordination can lead to duplication, confusion and regulatory gaps."

Information for the GAO's study was obtained from June through September from staff and documents relating to the GAO's 2012 recommendations.

Use the resource link to access the complete report.

Inside Washington (09/22/2014)

Washington
  • DETROIT (9/22/14)--The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will hold its third event to reach homeowners who could benefit from the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) in Detroit Oct. 2. The event will highlight the benefits of HARP and provide tools to help community leaders reach the more than 27,000 Detroit area residents still eligible to benefit substantially from a HARP refinance.  These borrowers could save more than $1,800 per year by refinancing. FHFA officials and panelists will also discuss FHFA's Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative (NSI),which entails both pre- and post-foreclosure strategies for assisting borrowers who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments. Detroit is the first pilot city for this new initiative. Borrowers are considered "in-the-money" if they meet the basic HARP eligibility requirements, have a remaining balance of  $50,000 or more on their mortgage, have a remaining term on their mortgage of greater than 10 years, and their mortgage interest rate is at least 1.5% higher than current market rates ...

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 0.46% 0.28% 0.18%
Personal Savings $1,000 0.20% 0.10% 0.10%
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 2.61% 3.82% -1.21%
Used Auto Loan - 2 year Old - 4 Years 2.77% 4.02% -1.25%
HELOC - 80% LTV - $50,000 4.13% 4.40% -0.27%
HE Loan - 80% LTV - $50,000 - 15 Years 5.66% 5.95% -0.29%

Mortgage Loan Products Credit Unions Bank Average Difference
30 Year Fixed Conforming 4.25% 4.28% -0.03%
30 Year Fixed Jumbo 4.31% 4.27% 0.04%
5/1 Year ARM Conforming 2.95% 2.95% 0.00%

Credit Card Products Credit Unions Bank Average Difference
Platinum 9.01% 10.48% -1.47%
Annual Fee $25.00 $31.00 $-6.00
Maximum Late Fee $25.95 $33.42 $-7.47
Reward 9.99% 13.66% -3.67%
Annual Fee $26.71 $99.74 $-73.03
Maximum Late Fee $22.66 $33.72 $-11.06

Indirect Auto Loan Products Credit Unions Bank Average Difference
Indirect A Tier New Auto Loan - 5 Years 3.59% 3.78% -0.19%
Indirect B Tier New Auto Loan - 5 Years 5.32% 5.32% 0.00%
Indirect C Tier New Auto Loan - 5 Years 7.49% 6.78% 0.71%

Averages displayed are straight averages of all institutions within the Informa Research Services database for the selected region as of Sunday, September 21, 2014. For detailed disclosures click here.

Other Resources

Business Rates

Market
Daily Financial Rates -- 2014-09-22

Financial Rates


Monday, September 22, 2014

03:55 AM CDT

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

TermMon
9/22
Fri
9/19
Thu
9/18
Wed
9/17
Tue
9/16
1 month0.010.010.010.010.01
3 month0.020.020.020.020.02
6 month0.040.040.050.040.05
1 year0.110.120.120.130.11
2 year0.590.590.590.550.58
3 year1.091.101.081.041.06
5 year1.831.851.821.781.80
7 year2.292.322.292.262.26
10 year2.592.632.622.602.60
20 year3.053.123.123.113.09
30 year3.293.363.373.363.34

TREASURY BILLS

Results of the September 15, 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, 9/15
Week Ago
Mon, 9/8
13 weeks0.0150.020
26 weeks0.0450.045

PRIME RATE

3.25% Last changed December 16, 2008

FEDERAL FUNDS

TermMon
9/22
Fri
9/19
Thu
9/18
Wed
9/17
Tue
9/16
highNA0.3120.3120.3120.312
lowNA0.0600.0700.0700.050
near closing bidNA0.0800.0700.0800.080
offeredNA0.2800.2800.2800.100
effective rate2NA0.1000.1000.1000.100

FREDDIE MAC (Mortgage commitments, 30 days)

TermMon
9/22
Fri
9/19
Thu
9/18
Wed
9/17
Tue
9/16
30 yearNA0.000.000.000.00

FANNIE MAE (Mortgage commitments, 30 days)

TermMon
9/22
Fri
9/19
Thu
9/18
Wed
9/17
Tue
9/16
30 yearNA3.8813.8583.8553.870

LIBOR

TermMon
9/22
Fri
9/19
Thu
9/18
Wed
9/17
Tue
9/16
1 monthNA0.213000.213000.212000.21400
3 monthNA0.371000.369000.366000.36500
6 monthNA0.540000.537000.536000.53900
1 yearNA0.846000.846000.845000.84500

COMMERCIAL PAPER (Financial, 90 days)

TermWeek ended
9/22
Week ended
9/16
90 days0.000.23

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

Families financing first-time homebuyers' down payments

Market
NEW YORK (9/22/14)--Families are stepping in to help first-time homebuyers break into the housing market, as last year 27% of those buying a home for the first time received cash from relatives or friends to help with the down payment, according to National Association of Realtors (NAR) data ( Bloomberg.com Sept. 19).

Compared with last year, that's a 24% rise, matching the highest number since 2009.

Without first-time homebuyers, "the recovery's not sustainable," Anika Khan, Wells Fargo Securities senior economist, told Bloomberg , adding that more money in the hands of first-time homebuyers only speeds up the housing recovery.

The biggest barrier for first-time homebuyers is that many continue to grapple with student-loan debt that keeps them from saving enough money for a down payment.

A recent NAR survey found that 54% of first-time homebuyers in 2013 said their home purchases were delayed because their student loans.

First-time buyers made up 29% of previously owned home purchases in July, compared with 40% historically for the month ( Bloomberg.com ).

But the infusion of cash from parents and families is helping to bridge that gap.

"We're finding more and more parents are gifting money," Deborah Baisden, realtor at Prudential Towne Realty, told Bloomberg. "Because of student debt and because of kids having a tough time finding jobs, it's becoming increasingly difficult for them to be able to buy homes."

"We're turning into a country of renters," she added.

Other Resources

Home Depot 2nd-largest breach with 56M compromised cards

CU System
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?
 
First, look at how the information was taken. Using custom malware designed to evade traditional security tools, hackers breached the company's cash register systems in its U.S. and Canadian stores in April.
 
Brian Krebs, the security expert who first reported the breach Sept. 2, told NPR that it's that moment between the swipe of the card at the point-of-sale terminal and the encryption of the payment data on its way to the financial institution (Sept. 19). The malware sits at the cash register, essentially a Windows computer, and waits to siphon off the card information to the hackers, who sell the stolen card information on black-market websites, Krebs said.
 
Last week, Maine reported that bank names, expiration dates, names and addresses for 100,000 compromised cards were listed for sale  ( News Now Sept. 19). In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found that the breach affected all 26 of the state's Home Depot stores, resulting in more than 282,000 compromised cards (Sept. 18). The combined black market asking price for the Wisconsin data--$8.16 million.
 
In confirming the number of affected cards, the Atlanta-based home improvement retailer also noted the malware used in the breach had been eliminated from its U.S. and Canadian networks.
 
The Credit Union National Association is urging credit unions to record the costs they are incurring because of the data breach. It will soon be sending credit unions a survey, similar to the one done after last year's Target breach, to collect the following information:
 
Number of debit and credit cards affected;
  • Costs incurred for card reissuance;
  • Costs related to additional staffing, member notification, account monitoring, etc.;
  • Changes in call volume;
  • Changes in staffing; and
  • Any specifically identifiable fraud-related losses.
The Target breach survey 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.

During the Governmental Affairs Conference, credit union advocates were armed with state-specific numbers from the CUNA survey of how the Target breach affected them.

CUNA strongly advocates on behalf of legislation that would protect financial institutions and consumers from the harm such breaches cause by subjecting merchants to the same federal data protection standards to which credit unions and other financial institutions are already beholden.

How CUs use FHLBs in their operations, Part 3

CU System
MADISON, Wis. (9/22/14)--Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLB), a system of 12 regional cooperatively owned institutions, offer a number of products that can potentially help financial institutions grapple with liquidity, interest-rate risk and investments, among other operations.  

This is Part 3 in a series on the relationship between credit unions and the Federal Home Loan Bank system. For Part 1 and Part 2, please use the resource links.

Nationwide, credit unions, which make up roughly 10% of the overall system's membership, have been using the products offered by FHLBs in various ways.

For example, American Heritage FCU, Philadelphia, with $1.4 billion in assets, has begun accepting public money as a public depository, and the FHLB of Pittsburgh facilitates that process by issuing a letter of credit so the credit union can take in the funds.

"In that arena you need to put up collateral to cover the deposits you're taking in from the municipality," Brian Schmitt, chief financial officer for American Heritage FCU, told News Now .

"Because we're a credit union, we're restricted on just taking any public funds in, so we have to specifically find a third party to issue a letter of credit on our behalf, and that's what we've done," he said.

American Heritage also utilizes five- and seven-year loans, or advances, at the FHLB of Pittsburgh, which it matches with its mortgage portfolio to hedge long-term interest-rate risk on its mortgage loans.

"The [National Credit Union Administration] likes this, using the leveraging for long-term borrowings vs. long-term assets," said Bruce Foulke, president/CEO of American Heritage. "They really like the idea of that because it's better managing your asset liability."

Uniquely, American Heritage works through a credit union service organization (CUSO) that recently qualified for membership at the FHLB of Pittsburgh to facilitate mortgage lending.

The CUSO qualified when all of the members of the organization successfully applied to the FHLB, which Schmitt said traditionally can take between nine months to a year.

"If you're a small credit union, $50 million to $60 million, you might not have" the capability to apply, Schmitt said. "$150 million-plus, they probably have the things they need."

Membership at a FHLB might become more difficult, meanwhile, thanks to a recent proposal by the Federal Housing Finance Agency to require credit unions to hold 10% of residential mortgages on an ongoing basis, rather than just when they apply.

The Credit Union National Association is collecting data on the number of credit union FHLB members that might fall below the 10% threshold and have their FHLB membership put at risk.

"Based on an initial review of the proposal, it may be harder for credit unions to maintain eligibility for FHLB membership because of the 10% requirement," said Robin Cook, CUNA assistant general counsel for special projects ( News Now Sept. 3).

With $544 million in assets, Denali Alaskan FCU has qualified and remained a member of the FHLB of Seattle for years.

Among other services, the Anchorage-based credit union relies on the cooperative bank to safe-keep bonds and mitigate interest-rate risk.

Bob Teachworth, Denali Alaskan president/CEO and board member of the FHLB of Seattle, said that the FHLB offers generally better rates and terms than other sources on long-term borrowings.

"We're kind of a unique credit union because, right now, we're 105% loaned out, and about three or four months ago we sold $31 million in loans to Catalyst Corporation," Teachworth told News Now . "We're funding loan growth through advances from the Federal Home Loan Bank."

Credit unions also use FHLBs as a source of emergency liquidity.

Todd Pietzsch, spokesperson for BECU, Tukwila, Wash., with $12.6 billion in assets, told News Now that the FHLB of Seattle is a part of the credit union's contingency funding plan.

 Foulke agreed that the FHLBs can be a big help in that regard.

"It's nice having (FHLBs) as an emergency funding source if you need it," Foulke said. "Now we don't need it, and I guess most credit unions don't need it today, but when liquidity gets in a crunch, at least you have another avenue to do that."

"People have relationships with the centrals and that's fine," Foulke added. "But for people that want an alternative, we'd say it's a great alternative you should really seriously consider, because they're strong institutions and they have great rates."

Calif. ride-sharing law protects CU collateral

CU System
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (9/22/14)--California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Thursday that will require Transportation Network Companies (TNC) such as Uber and Lyft to buy at least baseline insurance on their vehicles. The new law will address concerns held by credit unions who have been on the line for reductions in collateral value when the cars those businesses use are involved in accidents ( In the News Sept. 18).

Assembly Bill 2293, authored by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D-Concord), also requires those companies to provide disclosures that outline any potential gaps in personal insurance auto-lines coverage for drivers using their own vehicles.

"While AB 2293 is a consumer protection bill, it represents much more than that," Bonilla said ( In the News ). "This measure symbolizes business flexibility, consumer affordability, political compromise and, most importantly, what true public policy should be: a collective process for all stakeholders to contribute."

Credit unions through the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues worked closely with Bonilla on pushing forward the legislation, which was heavily opposed by the TNC companies. 

The bill also received some help from credit unions through the Leagues' "Connect for the Cause" email-alert grassroots system.

The new legislation:
  • Creates a personal insurance firewall to ensure personal insurance auto policyholders will no longer subsidize the commercial activity of TNCs, beginning July 1, 2015;
     
  • Lowers the primary insurance coverage requirements in the timeframe formerly known as "App On To Match" to $50,000/$100,000/$30,000, with excess coverage of $200,000;
     
  • Ensures oversight by the California Public Utilities Commission of TNCs, such as Uber and Lyft; and
     
  • Expedites the approval process for new TNC insurance products.
"AB 2293 sets the standard for this innovative industry, ensuring consumer protection and public safety remains a top priority," Bonilla added. "This legislation also reinforces corporate responsibility, safeguarding taxpayers from subsidizing the cost of commercial activity."

Other Resources

Co-op model foundation for NW CUs' success

CU System
MADISON, Wis. (9/22/14)--Credit unions in two Northwest states recently earned media coverage for their robust growth rates--success built as a result of the cooperative business model, according to Troy Stang, president/CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA).
 
Also, on a national note, the Puget Sound Business Journal cited credit unions for achieving the 100 million memberships milestone. "Nationwide membership cracked the 100 million mark in June for the first time, rising 2.9% over the past year as credit unions added 1.7 million members, according to the Credit Union National Association," a Sept. 19 article in the publication read.
 
The Business Journal went on to note the role Washington credit unions are playing in the national surge. Membership in Washington credit unions grew by an average of nearly 4% annually between June 2009 and June 2014 and now stands at more than 3 million statewide.
 
Credit unions hold 23% of the state's assets compared with 77% for commercial banks, the Business Journal reported, citing statistics from the NWCUA.

Washington's credit unions owe much of their success to the longstanding popularity of the co-op model, according to Stang. "Collectively, in the Northwest, there are a lot of cooperative values," Stang told the Business Journal . "We think of credit unions first as cooperatives and second ... as financial services businesses."
 
The Sept. 11 issue of the Idaho Business Review reported that Idaho remains one of the fastest-growing states within the credit union system. It ranks second for median growth in members, loans and assets, according to recent state-level data from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
 
Idaho credit unions led the nation in the median loan-to-share ratio, according to NCUA statistics covering data from the second quarter.
 
A 4.7% growth in median asset rate was second in the nation and more than triple the national average of 1.3% for the year ending June 30. Idaho had a 2% growth in members, also second in the nation, behind Alaska.
 
Idaho's median growth rate for loans was 8.6%, more than double the national average of 3.2%.
 
State credit unions' median return on average assets of 53 basis points was well above the national average of 30 basis points. Nationally, 74% of all federally insured credit unions had positive earnings in the past year.

Iowa Housing Authority honors CU's mortgage commitment

CU System
OTTUMWA, Iowa (9/22/14)--Community 1st CU was one of six financial institutions the Iowa Housing Authority recently recognized as an outstanding lender for its efforts in advancing affordable homeownership through Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) programs last year.

Community 1st Director of Mortgage Lending Laura Kay Sheely, center, receives an Iowa Finance Authority outstanding lender award from IFA Executive Director Dave Jamison, far left, and Ruth Randleman, IFA board chairperson. ( Ottumwa Post Photo)
The $500 million-asset credit union, based out of Ottumwa, received the honor at the IFA's 2014 HousingIowa Conference earlier this month in Des Moines ( Ottumwa Post Sept. 18).

"We work hard at giving our members the best service possible and making homeownership a positive experience," Laura Kay Sheely, director of mortgage lending for Community 1st, said after receiving the award.

The Outstanding Lenders designation was awarded to financial institutions that had generated more than $6 million in 2013 IFA loan volume. Further, 23 lenders were recognized for surpassing the $1 million mark in volume.

Dave Jamison, IFA executive director, congratulated the institutions recognized by the award, which helps "celebrate the successes of our hard-working local lender partners and their efforts in making the dream of homeownership a reality," which it did for more than 1,400 families last year.

Gartner: 75% of mobile apps will fail security tests through 2015

CU System
STAMFORD, Conn. (9/22/14)--By 2015 more than 75% of mobile applications will fail basic security tests, placing a security risk not only on personal but business data, according to new data from Gartner Inc.
 
Employees download from app stores and use mobile applications that can access enterprise assets or perform business functions, and these applications have little or no security assurances, Gartner said. These applications are exposed to attacks and violations of organizational security policies.
 
"Enterprises that embrace mobile computing and bring your own device (BYOD) strategies are vulnerable to security breaches unless they adopt methods and technologies for mobile application security testing and risk assurance," said Dionisio Zumerle, Gartner principal research analyst. "Most enterprises are inexperienced in mobile application security. Even when application security testing is undertaken, it is often done casually by developers who are mostly concerned with the functionality of applications, not their security."
 
Mobile testing is a relatively new area of security, Gartner said. Gartner predicts that by 2017, the focus of endpoint breaches will shift to tablets and smartphones--already, there are three attacks on mobile devices for every attack on a desktop. But the security features that mobile devices offer today will not suffice to keep breaches to a minimum. 
 
Gartner predicts that by 2017, 75% of mobile security breaches will be the result of mobile application misconfigurations, rather than the outcome of deeply technical attacks on mobile devices. A classic example of misconfiguration is the misuse of personal cloud services through apps residing on smartphones and tablets. When used to convey enterprise data, these apps lead to data leaks of which the organization remains unaware.

Other Resources

Retirement fairs provide look into future today

CU System

HIGHTSTOWN, N.J., and HARRISBURG, Pa. (9/22/14)--Credit unions in Pennsylvania and New Jersey recently hosted retirement fairs, providing participants with an opportunity for a hands-on experience in preparing for financial reality in their post-working years.
 

Last week in Pennsylvania, P and G Mehoopany Employees FCU, Tunkhannock, with $103 million in assets, hosted a retirement fair with six credit unions participating. The National Credit Union Foundation's REAL Solutions program in cooperation with CUNA Mutual Group have developed the new Retirement Fair to assist credit unions in helping their members better prepare for retirement.
 
The interactive program is designed to introduce choices to insure retirees of a lifestyle that makes optimum use of their financial resources, the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association reported ( Life is a Highway Sept 19).
 
Seven booths provided information on expenditure choices: housing; food and clothing; transportation; health and fitness; leisure, travel and entertainment; communications; and gifts and donations. The 20 participants assigned percentages of expenditures from their budgets to each life activity.
 
In addition to P and G Mehoopany Employees FCU, participating credit unions included:

 
Click to view larger image Six credit unions participated in a retirement fair last week hosted by P and G Mehoopany Employees FCU, Tunkhannock, with $103 million in assets. (Pennsylvania Credit Union Association Photo)

Booth activities and counseling services were also provided by Trey Van Wert, Jim Van Wert and Shawn Heys of Member Financial Services and Bob Behlke of CUNA Mutual Group.
 
Following the visits, attendees heard two presentations. Corey Reeder of the law firm McNees, Wallace and Nurick LLC presented various legal and financial obligations that may be put in place by retirees to protect their assets. Then John Kebles, REAL Solutions program manager, provided brief descriptions of revenue options that can be used by retirees towards these lifestyle choices.
 

 
In New Jersey, First Financial FCU, Wall, with $186 million in assets, presented a retirement fair program to 24 teachers from Asbury Park High School--the first retirement fair to be held in the state. (New Jersey Credit Union League Photo)

In New Jersey, First Financial FCU, Wall, with $186 million in assets, presented a retirement fair program to 24 teachers from Asbury Park High School--the first retirement fair to be held in the state, the New Jersey Credit Union League reported ( The Daily Exchange Sept. 19).
 
First Financial FCU Business Development Manager Matthew Brazinski and Investment and Retirement Center Coordinator Samantha Schertz gave a brief history of the credit union, explaining how it was founded in the halls of Asbury Park High School in 1936. Brazinski and Schertz then gave an orientation to each group before participants visited each lifestyle station to assess and plan for their retirement.

  • PG and W Employees FCU, Wilkes Barre, with $19 million in assets;
  • Choice One Community CU, Wilkes Barre, with $90 million in assets;
  • Service 1st FCU, Danville, with $52 million in assets;
  • Penn East FCU, Scranton, with $143 million in assets; and
  • UFCW FCU, Wyoming, $113 million in assets.

Other Resources

CU System briefs (09/22/2014)

CU System
  • WESTBROOK, Maine (9/22/14)-- The Maine Credit Union League announced that Elise Baldacci is the league's new director of governmental affairs, effective today ( Weekly Update Sept. 19). Baldacci is an attorney and most recently worked as a governmental affairs specialist for Maine Street Solutions. "Elise's political and legislative relationships with Democratic and Republican legislators, legal background, as well as her communication skills made her the ideal candidate for this position," said league President John Murphy ...
  • MADISON, Wis. (9/22/14)-- Fox Communities CU, Appleton, Wis., with $982 million in assets, is one of the co-sponsors of the fourth annual Wisconsin Summit of Financial Literacy . Registration is now open for the Oct. 17 event at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The conference is geared toward teachers, community outreach educators and workplace professionals who are interested in supporting financial and economic literacy within their communities. Other sponsors are EconomicsWisconsin, the Lakeland College Center for Economic Education, Governor Walker's Council on Financial Literacy, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, the Green Bay Packers, IBM, the Kohler Foundation, the Vollrath Co. and the Windway Foundation ...
  • SANTA ANA, Calif. (9/22/14)--A former employee of SchoolsFirst FCU, Santa Ana, Calif., with $10.2 billion in assets, agreed to plead guilty to two counts each of wire fraud and mail fraud which led to 11 years of embezzlement. David Lugo, 41, allegedly purchased unneeded information technology equipment for the credit union, then sold it to third parties, pocketing the nearly $2.7 million in a bank account ( OC Weekly Sept. 18). In the plea agreement submitted last week to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Lugo admitted to spending the funds on luxury vacations, Tiffany jewelry and college tuition. Lugo is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 6. The credit union noted that none of its members lost money nor was their personal account information compromised ( Orange County Register Sept. 19)  ...

Other Resources

Millennials: Rethink credit vs. debit

Consumer
NEW YORK (9/16/14)--There is a generational divide when it comes to shopping: A CreditCards.com survey indicates that boomers and millennials both choose plastic, but for the older cohort the word is "credit" and for the younger, it is "debit" (MarketWatch.com Sept. 2).
 
Both systems work well but boomers might point out to their juniors that using debit to the exclusion of credit has its handicaps. Millennials prefer debit over credit by a ratio of nearly 3 to 1, according to the survey, even though debit cards offer fewer protections and rewards and don't help young people build credit.
 
Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com, suggests that psychology may be a factor in the decision; consumers may be trying to limit spending to the money they have by using a debit card, which pulls money directly from a checking account. But if a scammer gets hold of a debit card, the consumer could be liable for unauthorized charges of $500 or more. Credit card holders are only responsible for up to $50 and can report a bogus purchase as fraud.
 
"If your debit card information gets stolen, somebody can take real money out of your account that you won't be able to use to make a car payment or a doctor's bill," Schulz says. "That money may be gone for a week or two."
 
Credit Union National Association Center for Personal Finance editors point out that, by choosing "debit" and entering a personal identification number, your transaction is treated as an ATM transaction.
 
The editors advise, "Instead, when you're making retail purchases with your debit/ATM card, choose 'credit.' You'll bypass any potential fees--and the funds still come out of your share draft/checking account."
 
Another good reason: Credit transactions require a signature, which helps guard against fraud.

For related information, read "Gotta Have It? Check Impulse Spending" and "What Will EMV (Chip) Credit and Debit Cards Mean for You?" in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

Symitar reports record client growth

Products
MONETT, Mo. (9/22/14)--Core processor Symitar, a division of Jack Henry and Associates, added a record 44 credit unions to its client roster during the 2014 fiscal year, which ended June 30.
 
"We believe that each credit union that evaluated Symitar and its competitive alternatives, and ultimately selected Episys or CruiseNet, represents an important endorsement of our technology, consistent service levels, expert staff and management of client relationships," said Ted Bilke, Symitar president.
 
Five of the credit unions selecting Symitar's Episys core platform during the 2014 fiscal year have assets exceeding $1 billion, positioning Symitar as the core processor for 90 of the 218 credit unions that have assets of more than $1 billion.
 
Twenty-seven of Symitar's new credit union clients chose Episys as an outsourced environment. Nine in-house Episys clients elected to migrate to EASE, the Episys outsourced solution, and 11 in-house CruiseNet clients elected to migrate to outsourced delivery. Symitar now supports 100 Episys clients and 50 CruiseNet clients with its outsourced offerings.

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