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Federation offers Community Reinvestment seminar

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NEW YORK (11/11/09)--A seminar next month will address topics related to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) initiatives to collect data on credit union outreach and service to underserved communities. The seminar will be in Alexandria, Va., on Dec. 3, and sponsored by National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. "Our goal is to help credit unions stay ahead of the curve," said federation President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal. "Legislation to extend CRA beyond banks to other financial institutions, including credit unions, has more than 50 co-sponsors and will be debated in Congress in 2010," he said. "NCUA is also nearing completion of a year-long data collection initiative, so while the financial crisis has pushed these issues into the background in 2009, we think that will begin to change next year, and we want credit unions prepared with the facts." The federation opposes mandatory CRA for credit unions in favor of voluntary initiatives such as its Community Development Partners Program. The seminar will include best practices of credit unions, and a debate about CRA, featuring John Taylor, president, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and CRA critic Prof. Lawrence White of New York University, and moderated by Credit Union Times Editor-in-Chief Sarah Snell Cooke. Seminar topics include CRA 101; NCUA's data gathering efforts on serving the underserved; demographic and economic data on credit union services analyzed by economists at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU); federation tools to help assess and expand service to the underserved; and new certification standards to enhance the credit union brand and position in the mortgage marketplace. Other speakers include Bill Zavarello, staff to the House Financial Services Committee; Frank Pollack of Pentagon FCU; Jim Blake of HarborOne CU; Ed Jacob of North Side Community FCU, CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel, NAFCU Chief Economist Tun Wai; Timothy Burniston of the Federal Reserve Board; Gary Kohn of NCUA; and David Cotney of the Massachusetts Division of Banks. For more information, use the link.

CUDL Yamaha team up to offer financing tool

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CYPRESS, Calif. (11/11/09)--Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., has teamed up with CUDL, a point-of-purchase and indirect auto-lending network for credit unions, to make it easier for Yamaha dealers and consumers to secure retail financing on Yamaha powersports products. The refinance tool initially will be offered to Yamaha dealerships in Arizona, California, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont and Washington, with more states to be added shortly, said a joint press release. The partnership means CUDL credit unions can expand their presence in the recreational vehicle market and provides members with a resource that will help drive member financing and loan portfolio growth. Products in the new program include Yamaha motorcycles, all terrain vehicles, side-by-side vehicles, snowmobiles, personal water craft and jet-powered boats. The partnership "will provide our dealer partners with another retail finance option for their customers, particularly the millions of credit union members already in the CUDL network," said Ian Harper, Yamaha's general manager of financial services. CUDL will offer its services to dealers at a reduced rate, Harper said. "This gives our customers more purchasing options along with the ease and convenience of accessing credit union financing directly at their local Yamaha dealership," he said. CUDL partners with more than 700 credit unions that serve nearly 20 million members nationwide. Many CUDL credit unions already offer powersports financing. Jerry Neeman, CUDL executive vice president and chief sales officer, noted the partnership provides an opportunity for dealers and credit unions to "grow their bottom lines" and for credit unions to "capture member loan activity."

CUAnswers Firethorn to deliver mobile banking services

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (11/11/09)--CU*Answers will offer Firethorn’s Mobile Banking application and SMS service for its 165 credit unions starting in second quarter 2010. Participating credit union members can check their balances, pay bills, transfer funds and receive offers from their mobile phones. The solution also allows members to receive account alerts or provider messages, and initiate requests for transaction history or balance information. Firethorn offers a mobile commerce platform with banking, payments and commerce solutions for mobile services. CU*Answers is a credit union service organization based in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Equifax introduces account management solutions

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ATLANTA (11/11/09)--Equifax announced the launch of a new solution, InterConnect for Account Management, to help financial institutions drive increased return on investment from portfolio reviews. The product is part of Equifax’s Technology and Analytical solutions. InterConnect allows financial institutions, including credit unions, to automate their account segmentation and risk decisions for credit line adjustments and cross-sell offers. The goal is for institutions to identify individuals most likely to accept product and service offers, resulting in increased cross-sell acceptance rates and improved customer retention. InterConnect provides a consolidated view of individuals within a portfolio and segments them based on behavioral and transactional data. The solution also automates account-level decisions for:
* Credit-line assignments; * Exception handling and compliance reporting; * Implementation of new risk policies; and * Cross-sell and product optimization.
Equifax is based in Atlanta.