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CU System Archive

CU System

Pa. CU activates disaster plan after truck crashes into branch

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LEBANON, Pa. (12/16/08)--The Lebanon (Pa.) FCU branch activated its disaster plan after a pick-up truck crashed into it early Sunday morning, knocking a hole into a wall and damaging computers and the communications system. Police say a 24-year-old driver lost control of his Chevy Silverado about 12:45 a.m. The vehicle left the roadway and crossed both concrete islands at the drive-thru window before crashing into the southeast side of the building (Life is a Highway Dec. 15). No one was inside the building at the time of the accident. When police arrived on the scene, they found the driver and vehicle inside the credit union lobby. The driver was taken to the hospital, where a routine blood alcohol test was performed. Charges are pending the results of that test, police said. Glenn Rambler, Lebanon executive vice president, said the branch was closed Monday for repairs, although the credit union should be open in some capacity today. The $130 million asset credit union’s ATM is operating. Extra staff will be at two other branch locations in Myerstown and South Lebanon Township. The credit union activated its disaster plan and posted a notice on its website to alert members to the situation and encouraged them to use services at other locations.

Cross-dressing CU robber headed to prison

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (12/16/08)--A U.S. district court judge Friday sentenced a cross-dressing credit union robber to four years and three months in prison. Jimmy Lewis II, was convicted in August of robbing an Alabama CU branch in Decatur last November. Lewis wore women’s clothing and carried a purse when he took $9,600 from the credit union, prosecutors said (Associated Press Dec. 12). The credit union’s surveillance video and employees helped identify Lewis, who was arrested in January after returning on an international flight to the U.S. Alabama CU, based in Tuscaloosa, has $287 million in assets.

Texas CUs continue growth in third quarter

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FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (12/16/08)--Texas credit unions’ median assets grew by $1.1 million, or 9.2%, in the first nine months this year to $14.5 million from $13.4 million at the end of 2007, according to the soon-to-be released Texas Profile, Third Quarter Report. Today, combined assets in Texas credit unions are $56.6 billion, said the Texas Credit Union League. Since the year began, total loans by Texas credit unions have increased 7.7% to $38.3 billion (LoneStar Leaguer Dec. 10). Savings also have increased by 9% to-date to $47.5 billion. Membership has grown by 2.6% to 7.2 million owners this year. The strongest growth areas over previous years have been in used-car lending. New-car lending is still the largest portion of the credit unions’ portfolios, followed by used cars and first mortgages. Member business lending remains about 4% of the portfolio. On the savings side, growth has been experienced in money market shares, expanding by more than 17% in 2008. Also, regular shares have turned around a three-year decline cycle, growing 4.3% since 2007.

Average daily check image volume reaches all-time high

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NEW YORK (12/16/08)--The SVPCO Image Payments Network averaged a record 27.3 million daily check images in November, up 9.5% from October 2008, The Clearing House Payment Company reported last week. The U.S. Clearing House operates payment systems infrastructure and facilitates forums for the U.S. financial services industry. The Clearing House also reported the following network highlights for November 2008 (PR Newswire Dec. 8):
* Average daily volume of 27.3 million items, an increase of 70.3% compared with a year ago; * 492.3 million check images, an increase of 53.2% compared with a year ago; * $704.2 billion in dollar value, an increase of 39.4% compared with a year ago; and * About 18 processing days in November, compared with 22 in October.
In November 2007, monthly items totaled 321.2 million and monthly dollar volume was $505.3 billion. “November daily check image volume increased strongly as more banks connected to the SVPCO Image Payments Network and existing participants increased their total image exchange volume,” said Susan Long, senior vice president of The Clearing House, responsible for SVPCO. “Across the country, banks and credit unions are accelerating their plans to move from paper checks to check images to realize significant cost savings,” she added. “With check prices rising, now is the time to implement an image exchange strategy. Through November, 40 participants were connected to the SVPCO Image Payments Network. Through its connections with the Federal Reserve and Endpoint Exchange, the Image Payments Network can reach more than 10,000 endpoints and help financial institutions of all sizes use image exchange.

Nevada CUs feeling strains but ready to ride out economic storm

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LAS VEGAS (12/16/08)--Although two Nevada banks failed this year, no Nevada credit unions have failed or merged because of financial problems, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Delinquencies at Nevada credit unions were 1.5%--a number that banks and other financial institutions “would kill for,” Daniel Penrod, industry analyst for the California and Nevada Credit Union League, told the newspaper Friday. Nevada credit unions are feeling some economic strains, but Cumorah CU, Las Vegas, has put some money aside for a “rainy day” and is ready to ride out the storm, Tony Mook, Cumorah CU CEO told the newspaper. The credit union looks at the economic troubles as a time to “hunker down,” he added. The $14.9-million-asset Cumorah has experienced some losses due to loan delinquencies, but Mook said he hopes to reduce the credit union’s delinquency rate by the end of the year. Clark County CU, Las Vegas; Boulder Dam CU, Boulder City; and several other small credit unions received four of five stars for safety and soundness at Bankrate.com, the newspaper said.

CUNA adds new courses to CPDOnline

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MADISON, Wis. (12/16/08)--Several new self-study courses to help credit union staff understand the basics of personal finance were recently added to the Credit Union National Association’s Web-based training service, CPDOnline. The online interactive courses--available in English and Spanish--are designed to help staff become more knowledgeable decision makers with their own finances. The newest topics available include:
* New Car Buying--offers strategies for finding and buying a new car at a reasonable price. The course helps users research dealer costs, calculate payments for various prices and rates, and negotiate with dealers; * Home Buying--covers home buying basics to help users hone skills and make the best home choice. Explains how to make and use checklists, identify home-feature priorities, interview lenders, understand mortgage terminology and options, and calculate and decide on loan rates and terms; * Credit Management--teaches how to get in good financial shape by finding ways to reduce debt. The course details how to record expenditures, identify unnecessary costs, list and rank goals, improve credit rating, identify net worth and resources for credit counseling; * Checking Accounts--provides tips for protecting checks from fraud and keeping track of accounts. Allows users to identify checking demands and compare accounts, balance a checkbook, and benefit from electronic transactions; and * Identity Theft--reveals the warning signs of identity theft and how to become more aware of computer safety practices, e-mail precautions and online shopping safety.
Earlier this year, staff personal finance courses on used-car buying, and couples and money were added to the CPDOnline catalog. For more information, use the links.

N.J. CUs in good shape league says

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HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (12/16/08)--Although New Jersey Credit Unions are “in good shape overall,” some likely will participate in a recently announced National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) plan to offer credit union low-interest loans to stave off mortgage foreclosures and spark lending, said the New Jersey Credit Union League. Any programs that help members stay in their homes will be embraced, said Paul Gentile, league president/CEO (The Record Dec. 12). The NCUA’s CU Homeowners Affordability Relief Program (CU Harp) will allow credit unions to borrow at favorable rates from the Central Liquidity Facility, and receive a 100- basis point spread on the funds if credit unions in return modify a similar amount of at risk mortgages, the Credit Union National Association said. This would be a two-year program, dispensing up to roughly $2 billion. New Jersey credit unions are not immune to the effects of the U.S. financial crisis and recession, John Fenton, president of the $1.8 billion asset, Basking Ridge, N.J.-based Affinity CU, told the newspaper. Although the credit union’s mortgage portfolio has no problems, the credit union is beginning to see some members falling behind on mortgage payments, he added. Affinity’s philosophy is that it doesn’t want to own foreclosed homes, Fenton told the paper. However, he said he wants to learn more about the program before deciding if Affinity will participate.

Southeast Corporate announces supervisory appointments

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (12/16/08)--Southeast Corporate announced Monday the appointment of three new members to the Supervisory Committee. The new members are: William Marquardt, Jerry Maughon and Richard Simonton Sr. They will join committee chair Debbie Jones, president/CEO of UT FCU, Knoxville, Tenn., and Robert Fertitta, chief financial officer of Navigator CU, Pascagoula, Miss. Marquardt, president/CEO, City County CU, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a board member of Florida Credit Union Shared Services. He also served on the board of the Florida Credit Union League, as a director of the Broward Chapter of Credit Unions, and has been active in the Credit Union Executives Society. Maughon, president/CEO of Okaloosa County Teachers FCU, Crestview, Fla., served as president/CEO of Mutual Savings CU and Circle 10 FCU in Atlanta. He also served as president/CEO of Delchamps CU in Mobile, Ala., and served on the board of directors of the Georgia Credit Union Foundation, Georgia Credit Union Affiliates Acceptance Corp., the Alabama Credit Union League and the Alabama State Credit Union Board. Simonton is president/CEO of Insight Financial CU in Orlando, Fla. He also served as chief financial officer for Community Educators CU, Rockledge, Fla., and as a financial institution examiner for the National Credit Union Administration in Atlanta. Southeast Corporate is based in Tallahassee, Fla.