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Southwest Corporate to hold third webinar in January

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PLANO, Texas (12/22/10)--A third webinar is being scheduled in mid-January by Southwest Bridge Corporate FCU heard details of the recommended business model for the corporate's consolidation with Georgia Corporate FCU. About 270 people participated in the Dec. 15 and Dec. 16 member update webinars hosted by Southwest Bridge Corporate. In a message to member credit unions Tuesday, Southwest Bridge CEO Dianne Addington noted that a slide presentation and audio playback of the webinar are available on Southwest's website in the Member Advisory Council Update section. "If you were unable to attend, I encourage you to review the slide presentation and the audio playback of the webinar for information on all six business models presented to the Member Advisory Board Council," Addington told members in her message, which was posted Tuesday on Southwest's website. The council approved its executive committee's recommendation on the consolidation model, and is presenting that recommendation to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for approval. The mid-January webinar will review the business model and answer questions, said Addington's statement. "Members will have sufficient time to get questions answered and to provide additional feedback regarding the business model and the recapitalization process projected to occur in the first half of 2011," said Addington's statement. She noted that resources are also being developed to help credit unions present the information to their boards of directors. NCUA approval of the consolidation business plan is expected by early February, according to the webinar materials. The capital offering period will likely be from mid-February to June, with town hall meetings held in March and April. Signed capital subscription agreements, as well as escrow funds, are due by June 30. If approved, consolidation and funding of the perpetual contributed capital (PCC) account would occur in July 2011. For more information, use the links.

Mid-Atlantic Corporate VACORP to pursue merger

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MIDDLETOWN, Pa., and LYNCHBURG, Va. (12/22/10)--In a move that could be considered taking their existing partnership to a new level, Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU of Middletown, Pa., and VACORP FCU, of Lynchburg, Va., announced an agreement in principle to pursue a merger. The management teams of both corporates will immediately begin preparing the merger documents required to be submitted to National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for approval. Mid-Atlantic Corporate currently partners with VACORP in providing several correspondent services to members, the corporates’ release noted, and VACORP President/CEO Don Chapman said the Pennsylvania corporate has an excellent reputation as a progressive, financially sound corporate credit union. Chapman reported that the merger announcement comes after “an extensive process of analysis and due diligence by senior management and the VACORP board.” He said VACORP was looking for a plan of action that provided continuity of service for its members. “It also was important to find a solution that expands the level of quality services and innovative products that VACORP members need to succeed in today's competitive marketplace. We believe this merger will accomplish that goal.” Last August, VACORP FCU announced it had ceased processing domestic wire transfers through U.S. Central Corporate FCU, had begun processing directly through the Federal Reserve Bank, and was planning to withdraw more services. A letter to member credit unions at that time said the corporate would work with members to "transition them away from using U.S. Central's cash concentration and automated deposit transfer services" and actively pursue "alternatives to U.S. Central's securities safekeeping and international payment services.” "These actions, as well as others we will undertake in the future, will continue to ensure that VACORP and our members have viable, cost-effective alternatives to U.S. Central's products and services regardless of the final outcome of the (NCUA’s) conservatorship of U.S. Central," the letter said. The NCUA placed U.S Central into conservatorship in March 20, 2009, along with Western Corporate FCU, to conserve the credit unions’ assets and to protect the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund and the interests of the members. VACORP plans to host a series of town-hall meetings throughout Virginia in January and February, with senior management from both corporates presenting details and answering questions. There are also plans for two webcasts for credit unions unable to attend any of the scheduled meetings. Pending NCUA’s approval of the merger, it is anticipated that VACORP members will be asked to approve the merger via mail ballot in March 2011.

CU System briefs (12/21/2010)

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* INDIANAPOLIS and WASHINGTON (12/22/10)--Counterfeit cashier's checks bearing the name of FORUM CU, Indianapolis, are in circulation, the credit union told the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). The items display FORUM CU's routing number but are dissimilar to authentic cashier's checks. The credit union does not issue cashier's checks; however, it does issue bank checks. Authentic checks are blue and gray, display the phrase "VOID AFTER 180 DAYS" in the top right corner and have on the reverse side a watermark displaying the credit union's name and the words "original document." The fake checks have a security feature statement embedded with a darkened top border, with two padlock icons along the bottom border. They also display the words "CASHIER'S CHECK" in the top center, with the word "REMITTER" written in the lower left corner and the phrase "VOID AFTER 90 DAYS" in the top-right corner … * BOSTON (12/22/10)--A man suspected of being a serial bank robber and clad in a mask, hoodie and baseball cap was tackled by police officers and arrested as he walked up to a bank in Cambridge, Mass., Monday (The Boston Globe Dec. 21). The officers had Paul Gowell, 53, of Wakefield under surveillance for several days and had followed him as he circled Cambridge Trust Bank several times. When he donned a mask, "we shock and awed him," police told the publication.,He has been charged with attempted bank robbery in that incident and has been charged in the robbery of Harvard University Employee CU on Oct. 30 and another bank on Dec. 3. Police said he confessed to robbing five financial institutions over the past several months … * MILWAUKEE, Wis. (12/22/10)--Christine Moczynski has been named president/CEO of Prime Financial CU, Milwaukee, which was seized by regulators in 2009 (Journal-Sentinal Online Dec. 20). Moczynski, who has served as interim CEO since August, has been with the credit union since 1995. She was the credit union’s chief financial officer prior to being named interim CEO. On Feb. 27, 2009, Prime Financial was taken over by regulators because of a “management structure issue.” The credit union was turned over to its members in May … * INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (12/22/10)--Gary Irvin, president/CEO of FORUM CU, announced his retirement, effective Dec. 31. Irvin cited the health of his elderly father and the arrival of another grandchild as factors contributing to his decision. “I feel the time is right both personally and for the credit union for me to make this decision,” he said. “FORUM has a solid foundation for the future and capable leadership within the board and senior executive team.” …

Moyer named Pennsylvania banking secretary

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (12/22/10)--Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Tom Corbett Tuesday announced the nomination of banker Glenn Moyer as the state's banking secretary. Moyer, 59, has spent nearly his entire career in the banking industry, most recently as president/CEO of National Penn Bancshares Inc. He currently serves as a senior adviser to the bank's CEO and as a director with the Pennsylvania Banking Association. "We look forward to working with a new banking secretary and sharing information on issues of importance to Pennsylvania credit unions," said Jim McCormack, president/CEO of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) (Life is a Highway Dec. 21).

Corporate Central ahead of NCUAs capital measures

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MUSKEGO, Wis. (12/22/10)--Corporate Central CU says it is "well ahead of all capital measures contained in the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) corporate credit union regulations," thanks to member contributions and growing retained earnings. The corporate's member credit unions have contributed more than $60 million to perpetual contributed capital (PCC) since it started capital-building efforts in July 2009. Also, the corporate secured more than 170 new service commitments this year and welcomed 40 new full members, which brought a capital commitment and many, if not all, of their services, the corporate said Tuesday in a press release.
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Corporate Central's current capital measurements and base case Net Economic Value (NEV) ratio, compared with NCUA's regulatory minimums are shown in the table. The corporate encouraged credit unions to perform due diligence and evaluate corporate relationships based not only on the capital measurements but also on its business model. The corporate's statement said it distinguishes itself by standing by the business model it always has had in place and which adheres to the basic principles of business: discipline of trust, discipline of integrity and discipline of stewardship. It noted its business model:
* Uses the "SLY" principle--safety, liquidity and yield, in that order--in investing; * Believes the corporate's core responsibility to be sound stewardship of members' entrusted relationship with it; * Recognizes and concentrates entirely on the primary financial institution (PFI) relationship with members, which drive long-term success; * Partners with "best in class" providers for variety of products and services, maintains expense control and allows capacity to take on a significant number of members and services, thus continuing to drive the value and volume to benefit all members. * Requires new members to invest in a non-perpetual contributed capital (NCA) account, with a future requirement to exchange part or all of the initial NCA investment to PCC to ensure health, manageable and responsible growth.
"As we near the end of yet another challenging year for our industry, it is important to note that while corporate credit unions have been lumped together and cast under a collective negative spotlight, your Corporate Central CU has had a successful year and is well-positioned for the future because of your support," President/CEO Robert W. Fouch said in a communication to members.

CUs 3Q credit card portfolios grow

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PORTLAND, Ore.--(12/22/10)--Outstanding credit card balances at credit unions grew at an annual rate of 4.4% in the third quarter, compared to a 7.9 % rate for the same period last year, according to Assets Exchange, a credit union credit card portfolio advisory and brokerage firm. Other findings from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) call report data provided by Highline Financial:
* The 4.4% third-quarter growth rate brought outstanding credit card balances at credit unions to $35.2 billion; * Total assets grew at an annual rate of 4.6% between September 2009 and September 2010; * Card accounts grew at a 1.76% annual rate over the same period to 13.1 million; * Cards as a percentage of total assets held steady at 4.4% in the third quarter of 2010, reflecting no change from the third quarter of 2009; * Credit card penetration continues to trend near 17%; and * Among credit unions with card portfolios larger than $1 million, two card portfolios were sold with a combined balance of approximately $12 million.

N.Y. foundations receives 20751 fin. lit grant

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ALBANY, N.Y. (12/22/10)--The New York Credit Union Foundation (NYCUF) was awarded a $20,751 financial education grant from the National Credit Union Foundation to further develop phase two of its Money & Me program. Created by NYCUF and delivered by credit unions in their communities, Money & Me is a financial education program for teens. NYCUF is one of 15 recipients nationwide to receive the financial education-related grant for 2011. Credit unions across New York state offer free Money & Me workshops throughout the year--typically during summer, winter and spring breaks. Using curriculum and interactive, hands-on activities, credit union staff and local educators teach teens essential financial skills--budgeting, saving, maintaining a checking account, managing credit and planning for the future.

Food clothing needs met by CUs

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MADISON, Wis. (12/22/10)--The holidays are often associated with good food, comfort and sharing. Credit unions nationwide are making special efforts to ensure that everyone in their communities is well-fed and warm during what can be a trying time for many. While the intent is similar in nearly every case, every credit union seems to come up with a unique, fun way to share the holiday spirit.
Proudly showing off new hats, mittens and scarves, these students at Madison School, Manistee, Mich., were among the beneficiaries of winter clothing collected by Filer CU. (Photo provided by the Michigan Credit Union League.)
* Employees and members of Filer CU, Manistee, Mich., participated in a drive to collect warm weather wear (Michigan Monitor Dec. 13). Hats, mittens and scarves were donated to both local schools and the Family Independence Agency. Also, members of Filer CU received a special holiday reward from the credit union: a 2% bonus on share dividends and loan interest. Filer CU paid a total of almost $50,000 to members. * In Pittsfield, Mass., Greylock FCU donated warm clothing for 75 children through Berkshire County Action Council’s (BCAC) Holiday Clothing Program. “All year long we have held celebrations of Greylock’s 75th Anniversary in our branches,” said Greylock FCU President/CEO Marilyn L. Sperling. “We thought this would be a fitting way to conclude the celebrations--by giving 75 children warm clothing for the winter.” BCAC Holiday Clothing Program is in the second year of returning to its original purpose of providing warm clothing for local children from low-income families.
Click to view larger image Marilyn Sperling, (left) president/CEO of Greylock FCU, Pittsfield, Mass., and Victoria May, assistant vice president, marketing promotions and partnerships manager, display some of the warm clothing the credit union collected to keep 75 children warm this winter. (Photo provided by Greylock FCU.)
* Blackhawk Community CU, Janesville, Wis., recently held a kids winter clothing drive for the five schools in the Delavan-Darien School District. The drive resulted in hundreds of items donated--coats, hats, mittens, gloves, snow pants, boots, and even hand-made scarves. The credit union also collected about $250 for the schools, which will be used to purchase additional clothing items needed by students, but not collected in the drive. * The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association provided the credit card machines to process all payments and paid the interchange fee for Coats for Kids telethon on Dec, 10, so that 100% of all contributions could go to the Salvation Army (Life is a Highway Dec. 13). About 400 Visa/MasterCard transactions, for a total of $43,100, were processed. The 22nd annual drive, sponsored by WGAL Channel 8, raised $301,328 for Salvation Army branches in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, York, Carlisle, and Reading. A team of association employees also participated in a one-hour shift to answer phones and take donations.
Click to view larger image Kelly Herwald, (left) branch manager of Blackhawk Community CU’s Delavan, Wis., branch presented clothing and a check to Wileman Elementary School Principal Donna Sorensen. The credit union collected for five schools in the district. (Photo provided by Blackhawk Community CU.)
* In Roy, Utah, America First CU, in partnership with JC Penney, provided shoes to 500 children. The credit union has given out shoes annually as part of its shoes for the needy Christmas promotion since 1993. To date, it has provided 52,337 pairs of shoes. American First CU gave 300 pairs of shoes to elementary school students, as well as 100 military children at Hill Air Force Base and 100 children through the Box Elder County social services. The program is funded entirely by donations from credit union members and employees. America First CU employees also volunteer their time to measure each child’s feet. * Pacific Service CU, Walnut Creek, Calif., will provide nearly 96,000 meals for individuals and families this holiday season. With the 2010 donations added to funds collected last year, Pacific Service CU has provided 220,000 holiday meals to those in need in the communities it serves. * People in need living in central Missouri will have food to eat thanks to the efforts of Conservation Employees CU, Jefferson City (The Missouri difference Dec. 10). Credit union staff joined in a food drive with the Missouri Department of Conservation to collect food for the Samaritan Center, a local food bank. The drive, which took place Dec. 6, brought in more than 4,800 items. * AA CU, Fort Worth, Texas, presented the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) with a $3,090 donation after the credit union’s week-long virtual canned food drive. Early this month, credit union employees participated in a special Dress Down Days fund-raiser, contributing $5 a day or $20 for the entire week in exchange wearing jeans and sneakers to work. The drive was part of the NTFB’s Close the Gap on Hunger in North Texas campaign. Close the Gap is the NTFB’s three-year initiative to unite the community to narrow the food gap by providing access to 50 million meals annually by 2011.

Ireland CUs reassured new bill wont effect them

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DUBLIN, Ire. (12/22/10)--Credit unions in Ireland have been reassured by Department of Finance officials that a sweeping Credit Institutions Stabilization Bill and a European Union/International Money Fund memorandum of understanding would not be used to restructure the credit union industry. The bill gives Finance Minister Brian Lenihan absolute control over financial institutions, and some provisions in the bill relate to credit unions. Officials told the Irish League of Credit Unions and other organizations that the new legislation was intended for banks and building societies--not community lenders such as credit unions, according to the Sunday Tribune (Dec. 19). However, a spokesman also said the bill and memo had to cover all the bases because the financial regulator had expressed concerns about credit unions' financial health in the past year. The league told the publication its board received a briefing from the finance department on the bill Dec. 14.