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CUNA celebrates first year of 'Unite for Good'

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WASHINGTON (2/25/14)--It's the first anniversary of the "Unite for Good" campaign, CUNA's shared strategic vision in which Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner, marked by the Credit Union National Association 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference.
 
CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney introduced "Unite for Good" during the 2013 CUNA GAC, when he described a vision rooted in credit unions' shared values, including collaboration, a focus on members, community involvement, and a dedication to financial well-being.
 
Since the launch of the "Unite for Good" campaign last year, credit unions have told hundreds of stories of building homes, collecting food and clothing, helping communities recover after natural disasters, and providing financial guidance during sequestration and government shutdowns.
 
During the opening general session of the 2014 CUNA GAC, outgoing CUNA Chairman Pat Wesenberg, president/CEO of Central City CU, Marshfield, Wis., highlighted examples of credit unions serving their communities.
 
"Service to our communities removes barriers by opening doors to a better understanding of what credit unions are all about," Wesenberg said. "It creates awareness through interaction with members and non-members."
 
During the GAC, CUNA is showcasing the progress of "Unite for Good." Stories from nearly 100 credit unions will be on display throughout the convention center. CUNA will also post "Unite for Good" visual storyboards and banners throughout the conference where advocates can take pictures and then explain how their credit union is taking action on the campaign.

In the GAC exhibit hall, CUNA is distributing "Unite for Good" materials and an updated "Unite for Good" action checklist.
 
Advocates can also post messages to social media using the #UniteforGood hashtag.

CommunityAmerica's Pierce is new CUNA board chair

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WASHINGTON (2/25/14)--Dennis Pierce, president/CEO of CommunityAmerica CU, Kansas, Mo., was elected Monday as chairman of the Credit Union National Association Board of Directors, during a board meeting at the 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.
 
Pierce succeeds outgoing board Chair Pat Wesenberg, president/CEO of Central City CU in Marshfield, Wis.
 
Other board officers elected Monday are:
  • Vice chair: Susan Streifel, president/CEO, Woodstone CU, Federal Way, Wash.;
  • Secretary: Rod Staatz, president/CEO, SECU of Maryland, Linthicum, Md.;
  • Treasurer: Patrick Jury, president/CEO, Iowa Credit Union League, Des Moines, Iowa; and
  • At-large member: Maurice Smith, president/CEO, Local Government FCU, Raleigh, N.C.
New and re-elected board members, including those elected by acclamation, include:
  • Dallas Bergl, president, INOVA FCU, Elkhart, Ind.;
  • Tony Budet, president, University FCU, Austin, Texas;
  • Geraldine Burek, president/CEO, South Division CU, Evergreen Park, Ill.;
  • William Mellin, president, Credit Union Association of New York, Albany, N.Y.;
  • Rick Pillow, president, Virginia Credit Union League, Lynchburg, Va.;
  • Smith;
  • Edwin Williams, president, Discovery FCU, Wyomissing, Pa.; and
  • Jeff York, president, CoastHills FCU, Lompoc, Calif.

Telco Community CU member wins $30K from 'Save to Win'

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RALEIGH and ASHEVILLE, N.C. (2/25/14)--North Carolina's inaugural year of participation in the "Save to Win" program resulted in nearly $2.5 million deposited in 1,908 savings accounts and $30,000 to a member of Telco Community CU.
 
"Seeing these positive results in North Carolina is reward enough for those of us who want the best for members and consumers," said Carolinas Credit Union League CEO John Radebaugh. "Seeing firsthand the grand prize go to a fellow North Carolinian is added proof that 'Save to Win' has been worth the effort for everyone involved."
 
 According to the Carolinas Credit Union League, Cindi Campbell, a member of $109 million-asset Telco Community CU in Asheville, was the winner of the grand prize drawing of $30,000.
 
The prize-linked savings program encourages members to save by offering cash prizes to randomly drawn members who earn an entry with each $25 deposit. The average balance per account was $1,246.
 
In North Carolina, 52% of participants had not saved regularly prior to joining the program. Fifty-four percent reported household income of less than $40,000, and 17% of participants earn less than $20,000.
 
More than the prizes, the value of the program is all deposits made by the member are owned by the member.
 
"Save to Win" started on its path to reality in North Carolina in 2011 when credit unions worked together to support the introduction and passage of state legislation to allow "savings promotion raffles." In 2013, North Carolina then joined Michigan, the progenitor of the program, Nebraska and Washington in offering "Save to Win."

Coopera white paper: 5 misconceptions CUs have about Hispanics

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DES MOINES, Iowa (2/25/14)--Misconceptions about the Hispanic market may be hindering credit unions' ability to better serve this growing demographic, according to a new white paper from Coopera.
 
Written by CEO Miriam De Dios, the paper outlines five common misconceptions--ones that hamper progress for Hispanics and the businesses that want to serve them.
 
Myth No. 1: All Hispanics are undocumented. Nearly three in four of the country's more than 52 million Hispanics are U.S. citizens. As of 2009, more than 62% of Hispanics were born in the U.S., and another 11% are naturalized citizens. Many second-generation Hispanics consider themselves "typical Americans" but have a strong preference for identifying with their family's country of origin. "This underscores the need for credit unions to acknowledge a prospective member's culture," De Dios wrote.
 
About nine million of the 11 million undocumented workers are Hispanic, and De Dios noted that credit unions are in an ideal position to make the dream of citizenship a reality. "The industry may soon have an even greater opportunity to develop financial relationships with these goal-oriented immigrant consumers, which include immigrants from all parts of the world," she wrote.
 
Myth No. 2: Hispanic foreign nationals cannot be credit union members. The matricula consular, passports and Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers can be used as alternate forms of identity. With these tools, credit unions can maintain compliance with the Patriot Act and build relationships.
 
Myth No. 3: A massive Spanish translation effort could take years. Credit unions mistakenly believe that they will have to translate every document, form and disclosure into Spanish. "Spanish-language materials (or better yet bilingual materials) will only be required for those products and services deemed essential to the strategic Hispanic member growth plan," De Dios wrote.  Credit unions shouldn't take the easy way out and only target English-speaking Hispanics, she advised.
 
Myth No. 4: Only second-generation Hispanics are open to a traditional banking relationship. Targeting the next generation is attractive. They likely have higher incomes, higher education and higher trust in financial institutions. However, the interdependence between generations cannot be denied. "High-value young Hispanics will come through the credit union door much more readily if their parents have already passed through it," De Dios said. Conversely, some youth are the English-speaking "advocates" for their parents or elders when forms need to be signed.
 
Myth No. 5: Hispanics only want transaction-based products. Coopera's experience with its clients found that product penetration was increasing faster among Hispanic members compared with non-Hispanic members. At 5.5%, the median growth rate for checking penetration was more than three times the median growth rate of 1.7% for non-Hispanics. Loan penetration was 4% compared with 3.4% of the non-Hispanic segment. The services per member median growth rate also increased 1.5% compared with 0.8% of the non-Hispanic market.
 
Attendees at Credit Union National Association's 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C., this week can pick up a copy of the white paper at Coopera's booth--329--in the exhibit hall.

CUs raise $10M for CU4Kids, CMN Hospitals in '13

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WASHINGTON (2/25/14)--Credit unions raised $10 million for Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals through the Credit Unions for Kids program in 2013.
 
Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney and Joe Dearborn, senior director for CMN Hospitals, shared the stage during the announcement Monday at CUNA's 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.
 
"The partnership between America's credit unions and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals has truly been an amazing journey," Dearborn said. "Since 1996, when the Credit Unions for Kids program was introduced nationally, the credit union community has teamed up to raise a remarkable $120 million."
 
Dearborn noted that local credit unions and their support have left a legacy of new facilities, equipment and life-saving research at the 163 CMN Hospitals across the U.S.
 
"The Children's Miracle Network Hospitals do extraordinary work, and we could not be more proud to support what they do," Cheney said, adding, "My thanks to leagues, credit unions and all of those in the credit union community who are uniting for good to make a huge difference in the lives of sick children."
 
Under the umbrella of Credit Unions for Kids, the credit union movement is the third-largest corporate contributor to CMN Hospitals, behind only Wal-Mart and Costco.

Nev. CU loans positive for 1st time since '07

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LAS VEGAS (2/25/14)--An upswing in credit union loans in Nevada caught the attention of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which noted that the fourth quarter of 2013 was the first time loans had been in the plus column since 2007.
 
The 0.6% increase in the fourth quarter was driven by "mid-level consumer purchases, mostly used auto, unsecured personal loans and credit cards," said Dwight Johnston, vice president/chief economist of the California and Nevada Credit Union League. The Review-Journal cited numbers from the league in its Feb. 21 report.
 
Used auto loans finished the year with a 13.6% increase according to preliminary fourth-quarter numbers from the league. Unsecured personal loans and credit cards also ended 2013 with increases of 5.4% and 4.8%, respectively.
 
"These three categories provided strong enough growth to push the overall loan growth into positive territory in the fourth quarter," Johnston said. "After lagging the recovery in the rest of the U.S., Nevada began what appears to be a sustainable rebound in jobs and construction in the second half of 2013."
 
Nevada credit unions also experienced a boost in savings, with 0.5% increase in the fourth quarter and 3.2% for the year overall.
 
Regular savings account balances increased by 9% at year-end 2013. Checking account balances ticked upward at 0.9% year over year, and money market balances came in with 2% year-over-year growth.