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CU System Archive

CU System

Official Potential for CU movement to help Irelands recovery

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DUBLIN, Ireland (3/14/11)--There is huge potential for the credit union movement to help Ireland’s economic recovery, according to new Ireland Junior Minister Sean Sherlock. Sherlock was appointed Minister of State for Research and Innovation at the Department of Enterprise, Jobs & Innovation and the Department of Education and Skills Thursday (The Irish Examiner March 11). There is significant promise for a link between community enterprise boards and credit unions to get businesses up and running, he said. A new commission will look at the future of the credit union movement, in which credit unions hope to get money flowing back into communities, Sherlock told the newspaper. The credit union movement has major potential, he added. Research and development initiated at University College Cork and the Tyndall Institute should be expanded nationwide, he added. His role is to make sure the work of UCC and Tyndall can be replicated nationwide, and also to commercialize the research, Sherlock told the paper. Credit unions ought to be examining how to change the research and development tax credit to make things more accessible to smaller businesses, he added. If credit unions can commercialize research, then they will be be helping innovation, Sherlock concluded.

IAPI IFoxI highlight CU concerns on interchange

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MADISON, Wis. (3/14/11)--Credit unions’ efforts to maintain current debit card interchange fees and Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Chief Economist Bill Hampel’s thoughts on why the Federal Reserve shouldn’t cut them were highlighted in separate media reports last week. An Associated Press account of the grassroots lobbying efforts of financial institutions versus merchants referenced the 4,000 attendees of CUNA’s annual Governmental Affairs Conference were in Washington, D.C., earlier this month and how interchange was at the top of their agenda during Capitol Hill visits. AP talked to one “foot soldier” in the battle with merchants over interchange fees--Charles Garlock, president of Rock Valley FCU in Loves Park, Ill.--who said that his credit union would lose roughly one-third of its annual income, about $150,000 to $175,000 annually, if the Federal Reserve’s proposed cuts in interchange fees go through. “The little guys will be hit the worst,” Garlock said during his lobbying visit earlier this month. “I can’t sustain it.” In a separate TV segment and related story about interchange, Fox Business Network also noted last week’s Washington fly-in by roughly 100 retailers urging Congress to roll back interchange rates. Fox turned to CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel for the countervailing view. Hampel stressed how the new interchange law and proposed rules from the Federal Reserve would end up hurting consumers. “If financial institutions have to cover all of the costs or virtually all of the costs of debit, they will have to make it up somewhere,” he explained. “And the most likely way to make that up is through increased fees on the consumers who use the debit cards. So that could be things like a monthly fee to have access to a debit card or a per-transaction fee.” Because of new direct charges, many consumers could quit using debit cards, harming retailers themselves, Hampel added. CUNA is concerned that while the law requires the Fed to set a debit card interchange fee that is “reasonable and proportionate,” neither the law nor the Fed plan does not consider all costs associated with providing the service. To read the articles, use the links:

NACUSO opens nominations for 2011 innovation award

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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (3/14/11)--The National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations (NACUSO) announced Thursday that nominations for the 2011 CUSO Collaboration and Innovation Award are now being accepted from NACUSO members. The formal announcement and presentation of the award will take place April 27, during the Annual Conference & Collaboration Connection, which will be held at the Encore Las Vegas Resort. Nominations must be submitted by the close of business April 1. NACUSO will acknowledge all credit union service organizations(CUSOs) that submit applications during the annual conference. “CUSOs are examples of how collaboration can leverage the credit union system’s resources to enhance member value,” said Jay Johnson, executive vice president, Callahan & Associates and chairman of the 2011 Award Committee. “NACUSO would like to recognize the CUSO that best exhibits excellence in utilizing collaboration and innovation to serve the financial and other needs of their membership. “NACUSO is committed to supporting the collaborative model for the benefit of our industry and credit union members,” he added. “The NACUSO Collaboration and Innovation Award is a reflection of this strategic vision for the future.” The 2011 CUSO Collaboration and Innovation Award will be judged using these criteria. The nomination:
* Provides a clear description of how the organization and the collaborative model have brought value to the industry, its owners, and credit union members; * Illustrates how the organization exemplifies thought leadership and critical thinking; * Describes the value created by the organization through use of collaboration/innovation in organizational design; * Explains methods of implementation and execution; and * Includes correlating results, outcomes and performance.
“These criteria were selected to recognize those individuals and organizations that are making a significant difference and contribution to our industry,” said Jack Antonini, NACUSO president/CEO. “While the credit union industry faces diverse challenges, there are many people who are engaging in the critical, creative thinking necessary to find solutions to these issues. We want to recognize and celebrate those CUSOs that demonstrate an exemplary ability to create and implement solutions. Moving forward, innovative collaborative efforts and implementation of the collaborative solutions will serve credit unions and their members well.” Self-nominations will be accepted. Winners of any NACUSO award from 2008-2010 are ineligible. The judging panel for this year’s award will include five leaders from the credit union industry and cooperative business sector who have demonstrated experience in innovation and collaboration. Nominations may be sent by mail to NACUSO, 3419 Via Lido, PMB #135, Newport Beach, CA 92663, or e-mail Shwana@nacuso.org. The nomination form and award rules may be found with the details of the 2011 NACUSO Annual Conference; use the link. Additional queries may also be directed to Shawna by phone: 888-462-2870.

SECU honored with U.S. Department of Defense award

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Raleigh, N.C. (3/14/11)-- The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) presented State Employees’ CU (SECU) with the Pro Patria Award--the highest state-level honor given to a civilian employer by ESGR on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense--during a recent ceremony in Greensboro, N.C.
State Employees’ CU, Raleigh, N.C., was recently honored by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve with the Pro Patria Award, the highest state-level honor given to a civilian employer by ESGR on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense. On hand to accept the award was, from left, SECU nominator Jamie Applequist, senior vice president of SECU’s Jacksonville branch and master sergeant with the Air Force Reserves, and Mark Twisdale, SECU’s senior vice president of human resources. (Photo provided by State Employees’ CU)
The ESGR committee gives the award annually to an employer in its state or territory that has provided the most exceptional support of U.S. national defense through leadership practices and personnel policies supporting its employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. On hand to accept the award was Mark Twisdale, SECU’s senior vice president of human resources and SECU nominator Jamie Applequist, senior vice president of SECU’s Jacksonville branch and master Sergeant with the Air Force Reserves. SECU is a strong supporter its National Guard employee-reservists, and the organization has been recognized throughout the years for its efforts. In 2005, the credit union received ESGR’s Five-Star Recognition for its support of guardsmen and reservists. In 2009, SECU was the recipient of ESGR’s State Chairman’s Above and Beyond Award, which is given to employers who have exceeded legal requirements for providing support to service members who serve in the Guard and Reserve. In 2010, nearly 300 managers of SECU’s branches and operations departments participated in the nation’s largest-ever statement of support signing for the ESGR program, displaying the credit union’s continuing commitment to its employees serving in the military. “SECU is dedicated to making sure our deployed SECU personnel have the strong support they need from this organization as they sacrifice to serve our Country,” said Twisdale. “We absolutely do not want these men and women worrying about job related aspects, and we want them to know how much we appreciate their efforts at home and abroad. This support comes in many forms including providing differential pay, keeping employee benefits active, sending care packages, and helping with family members at home. Still, what we do as an organization pales in comparison to what these soldiers do for all of us.” “During my career with SECU, I have been deployed three times,” Applequist added. “Throughout each and every transition, I have felt nothing but tremendous support at every level within the organization. The credit union truly recognizes the importance of military service and has gone above and beyond to assist all of us who serve dual roles as SECU and military personnel.”

CU branch opening inspires ad campaign

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ORRVILLE, Ohio (3/11/11)--CEO Chris Blough saw the opening of a new branch of Wayne County Community FCU as an opportunity to create a new personality for the credit union. Rather than competing as “the best rate in town,” the credit union decided to take a relaxed, low-complexity, high-comfort approach for its next advertising campaign. Aiming for 25- to 45-year-olds, Wayne County Community FCU is simplifying its products and clarifying its message to convey that it doesn’t have everything, but it does have what consumers need (Ohio Credit Union League eLumination March 9). The new campaign uses billboards and print ads featuring a pair of well-worn, red Converse All-Star high tops with the tag, “Some things never go out of style. We’ve been putting PEOPLE before profit since 1966.” Blough has been wearing a pair of red All-Stars to community events for several years, and is buying a pair for every board member and employee for the opening of the new branch. The mayor of Orrville and the president of the Orrville Area Chamber of Commerce will also receive shoes for the event. With today’s hectic lifestyle, Wayne County Community FCU wants “to be the one piece of the puzzle that actually fits the way it should ... the way people HOPE it would ... like a favorite pair of sneakers,” said Blough. “They might not be the fanciest thing in your closet, but they never let you down … and rarely give you blisters.”

Lots of activity on the board fin. lit front at Leagues CUNA

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MADISON, Wis. (3/14/11)--With the National Credit Union Administration’s recently imposed financial literacy requirements for credit union board members, several educational initiatives are under way nationwide. In Pennsylvania, 40 volunteers from 13 credit unions on Tuesday attended the first in a series of Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA)-sponsored Director Financial Literacy Workshops at PCUA headquarters in Harrisburg (Pennsylvania Credit Union League Life is a Highway March 9). NCUA Economic Development Specialist Vanessa Lowe led participants through a discussion on key provisions of the new regulation and guided them through a financial-trends exercise referencing four key ratios and the importance of each. The meeting concluded with an explanation of the seven market and institutional risks that directors should know. Participants received a certificate of attendance at the conclusion of the meeting. Because the NCUA is offering a free credit union workshop May 21 in Houston, the Texas Credit Union League has canceled its Basic and Advanced Volunteers Workshop that was slated for April 2 in Houston (Texas Credit Union League Lone Star Leaguer March 9). TCUL is offering several training opportunities designed to meet the new NCUA requirements in the coming months. At TCUL’s Annual Meeting & Expo April 26-28, the league will offer a tailored education track for credit union volunteers. One of the sessions available in this track is “ALM Basics of Balance Sheets.” Topics covered include financial statements, balance sheets and income statements; market versus non-market income and expense; the buy and sell process; and primary ratios. “Credit Union Governance: How Do Directors Face the New Reality ” will examine the basics of board service with an emphasis on recent regulatory changes, understanding fiduciary responsibility, governance concepts and how to best manage them. In addition to TCUL’s Annual Meeting & Expo, credit union volunteers can order previously recorded TCUL webinars, which include:
* Required Financial Literacy Training for Directors Under NCUA Guidelines: What Regulators Want & What Directors Should Know.” Presented by Tim Harrington, this webinar explains balance sheets and income statements. Harrington also addresses important ratios that should be monitored during the course of the year. After viewing this recording, credit union volunteers will gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between profit and capital, and why both are important. * Required Financial Literacy Training for Directors Under NCUA Guidelines: Ratios, Concentrations, Investment Valuations and More. Also presented by Harrington, this previously webinar will help directors understand key ratios and their origination and meaning.
Also, at TCUL’s Volunteers’ Forum June 4-5, instructors including Debbie Rightmire, Howard Bufe, Chad Stanislav and Steve Gibbs will present the six courses found in CUNA Board Financial Literacy Certificate program:
* V02--Financial Reports for Volunteers; * V03--Managing Risk for Volunteers; * V409--Financial Management; * V415--Asset-Liability Management for Directors; * V305--The Basics of Risk Assessment for Volunteers; and * V428--Understanding Audit Reports.
Volunteers who take advantage of these sessions at TCUL’s Volunteers’ Forum will have the opportunity to test online at a later date, and earn their certification. The CUNA Board Financial Literacy Certificate Kit includes all six of the CUNA Board Financial Literacy Certificate modules and exams. By successfully passing the exams for each module, participants earn the CUNA Board Financial Literacy Certificate.