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CU System Briefs (03/15/2013)

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  • MINNEAPOLIS/ ST. PAUL (3/15/13)--Chiropractic FCU, a Farmington, Mich. based credit union, has expanded to Bloomington, Minn., with a branch located in the Minnesota Chiropractic Association, announced MCA CEO and Executive Director Debra Hurston (Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Online March12).  The credit union serves chiropractors, their employees and family members. Although it is renting space at MCA, it does not have employees in Minnesota yet but plans to open a full service branch within the next five years. Minnesota has about 2,600 chiropractors with twice as many employees. The expansion was approved by the National Credit Union Administration …
  • PEORIA, Ill. (3/15/13)--Citizens Equity First CU (CEFCU) in Peoria, Ill., is alerting its members about a possible telephone scam. CEFCU officials said they were notified by a member who received a call from a company claiming it had been hired by the $4.8 billion asset credit union to conduct security on its accounts, and asked for the member's account number.  CEFCU said no one was hired to conduct security on its accounts and urged members who receive calls from this company--which uses "security" in its name--to immediately contact the credit union  (Peoria Journal Star March 9) …
  • TULARE, Calif. (3/15/13)--Anna Belle Brown, former manager of Tucoemas FCU, Visalia, Calif., died March 7. Brown was born March 5, 1921. She started working at the credit union in 1954 as the part-time treasurer-manager while she was a full-time employee of the Tulare County Auditor's Office (The Desert Sun March 13). In 1954, she became the full-time manager, a position she held until her retirement in 1986. She was active in many credit union organizations, including the California Credit Union League's Sequoia Chapter and the Credit Union Executives Society ...

NCUA OKs Alloya/CenCorp Merger, Members Will Vote April 4

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WARRENVILLE, Ill.  (3/15/12)--The National Credit Union Administration Thursday approved the merger application between Southfield, Mich.-based CenCorp and Alloya Corporate FCU.

The announcement was made by Alloya CEO Charles W. Furbee in a letter to members on the Warrenville, Ill.-based Alloya's website.

"CenCorp members will now vote on the merger," he said, adding the vote is set for Thursday, April 4. It is anticipated that the merger would occur by the end of April.

"Assuming a positive vote from CenCorp members, this merger will create improved value for the memberships of both corporates in terms of enhanced strength and access to additional products and services," he said in an e-mail to News Now.

CenCorp CEO Bill Walby, who will become CEO of the new organization, said in an e-mail statement to News Now that "the merger will build value through increased scale, market synergies and enhanced capabilities for the long term, all of which would occur faster than either corporate could generate on its own."

"CenCorp members would convert to Alloya systems later this year, with minimal impact to current Alloya members," said the letter on the website. "Some anticipated system changes to accommodate CenCorp practices will result in enhancements to our systems."

The letter also noted  the merger would build value through "increased scale, elimination of redundancies and additional financial strength." Alloya has more than $1.4 billion in assets, and CenCorp has more than $1.37 billion, Alloya told News Now.

The corporates will discuss the merger "at a high level" during the next transparency webinar, to be held Thursday at 11 a.m. EDT/10 a.m. CDT, Furbee said.

The combined corporate will have a membership of nearly 20% of the nation's credit unions. It will retain Alloya's federal charter and name. Alloya will remain headquartered in Warrenville, Ill., and operate from three locations: Warrenville; Albany, N.Y.; and Southfield, Mich.

Board and committee representation will reflect the combined membership, with the initial board including seven members of Alloya's board and four members of CenCorp's board.

NCUF Has Distributed 55,000 Copies Of 'Money Rules'

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MADISON, Wis. (3/15/13)--The National Credit Union Foundation says it has distributed more than 55,000 copies of bestselling personal finance author Jean Chatzky's book, "Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security" to credit union members since it began making the book available in December.

The book contains a set of actionable rules that readers can follow to enjoy financial security and eliminate money stress.  NCUF is offering  credit unions and other credit union  organizations the book at a reduced rate (via a donation to NCUF) so they can distribute  it to members.

Chatzky was a speaker at the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference last month in Washington, D.C. NCUF sponsored a book signing in its booth at the exhibit hall at the GAC, where more than 300 attendees met Chatzky.

She also spoke at NCUF's Dinner Presenting the Herb Wegner Awards and pre-signed copies for every attendee.

An organization ordering 1,000 or more copies of the book will get its name included on a sticker on the front cover. Each book already comes with a "Compliments of: NCUF" printed on the cover. For more information, use the link.

Youth Advocates At GAC Aim To Educate 500K Students

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WASHINGTON (3/15/13)--The National Youth Involvement Board is asking credit unions to report their financial education efforts online to help surpass its 2012-2013 goal of reaching 500,000 students nationwide.

Credit unions can report their activity on the NYIB website. Use the link.

NYIB leaders carried their youth outreach message to the Credit Union National Association's 2013 Governmental Affairs Conference last month in Washington, D.C. Their focus was to increase awareness, generate support from legislators, and urge credit unions to surpass the 413,106 students they reached with financial education presentations during the 2011-12 school year.

NYIB leaders also addressed state league and association gatherings, presented a session for The Cooperative Trust, co-staffed the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) booth, and attended visits on Capitol Hill, while at the GAC.

NYIB Chair Julie McLean emphasized that the work reported to NYIB by 115 credit union educators in 31 states deserves recognition in meetings with legislators and others, because it underscores credit unions' commitment to all young citizens. However, while impressive, these numbers do not provide the full measure of credit unions' efforts, McLean said.

Data collected by the NYIB are also shared with the NCUF, and with credit union leagues and other entities as requested.

Also, NYIB announced its annual conference will meet July 29-Aug. 1 in San Diego. The NYIB conference includes recognition of top presenters and ranking of states in outreach, quantified exclusively by data reported through the NYIB website.

To reach youth in their community, credit union educators can create a "MyNYIB" profile and obtain access to the classroom reporting feature, a searchable document sharing tool, and the ability to upload their own news and success stories. Use the link.

Applications for Biz Kid$ Fin Ed Grants Due March 31

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MADISON, Wis. (3/15/13)--Applications for Biz Kid$ Financial Education Grants from the National Credit Union Foundation are due March 31.

The application can be found online. Use the link.

"The Biz Kid$ program and companion curriculum is a great vehicle for credit unions to utilize to improve the financial literacy skills of youth in the communities they serve," said Danielle Brown, NCUF Biz Kid$ program coordinator.

Biz Kid$ is a financial literacy initiative that teaches kids about money and business. The initiative includes an award-winning TV series, free classroom curriculum, outreach activities, and a website targeting children 9-16 years old.

NCUF is responsible for the fundraising and outreach for the program, and a coalition of over 290 credit unions and affiliates from across the country have helped exclusively fund Biz Kid$. The primary goal of the Biz Kid$ financial literacy initiative is to teach kids from upper elementary through high school to understand and incorporate the skills they need to successfully manage their financial lives.

The goal of the grants is to extend the reach of the series beyond broadcast into the community. 

The grants may be used to fund programs that improve the financial education of youth through the use of the Biz Kid$ program. Each project should create innovative and engaging activities incorporating Biz Kid$ materials. Funds may not be used as a cash donation to a third party.

Eligible applicants include credit unions, credit union service organizations, state credit union associations, state credit union foundations, and any other organizations owned or controlled by credit unions.

Financial CEOs Have Second-Highest Turnover Rate For February

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CHICAGO (3/15/13)--U.S. financial institution CEOs had the second-highest turnover rate out of 26 industries monitored in February, according to the monthly report on CEO turnover released Thursday by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

The 18 reported CEO turnovers in the financial industry were more than double that of the seven reported in February 2012. The financial industry departures--mostly at credit unions and banks--was the highest monthly total for the industry since Challenger began tracking in 2008.

"I don't know if we can read too much into the report since Challenger only began tracking this since 2008 and the number of departures (18) is relatively small, compared with the total number of bank and credit union CEOs (14,000)," Steve Rick, senior economist with the Credit Union National Association, told News Now.

"However, there could be two effects taking place here," he continued. "A demographic effect as the very large baby boom generation hits retirement, and we are seeing an exodus of elderly CEO baby boomers. Second, we normally see an increase in job departures as the economy improves and other more lucrative opportunities present themselves."

The health care sector led all others with 20 departures, nine of which came from hospitals and hospital systems.

Overall, the number of CEOs who left their posts decreased slightly in February, with 110 CEOs leaving. The February total was 6% higher than the same month last year, when 104 CEOs left their positions, and 3% lower than the 113 recorded in January.

So far this year, 223 CEOs changed positions, nearly unchanged from the 227 recorded during the same two-month period last year. There were 1,214 turnovers in 2012.

The departing CEOs this year are younger on average (56.6) than those departing last year (57.9) and have stayed in their positions for a shorter time--8.3 years versus 9.8.

Thirteen CEOs left their posts at government/non-profit entities. Retailers had nine CEO departures last month, including CEO changes at RadioShack, Toys 'R Us, Michael's Stores, Ulta and REI.

The circumstances of their departure varied. Most (32) resigned and 21 others retired. Another 19 CEOs left their post, but stepped down into other positions within the company, usually as a board chair or director. Year-to-date departures were led by resignations (62), retired (45), stepped down (44), obtained new position in another company (31), and interim period ended (21). Five left because of mergers or acquisitions.

States Warn Investors About Securities Agency

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COLUMBUS, Ohio and MADISON, Wis. (3/15/13)--Financial institution and securities regulators from 16 states and five Canadian provinces sent alerts Thursday warning of an investment scheme where investors are told to wire money to Eastern Europe.

Credit unions may want to alert members to the scheme, which several state regulators say is illegal.

The Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Securities and the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) are among the state regulators issuing warnings against a United Kingdom company called Inter Reef Ltd., doing business as Profitable Sunrise, and its operators,  owner Roman Novak and his brother Radoslav Novak. The entity operates through a website, profitablesunrise.com.

According to the Ohio division, which issued a notice order against the company, Ohio securities laws were violated. The division alleged the company has engaged in securities fraud, selling securities without a license and selling unregistered securities.

"Ohioans should be on guard and hold onto their wallets any time they hear of a no risk/high return investment," said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Department of Commerce, in a press release.

The company promises investors risk-free returns of 1.6% to 2.7% per day for periods ranging from 180 to 240 days, said Patricia Struck, administrator of the Division of Securities at the Wisconsin DFI. The DFI oversees state-chartered credit unions and other financial related institutions.

Struck advised investors to be "extremely wary of any offers" from the company. "The promises being made by this company appear to be in the 'too good to be true' category," she said.

Investors have been instructed to wire money to financial institutions in Eastern Europe, including one bank located in the Czech Republic.  The company's activities could be considered the sale of unregistered securities, which is illegal in Wisconsin, she said.

The Ohio Department of Commerce, which supervises credit unions and other financial institutions, noted the company's website also has a "referral program" where individuals can become regional representatives for an investment group, which includes trains of a pyramid scheme. The department said it was concerned that the businesses could be targeting religious-based organizations. The company's website includes Bible quotations and options for donating investment returns to charity.

Securities officials in North Carolina and South Dakota have issued cease and desist orders against Profitable Sunrise.

If credit union members report dealings with the company, they should contact their state's securities regulator. Also before investing, they should ask these questions:

  • Is the brokerage firm and salesperson licensed in the state?
  • Has any enforcement action been taken against them?
  • Has the security been properly registered with the state's securities regulator?

Sinek, Li, Shelley Headline 2013 World CU Conference

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MADISON, Wis. (3/15/13)--The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) has tapped three speakers to headline the 2013 World Credit Union Conference, July 14 -17, in Ottawa, Canada: Simon Sinek, Charlene Li and Ian Shelley. 

The international credit union system educational and networking event will host more than 2,500 credit union executives and volunteers from more than 50 countries. The conference will focus on mobile banking, social media and corporate leadership.

The keynote speakers include:

  • Simon Sinek, corporate leadership strategist, who will speak about corporate leadership strategy July 17. Author of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Sinek is known for his theory of the "Golden Circle"--a natural pattern grounded in the biology of human decision-making that explains why some people and organizations are more inspiring than others. Sinek teaches graduate-level strategic communications at Columbia University.
  • Charlene Li, New York Times best-selling author and social media and technologies expert, who will cover social media and the financial sector on July 16. Li is author of Groundswell and Open Leadership. The founder of the Altimeter Group is recognized as an expert on social media and technologies. As former vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, Li was named one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company.
  • Ian Shelley, information technology and mobile payments expert and former KPMG partner, who will discuss the future of mobile banking technology on July 15. Shelley's 20 years of experience include work with credit unions, banks, insurance agencies and regulators in Australia, Bermuda, Canada and the United Kingdom.
 Bonus networking and educational sessions include:

  • The Global Women's Leadership Forum, the annual networking and educational gathering of the Global Women's Leadership Network, the peer-to-peer credit union women's leadership organization. The network will meet July 14, just prior to the conference.
  • WOCCU's Young Credit Union People (WYCUP) porgram, the annual educational and networking event for credit union professionals age 35 and younger. Five scholarship applicants will receive all-expense-paid scholarships to the 2014 World Credit Union Conference in Australia. The WYCUP program begins July 14 and runs concurrently with the conference.
  • The Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions Golf Tournament, a fundraising and networking event at the Loch March 18-hole golf course on July 13.
  • Bacon, Eggs and Business Experts, a two-part breakfast series with insights and expert advice from two top business authors.
At more than 30 breakout sessions, thought leaders from around the world will present on topics in five separate educational tracks--leadership and strategy, technology, international credit union experience, advocacy and governmental affairs, and innovative solutions.

Attendees also can visit some of Canada's most successful Ottawa credit unions, which are known worldwide for their technological achievements and youth outreach success, WOCCU said.

For more information, use the link.

NACUSO Collaboration/Innovation Awards Nominations Due March 21

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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (3/15/13)--The National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations announced that nominations for its 2013 Credit Union Collaboration and Innovation Award and the 2013 Credit Union Service Organization Collaboration and Innovation Award are being accepted. The deadline for nominations is Thursday.

"The criteria for both awards were selected to recognize those 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," he added. "We want to recognize and celebrate those CUSOs that demonstrate an exemplary ability to create and implement solutions and those credit unions that use the CUSO model to implement innovative, collaborative solutions to better serve their members."

The awards will be presented April 18 during the 2013 NACUSO Annual Conference in Las Vegas. 

The  CUSO award recognizes organizations that have leveraged the collaborative model to bring value to the industry, its owners and credit union members. In its 15th year, the award has a history of spotlighting CUSOs that continue to play a key role in the industry.

Last year, NACUSO expanded its program to recognize a credit union demonstrating the successful use of a CUSO collaborative model to serve its membership's financial needs. The award aims to showcase a credit union that exhibits leadership in using the CUSO collaborative model to deliver value to the credit union and its members.

Criteria include demonstrating how the credit union's business strategy leverages CUSOs to create value for the credit union and/or its members. Implementation and execution of the CUSO business model and results, outcomes and performance generated by the credit union also are considered.

Send nominations to NACUSO, 3419 Via Lido, PMB #135, Newport Beach, CA 92663, or to shawna@nacuso.org.

For more information, call 888-462-2870 or use the link.