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CU System briefs (03/21/2014)

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  • INDIANAPOLIS (3/21/14)--Kevin Ryan, president/CEO, Financial Center FCU, $496 million in assets, has been appointed to an open position on the board of the Indiana Credit Union League (ICUL). Ryan will represent credit unions in central and southern Indiana until the league's next annual meeting in October. Before joining the Indianapolis-based credit union in 2009, Ryan worked for CUNA Mutual Group, the ICUL Servicecorp and Indiana Corporate FCU, Indianapolis ...
     
  • MADISON, Wis. (3/21/14)--Filene Research Institute added three new credit union leaders to its administrative board of directors. Tracie Kenyon, president/CEO, Montana Credit Union Network; Maurice Smith, president/CEO, Local Government FCU, Raleigh, N.C., and Bob Trunzo, president/CEO, CUNA Mutual Group, are the new directors. Steve Suleski, senior vice president/chief governance officer, CUNA Mutual Group, joins Bill Hampel, chief economist, Credit Union National Association (CUNA), as an advisory member. Paul Kundert, CEO, UW CU, Madison, will continue as board chair. Smith was elected vice chair. Other directors include Treasurer Bill Cheney, president/CEO, CUNA; Jan Roche, president/CEO, State Department FCU, Alexandria, Va.; and Patricia Smith, president/CEO, Unitus Community CU, Portland, Ore. ...
     
  • ALBANY, N.Y. (3/21/14)--A heartwarming fundraiser in February by New York credit unions and the Credit Union Association of New York resulted in $8,250 for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. With the addition of Miracle Match funds from CO-OP Financial Services, the total February donation was more than $16,500 (The Point March 20). Under the theme "Brighten a Child's Heart," donations were prompted by a casual Valentine's Day and paper hearts displayed in credit union branches. Pictured are staff members from $38 million-asset Western New York FCU, West Seneca--one of the nearly 30 credit unions that participated. (Credit Union Association of New York photo) ...

Judges to hear request to move Target lawsuits to Minn.

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SAN DIEGO (3/21/14)--The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will hold a hearing session next week during which plaintiffs will make the case to move Target class action lawsuits to Minnesota.
 
Class action lawsuits have been filed across the country--including six by credit unions--in the wake of last year's data security breach at retail giant Target. About 40 million debit and credit card numbers were compromised as was the personal information of as 70 million customers.
 
The March 27 hearing by the panel of seven sitting federal judges will be in San Diego.
 
The plaintiffs can be roughly divided into two classes: the individual consumers who had their data compromised and the financial institutions that suffered hard dollar losses, said Robin Cook, assistant general counsel for special projects, Credit Union National Association.
 
The injuries are different, but they stem from the factual event, he noted. Financial institutions would be seeking compensation for the costs incurred after the breach. A CUNA survey estimated the breach cost credit unions about $30.6 million.
 
Minnesota is home of Target's headquarters and, as such, is a likely location for the case to be placed, should it be consolidated.
 
Additionally, Minnesota has state statutes that may be favorable to some of the plaintiffs. The statutes prohibit merchants or businesses from retaining magnetic strip information that was captured during a transaction.
 
If the information is retained and a breach occurs, the business also would have to reimburse financial institutions for the cost of reissuing cards, closing or reopening accounts, and notifying cardholders of the breach.
 
Another statute provides that businesses must disclose "in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay" if a breach occurs.
 

Registration open for World Council's conference in Australia

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GOLD COAST, Australia (3/21/14)--The World Council of Credit Unions has announced that registration is now open for the 2014 World Credit Union Conference, which will be held in Gold Coast, Australia, on July 27-30.

Designed for high-level credit union leaders from around the globe, the event offers an array of programs focusing on subjects such as women leadership, young credit union professionals, small credit union sustainability and best practices in growth strategies.

For more information or to register, use the resource link.

Additional hot topics at the conference:
  • Fighting electronic cyberfraud
  • Driving financial performance
  • Building system payment platforms
  • Governance best practices
  • Global regulatory trends
  • Regulatory challenges to financial cooperatives/ credit unions
  • Expectations in payment trends

Iowa report captures league advocacy success

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DES MOINES, Iowa (3/21/14)--The Iowa Credit Union League (ICUL) released its annual Year in Review report this week, highlighting the broad body of work the league accomplished in 2013.

Among other achievements, the review details the amount of growth Iowa credit unions realized, where the league had success in its legislative and advocacy work, and the efforts of the Iowa Credit Union Foundation.

With more than 1 million members, the credit unions in Iowa have $12 billion in shares and a market share of 12.4%, which is 3.5% higher than the national average.

"Through your due diligence and leadership, Iowa credit unions remain strong and healthy, reporting high capital levels, solid return on assets and low delinquency," said Tim Chapman, ICUL board chair, and Patrick Jury, league president/CEO. "We must continue to work collaboratively and innovate together so that we can better serve our members and remain relevant for years to come."

Highlights from 2013:
  • Finished second in the nation for both asset growth and loan growth at 6.6% and 13.6% respectively.
     
  • Boasted a 97% affiliation rate, with 92% of members saying they're "very satisfied" with overall ICUL membership value.
     
  • Held more than 30 live events in 2013 and answered at least 1,800 questions from Iowa credit unions through its PolicyWorks' regulatory department.
     
  • Secured $100,000 for the Iowa Credit Union Foundation's Credit Union Family Partnership Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) program, which provides matching savings to individuals and families with low incomes.
     
  • More than 350 credit union leaders attended the annual convention in September.
     
  • Realized an 83% increase in its grassroots advocacy database to 12,500 members.

NCUF seeks nominations for 4 new board seats

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MADISON, Wis. (3/21/14)--After adding four seats to its board of directors, the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is now seeking nominations to fill the new positions.

"We encourage the credit union movement's best and brightest to submit nominations for the NCUF board and help us improve more people's financial lives through credit unions," said Laida Garcia, president/CEO, floridacentral CU, Tampa, Fla., and NCUF chair. The board expansion will "enhance our fundraising capabilities and further the foundation's impact," she added.

The foundation recently amended its bylaws to add the additional board positions.

Nominations can be submitted for individuals meeting one of the following criteria:
  • Credit union executive or director--an executive officer or director of a credit union;
     
  • System affiliate--a director or executive officer of an organization that is national in scope, that has as its primary purpose support of credit unions or some element of the credit union movement, that has a significant portion of its ownership or membership from the credit union system and that has demonstrated a commitment to the purposes of this corporation; or
     
  • At-large--a representative of an organization outside of the credit union system, such as a cooperative, that has demonstrated a commitment to the purposes of this corporation. Any at-large seat shall not be eligible to serve on the executive committee.
Applications must be received by April 25.

Ohio public funds bill about choice, not taxes, says league

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (3/21/14)--Recent work by the Ohio Credit Union League to pass legislation that would allow credit unions to serve as public depositories and access loan programs through the Ohio Treasurer's office is being met with opposition from the state's bankers league, in addition to community bankers in the state (eLumination March 19).

The legislation, called HB 221: the Community Access and Local Government Choice Act, essentially would allow municipal or local governments to use credit unions to deposit and manage public funds.  

"This legislation is about local government choice, not taxes, and members of the committee understand that," said Patrick Harris, league director of legislative affairs.

Banking representatives used an Ohio House State and Local Government Committee hearing last week to voice their disagreement with the legislation, explaining that they "find the attempt to authorize credit unions to gather public deposits very offensive."

Further, community bankers used terms such as "expansive fields of membership," "mission creep," and "unfair tax advantage" and referred to several credit unions by name, saying that they should be subject to equal taxation and regulatory oversight as banks and thrifts.

The opposition was countered, however, when committee members asked those testifying about the value credit unions have in local communities, market-share dominance by banks, and the small impact this bill would have on the banking industry's bottom line.

"We will continue to work with the committee and the full Ohio General Assembly to ensure they understand how important this bill is to local governments, which want to be able to choose which financial institutions they do business with," Harris said.

CMG honored as a most ethical company by Ethisphere

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MADISON, Wis. (3/21/14)--International think tank Ethisphere Institute recognized CUNA Mutual Group as one of the world's most ethical companies for its business ethics and social responsibility.
 
This is the second year that CUNA Mutual has made the list, which featured 143 companies this year, the likes of which included Accenture, Dell, Hasbro and General Electric.
 
"CUNA Mutual Group is not only committed to its communities, but to driving performance through leading business practices," said Ethisphere CEO Timothy Erblich.
 
The Ethisphere assessment looks at ethics and compliance; reputation, leadership and innovation; governance; corporate citizenship and responsibility; and culture of ethics.
 
"CUNA Mutual Group is committed to doing the right thing for our customers, employees and the communities in which we work," said Steve Koslow, CUNA Mutual senior vice president/chief ethics and compliance officer.
 
"Building a strong culture of ethics, compliance practices and corporate social responsibility is the way we do business," he added. "We will continue to make certain our business decisions are always made in the best interests of our customers, employees, communities and the environment."

Key CU bills get favorable reports in Mass.

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BOSTON (3/21/14)--The Massachusetts Credit Union League saw a flurry of activity in the Legislature this week, as several credit union-related bills were reported out with favorable recommendations by the state's Joint Committee on Financial Services.

House and Senate bills, many of which were specifically introduced by the league, concerned regional interstate credit union branching; bank-to-credit union conversion; and authorizing formation of credit union service organizations by the Massachusetts Credit Union Share Insurance Corporation (Daily CU Scan March 20).

Measures relating to mortgage foreclosures, mediation, public funds and additional public disclosures of salary and compensation for certain senior officials of credit unions were all placed into a study order for further review.

In previous activity, meanwhile, the committee also favorably released an amended bill that requires 20% of assets to be invested according to "the prudent man investment authority."

The full list of bills now to be heard by additional state committees include:
  • House Bill 962: Regional interstate credit union branching;
     
  • Senate Bill 478: Bank-to-credit union conversion;
     
  • House Bill 873: Repeals various outdated consumer loan sections in C. 171 and clarifies state and federal credit union merger authority;
     
  • House Bill 874: Reduces time period to 45 days from 90 days for parity regulations to be filed before the Legislature prior to becoming effective; and
     
  • House Bill 853: Authorizes the formation of credit union service organizations by the Massachusetts Credit Union Share Insurance Corp.

Expanded N.J. CU Advisory Council seeks delegates

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HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (3/21/14)--New Jersey's newly expanded Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC) is seeking delegates to represent federally and state-chartered credit unions.
 
In January, Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation supported by the New Jersey Credit Union League that expands the CUAC to seven members from five and includes representation of federally chartered credit unions.
 
Members are nominated by the governor and must be confirmed by the state Senate.
 
The league is encouraging interested representatives to submit their resume to the league, which will then forward it to the appropriate state official. Credit union professionals also can apply directly online by searching "Credit Union Advisory Council" on the New Jersey boards, commissions and authorities website.
 
No fewer than four seats can be held by representatives of state-chartered credit unions, and federally chartered credit union representatives cannot hold less than two seats.