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CU's Video Nabs Three National Telly Awards

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INDIANAPOLIS (3/4/13)--The Telly Awards has named Eli Lilly FCU (Elfcu) in Indianapolis and personal finance and social media guru Pete the Planner as three-time Bronze winners in the 34th Annual Telly Awards for "No One Leaves Their Money at the Office Door," about members' needs for financial assistance throughout their lives.  

With nearly 11,000 entries from all 50 states and several nations, the $1.02 billion asset Elfcu and Pete the Planner received:

  • A Bronze Award for Non-Broadcast Corporate Image;
  • A Bronze Award for Non-Broadcast Direct Marketing;  and
  • A Bronze Award for Non-Broadcast Health and Wellness.
The Elfcu video, "No One Leaves Their Money at the Office Door," tells the story of a typical workplace with characters who could be anyone's co-workers. In three minutes, the YouTube-based video introduces viewers to nine scenarios, covering the money challenges typical Americans face daily, even while at work.

One person is divorcing; another is behind on her mortgage; while another can't afford gas for her drive home. The story culminates with a woman who learns that her husband has just lost his job. The ultimate message to the viewer is: "You are not alone."

As the economy and labor market heal this year, consumers nationwide are still facing daily financial challenges--high gas prices, overdraft fees, the costly price of  divorce, tuition, infertility, job loss, and the list goes on, Elfcu said. Companies are not immune to the financial stress their employees are feeling, so many are looking to create financial wellness programming for the first time.

The Telly Awards honors film and video productions, Web commercials, and local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs. The Telly's mission is to strengthen the visual arts community by inspiring, promoting and supporting creativity.

A panel of more than 500 industry professionals judged the competition. The council evaluated entries to recognize distinction in creative work. Entries do not compete against each other--rather entries are judged against a high standard of merit, said the credit union.

To see the video, use the link.

CUs To Furloughees: 'Be Assured, We've Got Your Back'

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MADISON, Wis. (3/4/13)--In a stellar example of credit unions putting members' interests above the bottom line, credit unions across the U.S. are rallying to assist members with furloughs that began at midnight Friday after the federal government's stalemate on wide-ranging budget cuts, called sequestration.

Among those who will be hit the hardest are civilians working for the government and military families. The Defense Credit Union Council says its member credit unions stand ready to help.

"All of our members have stepped up to the plate, as they've always done and always will," said Roland "Arty" Arteaga, president/CEO of the Defense Credit Union Council. "All of them are on edge" about what sequestration preposits, but many have already let members know they can get help through the furloughs from their credit union.

"Others are looking very closely so they can take measures [to assist] and so they can tell members, 'Be assured, we've got your back,'" he told News Now.

Sequestration doesn't affect just credit unions with a presence on a military base.  "Credit unions in general need to be sensitive to Army Reservists and National Guard citizens who aren't on a base but who still receive a furlough notice," said Arteaga. "We all need to be committed to our pledge of people helping people."

The furlough timing varies, beginning in April. Once the furlough begins, "civilian employees will lose one to two days out of each pay period while the furlough is in existence.  To lose that much pay is huge, given the economic environment," Arteaga said.

Here are just a few examples of how credit unions will help their members:

  • Belvoir FCU, Woodbridge, Va., created emergency loans up to $5,000 at fixed  4.99% annual percentage rate (APR), , with 0% APR the first 60 days and a maximum term of 12 months.  Members can defer the first payment for 60 days. Members must direct deposit.  They also can work with a loan officer on loan workout program, and--if they notify the credit union in advance--can skip a regular consumer loan payment. Members can also get free counseling on handling finances during the furlough.
  • Fort Meade Community CU, Fort Meade, Md., is planning to offer refinancing to lower payments, advance due-date options and short-term loans to bridge gaps in income, plus add delinquencies to the back end of a loan.
  • Fort Bragg, Fort Bragg, Calif., will extend existing loans up to six months with no payments, offer refinancing on both credit union and non-credit union financed vehicle loans and suspend those payments for six months, consolidate loans to reduce monthly payments, and waive early withdrawal fees on certificates.
  • Fort Campbell FCU, Clarksville, Tenn., will offer a payroll/employment gap loan of up to $2,500 at a fixed 5.99% APR and 0% for the first 60 days with no payment for 60 days, at a 12- month term. It, too offers a loan workout program, deferred loan payment and free financial coaching through BALANCE, a financial education and counseling service.
  • APG FCU, Aberdeen, Md., invited its members to call the credit union or visit a branch to discuss their situation. It offers loan assistance, expedited approvals, payment deferrals, free financial guidance and 24/7 educational resources.
  • Andrews FCU, Suitland, Md., offers a Sequestration Bridge Loan up to $5,000 at 0% APR for 90 days, with flexible terms up to a year and payment options such as personal signature loans, secured loans and home equity loans. It also provides financial tools for money management.
  • Hanscom FCU, Hanscomb AFB, Mass., whose Board Chairman Paul Marotta noted "we are true to our roots and the credit union motto, People Helping People," offers an interest-free Life Line Loan attached to the member's checking account to provide additional funds to cover checks, ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases. It also offers 0% APR line of credit for 30 days up to $5,000, and will wave penalties on premature withdrawals of certificates.
  • Scott CU, Edwardsville, Ill., is providing furloughed members with direct deposited paychecks a Sequestration Loan of $5,000 at 0% APR, with no payments for 60 days and one year to repay it After the first 60 days, the loan rate will be 4.75%.
  • AmeriCU CU, Rome, N.Y., is in a state that, according to U.S. Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), will be "disproportionately hurt" by cuts to programs such as  Hurricane Sandy relief and 9/11 victims compensation. It offers a Department of Defense Helpline, information, tips for handling financial stress and tells members it is "waiting to work with you to help you and your family through this potentially stressful time."
  • Randolph Brooks FCU, Live Oak, Texas, will provide assistance to federal civilian workers, some of whom might see 20% of their paychecks impacted.  They can withdraw money from their certificates without penalties, or bridge the pay gap with low-rate loans. Payment isn't due until December so members can use the funds gradually as a "step down" resource. "By providing resources to assist members dealing with sequestration, we hope to make their lives and finances a little less stressful," Mark Sekula, chief lending officer at RBFCU, told the Texas Credit Union League (LoneStar Leaguer March 1). "While we can't affect government decisions on payments and furloughs, we can give our members tools to handle a sudden decrease in pay, and to make the next several months more manageable."
  • Pearl Harbor FCU, Honolulu, Hawaii, has a legacy of supporting members over more than 75 years. It provided special assistance to members during World War II, as well as during and after the 2008 economic crisis by continuing free services and not increasing fees, and it offered free services during Japan's tsunami. "It's about helping people and it's more than business as usual--a core value that the credit union embraces," says its website. "Supporting our members in a time of financial crisis is important to us," said Eugene Y.T. Chang, president/CEO. "Providing assistance to our community is a vital part of our operation."  It will offer special furlough relief assistance and options including payment deferments and partial payment plans on existing loans, flexible payment arrangements and term modifications, and low-rate consolidation loans.
Credit unions' philosophy on the furlough issue was summed up RBFCU's Sekkula: "Our goal is to serve our members, whatever the situation. While we hope these financial impacts can be averted, we will be ready to assist our hard-working members with resources so they can continue to meet their obligations and take care of their families."

The sequestration budget cuts refer to a package of automatic federal spending cuts totaling $1.2 trillion, which took effect Friday.  News Now will report on other kinds of credit unions assisting with furloughs soon.  See related story, "How Is Your CU Aiding Members In Sequestration? Tell UniteForGood."

Top 10 News Now Stories For February

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MADISON, Wis. (3/4/13)--A News Now special report about the ascendance of mobile banking among credit unions and second-generation mobile banking apps was the publication's most-read story in February.  Also at the top were stories from last week's Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C., featuring Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

The Top 10 News Now stories for the month:

10. Reps. King, Sherman Introduce Supplemental Capital Bill

WASHINGTON (2/14/13)--Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) today reintroduced legislation that would permit the National Credit Union Administration to allow credit unions to accept additional forms of capital.

9. NCUA Letter To CUs Cites 2013 Exam Goals

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (2/1/13)--Increased clarity in its guidance to its examiners and more consistency in its examination practices are a key supervisory focus of the National Credit Union Administration this year, said NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz in a Letter to Federally Insured Credit Unions released Thursday.

8. Ways And Means Launches Look At Tax Reforms With Charitable Deductions Hearing

WASHINGTON (2/7/13)--The tax policy-writing House Ways and Means Committee has scheduled a hearing next week on itemized charitable deductions. The hearing is part of what will be a broader look by the committee at the subject of comprehensive tax reform.

7. FHLBs Ask NCUA To Name Them As An Emergency Liquidity Provider

WASHINGTON (2/1/13)--As the National Credit Union Administration considers its emergency liquidity proposal for credit unions, the 12 Federal Home Loan Bank presidents have sent a joint letter asking the agency to name their system specifically within the plan as a source of backup liquidity.

6. NCUA Provides CUs With Cybersecurity Guidance

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (2/20/13)--The National Credit Union Administration has stepped into Washington's cybersecurity discussion, identifying appropriate policies and procedures to guard against distributed denial-of-service attacks in a new credit union risk alert (13-Risk-01).

5. CFPB: Financial Institutions Must Be Able To Make Non-QM Loans

WASHINGTON (2/8/13)--Financial institutions should be allowed to make mortgages that don't meet qualified mortgage (QM) standards under the new ability-to-repay rules. That is what Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray said Thursday in response to a Credit Union National Association question during a financial industry briefing on mortgage rules.

4. Boehner Zeroes In On Tax Reform At CUNA GAC

WASHINGTON (2/27/13)--One of the most prominent Republican policymakers on Capitol Hill today discussed one of the hottest, most debated topics ripped out of the headlines to a packed house of credit union representatives in town for the system's premiere governmental affairs conference.

3. Sen. Warren: CU 'Reliable' Model a Bright Spot In Economy

WASHINGTON (2/27/13)--Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), speaking to the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference here this morning, directed the spotlight to shine brightly on the credit union difference.

2. Strong NCUSIF, TCCUSF Performances Decrease Premium Chances

ALEXANDRIA, VA. (2/21/13)--The strong performance in 2012 of the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund and the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund, reported by the National Credit Union Administration today, decreases chances for a premium assessment this year.

1. CUs' Mobile Banking Enters Second Generation: Special Report

MADISON, Wis. (2/20/13)--Mobile banking is here to stay at credit unions. Today, about one-third of all credit unions offer mobile banking. The rest are likely to roll it out within the next 48 months. By comparison, online banking took about twice as long to reach similar numbers.

Tennessee Bill Would Allow CU Board Compensation

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (3/4/13)--Legislation that would allow Tennessee state-chartered credit unions to compensate board members or reimburse them for any lost wages caused by time spent in the service of the credit union--but not both--has advanced in the State Senate and State House.

Tennessee is the second state, along with Washington, to consider such legislation in 2013. The legislative battle in Nashville has been going on since 2009.

According to the Tennessee Credit Union League, the original legislative proposal simply gave members of a credit union board the ability to compensate themselves and to set the amount of compensation. The league said there was broad, general opposition to the proposal from credit unions throughout the state, and the league board and management reflected that opposition in meetings with legislators on the committees that would hear the bill.

However, as TCUL President/CEO Fred Robinson told News Now, this year when it became apparent the bill would pass in some form, the league worked to negotiate some conditions that would be required for a credit union to compensate their board members.

In the bills now under consideration, the decision to reimburse or compensate is optional based on the credit union's philosophy to be governed by volunteers or compensated board members. Four conditions must be met.

House Bill 258 will be placed on the regular calendar for House consideration Thursday. Senate Bill 587 was referred to a committee Tuesday, and has not yet been scheduled to go before the full Tennessee Senate.

22 Inducted Into CU House Hall Of Leaders

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WASHINGTON (3/4/13)--Twenty-two leaders have been named to the Credit Union House Hall of Leaders, honoring their significant contributions to the credit union movement.

"The Credit Union House Hall of Leaders provides lasting recognition at the Capitol Hill facility for a distinguished group of individuals whose leadership serves as a model for credit union leaders throughout the country," said Richard Ensweiler, Credit Union House Chairman and president/CEO of the Texas Credit Union League.

"Their names remind the thousands who annually visit Credit Union House--which include prominent members of Congress--of the strong commitment to the values and mission on which the credit union movement was founded," Ensweiler said.

To date, 78 leaders representing 32 states have been inducted to the Hall of Leaders.  The 2013 inductees are:

  • John Annaloro, former CEO, Northwest Credit Union Association;
  • Susan J. Brayman, director, Bellco CU, Greenwood Village, Colo.;
  • Frank Berrish, president/CEO, Visions FCU, Endicott, N.Y.;
  • Marshall Boutwell, president/CEO, Peach State FCU, Lawrenceville, Ga.;
  • Ken Bradshaw, president/CEO, Liberty First CU, Lincoln, Neb.;
  • Loretta Burd, former president/CEO, Centra CU, Columbus, Ind.;
 

  • Mary Ann Clancy, senior vice president-general counsel, Massachusetts and New Hampshire Credit Union Leagues and Credit Union Association of Rhode Island;
  • Gary R. Clark, president/CEO, Missoula (Mont.) FCU;
  • Ron Collier, president/CEO, Indiana Members CU, Indianapolis;
  • Michael Connery, president/CEO, United Nations FCU, Long Island City, N.Y.;
  • Don Edwards, senior vice president government affairs, Illinois Credit Union League;
  • Clarence Hall Jr., president/CEO, Issaquena County FCU, Mayersville, Miss.;
 

  • Gail Krall, president/CEO, Minnesota Power Employees CU, Duluth, Minn.;
  • James "Jimmy" G. Lankford, former president, Alabama CU, Tuscaloosa,
Ala.;

  • Robin Lentz, president/CEO, Cabrillo CU, San Diego;
  • John McKenzie, president/CEO, Indiana Credit Union League;
  • Robert D. Ramirez, president/CEO, Vantage West CU, Tucson, Ariz.;
  • Randy Smith, former president/CEO, Randolph-Brooks FCU, Live Oak, Texas;


  • Marsha S. Tynsky, president/CEO, Trona Valley Community FCU, Green River,Wyo.;
  • Al Vukasin, president/CEO, Bear Paw CU, Havre, Mont.;
  • Michael A. Williams, president/CEO, Colorado CU, Littleton, Colo.; and
  • Bill Winter, president/CEO, St. Cloud (Minn.) FCU.

Florida Public Deposits Bill Is No 1 Priority For LSCU

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (3/4/13)--The No. 1 priority for credit unions during the 2013 Florida legislative session convening Tuesday will be to allow credit unions to accept public deposits, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and Affiliates announced Friday.

Senate Bill 918, sponsored by State Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah) and House Bill 251, sponsored  by State Rep. Bill Hager (R-Boca Raton), will seek to reverse the state law's mandate that public entities--such as fire and sheriff departments, schools and libraries--can only use banks and not their local, not-for-profit credit unions for their financial needs.

"Public entities should be given the choice to seek better returns for their tax dollars and lower fees for their business," said Patrick La Pine, LSCU president. "As not-for-profit financial entities that are held to the same standards as banks, credit unions deserve the opportunity to compete in this market and provide for greater consumer choice, accountability and a more stabilized market."

Credit unions are required to meet the same public depository requirements as for-profit banks. They also are held to the same accountability standards and must offer the same protections to their members. However, credit unions across Florida are forced to turn down deposit requests from local government entities because state law renders them ineligible to receive these funds, said the league.

If successful, the proposed legislation would give local elected officials depository choice and would allow credit unions to bring competition to public deposits that will drive better returns and economic benefits to Florida's taxpayers, LSCU said.

"One of the founding principles of credit unions is the commitment to give back to their communities and their members," Garcia said. "By allowing credit unions to accept municipal and public deposits, we would allow for yet another opportunity for credit unions to give back by passing on bigger savings to local governments, who in turn would put the money right back into the communities to meet service, infrastructure or public needs. I see this bill as another means of providing greater consumer choice, fairness in the market and maximizing yields of public funds."

US Rep Bonamici Speaks At Global Women's Network

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WASHINGTON (3/4/13)--Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), who co-sponsored the credit union member business lending (MBL) and supplemental capital bills, addressed the Global Women's Leadership Network at a breakfast event Wednesday during the Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference.

Speaking at a Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference Breakfast event Wednesday, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) applauded the work credit unions do to improve their local economies and the Global Women's Network's efforts to connect and support women.
Women credit union leaders from more than 23 states nationwide gathered at the National Museum of Women in the Arts to discuss current issues facing women in the industry and to hear from speakers about the role of credit unions and women in economic development.

Bonamici spoke to the group of 105 credit union executives and board members about the important role credit unions play in economic development. Many small businesswomen have been able to contribute to their local economies through the help of their credit unions, she said.

She applauded the network for the work it does and encouraged members to continue helping each other and to see value in learning different points of view.

Other speakers at the event included Bill Cheney, CUNA president/CEO; Teresa Freeborn, president/CEO Xceed Financial CU, El Segundo, Calif.; and Zixta Martinez, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau assistant director of community affairs.

The Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) assisted in coordinating Bonamici's appearance.

"Rep. Bonamici is a powerful example of what it means to be a credit union champion," said Jennifer Wagner, NWCUA vice president of legislative advocacy and network member. "She understands the unique structure of Oregon's credit unions and the critical role credit unions play in their communities. Her first official action in Congress was to sign the credit union MBL bill last year, and she is back fighting for us again this year."

Last month, CUNA and credit unions reintroduced in Congress legislation to raise credit unions' MBL cap to 27.5% of total assets, up from the current 12.25%. Doing so would generate $14.5 billion available for MBLs--and increase jobs by 158,000 in the first year without costing the taxpayer, according to new statistics from CUNA. Enhancing credit unions' charter to include increased MBL authority is one of CUNA's top 10 priorities for 2013.

Also in February, Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) reintroduced legislation that would permit the National Credit Union Administration to allow credit unions to accept additional forms of capital. The legislation would improve the safety and soundness of credit unions by allowing them to develop a supplemental cushion to reduce risk to the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.

Click to view larger image Women from 23 U.S. states met and mingled at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, including (from left) Stacy Augustine, Northwest Credit Union Association general counsel; Mary Martha Fortney, National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors president/CEO; Orla Beth Peck, NASCUS chairman; Amy Rapp, consultant; and Lucy Ito, senior vice president of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.
Click to view larger image Fredda McDonald (left), PSCU Financial Services executive vice president, chats with Bill Cheney, Credit Union National Association president/ CEO, at the Global Women's Leadership Network Breakfast in Washington, D.C. during CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference. (Photos provided by World Council of Credit Unions)

How Is Your CU Aiding Members In Sequestration? Tell Your Story

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WASHINGTON (3/4/13)--Credit unions helping members face furloughs implemented from the federal spending cuts that began Friday have an opportunity to "unite for good" and share stories of what they are doing through the Credit Union National Association and News Now.

Last week during its 2013 Governmental Affairs Conference, CUNA unveiled a "Unite For Good" rallying cry for credit unions. CUNA called upon credit unions to work toward a movement-wide strategic vision of creating a financial services environment in which "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner." Use the resource link below to see the Unite For Good webpage.

As News Now spotlights examples of the extra steps credit unions take to secure their members' trust in a series of stories highlighting the help sparked by sequestration cuts, credit unions also can e-mail their information to Uniteforgood@cuna.com, as well as newsnow@cuna.coop.

For examples of credit unions' efforts for furloughed members, see related News Now article, CUs To Furloughees: 'Be Assured, We've Got Your Back.'