Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

CU System Archive

CU System

IMoneyTalkNewsI says Leave bank join a CU

 Permanent link
NEW YORK (4/22/11)--A article Tuesday about a survey that indicates 51% of consumers polled would shop for another bank if their bank increased its fees offered this advice: Find a new bank. "Or better yet, don't use a bank at all. Use a credit union instead." "Why It Might Be Time to Leave Your Bank--and 3 Steps to Replace It" also referred readers to the Credit Union National Association's credit union locator to get a list of credit unions nearest to the reader. Finding a new bank or credit union is step No. 1. The other two steps? Ease away from the old bank with a "switchkit"--a collection of paperwork needed to redirect your direct deposit and automatic bill payment to the credit union. And avoid cashing out and closing down without giving the old account time to clear all the checks and automatic deposits and withdrawals. The article also reported on a survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, which asked 2,200 people what they would do if their bank raised its checking account fees. Fifty-one percent said they would shop for another bank, while 16% would complain to the bank, 16% admitted they probably would never notice, 11% would grin and bear it, and 6% would close the account and use a prepaid debit card. To access the full article, use the link.

Alloya Corporate FCU is new name of Members United

 Permanent link
WARRENVILLE, Ill. (4/22/11)--Members United Bridge Corporate FCU has a new name: Alloya Corporate FCU. The name, which is a combination of the words "All," "Alloy," and "Loyal," was announced Thursday by John Fiore, chairman of the Warrenville, Ill.-based corporate's Members Advisory Council (MAC), in a letter to members posted on the corporate's website. Fiore noted the name has received trademark clearance and has been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for registration. For a 70-second video that demonstrates the attributes of the name, use the link. "Our criteria required that the name be distinctive, memorable, and timeless," he said. "We sought to project the values of an entity that is within the system, is member-owned, is central to the members' business, and is where service to members is paramount. We wanted the name to have energy, sound and look good, and stimulate discussion. Finally, we wanted a non-traditional name to reflect the difference in our business model." "Work continues with our attorneys to complete the private placement memorandum for the capital offering. We are also finalizing the schedule for a series of town hall webinars to discuss details of the plans, the private placement memorandum, and to answer questions," Fiore said. The webinars will take place throughout May and June, with the first two webinars tentatively slated for May 4 and 5. Over the next few weeks, the corporate will transition to a new website for Alloya to segregate information about Alloya Corporate from the day-to-day transactions of Members United Bridge. More information on the transition will be available at the MAC website. The corporate had filed its capital plan on March 18 with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Last week, NCUA's Office of Corporate Credit Unions informed the corporate it has no objection to the capital plan (News Now April 19).

WOCCU to CUs Use 2012 International Year of Co-ops

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (4/22/11)--The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) is urging credit unions to use the new logo released earlier this month by the United Nations (U.N.) International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) Secretariat recognizing 2012 as the International Year of Cooepratives. WOCCU is urging credit unions worldwide to join with other cooperatives in using the logo, which is in six languages, to increase public awareness about cooperatives' contributions to socio-economic development, as well as promote the sector's growth and encourage favorable policies. The logo illustrates the official 2012 IYC theme released earlier this year--Cooperativa Enterprises Build a Better World. "Credit unions and other cooperatives did well by their members during the recent financial crisis, and the U.N.'s International Year of Cooperatives is an important effort to help reposition and rebrand cooperatives in the minds of consumers," said Pete Crear, WOCCU president/CEO. "We touch members' lives in ways they may not always realize, and the Year of Cooperatives is a critical opportunity to emphasize the cooperative difference." WOCCU encourages credit unions worldwide to use the IYC logo and the official theme on member statements, ATM receipts and screens, websites and other credit union materials throughout the year to increase awareness of cooperatives and credit unions as socially oriented businesses among young adults. The logo conveys the idea that, as member-owned, democratically controlled businesses, cooperatives exist to meet the common economic, social and cultural aspirations of their members. Credit unions must request permission to use the logo and slogan. To download the logo and permission request form, use the link. IYC officially begins Oct. 30, 2011, with a celebration at the U.N. headquarters in New York City, and runs through November 2012. WOCCU has formed a global advisory committee of member organization representatives and is coordinating with the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), the global cooperative association collaborating with the U.N. on the event, and the U.S. National Cooperative Business Association. Credit unions, cooperatives and their trade associations have been asked to contribute financially to the organizing efforts to assure that IYC initiatives will be successful. For more information, contact ICA's Nicola Kelly, International Year of Cooperatives 2012 coordinator, at +41-22-929-88-27 or at This year's International Credit Union Day on Oct. 20 will incorporate the IYC 2012 objectives. The close proximity of the two events provides a greater opportunity for credit unions to get involved and raise awareness among their members, legislators and communities of the tangible changes they are making on a local, national or international level. "With the spotlight on cooperatives, credit unions have a unique opportunity to show community members and policymakers the tangible changes they are making on a local, national or international level and educate them on the cooperative difference" said Dave Grace, WOCCU senior vice president of association services heading WOCCU's IYC efforts. "Part of that process is making those stakeholders aware of all the ways in which cooperatives already touch their lives." For more information, use the link.

Whats new with student-run branches

 Permanent link
MADISON, Wis. (4/22/11)--More credit unions are opening student-run branches in local schools, and at least four of these received attention during National Credit Union Youth Week.
Click to view larger image At Central City CU’s Stevens Point (Wis.) Area High School’s branch—SPASH--(from left) branch coordinator Trudy Peters explains as student intern Ashley Higgins processes a student transaction while Principal Michael Devine, Wisconsin state Sen. Julie Lassa, and Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions Secretary Peter Bildsten look on. (Photo provided by Central City CU)
The student branches achieve three purposes: educating their members about wise money management, providing workplace experience for students, and provide an outreach program for future members. In Stevens Point, Wis., Central City CU's Stephens Point Area High School (SPASH) branch became a focal point Wednesday for discussing the importance of a strong financial education as a base for long-term financial success. Visiting the credit union were state Sen. Julie Lassa and Department of Financial Institutions Secretary Peter Bildsten. Both saw what makes in-school branches so successful. "I spend a lot of time working with students on financial terminology," said Central City's SPASH branch coordinator Trudy Peters. "It can be very intimidating to walk in the credit union and not understand the terms being used. It is very empowering for students to have a strong financial vocabulary." Central City operates two other youth-run branches in Marshfield High School and Nasonville Elementary. It also partners with teachers on financial lessons in the classroom.
Officials at Meadville (Pa.) Area FCU and Titusville School District pose with students gathered at the site of the credit union’s first student branch at the high school. (Photo provided by the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association)
On Monday, representatives from Meadville (Pa.) Area FCU and Titusville School District met with students for a groundbreaking ceremony to being construction of the credit union's first student branch, said the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) (Life is a Highway April 21). Eleven students have been selected to operate it. Six others will serve on the board of directors. Students will train during the summer and receive class credits from Titusville High School for their branch responsibilities. The branch expects to open in mid-September. The school also will use the financial education curriculum provided by the National Endowment for Financial Education. Ensuring financial education is a component of the project that made Meadville Area FCU eligible for a $10,000 financial literacy grant from the Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation, said the PCUA. In Streator, Ill., Streator Onized CU will host a student-run satellite credit union for students and staff during school hours beginning next year at Streator Township High School (STHS) ( April 20). The portable program will be located in a concession stand during morning and lunch hours. Three work program students will operate it. The credit union will provide $25,525 annually for the project. The STHS branch will provide students with an opportunity they've never had before. It will educate students looking to work in finance and be an opportunity for other students to learn from them, said STHS teacher Chris Peterson. Six months ago in Houston, Texas, Smart Financial CU opened an in-school branch in Lamar High School, a business magnet school. This week it reported the branch's operations are on schedule for where they should be at this stage, said the Texas Credit Union League (LoneStar Leaguer April 19). The credit union cautioned that it takes time to reach the younger audience and that credit unions opening branches should not expect instant success. The branch is staffed with five part-time interns, all students, and one full-time outlet manager, Jessica Martinez, who works with the school's teaching staff to develop financial literacy seminars for all students. Smart Financial CU is working on developing products that meet the needs of youth. It has developed its Smart Scholars Checking Account, which has no minimum balance requirements, no service charges and offers bonuses for milestones--such as high grade point averages, and high school and college graduation. The credit union also plans to offer a Family MasterCard to help students slowly establish credit, and financial literacy workshops for students.

Corporate One announces board officers

 Permanent link
COLUMBUS, Ohio (4/22/11)--Three members were elected to the Corporate One FCU board of directors at its annual meeting.
Gerald D. Guy, president/CEO, KEMBA Financial CU, Columbus, Ohio; Jeff Meyer, president/CEO, Three Rivers FCU, Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Janice Thomas, president, PSE CU, Parma, Ohio, were elected to three-year terms. Guy will serve his third term on the Corporate One board. He has been a director since 2002. Guy has been president/CEO of KEMBA Financial CU since 1989. In addition to serving on Corporate One’s board of directors, Guy is a member of the Ohio Credit Union League governmental affairs committee, treasurer/secretary of the Ohio Credit Union Defense Council. Meyer is serving his first term as a Corporate One FCU board member. With 20 years of credit union experience Meyer worked as Three Rivers CU’s executive vice president for nine years and the vice president of lending for four years before becoming president/CEO. Thomas, re-elected to her fifth term, has been on the Corporate One board since 1996, serving as past chair, vice chair and secretary. She has been president of PSE CU since 1991. In a reorganization meeting following the annual meeting, Corporate One’s new board of directors elected its officers as follows:
* Guy, chairman; * Thomas, vice chairman; * John J. Shirilla, president/CEO of Best Reward CU, Walton Hills, Ohio, treasurer; and * Phillip R. Buell, CEO of Superior FCU, Lima, Ohio, secretary.

Rutgers U StudentAlumni CU to close May 20

 Permanent link
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (4/22/11)--The Rutgers University Student and Alumni FCU will close on the campus on May 20, less than a year after its merger with Affinity FCU, Basking Ridge, N.J. The university’s Department of Student Life has determined that the credit union would be violating the terms of its lease to stay in the student center in the wake of the merger The Daily TargumApril 20). The Newark and Camden campus locations of Rutgers University Student and Alumni FCU, also under the Affinity brand, will remain open. Another credit union serving the Rutgers community, Rutgers FCU, has applied to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to change its bylaws to add Rutgers students and alumni to its eligible membership. Rutgers FCU serves university employees. The NCUA approved Rutgers University Student and Alumni FCU-Affinity FCU merger in June. At that time, NCUA said the nearly $3.5 million Rutgers was struggling and in “poor financial condition” News Now July 20, 2010). The university is surveying students on how to use the credit union space. If students want a credit union there, Affinity would have the right to offer a bid, the university said.

Tornado checklist helps CUs prepare

 Permanent link
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (4/22/11)--Over the past week, 15 states were hit by severe tornadoes. All told, 240 tornadoes were reported; 43 people lost their lives. Continuity and disaster recovery planning is often the key to recovery for those hardest hit by disasters, according to Agility Recovery, a provider of business continuity and disaster planning services. Agility Recovery is offering a tornado preparedness checklist to help mitigate the risk of tornadoes. To access the guide, please use the link. Agility Recovery is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

Regulators confirm Har-Co applies for bank charter

 Permanent link
BEL AIR, Md. (4/22/11)--The $188 million-asset Har-Co Maryland FCU, of Bel Air, has submitted applications to federal banking regulators to convert to a mutual savings bank, the regulators confirmed to News Now. Har-Co Maryland FCU submitted an application to the Office of Thrift Supervision for a savings bank charter on March 25. On March 28, it applied to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for deposit insurance. On Feb. 14, the credit union published a notice to members of its consideration to convert from a federal credit union charter to that of a federal mutual savings bank. On March 16, its board voted to pursue conversion. At that time, Jennifer M. Simmons, interim CEO/chief membership officer at the Maryland & District of Columbia Credit Union Association, said that while the association's board "firmly believes that the credit union charter provides the best vehicle for serving the financial needs of consumers, we do support the right of member/owners to exercise democratic control of their credit union." She added, "The association encourages credit unions considering conversion to make their decisions based solely on the best interest of the members and that the credit union provides full, plain language and timely disclosures to the membership so that an informed decision can be made by the member/owners." Founded in 1955, the credit union serves more than 27,849 members of primarily educational groups. Its notice said it intends “to increase membership and economies of scale” to better serve members and "to preserve its tradition of competitive pricing, plus make it easier to cost-justify adding branches." It also noted a conversion would provide “additional business flexibility” (News Now Feb. 17). Thirty-one credit unions have converted to banks since 1995. No credit unions converted in 2010 and only one converted in each of 2009 and 2008, according to a News Now analysis (Jan. 14).

Corporates CUSO on Fla. gov.s small-biz roundtable

 Permanent link
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (4/22/11)--The president of a credit union service organization (CUSO) serving two corporate credit unions joined banking and non-profit leaders last week for Florida Governor Rick Scott's roundtable on small business credit. Jim Gallagher, president of Member Business Solutions LLC, joined other leaders at the Florida Governor's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development (OTTED) to discuss ways to encourage favorable lending programs for local small businesses. Member Business Solutions is a CUSO for Southeast Corporate FCU and Georgia Corporate FCU. OTTED is applying to the U.S. Treasury Department for $97 million--the state's share of the $1.5 billion allocated in the 2010 Small Business Jobs Act, which was signed into law in September. Under the act, states participating in the new State Small Business Credit Initiative may use allocated federal funds for programs that leverage private lending to help finance creditworthy small businesses that haven't been able to obtain loans to grow and create jobs. In Florida, the state is encouraging banks, credit unions and other lenders to make loans they otherwise wouldn't make due to riskier profiles that fall just outside a lender's normal underwriting standards. "This initiative could be an important tool to help credit unions alleviate collateral and loan portfolio cap issues now in place," Gallagher said. "Credit unions are playing an important part in the nation's recovery. It's gratifying to see our movement included in discussions on ways to maximize the potential of fund program scenarios included in discussions on ways to maximize the potential of fund program scenarios such as capital access, loan guarantee, participation and venture capital." Gallagher and other panel members emphasized the need to keep administrative burdens to both lenders and borrowers at a minimum. According to Treasury, the State Small Business Credit Initiative is designed to help spur up to $15 billion in lending to small businesses and manufacturers. Funding allocations are available for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories.