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CU System

CU System Briefs (06/17/2014)

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JACKSON, Mich. (6/17/14)-- Michigan Community CU, Jackson, Mich., with $123 million in assets, will offer $20 of free gas to 50 cars to market its Rad Auto Loan promotion. The auto loan promotion includes a rate as low as 2.49% APR and no payments for 90 days. "We take pride in giving back to our community," said Tina Hamilton, Michigan Community CU CEO. "It is rewarding to see our members and staff really having fun with this promotion" …
 
ARLINGTON, Va. (6/17/14)-- Richard F. Stipa, CEO Trevose, Pa.-based TruMark Financial CU, with $1.5 billion in assets, has been appointed to the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors Credit Union Advisory Council. Stipa will represent District 1, which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Rhode Island, Vermont, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan …

First malware threats stalks mobile banking security

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WOBURN, Mass. (6/17/14)--In what may be the first major security threat to mobile banking users, Kaspersky Lab discovered that a breed of malware targeting mobile devices had made its way from Russia to the United States.
 
Svpeng was detected for the first time one year ago by experts at Kaspersky Lab. The first instances were designed to steal payment card information from customers of a Russian bank. In the last weeks, a new variant of Svpeng malware was identified, it has been locking up mobile devices of U.S. users.
 
In the most recent variant discovered in the United States, Svpeng breaks into a mobile device through a social engineering technique using text messages.
 
For now, Svpeng does not steal credentials, but it is only a matter of time, as it is a modification of a Trojan, Kaspersky Lab said. Currently, the Trojan checks a user's phone for a list of certain financial applications, most likely for future usage, and will subsequently and steal login/password of online banking as it does now among Russian banks accounts.
 
English-language Svpeng currently checks the following applications presence on a victim's device:
  • USAA Mobile;
  • Citi Mobile;
  • Amex Mobile;
  • Wells Fargo Mobile;                        
  • Bank of America Mobile Banking;
  • TD App;
  • Chase Mobile;                         
  • BB&T Mobile Banking; and
  • Regions Mobile.
After the malware identifies a mobile banking application, it locks the screen of the mobile device with the imitation of an FBI penalty notification letter and demands $200 in the form of Green Dot's MoneyPak cards.

Northwest CU Association honors directors

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VANCOUVER, Wash. (6/17/14)--The Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) honored four credit union board members and two credit unions at its June 10 Directors' Conference gala dinner in Vancouver, Wash. 
 
The awards celebrated the achievements of NW Plus CU Director Warren Kuwahara, and Lee Duncan, Jerry Hauck, and Jan Uffelman--board members from IBEW & United Workers FCU, Rogue FCU and Mid Oregon CU respectively.
 
TwinStar CU and USAgencies CU were also honored for institutional achievements.
 
The NWCUA represents more than 160 credit unions in Washington and Oregon.
 
Kuwahara, who has served with NW Plus for 25 years, was recognized with the Director of the Year award for expanding the credit union by promoting open membership and shared branching.
 
Duncan was given a Spirit of the Community award for raising almost $400,000 for Doernbecher Children's Hospital on behalf of IBEW & United Workers CU. 
 
Hauck, a Rogue FCU board member for eleven years, won the Distinguished Impact Award for his service during the financial crisis, and for fostering better executive performance by creating an enhanced executive evaluation program.
 
Uffelman, a lifelong teacher before winning a seat on Mid Oregon's board, was given the Oregon Advocate of the Year award. She has attended the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference seven times and has frequented congressional town halls. She has also met with both of Oregon's U.S. Senators, Ron Wyden (D) and Jeff Merkley (D), and maintains a direct correspondence with six state legislators. 
 
The Advocate of the Year award for Washington, meanwhile, was given to TwinStar CU. Its board was recognized for its decision to endorse candidates for encouraging senior leaders to be politically engaged.  
 
The CU Commitment to Board Excellence was given to USAgencies CU. It earned the honor through its associate volunteers program, which requires potential board members to undergo a year of training. The syllabus includes a mentorship with veteran board members, and CUNA Volunteer Achievement Program (VAP) financial literacy training.
 
NW Plus CU is based in Everett, Wash. and has about $155 million in assets.
 
IBEW & United Workers FCU is based in Portland, Ore. and has about $65 million in assets.
 
Rogue FCU is based in Medford, Ore. and has about $484 million in assets.
 
Mid-Oregon is based in Bend, Ore. and has about $185 million in assets.
 
Twinstar CU is based in Olympia, Wash. and has about $850 million in assets.
 
USAgencies CU is based in Portland, Ore. and has about $72 million assets.

DE program launched in Africa

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MADISON, Wis. (6/17/14)--The first Africa Credit Union Development Education program was recently completed in Nairobi, Kenya.
 
Click to view larger image Graduates of the first Africa Development Training with staff in Nairobi, Kenya. (National Credit Union Foundation photo)
The Africa DE program was organized by the African Confederation of Cooperatives Savings and Credit Associations (ACCOSCA) in partnership with the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF), along with the World Council of Credit Unions and National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA), with the aim of fostering cooperative values among the leaders in the African credit union system.
 
"It is amazing to see the ripple effect of NCUF's DE program to strengthen credit unions around the world, particularly with this new DE program in Africa," said Lois Kitsch, NCUF program director and co-facilitator of Africa DE. "Not only did George and others bring lessons learned around credit union and cooperative values back to their respective organizations after completing NCUF's DE program, but now they helped instill it in others throughout Africa, who will do the same at their organizations."
 
The Africa DE program was inspired and co-created by four African graduates of NCUF's DE Training in the United States, known as Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs). The Nairobi program was primarily convened and led by George Ombado from ACCOSCA in Kenya with assistance from Victor Botha from the Sibanye Cape SACCO Ltd. in South Africa, Sylvester Kadzola from the Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives in Malawi, and Elkanah Odembo from the World Council of Credit Unions in Kenya.
 
This first Africa DE Program joins seven other international DE programs, which are based in Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Europe, Great Britain, the Philippines and the United States. They too were started by graduates of the NCUF program.
 
In Africa, credit unions are known primarily as Savings and Credit Co-operatives (SACCOs). The Africa DE Training was made up of 36 senior SACCO managers from 13 different countries. All graduates made it their personal responsibility to be DE ambassadors in their respective countries upon their return. One of the attendees commented that the "DE program is a program every [African] co-operator must attend."
 
"ACCOSCA recognizes that SACCO's around Africa are at different level of development and as such, we will use this new DE Program to enhance SACCO's growth with a common agenda and purpose to the co-operators attending," said Ombado.
 
Ombado is already in planning for the next Africa DE Program to take place in South Africa early next year.
 
In addition to the African participants and organizers, there were many Americans at Africa DE. Facilitating the program were Kitsch from NCUF and Mike Beall from the National Cooperative Business Association. Three of the six Africa DE mentors included Kathy Chartier, president/CEO, Members CU, Cos Cob, Conn., with $28 million in assets; Chad Helminak, Web and member development strategist for the Wisconsin Credit Union League; and Joanne Todd, president/CEO Northeast Family FCU, Manchester, Conn, with $72 million in assets.
 
Other U.S. participants in the program included Lisa Brown, president, Tallahassee-Leon FCU, with $43 million in assets; Nancy Johns, branch manager, American Airlines FCU, Fort Worth, Texas, with $5.5 billion in assets and  Jim Morrell, president/CEO Peninsula Community CU, Shelton, Wash., with $148 million in assets.

CUNA Mutual Group Chief Economist Dave Colby to retire

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MADISON, Wis. (6/17/14)--Dave Colby, chief economist for CUNA Mutual Group, is retiring after 37 years with the company. He will be succeeded in the position by Steve Rick, who currently is a senior economist for the Credit Union National Association.
 
One of Colby's most notable achievements is the "Credit Union Trends Report," a monthly "pulse check" on the economic state of the credit union movement. The Trends Report will continue under Rick, who brings a wealth of knowledge from a similar position at the national trade association for credit unions.
 
"Dave will be missed, not just as a long-term and dedicated employee but as a valued industry resource on credit union economics and consumer finance," said John Lass, CUNA Mutual Group Business Development and Strategy senior vice president.  Lass added, however, that Rick is "uniquely qualified to step into this position without us missing a beat." 
 
Colby joined CUNA Mutual Group in 1977 as a corporate research specialist and has held various corporate, operational and strategic planning positions. His knowledge of the national economy, the consumer financial marketplace and the credit union system has led him to many corporate and industry-level task force assignments, and he is widely recognized as a leading speaker at industry conferences. He is a founding member of the Credit Union Economics Group, which provides a broad perspective of macroeconomic and credit union trends.
 
Colby said, "A big thank you to CUNA Mutual for challenging me to make a difference for credit unions and their members. The most rewarding part of my job was exchanging insights with our customers who are responsible for delivering financial services to members on Main Street. I always felt re-energized after league events or credit union planning sessions. "
 
Rick joined CUNA in 1992. As a senior economist, he conducted economic research and taught at various credit union schools and conferences. He holds a senior lecturer position with the Economics Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he teaches money and banking, and macroeconomics courses.

Michigan league, CUs testify on electronic titling bill

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LANSING, Mich. (6/17/14)--The Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) and representatives from four affiliated credit unions testified before the Michigan State House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday to advocate for legislation to prevent vehicle title fraud.
 
Currently, vehicle titles in Michigan are in paper form and held by the borrower. MCUL is supporting Senate bills 915-918 to require that vehicle titles with liens be held electronically, and that transactions related to lien placement and release be conducted electronically.
 
Testimony provided real-world examples of how scammers have altered paper documents to fraudulently show that a loan has been paid off. David Richmond, a representative from the office of Secretary of State Ruth Johnson's office, said that the auto loan process would not be affected. Rather, the legislation would change how titles are issued. The secretary, along with MCUL, has spearheaded the initiative.
 
"The only difference is, there would be no piece of paper issued to you that would be utilized in order to transfer ownership in the vehicle," said Richmond.
 
Among the representatives from Michigan credit unions who testified were:
  • Doug Seaney, executive vice president, lending, Bay Winds FCU, Charlevoix, with $175 million in assets;
  • Bryan Caputo, vice president of lending, First General CU, Muskegon, with $66 million in assets;
  • Chris Mangeno, business lending and special assets manager, Cornerstone Community Financial CU, Auburn Hills, with $209 million in assets; and
  • Stephen Dedene, manager, compliance and regulatory affairs, Credit Union ONE, Ferndale, with $831 million in assets.
If enacted, the legislation would be effective by October 2015, and would provide heightened criminal penalties in the interim. The legislation appears on track for further action when the Legislature reconvenes in the fall, the league said.

Central Minn. CU receives $228K financial leadership training grant

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MELROSE, Minn. (6/17/14)--Financial literacy and education are critical components of a credit union's operation.  One credit union in Minnesota soon will be able to take that commitment to the next level, thanks to a sizeable financial training grant from the state's Department of Employment and Economic Development.
 
Signing the MJSP grant were (from left): Bob Defries, dean of customized training at Alexandria Technical and Community College; Rick Odenthal, CEO at CMCU; and Paul Moe, director at MJSP. (Minnesota Credit Union Network photo)
Central Minnesota CU (CMCU), Melrose, Minn., with $828 million in assets, has received $228,760 from the state to put together a CMCU Leadership and Financial Leadership training development program. 
 
The credit union will work in collaboration with Alexandria Technical and Community College to create a new curriculum and design new courses for the credit union's employees.  Employees will be required to complete the internal program on financial leaderships skills and it is expected that they will come away with the skills necessary to succeed at the management level within CMCU.
 
"The increased knowledge of the CMCU team, in direct regards to leadership and finance, will lead to increased strength, service and growth of the organization, employees, members and community," said Nadine Rieland, CMCU vice president of human resources.
 
"Our culture empowers employees to be involved in leadership and the financial planning process, which is why we are developing the leadership and financial education for our current and future leaders," Rieland added.

Pa. chapter leaders use annual retreat as idea exchange

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (6/17/14)--Leaders representing different chapters of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) met last week to discuss issues facing state credit unions.
 
The 26 attendees from 16 chapters gathered at Toftrees Resort in State College, Pa. to share ideas about training, recruiting, advocacy, financial literacy and other issues ( Life Is A Highway June 16).
 
PCUA chair Maria LaVelle led a discussion about PCUA priorities, which include advocacy and compliance. Compliance burden was reported by chapter leaders as being a major source of stress, with the group agreeing that compliance training sessions tend to be well-attended. LaVelle told attendees that PCUA advocacy would take their concerns into consideration.
 
She also discussed the resources and services provided by Pacul Services, the PCUA for-profit subsidiary, and reminded chapter leaders to respond to a proposed bylaw amendment with a July 7 ratification deadline. The amendment would add an additional three-year term to the PCUA board of directors. 
 
South Carolina FCU Chief Operating Officer Troy Hall, the keynote speaker of the meeting, encouraged the leaders to enhance their chapters' relevance by emphasizing leadership and innovation to encourage participation.