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CU System briefs (06/25/2014)

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  • MERIDEN, Conn. (6/25/14)--More than 80 golfers helped raise about $24,000 for the Connecticut Credit Union Charitable Foundation during the annual Dick Abely Golf Tournament June 16 in Bristol, Conn. (Weekly Update June 24). The foundation primarily focuses on food insecurity, supporting the Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare food pantries year-round. It also donates to local charities and the Boys & Girls Club youth of the year event ...
  • BALTIMORE (6/25/14)--More than 600 people attended the June 13 retirement party for Bert Hash Jr., who retired after 17 years as president/CEO of MECU of Baltimore Inc. During his tenure, the credit union grew to more than $1.3 billion in assets from $400 million and now counts more than 106,000 members. Among the attendees were Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Baltimore), and representatives of the African-American Credit Union Coalition and Hash's alma mater, Morgan State University. "This has been the most rewarding part of my career, working with the wonderful team at MECU to develop an exceptional financial institution to serve the people of the community I love," Hash said. Gary J. Martin, MECU senior vice president/chief lending officer, is Hash's successor. Andy Pataki, MECU former chief operating officer, left, and board Chair Herman Williams Jr., right, watch Hash slice into his retirement cake (MECU of Baltimore photo) ...
  • ONTARIO, Calif. (6/25/14)--The financial literacy work of Astrid Rives, chief marketing officer at $427-million asset SkyOne FCU, was recognized by U.S. Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), a member of the House Financial Services Committee (In the News June 19). Rives was honored for being an outstanding business leader in the financial services Industry--particularly in the realm of financial literacy. The Hawthorne, Calif., credit union uses both the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation's "Bite of Reality" financial simulation workshops and "Borrow and Save" small-dollar loans to help members build financial knowledge. "It was such an honor to receive this recognition from Congressman Campbell," Rives said. "His continued dedication over the years to fiscal restraint and responsible budgeting is something we at SkyOne also believe in, making it core to our mission as a credit union when serving our members" ...

Half of Americans have little to no emergency savings: Bankrate

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NEW YORK (6/25/14)--More than a quarter of the U.S. population has not saved a dime for emergency situations, according to a report released Monday.

In addition, two-thirds of Americans have saved less than the equivalent of six months' worth of expenses--the recommended emergency savings balance--and half have put away less than three months' worth ( June 23).

The number of people who have stocked up enough savings to cover the cost of three months of expenses dropped to 40% this year from 45%.

"Americans continue to show a stunning lack of progress in accumulating sufficient emergency savings," said Greg McBride,'s chief financial analyst. "Even among the highest-income households--those with annual income of $75,000 or above--fewer than half (46%) currently have a six-month savings cushion."

Adults age 30 to 49 are the least likely to have any emergency savings, the report found. On the other hand, the 18-to-30 demographic is the most likely to have at least five months' worth of expenses saved.

McBride says the reason for the disparity is that "many of those under the age of 30 have the benefit of lower expenses due to roommates, living with their parents or being students," while those in the 30-to-49 bracket are living through their "high-spending" years when expenses climb at a fast clip.

Meanwhile, also reported this week that its Financial Security Index rebounded to 101.5 this month, indicating an "improvement over one year ago" and mirroring the positive consumer sentiment report released by the Conference Board Tuesday. (See related story: Despite modest income growth, June consumer confidence jumps.)

Within the survey results, 24% of respondents feel more secure in their jobs than they did a year ago, compared with 17% who feel less secure. And 23% are more comfortable with debt than they were in June 2013, while 20% have become less comfortable.

Net worth and overall financial health also both posted strong survey results, according to

"Savings remains a weak spot and has been in negative territory every month since polling began in December 2010," said.

Debit card usage weathers data security issues

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HOUSTON (6/25/14)--Credit unions and other financial institutions definitely took a  operational hit from the Target security breach, but debit card use continued to surge in 2013, according to the 2014 Debit Issuer Study, commissioned by PULSE.
The Target breach affected every financial institution that participated in the study, causing fraud loss rates to increase in 2013 and compelling issuers to re-evaluate their strategies for improving card security in 2014, the study found.
Overall, 14% of all debit cards were exposed in data breaches in 2013, compared with 5% in 2012. The resulting 2013 fraud losses to financial institutions amounted to 5.7 basis points (bp) for signature debit and 0.7 bp for PIN debit. Compared with the prior year, PIN debit fraud loss rates remained constant at 0.3 cents per transaction, on average, while signature debit loss rates increased to 2.2 cents per transaction, up from 2 cents.
Issuers also reported on fraud loss rates by payment usage. International transactions caused loss rates of 51 bp, compared to 8 bp for domestic card-not-present transactions and 2 bp for domestic card-present transactions.
Financial institutions weathered the Target data breach and are looking for solutions to enhance security, with many issuers now planning to implement the Europay-MasterCard-Visa (EMV) standard debit, the study indicated.
About 84% of financial institutions reissued all exposed cards in response to the Target breach, compared with only 29% that typically reissue all exposed cards as a standard response to breaches.
The study found that 86% of participating U.S. issuers plan to start issuing EMV debit cards within the next two years, and most will begin EMV debit issuance in 2015. The most common strategy among financial institutions is to provide account holders with an EMV debit card as part of their regular card reissuance cycle.
Outside of the challenges caused by data breaches, debit continued its growth trajectory in 2013. Consumers continue to shift to electronic payments, with transactions per active card increasing to 20.1 per month from 19.4 a year earlier. Metrics such as penetration, active rate and ticket size remained consistent year-over-year. There was an uptick in usage of business debit cards: Transactions per active card per month increased to 14.5 from 13.5.
Continuing historical trends, signature debit declined in its share of total transactions between 2012 and 2013, falling to 62% from 64% for consumer cards, and to 70% from 72% for business cards. As regulated issuers--those with more than $10 billion in global assets--receive equivalent interchange for signature and PIN transactions but incur lower costs on PIN transactions, large debit issuers now tend to prefer PIN transactions.
To foster continued debit growth, issuers reported working both to improve current performance and to make their debit offerings more attractive. Forty-eight percent of regulated issuers now offer debit rewards programs, and most of these use merchant offers.
As issuers continue to promote the migration of cash payments to cards, PULSE expects overall ATM use to naturally decline. In 2013, ATM withdrawals reached a study-wide low of 2.3 per active card per month. Large banks expect ATM transactions to continue to decline, but credit unions and community banks project increased ATM transaction volume as they seek to drive traffic from the branch to the ATM.

CUNA volunteer program adds ERM course

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MADISON, Wis. (6/25/14)--The Credit Union National Association has introduced a new course for credit union directors on enterprise risk management (ERM), developed in partnership with The Rochdale Group Inc. 
The course, "Enterprise Risk Management for Directors," is now available through the CUNA Volunteer Achievement Program.
"We developed this course based on the success of our biannual ERM conference, which continues to attract more and more attendees," said Kevin Smith, CUNA director of learning and events. "As more credit unions discover the growing necessity of an overarching risk management process, we want to make sure that quality content is readily available to volunteers across the movement."
Available in both print and ebook formats, "Enterprise Risk Management for Directors" introduces credit union volunteers to the concept and scope of ERM as well as directors' roles in in incorporating it into credit union operations.
Course topics include:
  • Introduction to ERM fundamentals;
  • ERM roles and responsibilities;
  • Risk appetite development;
  • ERM governance, integration and risk traps;
  • Board liability, risk management regulations and ERM policy;
  • ERM and strategic planning;
  • Capital adequacy, risk-based capital and risk-adjusted return measures; and
  • Theory into practice: ERM in your credit union.
The CUNA Volunteer Achievement Program's self-study courses teach the philosophical and financial topics that volunteers need for their decision-making responsibilities--and provides participant recognition along the way. For more information, use the resource link.

Suncoast foundation awards $88K to 4 college freshmen

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TAMPA, Fla. (6/25/14)--At $88,000, this year's scholarship distribution is the most ever by Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, the charitable arm of $5.7 billion-asset Suncoast CU, Tampa, Fla.
"We believe that an investment in our youth is an investment in our community," said Mary Tlachac, foundation executive director.
Four high school seniors will receive funds for degree tracks and vocational-technical programs.
The $10,000 scholarship, renewable for four years, went to Caitlin Early, a graduate of Golden Gate High, Naples. She plans to major in education at Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers.
Monica Olvera graduated from Dunbar High School, Fort Myers, and will be attending Edison State College, Fort Myers, to study nursing. Her $6,000 per year scholarship will cover two years toward an associate in arts degree followed by $10,000 per year for two years to complete a bachelor's degree at a four-year university.
Another $6,000 scholarship winner is Justice Alvarado, who graduated from Manatee High School, Bradenton, and will attend Manatee Technical Institute. The two-year renewable scholarship will go toward Alvarado's nursing studies at the State College of Florida, Bradenton.
Immokalee (Fla.) High School graduate Alan Garcia has been accepted into the heavy equipment program at i-Tech-Immokalee Technical Center and will receive a $4,000 scholarship.

Thompson, Katin inducted into Dakotas' CU Hall of Fame

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BISMARCK, N.D. (6/25/14)--The Credit Union Association of the Dakotas (CUAD) has enshrined two new members into its Credit Union Hall of Fame.

Created to commemorate those who have significantly impacted the credit union movement, the awards were presented June 6 at the CUAD Awards Banquet in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The inductees were Donald Thompson, longtime member and board member of Service First FCU, Sioux Falls, with $132 million in assets; and Janice Katin, former CEO of Affinity First FCU, Minot, N.D., with $49 million in assets.

Thompson has been a member of Service First since 1960 when it operated out of a small building run by three employees. It has since grown to four branches and employs 60 people.

Thompson also has served on the credit union's board of directors since 1982 and sat on its credit committee from 1982 to 1987, with a stint as vice chair from 1990 to 1995. He also served on the supervisory committee from 1995 to 1996.

Katin was acting CEO of Affinity First from 1995 until last month and served on the North Dakota Credit Union League board from 1993 to 1999.

A graduate of the 1986 Credit Union National Association Management School, Katin served on the league's Family Involvement Board for nearly a decade where she developed the Pee Wee Penguin youth savers program, which earned her the nickname "Pee Wee's Mom."

CU campaign 'moo-ves' members to support 4-H, food pantry

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GERMANTOWN, Md. (6/25/14)--Mid-Atlantic FCU, with $279 million in assets, is encouraging members and the community to make a "[MOO]ve Against Hunger."
The Germantown, Md., credit union is using social media to solicit donations to purchase locally raised steers during the Montgomery County 4-H auction and, in turn, give the meat to the Manna Food Center in Gaithersburg.
Donations to the "[MOO]ve Against Hunger" campaign can be made either at the custom website or by texting "BEEF" to 55155. Text donors will receive a link directing them to a mobile donation page.
For every dollar donated between now and July 31, Mid-Atlantic FCU will match up to $5,000.
All donors will receive a social media thank you via MAFCU's Facebook page, along with an image of the "[MOO]ve Against Hunger" poster that can be shared and reposted on personal social networks.
Last year, the credit union provided a quality protein source to close to 400 families last year, said Marc Wilensky, Mid-Atlantic FCU vice president of marketing. He added that the credit union wanted to do more and enlisted CafeGive Social expand its reach into the community and inspire others to join it in helping Manna Food Center provide even more quality local beef to its neighbors in need.

News Now subscribers: Please update email permissions to ensure delivery

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MADISON, Wis. (6/24/14)--News Now is upgrading its email delivery system to better serve our readers--and we'd like to ensure there is no interruption in its delivery to our subscribers.

Starting this Friday, readers will receive the same timely and comprehensive daily news content from the Credit Union National Association and it will be delivered through a more powerful communications application. 

This change means you may have to take some simple action to keep the latest news dropping directly into your email box each morning. Please look for email from CUNA this week with details.

The vast majority of our subscribers will simply need to add News Now to their safe-senders list--so the  headlines email does not go to a junk mail folder. A small percentage of our readers will need to set up a profile. Either way, subscribers will get an email with instructions tailored to their needs.

If any reader requires additional assistance, please contact CUNA's IT department at for immediate help.