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Weather creates havoc in Mid-Atlantic states

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WASHINGTON (7/3/12)--While credit unions geared up CUAid to help Colorado credit unions and members affected by wildfires, credit unions along the Mid Atlantic experienced a different scenario: power outages related to fas- moving storms with hurricane-force winds that hit Friday and Sunday, creating power outages for millions in stifling heat, at least 17 deaths,  downed trees in six states, and dangerous commuting conditions for some on Monday.

Early reports indicate that there were no major disruptions in credit unions' service. However, is too early to gauge the full impact on credit unions and their members. Credit union leagues in Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio said they had not received enough information to determine whether all credit unions in their state had power or were open. News Now was unable to make contact with Maryland/D.C. Credit Union Association and the West Virginia Credit Union League to determine the status of credit unions in those states.

The Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Washington, D.C., office was open Monday. While the area was working hard to restore power, some CUNA staffers remained without power in their home Monday. Some had challenges commuting to work because of tree damage clogging roads amd signal outages on the Metro, which slowed some trains on the D.C. metropolitan-area subway system.

The National Credit Union Administration, located in Alexandria in hard-hit northern Virginia, was "open for business as usual," said John Zimmerman, NCUA public affairs specialist, when asked by News Now. "Many employees made it into work despite lacking electricity at their homes or dealing with the traffic hazards on the way in." He noted that "federal employees were given the opportunity to take unscheduled leave."

The Virginia Credit Union League attempted to reach out to credit unions' CEOs and senior staff Monday, said Lewis Wood, league vice president of public relations and communications. "Being a holiday week, I'm certain that some [credit union senior staff]  planned to be out of the office. I'm sure there are those without power, as well, given the fact the outages are still so widespread," he told News Now.  "The good news is that we've had no reports, at present, of any significant damage to credit union facilities/branches," he added.

DuPont Community CU in Waynesboro, Va., had minor network connectivity and phone issues, but was the only financial institution in that area open on Saturday, Wood said.  DuPont Community posted a 3 p.m. Monday update that said its home banking is available, and that ATMs are available in Lucy Lane, West Maine, Stuarts Draft, Community Way, Reservoir, Kaylor, Verona and Woodstock.  "We continue to work with our power and Telco vendors to restore service at our Riverside and Terry Court locations," the site said. Members were advised to get cash back in stores that have that option and to continue checking the site for updates.

Another credit union in Arlington said one of its branches was closed Monday because it was without power. "With the holiday approaching, we anticipate call volume and branch traffic to be high," said Arlington (Va.) Community FCU in a service-status update to its members after the storm. It has disaster preparation and recovery plans in place and was able to quickly restore access to vital systems and services with a few limitations, the credit union said.

A branch on Glebe Road did not have power Monday and was closed. Incoming phone calls to the credit union weren't working Monday morning but were expected to be functional within the hour, with reduced capacity for volume. "Expect longer hold times," the credit union told members.

Arlington Community also noted its Access 24 was not available Monday, but Online Banking and Web Pay were functioning. Its Columbia Pike branch was open Monday, but it had limited printer, fax and phone system capabilities and was expecting an overflow of volume from the closed Glebe Road branch. The credit union said it would provide updates on its website.

In Baltimore, more than 220,000 BGE customers--homes and businesses--in Central Maryland remained without power Monday, said the The Baltimore Sun (July 2).  The majority will be restored to power Thursday or Friday, but some may take longer, said BGE.

West Virginia media reported that 60% of the state, or 263,845 customers of Appalachian Power, was without power Monday afternoon (The Charleston Gazette July 2). More than 257,000 American Electric Power (AEP) customers there also still had no power Monday afternoon (The Herald Dispatch July 2).  More than 50 of AEP's substations were damaged Friday and it is estimated power will be fully restored in Cabell, Wayne and Putnam counties by late Friday. The southern part of the state was hit both Friday and again Sunday by storms.  In Kentucky, about 39,000 were without power statewide.

The Herald Dispatch, said that overall Ohio has 399,910 customers without power Monday afternoon.

The Ohio Credit Union League told News Now Monday afternoon it sent a message to credit unions "first thing in the morning, trying to get an assessment of the situation and letting them know that the league, and the foundation, is there to help," said Patrick Harris, league director of media relations. "We received only a few responses, and from what we can gather, only a few are experiencing any issues--power outages, system reboots" and so on. "We have not heard of any branches or offices closing as a result of the storm," he told News Now.

In North Carolina, the website of Raleigh-based State Employees' CU, which has branches all over the state, did not have any reference to closed branches or power outages. Jeff Hardin, director of communications at the North Carolina Credit Union League said the league had not heard from credit unions about damages or closures.

CUNA Calls for entries for Community CU of Year

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MADISON, Wis. (7/3/12)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will award the Community Credit Union of the Year Award to outstanding community credit unions that serve as positive role models in the field of service and exemplify the principles of the credit union movement. CUNA is making a call for entries.

The awards will be presented at the CUNA Community Credit Union & Grwoth Confernce Oct. 23-26 in Denver. Along with being recognized at the conference, winners will receive a profile in Credit Union Magazine, complimentary registration to the conference, the opportunity to co-present a Best Practices session at the 2013 conference and the privilege of announcing next year's award winners. Entries must be received by Aug. 6. 

Reserved for community credit unions and/or multi-select employee group credit unions, the award honors credit unions that consistently excel in the advancement of the ideals of the credit union movement, are proactive in their community and provide services that meet the needs of their diverse communities.

Four outstanding credit unions receive the award each year, with a first-place and honorable-mention winner in each asset category of less than $250 million and more than $250 million.

The CUNA Community Credit Union & Growth Conference provides the tools for credit unions to put their ideas into action and find new strategies to drive membership growth. Attendees will create ready-to-implement action plans to help their credit union reach its full potential.

For more information, use the links.

MidFlorida members letter to editor tells CU difference

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LAKELAND, Fla. (7/3/12)--A letter to the editor from a Florida couple espousing the credit union difference was published Monday in the TheLedger.com.

Nelson and Mary Burke shared their positive experiences as members of MidFlorida CU, Lakeland, Fla.

"While purchasing a new vehicle, we turned to a variety of loan sources," the Burkes wrote. "Every single bank was totally uncooperative, while credit unions were more than happy to have our business. In fact, MidFlorida CU, went above and beyond in making the deal happen in the least amount of time with the most favorable interest rate."

The Burkes also complemented MidFlorida CU for the great member service they received.

"Advantages of a credit union are local service, employees who truly care about their customers and keeping the money locally, so that our community benefits," they wrote.

For the full letter, use the link.

Portlands latest public deposits in Unitus Community

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PORTLAND, Ore. (7/3/12)--Unitus Community CU in Portland, Ore., is the most recent Oregon credit union to receive a public funds deposit from the city of Portland, according to the Northwest Credit Union Association.

The city passed a Responsible Banking Resolution in May, beginning a process of working more closely with local financial institutions. OnPoint Community CU, a $2.93 billion asset Portland credit union, and Advantis CU, an $810 million asset credit union based in Milwaukie, Ore., each received deposits in May (Anthem June 28).

Eight financial institutions had received deposits from the city as of the end of last month, according to information posted on the city's website. Unitus, an $834 million asset credit union, was one of two additional institutions listed that had not yet taken a deposit.

Portland City Treasurer Jennifer Cooperman said the process had already started. "We couldn't legally say that the deposit was made as of May 31, so as of May 31, the two credit unions that had money on deposit from the city of Portland were Advantis and OnPoint. If you look in a couple weeks when we post the June 30 information, you will see some updates, some additions to that."

Laurie Kresl, Unitus' vice president of planning and business development, confirmed that the credit union received a public funds deposit in June. Cooperman couldn't disclose the details but said that "during the course of the month, we did make additional deposits." The eight deposits reported by the city in May were each for $250,000.

CUNA closed Wednesday no INews NowI

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WASHINGTON and MADISON, Wis. (7/23/12)--The Washington, D.C., and Madison, Wis., offices of the Credit Union National Association will be closed Wednesday in observance of the Fourth of July holiday.

News Now will not publish an issue on Wednesday but will resume regular publication on Thursday.

Miyashiro Porter appointed to CO-OP board

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (7/3/12)--Shruti Miyashiro of Orange County's CU in Santa Ana, Calif., and Benson Porter of BECU in Tukwila, Wash., have joined the board of CO-OP Financial Services to complete the terms of two retiring members.

Both Miyashiro and Porter were appointed by the board, with Miyashiro replacing Rick Craig of America First FCU in Riverdale, Utah, for a term extending to 2015, and Porter replacing Gary Oakland of BECU, whose term extends to 2014. Both new members took office, effective Sunday. 

Miyashiro had previously served as chair of CO-OP's independent, six-member Audit Committee since April 2010. She is president/CEO of Orange County's CU, a post she has held since 2007. She formerly was president/CEO at Pasadena (Calif.) FCU.

Porter not only succeeds Oakland on the CO-OP Board, but also as president/CEO of BECU, a position he assumed in April. He previously had served in the same capacity at First Tech FCU in Palo Alto, Calif.

CU System briefs (07/02/2012)

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  • SPRINGBORO, Ohio (7/3/12)--Wright-Patt CU (WPCU), based in Fairborn, Ohio, and Irongate Inc. Realtors, Centerville, have taken first steps to jointly restart Southern Ohio Mortgage, to promote local economic development and strengthen local communities through home ownership. Southern Ohio Mortgage operates in six Irongate Realtors offices in Englewood, Beavercreek, Centerville, Kettering, Washington Township, and Springboro.  "This partnership is a great example of how local companies can join together to help not only stimulate the local economy, but to help area residents achieve their dreams. And, when residents are successful, so are our communities," said Doug Fecher, president/CEO of WPCU. From left are Fecher; Tim Mislansky, president, myCU Mortgage, and senior vice president/chief lending officer of WPCU; and Greg Gillen and Steve Brown, both broker/owners of Irongate Inc. (Photo provided by Wright-Patt CU) …
  • RALEIGH, N.C. (7/3/12)--Coastal FCU announced the election of Joan Nelson as board chairwoman and the appointment of Chuck Purvis as Coastal's new president/CEO. Nelson brings 17 years of service on the board, since 1995, and previously served as vice chair. She has been a volunteer since 1993. She succeeds Richard Bloom, who was chairman for 38 of the past 39 years. Bloom will remain on the board as vice chair.  Purvis brings 30 years of industry experience , having previously served as executive vice president/chief operating officer. He succeeds Larry Wilson, who is retiring after serving as president/CEO of Coastal for 38 years. Purvis is former chairman of the National Credit Union Foundation and served on its board from 1995 to 2007. From 1992 to 2000 he has served as a member of the senior management team at various credit union organizations …
  • SAN ANTONIO (7/3/12)--San Antonio-based SACU announced that Pat Evans, SACU mortgage compliance officer, has been installed as president of Credit Professionals International (CPI) in a ceremony at CPI's conference in St. Louis, Mo. Evans has been a member of CPI since 2003. She has served as president, vice president and parliamentarian of CPI District 8.  At the local level, she has held numerous offices at the Alamo Chapter, including president, vice president, parliamentarian and treasurer. She was named International Credit Professional of the Year in 2010.  Evans, a member of the $2.9 billion asset SACU since 1973, has worked at the credit union for 27 years, spending much of her career in lending, managing direct, indirect and mortgage loan processing …
  • SUITLAND, Md. (7/3/12)--Col. Clifford E. Reese, USMC (ret.), who served on the board of directors at Andrews FCU, Suitland, Md., for more than 18 years, died April 9, according to the credit union. He was 84.  Reese was a member of the credit union movement for 55 years. He was known as a visionary leader, staunch member advocate and champion of U.S. military forces worldwide. He once served as chairman of the credit union's Supervisory Committee and chairman of Andrews Federal Corp.  "We are saddened by the loss of a true credit union advocate and supporter," said Chris McDonald, Andrews FCU president/CEO.  "Mr. Reese's commitment and devotion will long be remembered by all whose lives he touched." …

iNerd Walleti spotlights seven CUs fin lit programs

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MADISON, Wis. (7/3/12)--Seven credit unions were featured in a financial literacy blog post on Nerd Wallet, a personal Finance website committed to promoting financial literacy.

The blog, titled "Spotlight on Credit Unions" featured seven credit unions that provide resources for financial literacy on their websites.

"Your local credit union is an excellent resource for financial literacy materials," the article said. "That might sound surprising, but it actually makes a lot of sense. Here's why: credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions. They offer all the same products and services as banks, but they're not owned by corporate shareholders. All credit union members are co-owners, so your local branch is eager to help you make smart financial decisions."

The Nerd Wallet blog also noted that credit unions make decisions in the best interests of their members.

The credit unions cited included:

  • Financial Center FCU, Indianapolis;
  • AmeriChoice FCU, Mechanicsburg, Pa.;
  • Metro CU, Boston;
  • UW CU, Madison, Wis.;
  • Kauai Community CU, Lihue, Hawaii;
  • BrightStar CU, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and
  • DuTrac Community CU, Dubuque, Iowa;
To read the full article, use the link.

Top 10 iNews Nowi stories for June (07/02/2012)

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MADISON, Wis. (7/3/12)--An article about how credit unions have outpaced banks in making small-business loans during the past year was the most-read News Now article in June.

The top 10 articles in June included:

10. ACUC: Achor--Train your brain for happiness, success

SAN DIEGO (6/20/12)--People can rewire their brains for higher levels of happiness--and in the process become more successful in business and relationships, Shawn Achor told America's Credit Union Conference attendees Tuesday morning.

9. CU signs consent decree in ADA-ATM lawsuit

PITTSBURGH (6/13/12)--Century Heritage FCU, based in Pittsburgh, signed a consent decree last week before a federal court in Pennsylvania, which will dismiss a class-action lawsuit alleging its ATMs violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

8. Court upholds mortgage loan officers' overtime ruling

WASHINGTON (6/26/12)--A U.S. District judge in Washington, D.C., has upheld a Department of Labor administrative interpretation that says mortgage loan officers are not exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

7. Federal Reserve to buy $267 billion in Treasuries

WASHINGTON (6/20/12)--The Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee today said it would extend "Operation Twist" by purchasing $267 billion in long-term Treasuries to reduce borrowing costs for American consumers and businesses.

6. Court explains denying ATM fee 'class action'

SAN ANTONIO (6/7/12)--A federal judge in San Antonio has denied an individual's class action certification in one of the lawsuits brought against financial institutions alleging they violated the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) by failing to post notices of ATM surcharges.

5. Restaurant chain, LinkedIn hit by breaches

DAYTON, Ohio and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (6/8/12)--A restaurant chain in Ohio warned of a data breach in five of its restaurants in an area already seeing a spike in debit-card fraud, and credit unions using social media networks learned that the LinkedIn social network and  eHarmony site were compromised in other data breaches announced this week.

4. Put it on the map: NCUA's CU data by state

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (6/6/12)--Arizona is leading the way in average return-on-assets for the nation's credit unions, the National Credit Union Administration revealed in a new quarterly state-by-state review of the financial performance of credit unions.

3. NCUA hits exam issues at Fla. Listening Session

ORLANDO, Fla. (6/15/12)--It was another productive meeting, Credit Union National Association Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn said of the National Credit Union Administration Listening Session she attended here this week, with examination issues and a possible revised definition of "small" credit union, in particular, front and center.

2. Man deposits 20 years' worth of coins at CU

HERNDON, Va. (6/12/12)--George Shoemaker, a member of Northwest FCU, Herndon, Va., is proof that saving pocket change can pay off.

1. Index: CUs outdo banks in small-biz loans

MADISON, Wis. (6/7/12)--Credit unions in the U.S. have outdone banks in the past year when it comes to small-business loans, according to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index, an analysis of 1,000 loan applications on Biz2Credit.com., the company said.