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CU System Archive

CU System

Texas CU Dept. seeks expenses for extraordinary exams

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FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (7/9/10)--The Texas Credit Union League has expressed concerns about the Texas Credit Union Department's (TCUD) proposed rule 97.116, which would require credit unions to reimburse the department for examinations that are unusual or extraordinary. The proposed rule was adopted June 18 by the Texas Credit Union Commission and is in its 30-day comment period. It will be considered for a final rule at the commission's October meeting. "The rule allows the regulator to charge state-chartered credit unions individually when the agency decides to send examiners into a credit union for anything other than the regular examination," according to Jeff Huffman, league vice president for government relations. "This has traditionally been covered as part of the TCUD budget through the regular assessment made on credit unions for operations at the TCUD. The system of funding the agency that has been in place for many years has served Texas credit unions well, in good times and bad," Huffman said in an e-mail to News Now. "This proposed rule further expands the power of the regulator, giving great discretion to the commissioner. It takes away predictability of regulatory costs for state chartered credit unions," he added. "If these types of rules are implemented, state charters in Texas will not only have to pay their regular assessments, but will also be faced with individual assessments from the TCUD when they are least able to afford additional unanticipated and unlimited regulatory costs," Huffman said. Thomas Butler, chair of the Rules Committee, told the Credit Union Commission in its June 18 meeting that the department needs a mechanism to more equitably allocate certain expenses among credit unions based on special circumstances that may arise. The proposed rule requires a credit union to reimburse the department for actual costs incurred if Commissioner Harold Feeney determines that the credit union requires more than its proportionate share of the department's resources, Butler told the commission. The rule would require the credit union to pay the examiner's expenses such as meals, lodging and incidentals as well as the examiner's time spent with the credit union's special circumstances as deemed by the commissioner. The department would be required to provide advance notice to the credit union of its intention to recoup expenses.

Global CU savingsloans surge says WOCCU report

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MADISON, Wis. (7/9/10)--Credit unions in nearly all regions worldwide saw an increase in member savings and loan activity during 2009, according to World Council of Credit Unions' (WOCCU) newly released 2009 Statistical Report.
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The trend illustrates the increasingly more important roles that credit unions and other financial cooperatives worldwide played in their members' lives during last year's global recession, said WOCCU. Total savings for all responding credit unions reached more than $1.1 trillion, the most recorded since WOCCU began the annual survey in 1972. The rate of growth represents nearly a 15% increase compared with the $995 billion in savings reported in 2008. (All amounts are in U.S. dollars.) Loans were another indicator demonstrating strong growth over the previous year, climbing to nearly $912 billion from $847 billion in 2008. The increase is further accentuated in contrast to a slight decrease in loans globally between 2007 and 2008. Annual survey respondents from 97 countries reported that 49,330 credit unions served nearly 184 million members. In recent years, credit unions worldwide have seen notable growth in assets, membership, savings and other indicators. Cumulative assets reached nearly $1.4 trillion in 2009, up from $1.2 trillion in 2008, and reserves reached nearly $120 billion in 2009, up from slightly more than $115 billion in 2008. Strong financial performance demonstrates members' renewed faith in credit unions' resiliency during difficult economic times, said WOCCU. WOCCU has collected annual statistics on the international credit union movement for the past 37 years to produce its annual Statistical Report, and data are based solely on the number of countries responding to the survey. The only source for such comprehensive data on the global credit union movement, WOCCU's Statistical Report is widely cited by governments, international institutions and analysts. To download a free copy of the report, use the link.

Huffington touts Move Your Money on ICNNI John King show

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WASHINGTON (7/9/10)--Huffington Post publisher Arianna Huffington touted the Move Your Money campaign in an interview on CNN's John King show Wednesday, saying the campaign provides an opportunity for consumers to move money from big banks to community banks and credit unions. The Post originated the campaign over consumers' anger at banks for the financial crisis and economic turmoil. "We've been waiting for government to end too big to fail banks. It's not going to happen, even with a new financial regulation bill. So here's an opportunity for people to just move their money from the big banks into community banks, credit unions," she said. She noted "deposits up to $250,000 [in the local institutions] are guaranteed so there's no risk. And that way they're able to support institutions, which are supporting their communities [and] are more likely to lend so small businesses can create jobs." The campaign matters to individuals "who feel empowered just because they feel like they can do something," she said. Huffington said the campaign is not about revenge for big banks but is "more about making sure that families understand what is in their interest. We need great financial literacy. We need to understand what is at stake with our credit cards, with our accounts, and we need also to recognize that we have tremendous power."

CUNA and WOCCUs The 1 CU Conference kicks off Sunday

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LAS VEGAS (7/9/10)--The historic, one-time only, joint conference of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) will get underway Sunday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, with more than 2,800 people from 60 countries attending and 500 representatives of more than 206 vendors manning the exhibit hall. "The 1 Credit Union Conference--One World, One Event" will officially begin at 5 p.m PT with the Opening Ceremony and International Flag Parade as attendees parade in their national dress with their flags. This year, the event substitutes for CUNA's annual America's Credit Union Conference and WOCCU's annual World Credit Union Conference. "This will be the best of WOCCU and the best of CUNA, combined into one event," said Todd Spiczenski, vice president of the center for professional development at CUNA. CUNA's News Now will cover the event daily in its regular coverage, and send updates on "Live at The 1," in real time. Readers can also follow the events via News Now's Twitter account, LiveWire. CUNA*verse--CUNA's official blog site--will be blogging from the event also. CUNA's Credit Union Magazine's online site will also cover each day's events with its Daily on www.creditunionmagazine.org. And WOCCU will feature daily press releases on its website. The conference will end with a closing session Wednesday followed by an awards ceremony and reception. The largest delegations are from the U.S., followed by Canada and the Caribbean. Eighty-five to 90% of attendees from other countries needed visas to enter the U.S. for the conference, said WOCCU. Of those attending, 275 are Spanish speakers. Those speaking Spanish and Russian will have access to interpreters for the sessions. WOCCU said the conference has attracted its largest numbers ever from the Caribbean and New Zealand. Even before the official event gets started, the Global Women's Leadership Network Forum and the WOCCU Young Credit Union Person's (WYCUP) Networking session will be meeting Sunday. The largest sponsors of the event are CO-OP Financial Services, CUNA Mutual Group, CUNA Strategic Services, the National Credit Union Foundation, and the PSCU Financial Services.

CU System briefs (07/08/2010)

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* HARRISBURG, Pa. (7/9/10)--Erie (Pa.) FCU President/CEO Mary Beth Wilcher, left, met Saturday with U.S. Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D-3) during an Erie District meeting, said the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association. They discussed the impact of interchange fees, as well as member business loans. Dahlkemper is a co-sponsor of the member business lending (MBL) bill and supports increasing credit unions' MBL cap from the current 12.25% to 12.75%. Congress is expected to return to Washington, D.C., from its holiday district sessionson Monday (Life is a Highway July 8). (Photo provided by the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association) ... * ONTARIO, Calif. (7/9/10)--
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have named Andrea Svoboda as director of political affairs and have hired Patty Salazar as state legislative and regulatory lobbyist. Svoboda joined the leagues in 2008 as government affairs specialist. She will oversee fundraising programs for state and federal political action committees (PAC) and coordinate campaign involvement on behalf of league-supported candidates. She has been filling the position since it became vacant in May. Salazar will represent the leagues to legislative and regulatory decision makers in both states, effective July 26. They will join the leagues' government affairs team based in Sacramento. Previously, Svoboda coordinated grassroots outreach for Cerrell Associates Inc. Salazar was a senior account executive, local government, for Cerrell Associates Inc., and previously served as a case worker for Los Angeles Councilman Alex Padilla's office and as assistant to the chief of staff for Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar ... * CHARLOTTE, N.C. (7/9/10)--Two North Carolina "career offenders" and a woman were sentenced by a U.S. District Court judge Tuesday for their roles in bank and credit union robberies in Mecklenburg County, N.C. Terry Bernard Blackmon, 54, Charlotte, was sentenced to more than 14 years in prison for a December 2008 robbery of Bank of America. Alfred Louis Logan Jr., 30, and his sister, Crystal Chevon Logan, 26, both of Asheville, were sentenced to prison for an attempted robbery in January 2009 of Charlotte Metro CU's branch in Matthews. Alfred Logan received a 14-year sentence; Crystal Logan received more than five years. The sentences of Blackmon and Alfred Logan were lengthy because they were considered career offenders. During the credit union robbery, Crystal Logan nearly ran over a sheriff's deputy during the getaway. They were arrested the same day as the robbery (Charlotte Observer July 7) ...

Mich. CUs to help hardest-hit avoid foreclosures

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LANSING, Mich. (7/9/10)--Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm said Thursday that the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), along with credit unions, banks and nonprofit counseling agencies, would launch a state program to help eligible homeowners avoid foreclosure through the state’s $154.4 million Helping Hardest-Hit Homeowners Fund. Eligible homeowners include those who are receiving unemployment, who have fallen behind in mortgage payments due to a layoff or medical emergency, and who can’t afford their mortgage payments because of reduced income. The Michigan Credit Union League is among several trade associations supporting the initiative. Michigan credit unions serve 4.4 million members, and 235,000 homeowners in the state have a home loan through a credit union. With so many citizens facing tough economic times in Michigan, the Hardest Hit fund offers much-needed relief to help people stay in their homes, according to Michigan league President/CEO David Adams. “As Michigan rebuilds for a new future, one of the biggest challenges we face is keeping families in their homes while the job market recovers,” said Adams. “This partnership between the state, credit unions and banks provides a crucial resource that helps bridge the financial gap for unemployed and underemployed borrowers.” The fund aims to help up to 17,000 homeowners, including 11,000 who are unemployed and struggling to pay their mortgages. MSHDA will accept applications beginning Monday from mortgage loan servicers. Approval of an application is expected to take up to 48 hours upon receipt. MSHDA estimated it could take 12 to 18 months for all the funds to be distributed. The department also will add staff to review and process the completed application packages.

CU president U. employee indicted in grant funds theft

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (7/9/10)--A credit union president and a college program director were indicted Wednesday in Tallahassee, Fla., on federal charges in connection with the theft of federal grant money. Eugene Telfair, president of Florida A&M University (FAMU) FCU, Tallahassee, and Robert Nixon, director of the Institute on Policy and Commerce at FAMU, were each charged with conspiracy, theft from an organization receiving federal funds, and embezzlement of funds entrusted to a federally insured credit union (The Tallahassee Democrat July 7). FAMU does not use the credit union for financial services, Sharon Saunders, university spokeswoman, told the newspaper. Telfair and Nixon “conspired to steal approximately $134,253 in funds,” Karen Rhew-Miller, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said. The indictment alleges the two men “wrote one another checks to make their taking of the funds appear legitimate.” The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities program awarded the funds to FAMU, the paper said. FAMU FCU has $20 million in assets.

17000 new members in 12 months for Ohio CUs

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (7/9/10)--More than 17,000 Ohio residents joined credit unions for their financial needs between March 31, 2009 and March 31, 2010, according to the first quarter 2010 results of the Ohio Credit Union Quarterly Performance Summary. The results mark a record fifth straight quarter in which membership in Ohio credit unions grew, said the Ohio Credit Union League. Credit unions grew by 10,000 new members in the first quarter of 2010. Consumers’ anti-bank sentiment and a “flight to safety” drove the numbers, the league said. “This should not come as a surprise anymore,” said Paul Mercer, league president. “Membership growth at credit unions has moved beyond just a trend and is now a regulr occurrence.” It also noted the positive effects of “Move Your Money,” a national campaign geared at encouraging consumers to switch to credit unions and community banks from big banks. Its growing popularity likely contributed on a micro level to credit union growth in Ohio and nationally, said Pat Keefe, vice president of communications for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Member business lending at Ohio credit unions also is booming. About 90 of Ohio’s 392 credit unions reported outstanding business loan balances totaling of $357 million statewide, a 12.7% increase from the previous March. The delinquency rates at credit unions remain far below that of Ohio banks and thrifts, the league said. CUNA and its member credit unions are encouraging lawmakers to raise the current 12.25% cap on member business lending at credit unions. An amendment by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) to a budget stimulus bill would raise the cap to 27.5%. Allowing credit unions to make more business loans would inject more capital into the economy and create jobs, CUNA has said.