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CU System Briefs (08/07/2013)

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  • FORT WAYNE, Ind. (8/7/13)--A Fort Wayne, Ind., man has been charged with robbing a branch of Fort Wayne-based Three Rivers FCU located inside a Scott's grocery store last month. Reginald A. Greenwell Jr., also known as Sluwur Zelee, 28, is charged with the July 22 robbery. The man who robbed the credit union presented a note demanding that a teller hand over the money from her cash drawer and threatening her if she didn't. He also robbed a second teller of the cash in her drawer before fleeing.  A surveillance video of the robbery led to Greenwell's arrest (News-Sentinel Aug. 6) ...
  • DES MOINES, Iowa (8/7/13)--Two armed men in black and wearing Halloween masks--including an "Incredible Hulk" mask--robbed Tradesmen Community CU Monday morning in Des Moines.  The men, armed with handguns, ambushed the manager of the Des Moines-based, credit union when she arrived to open the credit union at 7:30 a.m. They demanded she let them into the building, ordered her to silence a beeping alarm and said they would kill her if she activated a separate burglary alarm. They told her to open the safe and filled two bags full of money before ordering her to lie on the floor while they fled. The Hulk mask was discarded about a block from the credit union. Police are reviewing a surveillance tape (Des Moines Register Aug. 6) ...
  • REDLANDS, Calif. (8/7/13)--Alta Vista CU has named Richard Holloway as its new CEO, effective July 1 ( Aug. 5). Holloway has been interim CEO since Oct. 22 at the $138 million asset, Redlands, Calif.-based credit union.  He began his credit union career in 1991 with the National Credit Union Administration and retired in 2011. Holloway was also interim CEO at San Bernardino School Employees   FCU from December 2011 to May 2012 and became its internal auditor until October 2012 ...

CUNA Study: Women's No. 1 Priority Is Saving For Retirement

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MADISON, Wis. (8/7/13)--The Credit Union National Association's Women's Financial Survey finds the most important financial concern for women isn't buying a house or paying off debt, but saving for retirement.

"The fact that women are thinking about retirement planning is a good sign that the message is getting out there that time is one of the most important aspects of  retirement savings, and the sooner they start the better," said CUNA Executive Vice President of Strategic Communications and Engagement Paul Gentile.

The survey also indicated that although women aren't confident in their financial knowledge, they might know more than they think.

It revealed that saving for retirement is the No. 1 financial concern for women. Findings showed that women use 401(k)s (45.3%) and pension plans (35.8%) the most to save for retirement, while 40% of women reported owning multiple retirement plans.

The survey also found that 51.2% of women were not confident in their financial ability, despite the fact that 38% of the married female respondents manage their household finances exclusively and 46% co-manage their household finances. This was particularly true with the youngest demographic, those born from 1980-1993, where 59.1% lacked financial confidence.

Most women reported balancing their checkbooks, maintaining six-month rainy day funds, paying their credit card balances in full every month and prioritizing long-term goals like retirement, home ownership and education ahead of transactional goals such as vacations and cars.

"It's surprising that although most women manage their household finances, they lack confidence that they are doing it correctly," said Gentile. "Our findings indicated that women take all the appropriate measures to be confident in their financial literacy but lack the reassuring knowledge to have confidence in how they manage their finances."

Another key finding was that fewer than half of the respondents across all demographics reported following a monthly budget, which is critical to efficiently manage any finances.

The Women's Financial Survey polled 1,042 via the Internet from a population of women nationally, with an even distribution of respondents born in each decade from 1920 to 1980. The survey was conducted on behalf of CUNA.

Western CUNA Management School Honors Grads

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ONTARIO, Calif. (8/7/12)--The 52nd Western CUNA Management School (WCMS) graduated 88 students on July 25 at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif.
Click to view larger image Eight-eight students graduated in the 52nd Western CUNA Management School (WCMS) on July 25 at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. From left, Michael D. Steinberger, dean, WCMS; 2013 High Honors graduates Nathan Linde, assistant vice president, contact center, Washington State Employees CU, Olympia, Wash.; Christopher Monti, vice president, finance, East Idaho CU, Idaho Falls, Idaho; Brandi Gleason, director of member relations, Northwest Credit Union Association; Rebecca Bower, senior manager of sales, BECU, Tukwila, Wash.; Daryl Holdaway, internal audit manager, Cyprus CU, West Jordan, Utah; Douglas Brisbon, business development manager, Seattle Metropolitan CU; and Rich Scholes, chief operating officer, Rogue FCU, Medford, Ore.; and WCMS President James D. Likens. (Photo provided by Western CUNA Management School)
"What is it that brings us together? What is it that inspires us to be here?" asked Bill Cheney, commencement speaker and president/CEO of the Credit Union National Association. "There is something different about us. In reality, we're not an industry--we're a movement. It's that 'credit union difference'--balancing head and heart."
Cheney added the future of the movement is "brighter than ever," with incredible opportunities for credit unions to become America's preferred financial institution. "WCMS is cultivating the leaders of tomorrow who will highlight the credit union difference, the movement, and win the hearts of Americans and small businesses."
Seven students graduated with High Honors. They included: 
  • Rebecca Bower, senior manager of sales, BECU, Tukwila, Wash.;
  • Douglas Brisbon, business development manager, Seattle Metropolitan CU;
  • Brandi Gleason, director of member relations, Northwest Credit Union Association;
  • Daryl Holdaway, internal audit manager, Cyprus CU, West Jordan, Utah;\
  • Nathan Linde, assistant vice president, contact center, Washington State Employees CU, Olympia, Wash.;
  • Christopher Monti, vice president, finance, East Idaho CU, Idaho Falls Idaho; and
  • Rich Scholes, chief operating officer, Rogue FCU, Medford, Ore.
Four students graduated with Honors:
  • Jason Ehn, senior loan officer, Redwood CU, Santa Rosa, Calif.;
  • Thomas Newins, chief operating officer, Credit Union 1, Anchorage, Alaska;
  • Darren Nishioka, vice president lending, Hawaii FCU,  Hilo, Hawaii; and
  • James Staub, loan manager, HFS FCU, Hilo, Hawaii.
Linde won the Rick Craig Prize for Excellence in Projects I and II.
Each year the graduating student who best represents the qualities of high moral character, leadership, credit union dedication, and academic achievement is nominated by his or her class to receive the Charles M. Clark Memorial Award. This year's recipient was Douglas Brisbon, business development manager for Seattle (Wash.) Metropolitan CU.
Chris Jillson, CEO of Sandia Laboratory FCU, Albuquerque, N.M., and a 1990 graduate of WCMS, received this year's James D. Likens Alumni Recognition Award for significant achievement in the credit union field since graduating from the school.
The graduating class presented WCMS President Jim Likens with fundraising checks totaling $92,000--$13,000 from a class auction event by the three classes and $79,000 raised during the past three years by the Lambda class, representing the largest class gift in WCMS history.
WCMS is sponsored by the credit union leagues and associations serving Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

CNN Reports On CU's Day Care Loans To NYC Parents

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NEW YORK (8/7/13)--Neighborhood Trust CU in New York City will administer subsidized child care loans to middle class families in a program launched by City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn, CNN reported Monday.
"We were approached by the City Council," Justine Zinkin, CEO of Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners and Neighborhood Trust CU, told News Now. "They were interested in a way to basically support families interested in better child care for their children.
"We were very specific that this loan should be bundled with financial education and counseling, not just debt, and fit into a broader format and goal," she added.
Qualified applicants must have an annual income of $80,000 to $200,000, a credit score of at least 620 and attend a free financial counseling session with a Neighborhood Trust counselor. The financial counselor will conduct a comprehensive review of the applicant's finances to assess the loan application, the New York City Council said in a press release.
Once any credit, savings or budgeting issues are identified and remedied, interested parents will then fill out a loan application and be referred to the $8.2 million asset Neighborhood Trust FCU for final loan underwriting, approval and disbursement, the city council said.
Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners is looking forward to joining Quinn and the New York City Council in the partnership, said Zinkin in the release.
"Neighborhood Trust has a nearly 20-year history in New York City of helping individuals achieve their financial goals by providing financial counseling and support services," Zinkin explained. "The Middle Class Child Care Loan Initiative combines two important tools to help families achieve their children's long-term education goals--access to early childhood education through a responsible low-interest loan and high-quality financial education and planning."
New York City has one of the highest child-care costs of any area in the country, the council said. 
Child-care costs can run as much as much as $2,300 per month in Manhattan and $1,700 per month in Brooklyn, CNN reported. 

NYIB Announces Election Results

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TAMPA, Fla. (8/7/13)--The National Youth Involvement Board (NYIB) confirmed four new regional coordinators and re-elected its chairman during the cooperative network's annual meeting Thursday in San Diego.
Julie McLean, director of financial education for Arapahoe CU, Centennial, Colo., was re-elected for a second term as NYIB chairman for 2013-14.
NYIB regional coordinators elected to two-year terms include:
  • Northwest--Shannon Cahoon, community outreach coordinator, Fibre FCU, Longview, Wash.,
  • North Central--Ashley Buchholz, marketing specialist, Wildfire CU, Saginaw, Mich.
  • Northeast--Leah Esslinger-Sprowl, high school manager and youth educator, Holy Rosary CU, Rochester, N.H.; and
  • South Central--Mandy Clayton, director of financial education, FivePoint CU, Nederland, Texas.
Regional coordinators continuing the second year of their existing terms are Juli Lewis, youth marketing manager, Suncoast Schools FCU, Tampa, Fla., in the South East and Angela Halsey,  director of marketing and business development, NuVista FCU, Montrose, Colo., in the South West.
The executive committee elected Lewis as vice chairman, Buchholz as secretary, and Esslinger-Sprowl as treasurer.  Additional officers will be elected at the committee's planning session, scheduled for October at the 2014 NYIB conference in Grand Rapids, Mich.

North Texans Give Mortgage Defaults the Evil Eye

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FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (8/7/13)--North Texans overwhelmingly disapprove of consumers who default on their mortgage, according to  a survey of homeowners by Texas Trust CU, Mansfield, Texas.
In the survey of more than 2,700 homeowners in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, respondents were asked whether it is justified for someone to stop paying their mortgage if they decide their home is worth less than they owe, or if they are having financial problems.
"People clearly have a deep sense of obligation when it comes to the financial commitment they have made to their mortgage lender," said Richard Whitman, Texas Trust CU vice president of mortgage lending.
"We've all heard stories about people who walk away from an underwater house or who decide to balance their household budget by simply cutting out mortgage payments," Whitman added. "The positive feedback from this survey is that almost everyone agrees that's wrong."
About 97% of homeowners said stopping mortgage payments is not justified because of an "underwater" valuation on their home. In the case of financial difficulties, 94% said that those problems would not justify halting mortgage payments.
Other findings in the survey include:
  • Most people surveyed see the housing market improving. More than three out of five--61%--believe their home has increased in value in the past year, while 39% didn't think so.
  • About 88% of surveyed homeowners with mortgages are paying interest rates of 3% to 8%. About 9% of homeowners have loans with interest rates below 3%, but 3% are burdened by loans with interest rates of 9% or higher.
  • Roughly 60% of homeowners are paying, or have paid, extra toward the principal on their loans, to reduce the loan principal and the total amount of loan interest, and to shorten the term of the loan. Of those, 46% said they make such payments whenever they have some extra money, while 39% add to their payment each month. Another 9% make two payments each month, while 6% add extra to their payment once a year.
  • About 37% of homeowners with a mortgage said they have refinanced within the past five years. Of the 63% who haven't refinanced, the leading reasons they cited as to why they haven't were that they already have a good interest rate, they can't afford closing costs, they have other personal debt to deal with, and they just don't see the benefit.

More Than One-third Of Young Adults Live With Parents

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WASHINGTON (8/7/13)--During 2012, roughly 21.4 million or 36% of Millennials ages 18 to 34 lived with their parents. That is the highest percentage in at least four decades, says Pew Research Center's analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.
By comparison, 18.5 million in this age group lived with the folks in 2007.  The percentage has consistently climbed since then, when 32% of Millennials lived at home. In 2009, after the Great Recession, 34% lived with their parents, said the Washington, D.C.-based research center.
Of those living with parents, from one third to one half are college students. Younger Millennials between 18 and 24 are more likely to live at home than older ones ages 25-31--56% vs. 16%, respectively. Millennial men were more likely--at 40%--to live with the folks than Millennial women--at 32%--were.
The key factors, Pew found, include:
  • Declining employment.  Last year 63% of Millennials had jobs, down from 70% for this age group in 2007. Forty-five percent of unemployed Millennials lived at home  last year, compared with 29% of employed young adults.
  • Rising college enrollment.  In March 2012, about 39% of 18- to 24-year-olds were enrolled in college, an increase from 355 in March 2007. In this age group, those enrolled in college were more likely to live at home, 66%, than those who were not in college, 50%.
  • Declining marriage rates.  Last year, 25% of Millennials were married, down from 30% who were married in 2007. Unmarried Millennials are more likely to live with the folks than married Millennials were, 47% vs. 3%.
What does this trend mean for credit unions?  It changes the way they market and the products and services they provide at any given life stage. Sticking to the old "lifestage" marketing of products may miss the mark.
Twenty years ago, a 30-something would be 10 years out of college, have a good job, be married with a couple of kids. He wouldn't have a student loan because tuition was cheaper and he worked his way through college. He would be in the market for a new car loan, a starter mortgage loan or a remodeling loan, a college savings fund for the kids, and some investments to make the most of his earnings--the American Dream.
Today's Millennial doesn't reflect those needs. Many Millennials aren't married and don't need mortgages or remodeling loans or college savings plans yet.  They say they need used-car loans that don't take six years to pay off, a good refinance rate on their student loans, and because they don't make much money, they need good savings rates. And they want the convenience of mobile banking.

Georgia Regulator Exempts CU Overdraft Fees In Parity Move

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ATLANTA (8/7/13)--At the request of the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA), the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance has issued a declaratory order exempting  overdraft fees charged by state-chartered credit unions from the state's maximum limit, "in order to provide parity with federal credit unions," said the department.
The July 11 order from Commissioner Kevin B. Hagler means that when a member overdraws a deposit account such as a share account or share draft account by using a check, debit card, ATM card or other means, a state-chartered credit union can charge an overdraft fee without any usury limitations.
"In light of the fact that federal law authorizes federal credit unions to impose overdraft fees on members' deposit accounts without any usury limitations, the commissioner declares that overdraft fees imposed by state-chartered credit unions are not subject to state law usury limitations," Hagler said in the order.
The order was prompted by court cases against banks, GCUA said. "GCUA became aware of recent court cases against a couple of Georgia banks noting that banks were in violation of the state's usury provision for fees charged in connection with overdrafts," said Cindy Connelly, senior vice president of government influence at GCUA. Credit unions were not involved in the cases.
In those cases, "the court was asked to find that the imposition of certain fees charged by financial institutions might be considered usury under Georgia law," Connelly told News Now. "We believed, from our research and from previous opinion letters that we knew where the federal regulator stood on this type of issue."
GCUA requested the department exercise its authority under state law O.C.G.A. section 7-1-61  to issue an order that would ensure state-chartered credit unions parity with federal credit unions operating in Georgia, said Connelly. "The ruling is the outcome of that request," she said, adding that the Department of Banking issued a similar ruling for banks about a week earlier.
In the declaratory order, Commissioner Hagler said, "Just like federal credit unions, state-chartered credit unions are authorized to accept deposit." The department "views overdraft fees imposed on deposit accounts as part of the deposit taking power of state-chartered credit unions."

The order explained that "unlike federal credit unions, state-chartered credit unions are potentially subject to a usury challenge for the imposition of overdraft fees as such fees ...can in certain circumstances be viewed as interest under state law" while any attempt to characterize an overdraft fee imposed by a federal credit union as interest for purposes for state usury would be pre-empted.
Therefore, "as national banks and federal credit unions can impose overdraft fees free of any state law usury limitations, state-chartered credit unions, subject to regulation by the department, can similarly impose overdraft fees and not be subject to state law usury claims," the order said.

Community CU/Growth Conference Speakers To Focus On Member Growth, CU Advantage

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MADISON, Wis. (8/7/13)--The Credit Union National Association has announced the speaker and session lineup for this year's CUNA Community Credit Union & Growth Conference, Oct. 8-11, in Uncasville, Conn.
"This year's speaker lineup is about progress and the credit union advantage," said Meghann Dawson, CUNA instructional design manager. "The strong combination of top credit union leadership, renowned speakers and innovators is sure to make an impact on everyone in attendance."
The conference focuses on driving membership growth and advancing credit union ideals. The keynoters leading this year's conference are:
  • Chad Hymas, national speaker hall of famer;
  • Paul Gentile, CUNA executive vice president of strategic communications and engagement;
  • Paul Smith, director of consumer research at Procter & Gamble;
  • Ryan Donovan, CUNA senior vice president of legislative affairs; and
  • Sarita Maybin, renowned speaker and communication expert.
This year's breakout speakers and workshop leaders will provide insights, perspectives and advice on the challenges facing credit unions and the future of the financial services industry.
This year's breakout session topics include:
  • Strengthening Your Capacity to Serve the Underserved;
  • Rising to the Challenge of Meeting Small Business Needs;
  • Top Regulatory Challenges Facing Credit Unions; and
  • Best Practices from Successful Community Credit Unions.
This year, CUNA partner CO-OP Financial Services will sponsor up to 18 full-tuition scholarships. For conditions of eligibility and scholarship applications, use the link. For more information on the CUNA Community Credit Union & Growth Conference, use the link.