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Massachusetts CUs 2Q assets deposits loans up

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BOSTON (9/17/12)--Massachusetts credit unions were in the top 20 states in two out of eight categories of statistics in the second quarter state-by-state performance review released recently by the National Credit Union Administration.

The review shows the percentage growth for the credit unions of each state year over year as of the end of second quarter, said the Massachusetts Credit Union League (E-Weekly Sept. 10).

The two categories were percentage improvement in charge-offs and in loan growth. Massachusetts credit unions' chargeoffs improved to 0.47%, the 17th lowest number nationally. Their loan growth increased 4.7%, which means Massachusetts ranks 19th among the states. The national average loan growth was 3.2%.

Total assets in Massachusetts credit unions rose 5.3% over June 30, 2011, compared with a national increase of 6.9%. Deposits in the state's credit unions grew 4.9%, compared with the national average of 6.90%.

Three Central Ohio CUs complete unique merger

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (9/17/12)--Three credit unions in the Columbus, Ohio, area have completed their strategic merger and formed Pathways Financial CU, effective Aug. 1.

Members First CU with $53.3 million assets and 7,063 members; Powerco CU, with more than $65.4 million assets and 8,202 members; and Western CU, with $68.7 million in assets and 10,281 members, received approval from the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions and the National Credit Union Administration to finalize the merger.

Pathways Financial CU has $187 million in assets and serves 25,500 members through six Central Ohio branches. Its field of membership includes employers such as American Electric Power and Motorists Insurance, as well as residents of Franklin, Delaware, Madison and Union counties.

Its branches are located in Delaware, Grandview Heights, Plain City, the Gahanna/New Albany area, West Columbus and in the American Electric Power building in downtown Columbus.

The credit union said the merger is unique because it involves three healthy, well-capitalized credit unions that decided to become partners to better serve their members and communities. Also, each branch location is co-branded with the new name of the credit union and the name of the partner credit union that operated there. The strategy helps Pathways leverage and build upon the brand equity each partner had cultivated among its members and communities.

"We collectively decided to pursue this strategy with the intention of developing a credit union business model with long-term sustainability that allows us to provide the convenience and the competitively priced financial services that our members expect and deserve," said Greg Kidwell, president of Pathways Financial CU.

The business model was structured to be an attractive merger alternative for other credit unions. "We believe that this model will appeal to other healthy mid-sized credit unions that are concerned about the prolonged downturn in the economy along with the increased competition within our industry," said Mike Shafer, Pathways Financial CEO.

Board Chairman Bill Knoles noted that the merger is the result of three years of planning by the boards and executive management of the three partner credit unions.

CU Staff Salary Report provides details on 100 jobs

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MADISON, Wis. (9/17/12)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has released its 2012-2013 Complete Credit Union Staff Salary Survey Report. Based on research conducted by CUNA, the report features an analysis of salary information for the credit union industry.

The survey measures compensation data for 90 full-time and 10 part-time positions at credit unions with $1 million or more in assets. Data include base salaries, incentives, bonuses, total cash compensation and salary ranges.

"The lack of qualified job candidates in certain positions means that competitors may attempt to lure away your employees with highly sought-after skills," said Beth Soltis, CUNA senior research analyst. "Credit unions that analyze the competitiveness of their compensation plans are the most likely to both attract and retain top talent."

Based on growing interest in comprehensive planning tools, CUNA offers a package of salary planning resources, in print or PDF format, to help credit unions gain an understanding of compensation trends in their geographic and peer group.

The Complete Credit Union Staff Salary Survey Package includes:

  • 2012-2013 Complete Credit Union Staff Salary Survey Report;
  • 2012-2013 CU Staff Salary Metric/Calculation Worksheets (new);
  • 2012-2013 Geographic Customized Salary Survey;
  • 2012-2013 Complete Guide to Setting Salaries;
  • E-Scan Research & Advice Portal (basic access); and
  • E-Scan Newsletter (one-year subscription).
An electronic version of the survey's data tables is also available, allowing users to apply formulas and insert data directly into their credit union's spreadsheets.

Many elements of the package are customizable, allowing users to create personalized peer groups with various criteria for the most accurate comparisons possible. Credit unions may search by credit union name, asset size, number of members, field of membership, number of full-time employees, number of services offered, total loans outstanding, state and geographic region.

For more information about the full suite of CUNA Staff Salary Survey resources, use the link or call 800-356-8010 and press 3.

In the media Fees rates breaking up with banks

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MADISON, Wis. (9/17/12)--Credit unions have been widely mentioned in national media this month in regard to consumers breaking up with banks and switching to credit unions, interest rates and fees.

Last year, when U.S. banks started charging fees for services that were previously free, the banks assumed consumers would not notice fees, or if they did, that they would accept them quietly, according to the Saturday Evening Post (Sept. 1).

However, they were wrong, and six million consumers moved their money to credit unions from banks in the 90 days following Nov. 5--Bank Transfer Day--a national grass-roots movement, because credit unions have lower fees or no fees for many of the same services, the Post said.

Consumers will pay about one-third fewer fees at credit unions or small regional banks than at huge banks, Michael Moebs, CEO of Moebs Services Inc., told the Post

Mentions in other national media include:

  • Two Chicago-area credit unions are among the U.S. financial institutions offering the highest rates on certain interest-bearing checking accounts and one-year certificates of deposit, according to a new survey by data tracker SNL Financial ( Sept. 7). Alliant CU, based in Chicago with $8.3 billion assets, offers a 0.75% rate for $5,000 checking accounts, and the $28 million asset, Kankakee, Ill.-based Riverside Community CU offers a 0.5% average interest rate.
  • Consumers can join a company credit union to part ways with their bank, according to a Sept. 10 article in titled "Six offbeat ways to break up with your old bank." A benefit of membership is that a credit union can help members repay loans from their company paycheck or to save more efficiently, Pat Keefe, vice president of communications and media for the Credit Union National Association, told Bankrate. The article also mentions that some credit unions have community charters so any one who lives, works or worships in the community can join. It cited Alliance CU in San Jose, Calif., with $353 million in assets, as an example.
  • SwitchAgent, a free service offered by credit unions and banks, helps consumers with switching all their recurring transactions such as automated account transfers, direct deposit and online bill payments, according to (Sept. 14). The service was created by Deluxe Corp. One in five consumers said they considered switching to another financial institution, according to a recent study by Consumers Union. Of those who decided not to switch, 63% were worried about the trouble of transferring their automatic payments and deposits, while 37% said the process would take too much effort and time.

Federally insured CUs offered Ohio biz credit program

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (9/17/12)--Federally insured credit unions in Ohio now are eligible to participate in the State Small Business Credit Initiative's (SSBCI) $35 million Collateral Enhancement Program.

The program is expected to generate more than $285 million in private lending and give credit unions a guarantee of up to 30% to 50% of the loan as a collateral shortfall, said the Ohio Credit Union League (eLumination Newsletter Sept. 5).

The Ohio Department of Development's (DOD) Natalie Burley, manager of business assistance, presented a program overview during a meeting last week at the league. Nearly 20 credit union officials from across the state, a representative of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and league staff attended.

Although Ohio credit unions are not eligible to accept public funds, they are permitted to participate in the program because of modifications made by the state DOD.

The league is working with DOD to conduct additional training sessions statewide about the Collateral Enhancement Program.

PaCUSC shared branching volume surges

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (9/17/12)--Growth in deposit transactions and loan payments spurred an increase in transaction volume for 53 Pennsylvania credit unions offering shared branching, Pennsylvania Credit Union Service Centers Inc. (PaCUSC) reported.

Total transactions increased by 20,313 transactions in July, representing a 22.1% increase from January, according to the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (Life is a Highway Sept. 14).

The most popular type of transactions were deposits, representing 48% of all transactions, PaCUSC reported. PaCUSC credit unions averaged 24,428 in monthly deposit transactions, with average monthly dollar volume of $23.3 million.

Loan payments accounted for 6% of transactions. Consumers made an average of 3,183 monthly loan payment transactions, with an average monthly dollar volume of $1.3 million.

With 152 shared branching facilities in Pennsylvania, PaCUSC also reported that transactions from those offices increased by 1,576 during the first seven months of the year.

TCUL launches IYC video contest

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FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (9/17/12)--Credit unions looking for a way to celebrate the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) might consider commemorating the role credit unions play in the cooperative industry. 

For example, the Texas Credit Union League's (TCUL) International Year of Cooperatives campaign offers credit unions an opportunity to describe how credit unions make a difference in the lives of consumers.

2012 was designated by the United Nations to be the IYC, with the theme "Cooperatives build a better world."

TCUL is asking state credit unions and staff to submit short video clips that describe why cooperatives and credit unions are important for consumers. 

Applicants can download their submissions to YouTube and e-mail the link to The deadline is 10 a.m. Oct. 18--International Credit Union Day.

Videos will be judged by TCUL staff. The winner will receive an iPad.

"Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World" is the theme for the United Nations-designated IYC. "Members Matter Most" is the theme for this year's International Credit Union Day, which is traditionally celebrated the third Thursday of October each year.

CU System briefs (09/14/2012)

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  • HANSCOM AFB, Mass. (9/17/12)--Hanscom FCU, based in Hanscom AFB, Mass.,  has been named 2011 Air Force Credit Union of the Year. The honor is given annually to the Air Force credit union offering the highest quality of financial products and services, as well as membership growth and support. The award was presented at the Defense Credit Union Council's recent annual meeting in Denver. Hanscom FCU, which has $985 million in assets and serves 47,555 members across the country and overseas, provides comprehensive online services to its members, who can apply for membership, take out a loan and access account information using Web-based tools. Pictured are, from left, William Rone, director of financial management and comptroller, Headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command, who presented the award to Hanscom FCU President/CEO David Sprague.  (Photo provided by the Defense Credit Union Council) …
  • BOSTON, Mass. (9/17/12)--Credit unions from all over Massachusetts will gather Tuesday in Dorchester, Mass., for a dinner honoring U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). The Metro-Boston chapter will host the event, according to the Massachusetts Credit Union League  (E-Weekly Sept. 14). Frank will retire from the U.S. House of Representatives when his term expires, after 32 years of service. Frank helped credit unions achieve passage of the landmark HR 1151, the Credit Union Membership Access Act. He also played a vital role in making certain that credit unions were not harmed by bills aimed at credit unions by banking trade groups or by overly broad laws that could inadvertently affect credit unions. After the financial crisis, said the league, Frank was known to have said, "If credit unions made all of the mortgage loans, then there would have been no subprime crisis, and therefore no economic crisis." …
  • ANCHORAGE, Alaska (9/17/12)--A real estate developer in Anchorage, Alaska, has pleaded guilty to lying about the progress made on an apartment complex he was building with a $9.4 million loan from a credit union in 2005.  Lee E. Baker Jr., 57, owner and president of Discovery Construction Inc., pleaded guilty to 12 counts of making false statements to Denali Alaska FCU. Baker was required by the terms of the loan to make certified reports on specific work being done before he could withdraw any funds from the account.  He allegedly received about $4.3 million before defaulting on the loan. The apartments were never completed (Anchorage Daily News Sept. 12) …
  • HARRISBURG, Pa. (9/17/12)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) raised nearly $43,000 for the Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation during the fifth annual Viva Las Vegas event held during the PCUA's Fall Leadership Conference.  Foundation board members donated 15 baskets and three prints that were raffled off at the fundraiser (Life is a Highway Sept. 13). Also, prizes were awarded participants, based on the amount of their "winnings" …
  • FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (9/17/12)--Caprock FCU, Lamesa, Texas, has been designated a Juntos Avanzamos--Together We Advance--credit union by the Texas Credit Union League (TCUL). Caprock FCU is the 18th credit union to receive the distinction from the TCUL. To earn the designation, credit unions must go through an application process (LoneStar Leaguer Sept. 14). The Juntos Avanzamos designation is given to credit unions that demonstrate a capacity and the infrastructure to meet the financial needs of Hispanic families. TCUL presented Caprock FCU with the Juntos Avanzamos flag Friday …