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CU Intern Aims To Help CUs Thrive In South Africa

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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (9/20/13)--Nomadelo Sauli's trek from Pretoria, South Africa, to Wisconsin to get the tools needed to help credit unions thrive in her country was featured, along with Credit Union National Association Chairman Pat Wesenberg, in Monday's Marshfield (Wis.) News Herald.
 
Sauli is deputy director of capacity building for the Cooperative Banks Development Agency (CBDA). She is interning this week at Central City CU, Marshfield, where Wesenberg is president/CEO.
 
"We're hoping she can go back and help credit unions in the whole country with ideas on how they can develop and help people," Wesenberg told the publication.
 
Sauli started her four-day internship at the $207 million asset credit union on Monday after graduating from a week-long Credit Union Development Educator training course in Madison, Wis.  At the credit union, she is learning about savings and loan products, financial analysis and management, and, what she says is most important, strategies for growing and marketing credit unions in South Africa.
 
The credit union sector is still young in South Africa and doesn't have many young people. When Sauli returns home, she will concentrate on increasing membership and deposits in credit unions through using savings challenges and educating young people about member-owner financial institutions.  She noted in the article that millions are underserved or unhappy with their banks, and credit unions can help members of smaller communities gain access to financial services.
 
Although South Africa has about 100 credit unions, fewer than 20 are registered with the government, Sauli said. She plans to return with information to help credit unions meet the banking requirements of the National Treasury.
 
The trip was organized by the World Council of Credit Unions. For the full article, use the link.

CU System Briefs (09/20/2013)

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  • HARRISBURG, Pa. (9/20/13)--The first meeting of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of Credit Unions was held on Sept.10, and marks the completion of a merger between the Wyoming Valley and Scranton Chapters, according to the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association. John Hayduk, serving as interim chapter president, thanked everyone for their cooperation during the merger process, and expressed appreciation to PCUA for its support of credit unions (Life Is a Highway Sept. 19) ...
  • PLANO, Texas (9/20/13)--The InTouch CU Plano Balloon Festival will run today through Sunday in Plano, Texas. The credit union is the festival's longest running title sponsor after taking over that title seven years ago. Launches will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 7 a.m. The festival also offers a car show, inflatable rides, a rock climbing wall, live music performances and food ...
  • ROYAL OAK, Mich. (9/20/13)--OUR CU, based in Royal Oak, Mich., has selected interim CEO Tina Dix to serve as its new president/CEO. The financial executive has been with the $212 million asset credit union since 1983. Her years of experience in operations, strategic planning and community involvement have been key in forming the credit union's member centric culture and community service, said OUR CU. "The leadership shown by Tina Dix during the interim CEO position made it an easy decision for the Board of Directors to make her the permanent CEO," said Board Chairman Joseph Kripli ...

CUs Push Against Banks Via CUNA's 'Don't Tax' Message

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MADISON, Wis. (9/20/13)--Credit unions are pushing back against banks' taxation arguments by using the Credit Union National Association's "Don't Tax My Credit Union" message in media, in tweets, and in visits with members of Congress.
 
Credit unions continue to meet with members of Congress to advocate for preserving credit unions' tax status. Shown with U.S. Rep. Charles Dent (R-Pa.) Tuesday in Allentown, Pa., are Pennsylvania credit unions (Life is a Highway Sept. 18). From left: Alan Musselman, First Commonwealth FCU and member of Pennsylvania Credit Union Association's Governmental Affairs Committee; Nate Muniz, PSECU; Dent; John Miller, First Commonwealth FCU; and Ed Williams, Discovery FCU and a Credit Union National Association Board director. They discussed taxation, credit union service, GSR reform and the growing scope and cost of regulation. (Photo provided by the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association)
Tweets to members of Congress through CUNA's plug-in tool at DTMCU.org, which was launched on Don't Tax Tuesday II, Sept. 10, have totaled 12,000, including the 5,000 messages tweeted that day by credit union members and credit unions that day.
 
The Don't Tax message continues to resonate with legislators, with the list of lawmakers supporting credit unions and their tax status growing. The latest to support credit unions' tax status in U.S. Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) (See related News Now story, Rep. Larson Pledges His Continued Protection Of CU Tax Status.)
 
CUNA's Don't Tax campaign is also featured extensively in an article in MintPressNews.com (Sept. 19) about banks' efforts to eliminate credit unions' tax status.
 
"Cooperatively run credit unions used by 96 million Americans could lose their tax exempt status if Congress approves a proposal from big banks to tax the not-for-profit financial institutions," said the first paragraph of the article. It points out that the $13 trillion U.S. banking industry, which controls 94% of financial assets in the U.S., is behind the attacks.
 
Paul Gentile, CUNA executive vice president of strategic communications and engagement, told MintPress.Com that bankers' arguments that credit unions have morphed out of their mission are "nonsensical.  We are all of a sudden not allowed to offer services to our members? They offer checking accounts, we offer checking accounts. They offer mortgages, we offer mortgages. The difference is that we don't offer complex, mega million commercial loans. We are here to serve our members."
 
The tax status is "not an issue except for the bankers," said Gentile. "There is not one member of Congress who has talked openly about supporting the taxation. Banks have been pushing this for the past 30 years. We give back about $8 billion a year in benefits. Credit unions charge fewer and lower fees; it's been like that forever."
 
Meanwhile, credit unions continue to visit with members of Congress, take opportunities at public meetings, and continue letter writing initiatives and more, to drive home the message: Don't Tax My Credit Union.

Va. League Announces Endorsements For Top State Officials

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (9/20/13)--The Virginia Credit Union League Thursday announced its endorsements of two candidates for state governor and lieutenant governor, both of whom support preserving credit unions' tax status.
 
The league endorsed Terry McAuliffe for governor and state Sen. Ralph Northam as lieutenant governor, based on interviews with representatives of the league's Board of Directors and Governmental Affairs Committee and on candidates' written responses to a questionnaire about issues of importance to credit unions and their members in the state, said the league. The issues include tax reform, public deposits, financial literacy and member business lending.
 
McAuliffe expressed his support for preserving credit unions' tax exemption on corporate income tax. As part of his focus on job creation and ensuring small businesses have access to capital, McAuliffe noted his backing for changes in federal law that would allow credit unions to make more loans to small businesses, the league said in a press release.
 
McAuliffe "understands the unique role of not-for-profit credit unions in the marketplace and appreciates that some three million Virginians count on us as their financial services partner," said league President Rick Pillow. "Credit unions face a host of challenges at both the state and federal levels, and Terry's commitment to support us in Richmond and in Washington proved he truly is a friend to credit unions and the hard-working Virginians that depend on us."
 
Northan "expressed his unqualified support for credit unions' position on both the state and federal issues of greatest importance to us," said Pillow. He added the senator supports the preservation of credit unions' tax status and expressed strong support for ensuring state-chartered credit unions are afforded the same opportunities to succeed in the marketplace as their federally chartered peers, including credit unions' bid to provide more loans to small businesses.

The league also endorsed 11 incumbent candidates seeking seats in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Dakotas Foundation Offers Grants For Financial Literacy

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BISMARCK, N.D. (9/20/13)--Applications for financial literacy grants funded by Credit Union Foundation of the Dakotas are due Sept 30.

The foundation is funded by participating North and South Dakota credit unions. It supports projects that provide access to financial services, financial education, savings and asset accumulation, and small-credit union development.

Applicants must be affiliated North and South Dakota credit unions or a community organizations. Non-credit union organizations may apply for grant funding, but must partner with a North or South Dakota credit unions and demonstrate how the project will impact credit unions and their members.
 
Funds may be used for:
  • Education of credit union employees and volunteers;
  • Public education initiatives related to consumer finance;
  • Projects and programs that support new, small or community development credit unions:
  • Enhancement to league/association projects funded by other sources consistent with the foundation's mission and purposes
  • Programs or projects that extend credit union services to the full range of membership, with emphasis on the un-served, underserved or low-income consumers;
  • Affordable housing projects;
  • Disaster relief;
  • Partnerships that provide services or carry out projects consistent with the Foundation's mission and purposes; and
  • Other purposes consistent with the foundation's 501(c) (3) mission and purpose.
Applicants also must:
  • Solicit endorsement and/or funding from at least one local credit union or credit union-related supporter;
  • Be able to leverage funds from other community, philanthropic, government or other sources to maximize benefit and ensure sustainability after the grant's funding ends;
  • Obtain letters confirming in-kind support or funding commitments from partners both within and outside the credit union movement; and
  • Have tangible, achievable goals and objectives.
To apply for a grant, use the link.

FBI: New Beta Bot Malware Targeting FIs, Payment Platforms

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WASHINGTON (9/20/13)--A new type of malware known as Beta Bot is targeting financial institutions, e-commerce sites, online payment platforms and social networking sites for fraud purposes, said the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) Wednesday.
 
Click to view larger image Click for larger view
Cybercriminals use Beta Bot to lock computer users' access to security websites and disable anti-virus programs, which leaves the computers vulnerable to compromise. Then the cybercriminals steal sensitive data such as log-in credentials and financial information, according to the FBI alert.
 
The infection vectors include an official looking but illegitimate Microsoft Windows message box named "User Account Control" that requests the user's permission to allow the "Windows Command Processor" to modify the user's computer settings. If the user complies, hackers can grab data from the computer.
 
The alert warned that the malware is also spread via USB thumb drives and online via Skype, where it redirects the user to compromised websites.
 
Although Beta Bot masquerades as the "User Account Control" message box, it also can make modifications on infected computer.  IC3 said that if the pop up box pictured here or a similar prompt  appears unsolicited on a computer, do not authorize any changes.
 
To remedy a Beta Bot infection, run a full system scan with up-to-date anti-virus software on the infected computer. If Beta Bot blocks access to security sites, download the latest anti-virus updates or an entirely new anti-virus program, save it to the USB drive, and loan and run it on the infected computer. Then reformat the USB drive to remove any traces of the malware.

NASCUS Honors Cann With Pierre Jay Award

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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (9/20/13)--Parker Cann, general counsel for BECU, Tukwila, Wash., and former Washington state credit union regulator, was honored with the 2013 National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS) Pierre Jay Award at the NASCUS State System Summit this week in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. 
 
Click to view larger image The 2013 National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors recognized Parker Cann, center, general counsel for BECU and former Washington credit union regulator, as the 2013 NASCUS Pierre Jay Award at the organization's State System Summit this week. Joining Cann are Troy Stang, president/CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association, and Mary Martha Fortney, president/CEO, NASCUS. (Photo provided by the Northwest Credit Union Association)
Cann previously served as chairman of the NASCUS executive council.
 
Recipients of the award best demonstrate outstanding service, leadership and commitment to NASCUS and the dual-chartering system. The Pierre Jay Award, first awarded in 1997, is named after the first Commissioner of Banks in Massachusetts. Cann is the first Pierre Jay winner who has been both a state regulator and a credit union executive.
 
"When we created the Pierre Jay Award, it was meant for honorees like Parker who have made countless contributions to NASCUS and to the state credit union system," said Mary Martha Fortney, NASCUS president/CEO. "Parker continues to set such a high standard for excellence and was truly passionate about states' rights and the important work to preserve the safety and soundness of the state credit union system."
 
Among the general session speakers at this week's summit were Debbie Matz, National Credit Union Administration chairman, and Jeff Post, president/CEO of CUNA Mutual Group. (See News Now coverage in Thursday's issue. Use the links.)
 
The general session closed with a panel titled "Working Together on System Priorities: The Credit Union Leadership Forum" and included Bill Cheney, Credit Union National Association president; Dan Berger, National Association of Federal Credit Union president/CEO; and Fortney. The panel was moderated by Arty Arteaga, president/CEO of the Defense Credit Union Council. 
 
Cheney reiterated CUNA's commitment to reducing regulatory burden for credit unions.  He also noted the importance of one of the top NASCUS priorities--keeping the state charter strong and preserving the dual chartering system.
 

Calif. State CUs' Assets Up From Year Ago

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (9/20/13)--California state-chartered credit unions' total assets as of June 30 were $79 billion--up 4% from $76 billion one year prior, according to the California Department of Business Oversight Quarterly Report for the second quarter.
 
However, assets were down 1.4% from the $79.3 billion in the first quarter.
 
The department regulates state-chartered credit unions, commercial banks, industrial banks, foreign banks and trust companies
 
Second-quarter shares totaled $68 billion, a 3.6% rise from $65.7 billion one year ago, but down a fraction of a percent from the first quarter.
 
Credit union loans were up 1.6% over the year ended June 30, increasing to $40.6 billion from $40 billion in second quarter 2012.       
 
Second-quarter net worth rose 10.7%, to $8.4 billion from $7.6 billion a year prior, and up 2.7% from the $8.2 billion at the end of the first quarter.
 
Loan delinquencies totaled $478.7 million, down 12.5% from $547.2 million in second quarter 2012, but up $47.4 million, or 11%, from $431.4 million in the first quarter.

Gilliland To Headline CUANY Economic Forum

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Click to view larger image Steve Gilliland, speaker and best-selling author, will keynote the Credit Union Association of New York's Economic Forum, Oct. 8-9.  (Photo provided by the Credit Union Association of New York). 
ALBANY, N.Y. (9/20/13)--The Credit Union Association of New York announced its lineup of speakers, including keynote speaker and bestselling-author Steve Gilliland, for its Economic Forum next month. Gilliland will take the stage Oct. 9 at the Albany, N.Y., event, which kicks off Oct. 8 and is open to all credit union leaders.
 
Gilliland is a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame. He addresses more than 250,000 people each year, with audiences from 29 industries in 50 states and in 15 countries. He is also the author of best-seller "Enjoy the Ride" and the founder of a multimillion-dollar company named one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the region by The Pittsburgh Business Times.
 
"The Economic Forum is designed to provide credit union leaders with the most timely, relevant industry insights available," said CUANY President/CEO William J. Mellin. "This year's speakers will offer a great mix of inspiration, industry expertise and innovative thinking to help prepare us for the future."
 
Joining Gilliland on the agenda are featured speakers Dr. Barry Asmus, a senior economist with the National Center for Policy Analysis and one of USA Today's top five most-requested speakers in the U.S., and John Lass, senior vice president of strategy and business development with CUNA Mutual Group.

Randolph-Brooks Receives Access Award From Disabilities Group

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Click to view larger image Randolph-Brooks FCU (RBFCU) was awarded the 2013 Access Award from the Austin (Texas) Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities for its Domain mall branch in Austin.  Pictured, from left, are:  Robert Finch, vice president of branch operations, RBFCU; Theresa Lockingen, branch manager, RBFCU Domain branch; Mayor Lee Leffingwell; and Mark Matthews, assistant vice president of business development and community relations, RBFCU.  (Photo provided by Randolph-Brooks FCU)
LIVE OAK, Texas (9/20/13)--Randolph-Brooks FCU (RFCU), based in Live Oak, Texas, was recently awarded the 2013 Access Award from the Austin Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities for its Domain mall branch in Austin.
 
The award is annually given to businesses and organizations that not only meet the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but go above and beyond when providing goods and services to people with disabilities.
 
"At RBFCU, our mission is to improve our members' economic well-being and overall quality of life. That includes making our financial institution accessible to members, so they can use our resources and facilities to save time, save money and earn money," said Mark Matthews, assistant vice president of business development and community relations in Austin for the $5.5 billion asset credit union.
 
The RBFCU branch is considered to have superior accessibility, because of key features such as accessible parking spaces, ramps, restrooms and doors. The Domain branch also offers lower teller stations, sizeable office spaces and lower check writing stations to be completely wheelchair-accessible.