Creditunionfacts.com Wins a Webby
The Webby is an international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Web sites. Fewer than 15% of all entries submitted receive this distinction.
Creditunionfacts.com is part of an overall awareness campaign for the Credit Union Associations of Colorado and Wyoming to brand credit unions as the preferred place to bank in Colorado and Wyoming for those hard to reach 18-34 year olds.
The site was designed to engage the young target audience with a fun way to navigate through the world of "Average Joe" and provides users with an immediate and interactive way to explore Joe's town and find the information they want.
Am?(C)lie Company's design team, led by Senior Art Director Anita Ashfield-Salter, developed the look and feel of both the branding campaign materials and Web site.
Established in 1996, the 12th Annual Webby Awards received a record 9,500 entries from all 50 states and over 60 countries worldwide.
Administration Against Interchange Bill
WASHINGTON -- The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have both written letters to U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) expressing doubt about whether a legislative proposal putting judges in charge of setting interchange rates would be an improvement.
Writing to Smith about H.R. 5546, the Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 1998, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kieth Nelson expressed doubt that such a bill would do consumers any good.
"First, this bill may actually harm consumers, not benefit them," Nelson wrote. "The credit and debit card markets are complex, so-called 'two-sided' markets in that each network needs to attract both cardholders and merchants. Pricing on one side of the market impacts the pricing on the other side.
"For example, newspapers charge less to readers in order to increase sales and circulation, thereby making their paper more attractive to advertisers. Revenues from advertisers support the lower prices to readers. Similarly, credit card networks forced by regulation to collect less from merchants may well respond by charging more to cardholders in card fees, or reducing card rewards programs and other features that are attractive to consumers."
Federal Trade Commissioner William Kovacic wrote Smith a letter that made a similar point and also pointed out that doing what the bill envisioned would be against why the FTC exists.
"With respect to administrative burden on the commission itself, I note particularly that a governmental process for setting prices for private transactions is at odds with the commission's mission and experience in promoting open-market competition," Kovacic wrote. "In addition, assigning the administrative responsibilities jointly to two agencies could further complicate this task."
Travis CU Helps Kids
VACAVILLE, Calif. -- Travis Credit Union is helping the children of military families deployed overseas find a way to express their feelings.
The credit union has teamed up with Health Net Federal Services to produce a children's scrapbook journal for those whose parents are overseas.
Available at Travis CU branches, the children's journal entitled, "My Life...A Kid's Journal," was developed to help children with a parent or loved one that has been deployed to easily express complicated emotions and serve as a way for children and parents to establish important dialogue. The journal encourages children to write, create poems, collect photos and draw the things that matter most to them while their family member is deployed.
In addition to sharing the journal once the family is reunited, the children are encouraged to take a photo and send it to Travis CU President/CEO Patsy Van Ouwerkerk to be posted on the Kid's Corner section of the credit union's Web site and in the Travis Air Force Base branch to honor the children and their families.
"Deployments create stressful and challenging times for our military members and their families," stated Van Ouwerkerk. "We are constantly looking for opportunities to respond in a meaningful way, to the challenges our brave servicemen and women along with their families face."
Five Massachusetts CUs Join to Aid Vets
BOSTON -- Under a stepped up campaign to provide mortgage aid to Iraqi and Afghanistan vets, Massachusetts Gov. Duval Patrick last week lined up 50 institutions, including five credit unions, for a new loan program called Home for the Brave.
At a capital briefing, the governor lauded financial institutions for their willingness to offer loan and insurance aid so veterans can acquire "safe, affordable home loans" during a troubled economic period.
Under the auspices of the state's Housing Finance Agency, the program will include mortgage insurance to pay a veteran's monthly mortgage payment for up to six months in the event he or she becomes unemployed or is deployed on active duty. Closing cost assistance will be provided through a grant by Fannie Mae, the governor's office said.
The five CUs joining a group of commercial and savings banks include: First Citizens First Citizen's FCU, Crescent CU, Greylock FCU, Metropolitan CU and St. Mary's CU.
One of the participating CUs, First Citizens' of Fairhaven said it would be making 10-year fixed rate mortgage portfolio loans to veterans under a $5 million commitment to the program..
"First Citizens' has strong and deep relationships with the military community on the South Coast and Cape Cod," said Peter J. Muise, executive vice president. "Our participation in Home for the Brave offers us yet another way to thank these men and women who have served their country at home and abroad."