The new credit union, which is scheduled to open in March, is being organized by Bergen County Community Action Partnership Inc. in Hackensack, the county seat. Bergen County is in the northern part of the state.
Initially the credit union plans to offer regular shares, holiday and vacation club accounts, share certificates, personal loans and new and used automobile loans. It will also provide check cashing services, money orders, traveler's checks and cashier's checks. By 2012, the credit union plans to offer ATM services, debit and credit cards, wire transfers and small business loans.
"This new federally chartered credit union is a very positive step by consumers in Bergen County to enhance their choices in financial services. As a product of an impressive array of community groups, the credit union will provide a cooperative alternative to low and moderate income members. NCUA is pleased to grant this charter and encourage this and other similar efforts across the nation aimed at improving access to affordable financial services," NCUA Chairman Michael E. Fryzel said in a statement.
New Guidance on Remote Deposit Capture
WASHINGTON -- Credit unions should see remote deposit capture services as a new delivery system and thus be extraordinarily careful when assessing the legal, compliance, reputation and operational risks.
That's the advice of the NCUA in a memo to credit union board members sent earlier this month.
These systems allow financial institutions to receive digital information from deposit documents captured at remote locations.
"Comprehensive contracts and customer agreements should identify clearly the roles, responsibilities and liabilities of all parties in the RDC process to minimize exposure to legal and compliance risks,'' according to the NCUA document.
The agency also suggests that, when available, insurance coverage should be considered as a risk transfer mechanism.
To see the full document go to: www.ncua.gov/news/express/xfiles/09-CU-01_Enclosure.pdf.
NCUA Establishes National Exam Team
WASHINGTON -- Seeking to provide additional oversight of troubled credit unions during the recession, the NCUA has established a team of examiners that the agency hopes will "enhance the supervisory process."
The seven-member National Examination Team, which will add more specialists as needed, will concentrate on the most difficult cases of credit unions badly hurt by the housing crisis and the impact of high unemployment among their members.
In addition to supervising troubled credit unions, which the team will examine until they have dealt with their problems, the examiners will also be permanently responsible for the examination and supervision of approximately 10 large and more complex institutions.
NCUA Chairman Michael E. Fryzel said that the "knowledge, skill and experience of NET members will enable them to quickly identify complex problems, recommend appropriate corrective actions and thereby improve the overall quality of NCUA supervision during a very volatile period for all financial institutions, including credit unions."
The agency unveiled the team during public discussions of the budget which took effect on Jan. 1.
NAFCU Blog Lands Its
WASHINGTON -- Hawaii not only produced the country's next president but also helped NAFCU reach a milestone on its compliance blog.
The association recently signed up its 500th e-mail subscriber, a reader from the Aloha State.
The blog offers regulatory and compliance information for credit unions. It covers a broad range of topics, from accounting to flood insurance.
"We're very pleased that a little more than a year out from its inception, the NAFCU compliance blog is maintaining a healthy following from credit union compliance personnel all over the country," said "the Compliance Guy" (aka Anthony Demangone, NAFCU's director of regulatory compliance and the blog's author).
To read or subscribe to the blog, visit: www.nafcucomplianceblog.org. Subscription is open to NAFCU members and nonmembers.
NCUA Bans Five People
ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Five people have been banned by the NCUA from working at federally insured financial institutions because they were convicted of crimes.
Adelle Herron, a former employee of Peoria Hiway Credit Union, Peoria, Ill., pleaded guilty to bank fraud and was sentenced to 36 months in prison, five years probation and was ordered to pay $540,627 in restitution.
Lori A. Kloss, a former employee of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center Federal Credit Union, Niagara Falls, N.Y., was convicted of petit larceny and sentenced to 60 days in jail and three years of probation.
Marcella G. Miller, a former employee of Georgia-Pacific Toledo Employee FCU, Toledo, Ore., pleaded guilty to bank larceny and was sentenced to 24 months in prison, 36 months probation and ordered to pay $506,161 in restitution. She embezzled money from the credit union and from two civic organizations.
Judy N. Putman-Speight in 2003 was convicted in the Maryland Circuit Court for Montgomery County of "fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary." Putman-Speight was sentenced to 12 months in prison, with all but 15 days suspended, 18 months probation, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $38,000 in restitution.
Winston Louis Smith, a former employee of State Employees Credit Union, Jacksonville, Fla., pleaded guilty to embezzlement, defrauding a financial institution and false statements. Smith was sentenced to 18 months in prison, five years probation and ordered to pay $178,921 in restitution.
Violating a prohibition order is a felony offense punishable by jail and a fine of up to $1 million.
NCUA enforcement orders are online at www.
Fed Changes Check Routing System
WASHINGTON -- Check processing in some parts of the South could be quicker as a result of a recent rules change by the Federal Reserve.
Credit unions and other financial institutions that currently route their checks through the Federal Reserve Bank's Charlotte office will route them through Atlanta, as of March 21.
The final rule deletes the reference in Appendix A in Regulation CC to the Charlotte branch office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and reassigns the routing numbers listed there under to the head office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
As a result of these changes, some checks deposited in the affected regions that currently are nonlocal checks will become local checks that are subject to shorter permissible hold periods.
RESPA Changes Delayed
WASHINGTON -- Credit unions have an additional three months to prepare for the changes to the definition of "required use" under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.
The rule, which deals with what procedures financial institutions must follow when making referrals, was supposed to take effect on Jan. 16, but in the last days of the Bush administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development postponed implementation until June. The delay was the result of a lawsuit by the National Association of Homebuilders seeking an injunction to stop the rules from going into effect.
Referrals can include incentives and disincentives, but the changes make it clear that discounts can only be offered if they are not tied to the use of a specific settlement provider.
Proposed Disclosure for
WASHINGTON -- Credit unions and other financial institutions that don't have federal insurance would be required to disclose that to their members, according to a regulation proposed by the Federal Trade Commission.
The proposal, which implements a provision of the 2006 Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act, would require written notification to consumers.
Though all federal and most state-chartered credit unions have federal insurance, approximately 200 have private insurance, according to the Government Accountability Office.
Comments are due April 22. To find the proposed rule go to: