The award will be judged on the following criteria: a clear description of how an organization and the collaborative model brought value to the owners, the industry and credit union members; thought leadership and critical thinking; value created through use of collaboration; innovation in organization design; implementation and execution; and results, outcomes and performance.
The application deadline is March 27. Winners of a NACUSO award during the previous three years are ineligible (2006-2008). Self-nominations will be accepted. The CUSO that best meets the criteria outlined above will be presented with the award at NACUSO's annual conference May 3-6 at the Encore Las Vegas Resort.
Nominations should be sent by e-mail to Shawna@nacuso.org or by mail to: NACUSO, PMB 3419 Via Lido #135, Newport Beach, CA 92663.
NCUA Closes Center Valley Federal CU
The NCUA has placed Center Valley Federal Credit Union of Wheeling, W. Va., into liquidation.
The credit union's liabilities increased 82% during the last quarter of 2008, and its assets increased 8.7%. Its investment income fell 15.5%, and its loan income fell 4.4%.
The agency concluded that Center Valley FCU was "insolvent and has no prospects for restoring viable operations."
At the time of liquidation, the credit union served 3,150 members and had deposits of approximately $8 million. This is the second federally insured credit union to close in 2009.
The NCUA asset management and assistance center will issue checks to individuals once they have verified the balances in share accounts in the credit union. Through the NCUSIF, credit union members' deposits are insured to at least $250,000 on regular accounts and $250,000 on certain retirement accounts.
CUES Cancels Conference
In what may be a sign of the times, CUES has canceled the 2009 CUES Experience: Immersion Learning for Marketing, Technology and Operations Leaders.
The decision was reached in response to members' concerns.
"Currently credit unions are facing one of the most challenging times in our history. While credit unions recognize the need for ongoing professional development, many are under increasing pressure to reduce travel and other controllable expenses," said President/CEO Fred Johnson in a statement posted on the CUES Web site home page (www.cues.org).
Plans are underway for CUES to offer content equivalent to that of CUES Experience breakout sessions through other means. In addition, CUES Golden Mirror Award winners will be recognized through a variety of media channels.
"While CUES Experience offers cutting-edge content and invaluable cross-industry perspective, we feel the decision to cancel the event is in the best interest of our members and the industry as a whole," said Johnson.
First Carolina Corp.
Steps Up Education
The corporate crisis is engendering serious efforts to educate CEOs and volunteers on the NCUA assessment and stabilization plan.
First Carolina Corporate CU, for example, is distributing DVDs to CU managers and directors at its 187 member CUs in North and South Carolina and is planning a 10-city educational tour beginning March 3.
"In addition to our own Webinars, we've felt the DVDs are a good way to reach credit union boards to familiarize them with what is taking place and actions we have taken," explained David Brehmer, president/CEO of the $1.8 billion corporate.
The DVDs, jointly produced with the North Carolina Credit Union League, can be seen in advance by directors and CU staff prior to two Webinars slated for Feb. 25 at 5 p.m., "for those volunteers who can see them after coming home from work," said Brehmer. He reiterated earlier statements about First Carolina's adhering to a conservative investment policy and positive liquidity.
Like other corporate CEOs, Brehmer lamented "what has occurred in the corporate system and the trouble it has gotten into." Brehmer said it is unfortunate that more CUs "did not know enough about U.S. Central" and its operations, but numerous remedies are on the table to fix the problem.
"Over the last six months where liquidity has been tightest in the corporate system, if we needed funds, we accessed our resources outside the corporate system," noted Brehmer. "We have avoided using our U.S. Central line of credit in an effort to help overall liquidity within the corporate system over this period of time."
WOCCU G7 Members
Stress Crisis Preparation
The World Council of Credit Unions' G7 group, comprising representatives from the world's seven largest credit union systems, tackled two major topics while meeting in Florida last month: the internationalization of regulation and the need for crisis communications plans to help cope with the worsening global economy.
"The financial issues facing credit unions today are as bad as they have ever been, not only for U.S. credit unions, but also for credit unions in many of WOCCU's member countries," said Pete Crear, WOCCU president/CEO.
Collectively, credit unions in WOCCU's G7 group serve nearly 115 million people worldwide, and the actions taken by G7 members affect nearly 65% of all credit union members, Crear added.
Participants agreed that regulatory "internationalization" presents challenges for credit unions and requires increased coordination at a global level. Taking a more unified approach to global credit union regulatory development would strengthen credit union systems and institutions so each could better serve members, the group agreed.
Participants also stressed the need for crisis communication plans suitable for both associations and the credit unions they serve. Credit unions worldwide enjoy a high degree of member confidence and trust, G7 delegates said, and crisis plans will be critical to maintaining that during tough times.
The G7 will next meet in conjunction with WOCCU's World Credit Union Conference in Barcelona in July.
Conflict Rules Clarified
A credit union can sell loans to a bank in which a board member owns stock, but the board member shouldn't participate in the discussion or vote on the decision, according to a legal opinion by the NCUA.
Sheila Albin, the agency's associate general counsel, wrote that the ban against credit union officials receiving compensation from the making of a loan does not apply to the sale of loans. But she added that those officials are urged to "avoid any impropriety when deliberating on or participating in the determination of any matter affecting their pecuniary interest, including the sale of credit union loans to a bank in which an official owns a minority interest."
Albin expressed her opinion in a letter to Daniel R. Loritz, a lawyer in Glendale, Calif., who was asking on behalf of a federally insured, state-charted credit union.
CUDL Represents CUs
At NADA Convention
CU Direct Corp. participated for the sixth consecutive year in the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Expo.
The California-based indirect auto lending network said that overall attendance at the convention was down significantly from last year, but there was stronger dealer industry interest at the CUDL booth. The convention had 16,000 attendees and more than 500 exhibitors participate this year.
"CUDL's representation of its credit unions at the convention further underlines the importance of relationships between credit unions and dealers, and emphasizes the value credit unions' see in partnering with dealers for their mutual success," said Tony Boutelle, president/CEO of CUDL. "By representing our credit union partners at the conference over the last six years, CUDL has forged new partnerships and helped auto industry leaders understand the importance credit unions have in helping dealers sell and finance cars."
CUDL also explained that credit unions continued to gain auto lending market share throughout 2008 with more than 9% market share growth between the second quarter of 2008 and year-end. Credit union auto lending market share reached 24.1% in December of 2008.
The 2010 NADA Convention will be held Feb. 13-16 in Orlando, Fla.