NCUA, Members United Brief Execs on Corporates
Executives of the association also participated by informing attendees about additional resources and providing a legislative briefing.
"Getting together with like-size credit unions in a venue like today's gives us the opport6unity to talk, ask questions and reinforce our message so that we speak with one voice when commenting collectively and independently on NCUA's Corporate Stabilization Plan,'' said Barry Stilwell, president/CEO of Canandaigua Federal Credit Union.
The stabilization plan is made up of a $1 billion capital infusion into U.S. Central and having the NCUSIF guarantee deposits by natural person credit unions in corporate credit unions. The NCUA is also seeking input from interested parties by April 6 on its advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on ways to restructure the corporate credit union system.
Citing a need to save members money, the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association has decided to move its annual meeting from Ocean City, Md., to Baltimore.
The association concluded that having the event in Baltimore would be cheaper for members because they could attend events without having to stay overnight at a hotel. Mileage and other travel expenses would be reduced because of Baltimore's more central location, the association's board concluded.
The dates of the conference, June 11 and 12, will remain the same.
MDDCUA's board surveyed association members online and by phone before its board reached its decision.
CUNA Names McCue VP
As CUNA's new vice president of editorial communications, Lisa J. McCue, will have her hand in an array of publications both for CUNA members and the general public.
McCue, who joined CUNA as a communications specialist in 2005, will head up CUNA's "News Now"-a daily Internet-based news and information service for credit unions and those interested in credit unions. She will also be in charge of CUNA's "NewsWatch" newsletter, a biweekly publication distributed to all CUNA-member credit unions, that reports on the latest activities of the nation's largest credit union trade group. She will also develop and manage other communications projects for the association.
"In Lisa McCue we are fortunate to have a talented and experienced writer and editor with a great understanding of CUNA, the CU system and Washington," said CUNA's Senior Vice President of Communications Mark Wolff.
Before joining CUNA, she was a reporter for the newspaper American Banker, and she has also worked as a writer and editor for the National Council of Savings Institutions in Washington and for other trade and general circulation publications.
She is a graduate of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Cory Johnston Joins CUEG
Georgia Central Credit Union Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Cory Johnston has joined the Credit Union Economics Group.
Johnston, who has been with Georgia Central since 2002 and before that was a director/portfolio strategist, will contribute to the group's analyses and forecasts on regional and national economic trends.
"CUEG is excited to welcome a very well-qualified industry professional in Cory," said Tun Wai, director of research and chief economist of NAFCU. "Cory's economic and financial perspectives on local and regional levels will be invaluable to the group and for the credit union community."
Johnston has a bachelor's degree from Kansas State University and a master's degree in business administration from the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis. He holds FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses.
Online Account Surge
A credit union serving Hollywood workers said it opened 154 new accounts over the Web in the first six weeks since it pulled up the curtain on its new account opening and lending application.
First Entertainment CU launched its "Opening Act" online membership application service on Jan. 6, using software from Costa Mesa, Calif.-based MeridianLink.
"It was very appealing to us to give our staff one point of access to many of our third party applications such as Symitar's Episys and others that run ID verification, OFAC list comparisons, check orders, credit reports, to name a few," said $710 million credit union's Nas Ebrahimi.
The cross-selling capabilities also were important to another MeridianLink client, $924 million Associated Credit Union in suburban Atlanta.
Associated CU said it added 1,790 new member accounts in 2008. "The system has helped us grow at a steady pace over the past year," said that credit union's Jeffrey Bergum.
Associated offers primary savings and checking accounts online but hopes to expand to retirement accounts, holiday accounts and other products, Bergum said.
About 70 credit unions now use MeridianLink's online account opening solution, the company said.
Tech Council Picks Best
The CUNA Technology Council has presented its annual best of show award to uMonitor of Memphis, Tenn., for its uSwitch online account switch kit.
The presentation was made at CUNA's recent 2009 Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C., and was the first time in the award's nine-year history that it was presented at the GAC.
uSwitch allows members to transfer financial relationships between institutions online, including direct deposits, automatic payments, loan accounts and credit cards. It can be integrated into new account openings and also is offered as a stand-alone service to branches and call centers.
The tech council's chair, Alliant CU Senior Vice President Rudy Rudy Pereira, called uSwitch "a truly unique product."
"It can save credit unions time and money while building their member base," he said.
The CUNA Technology Council has presented best of show awards since 2001 to conference exhibitors "that demonstrate a commitment to delivering technology that will further the growth of products and services in the credit union marketplace. Vendors' products are evaluated according to affordability, the benefit to credit unions and their members, a commitment to open standards, current product use, and health of the company," CUNA said.
The 2008 award was presented at the BAI Retail Delivery Conference in Orlando to Jwaala LLC of Austin, Texas, for its online personal finance management software.
Consumer Affairs Agency
Consumer, civil rights and public interest groups are among the coalition members supporting a bill that would create a new federal agency that would regulate credit and payment products.
Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) are the key senate sponsors while the House sponsors are Reps. William Delahunt (D-Mass.) and Brad Miller (D-N.C.)
"It is now widely accepted that the current international economic crisis was triggered by the failure of federal regulators to stop abusive lending, particularly in the housing sector. By creating a separate agency focused exclusively on credit safety, your legislation will not only better protect consumers, but the entire economy," the groups wrote in a letter to lawmakers.
Among the groups that signed the letter are: the AFL-CIO, the Center for Responsible Lending, the Consumer Federation of America, the Consumers Union, the NAACP, and U.S. PIRG.
Neither CUNA nor NAFCU has taken a position on the bill. CUNA said it is looking at it as one of many proposals that have been circulating about possible ways to restructure the regulatory system. NAFCU said it was still reviewing the legislation.
CU Firms Form Alliance
CU Executives Inc., a credit union executives and IT professional placement firm, has partnered with Sheeter Consulting, an employee benefits consultant that designs qualified and nonqualified benefit plans exclusively for credit unions.
Andrew Sheeter, founder and president of Windermere, Fla.-based Sheeter Consulting, said while he wants to expand his presence to the West Coast where CU Executives is located, he envisions his five-year-old company continuing being a boutique firm providing one-on-one, personal service to credit unions. He said his partnership with CU Executives maintains that goal.
"We've discovered that both companies are very well-aligned in our level of service that we believe credit unions should have, so we both believe this partnership will create many opportunities for us and benefit our clients tremendously," Sheeter said.
CU Executives will celebrate its fifth anniversary in June.
"Andy has no equal," said Elaine Boyd, founder and president of San Diego-based CU Executives. "His clients are delighted with his professionalism, and with the solid plans he created for them. Those plans are performing like champs, even in the current economy."