REALTORS FCU Joins CU 24 ATM Network
Further extending it virtual outreach, REALTORS Federal Credit Union has joined Credit Union 24's ATM network.
"Members of REALTORS FCU have unique financial and cash-flow requirements, and our partnership with Credit Union 24 enhances our offerings as a financial services provider designed specifically with Realtors' needs in mind," said Tom Glatt, president/CEO of REALTORS FCU.
Launched in May, the $9 million Internet-based credit union in Rockville, Md. serves the 1.2 million members of the National Association of Realtors. Credit Union 24 provides surcharge-free ATM access at more than 50,000 locations nationwide.
NCUA Allows Match on First, Second Mortgages
Federal credit unions that participate in the Obama administration's program for rewriting and refinancing certain mortgages have more flexibility when setting the terms of the second mortgages because of a recent NCUA action.
At its June meeting, the agency's board changed the rules to allow federal credit unions to modify a second mortgage to match the first one, even if that mortgage extends beyond the 20 years allowed by the agency's lending rules. The rules place such a limit on second mortgage loans secured by the borrower's primary residence.
The rule will be effective 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register.
NCUA Says Certain Assets Can Be Excluded
At its June meeting, the NCUA voted to permit federal credit unions to exclude investments in the Credit Union System Investment Program and Credit Union Homeowners Affordability Relief Program from their total assets.
Those credit unions use their assets to compute what their operating fees will be.
When the board first considered the rule change in March, NCUA lawyer Brad Anderson said the change would enable a credit union with $100 million in assets that makes a $20 million investment in the corporates through one of these programs to save $4,751. The rule takes effect Jan. 10, 2010.
CUs Debut High on Call Center Index
The performance of customer service representatives was directly linked to a jump in the contact center satisfaction index in CFI Group's third annual study. The CCSI, which employs the methodology of the University of Michigan's American customer satisfaction index, climbed three percentage points since 2008 to 74 on a 100-point scale.
The credit union industry's CCSI score debuted this year at 81.
According to the report, customer service representatives improved across all measured areas, including courteousness, knowledge, ease of understanding, interest in helping, and effectiveness in handling issues.
The study found that customers who had to go through an interactive voice recognition machine to speak with a customer service representative were 13% less satisfied than those who reached a representative immediately. "Customer service is a personal experience, so the best thing a contact center can do is invest in its people, not its machines," said Sheri Teodoru, CEO of CFI Group.
The study also found a 26-point difference in satisfaction between customers who got their issues resolved on the first call (83) and those who required three or more calls (57).
A study by KPMG also shed light on how to increase credit union customer satisfaction. The study analyzed six credit unions' transition to PSCU Financial Services' call center services, finding that extending service hours to 24/7 reduced abandon rates and expenses while improving member satisfaction.
Overall, abandon rates dropped from up to 15% to an average of 3%. Speed of answer improved from 2-4 minutes to 30-40 seconds. One large credit union that outsourced after-hours support realized savings of $430,000 (83%) when compared to using internal staff for after-hours support.
Fenton, Markland to Direct Members United
The $9.5 billion Members United Corporate Federal Credit Union has elected John T. Fenton, president/CEO of the $2 billion Affinity Federal Credit Union, as board chair, and Kyle Markland, president/CEO of the $1.4 billion Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, as vice chair.
Louis H. Jimenez, treasurer/CEO of the $98 million Montauk Credit Union, was elected treasurer, and Lloyd M. Fredendall, president/CEO of the $83 million NorthStar Credit Union, was elected secretary.
The corporate's supervisory committee for 2009-2010 includes Chairman David Mooney, president/CEO of the $6.3 billion Alliant Credit Union; Steve Ahlness, president/CEO of the $164 million Greater Minnesota Credit Union; Leo Ardine, president/CEO of the $284 million United Teletech Financial Federal Credit Union; and Rick Rice, president/CEO of the $1.9 billion Teachers Credit Union.
The volunteers face a tough road ahead, as the Warrenville, Ill.-based corporate recently announced a second round of layoffs and plans to close some satellite offices in an effort to cut costs.
Mooney hit the ground running June 19, posting a letter to members on the corporate's Web site explaining why the cooperative missed its 2008 audited financials release date and postponed a scheduled June 30 financials Webinar. Like other corporates, Members United is delaying the release of its audited financials until U.S. Central releases its audited numbers, now expected sometime in July.
Alliant CU Picks PSCU, mFoundry for Mobile
Alliant Credit Union, Chicago, has chosen to provide its 252,000 members mobile banking services using technology from PSCU Financial Services and mFoundry, the companies and credit union said.
The nation's seventh-largest credit union at $6.3 billion in assets, Alliant will be using a solution that taps into the cooperative's existing connectivity with multiple data sources, it said.
"PSCU Financial Services and mFoundry offered a secure mobile banking solution, technology infrastructure and support systems that align with our strategies to provide innovative member services," said Rudy Pereira, Alliant's chief technology and operations officer.
The solution also includes 24/7 member support through Florida-based PSCU's contact centers, along with turnkey marketing services.
"PSCU Financial Services is the nation's largest credit union service organization, and our mobile banking solution is the only one in the marketplace specifically tailored for credit unions," said Drew Sievers, CEO and co-founder of California-based mFoundry. "Our solution enables hundreds of the cooperative's member-owner credit unions to deploy mobile banking quickly and cost effectively."