Mutual Savings Court Case Delayed
Dismissed CEO Dale Dalbey, Chairman Barbara R. Luckett and board members of the $194 million Mutual Savings Credit Union filed an injunction shortly after the state regulator placed the Birmingham, Ala.-based institution into conservatorship.
According to its June 2009 5300 report, the Birmingham-based MSCU had an 8.16% net worth, and reported a $105,115 net profit. Return on average assets was 0.11% as of June 30, though ROA was negative during both first quarter 2009 and fourth quarter 2008. MSCU recorded a $1.25 million NCUSIF stabilization expense entry during the first quarter 2009.
GFCU Takes it to the Ice
In what is being described as a first in the state, Georgia Federal Credit Union has hit the ice to deliver the message about its free checking.
The credit union has wrapped the zamboni at the Atlanta Ice Forum, where the National Hockey League's Atlanta Thrashers practice. In addition, the GFCU Gwinnet branch is located next to the skating rink.
According to GFCU Vice President of Marketing Kim Wall, the move demonstrates how having a great relationship with a SEG can pay off.
"It truly was one of those neat opportunities where we have a partner that saw a good fit for us," said Wall. "The Ice Forum has been one of our SEGs and the owner told us he'd love to finance their new zamboni with us and asked if we wanted to wrap it with advertising and essentially have a rolling billboard in the rink for 20 years."
Wall said although an unusual project for its advertising agency, wrapping the zamboni with the GFCU logo and 'Free checking, No Penalty Box' has been a unique way to spread the word about the benefits of GFCU. She added that the Ice Forum is not only where the Thrashers practice, but a portion is also open to the public for everything from special events and kids hockey camp, to ice-skating lessons both general and professional.
"Our CEO has been getting calls from members about how proud they are that their credit union is featured on the zamboni," said Wall. "Now others are seeing it and making the connection with GFCU whether it's as fellow hockey fans or a true community partner but they are coming to us with possible partnerships or sponsorship opportunities."
She added that the Ice Forum partnership also reinforces GFCU's commitment to meeting members' unique needs and that over the years the credit union has helped members finance everything from champion quarter horses to hot air balloons.
Commercial Mortgage Defaults Not Letting Up
The FDIC said by the fourth quarter, commercial mortgage defaults from banks could soar past levels not seen in nearly 20 years.
Scant refinancing will drive the default rate, which is projected to be at 4.1% by the end of year. Real Estate Econometrics, a property tracking research firm, said the projection is tied to nearly $44.3 billion of commercial mortgages based on the $1.08 trillion of the loans held by banks in the United States. According to the FDIC, commercial defaults climbed 2.3% in the first quarter or to $3 billion from 1.6% in 2008 for the same period.
As five-year loans originated in 2005 and beyond come due, the default trend is set to continue in 2010 and in 2011. A peak is set to come in 2011 before the start of a decline in commercial mortgage defaults, Real Estate Econometrics data showed.
L9 Launches New Sites
Five new client Web sites have been launched by L9.com, a Web design-build CUSO based in Barre, Vt.
They belong to the $723 million Advantis CU of Milwaukie, Ore., at www.advantiscu.org; the $441 million First Commonwealth FCU of Lehigh, Pa., at www.firstcomcu.org; the $28 million First Cheyenne FCU of Cheyenne, Wyo., at www.firstcheyenne.com; the $1.1 billion Greylock FCU of Pittsfield, Mass., at www.greylock.org.; and the $227 million The Southern FCU in Fayetteville, Ga., at www.southernonline.org.
The five sites were built using the Web services firm's CUsite design and management system.
L9.com is a CUSO owned by Level 9 of Barre, the $717 million New England FCU of Williston, Vt., and the $203 million Heritage Family CU of Rutland, Vt.
'NewsNow' on Hiatus
Budget tightening and employee furloughs coupled with what was described as a slow time in Washington put a crimp in the publishing schedule of CUNA's popular NewsNow e-mail bulletin.
Last week, CUNA said NewsNow was on a temporary hiatus resuming Aug. 31.
The four-day suspension represented the longest period of non-publication since the service began more than 10 years ago, said Mark Wolff, senior vice president-communications.
The suspension does reflect a juggling of furlough schedules of the five staffers plus contributors who produce the publication out of CUNA's Madison and Washington offices.
"We decided rather than find ourselves being understaffed because of individual furlough days, we would combine and suspend for four days," said Wolff.
If urgent or breaking developments occurred on the Washington or state circuit, "either I or other members of my staff will get something out," said Wolff.
Though NewsNow was taking a break, CUNA said its LiveWire tweets will continue to be posted throughout the week. NAFCU, which also has a daily bulletin, NAFCU Today continued its schedule uninterrupted.
Washington League Praises Fryzel
Deborah Matz may be the NCUA Chairman, but the Washington Credit Union League, just days before her confirmation adopted a resolution, giving her successor Michael Fryzel "a thank-you-well-done" pat on the back.
In a proclamation adopted by its board two weeks before Matz took over, the league said Fryzel deserves "appreciation and recognition" for guiding the industry through one of its most perilous periods in history.
The one-page proclamation cites his leadership on corporate stabilization and his firm backing of an independent CU system and separate charter coming "in the midst of national consideration for re-regulation" and restructuring of the financial system.
"The duties and responsibilities of the NCUA Chairman are significant," said John Annaloro, president/CEO. "Chairman Fryzel showed an ability to act at a time of crisis when other federal agencies were criticized for inaction. This, too, advances the policy logic that supports the continuance of an independent NCUA, long into the future."
Single CU Regulator Push Gets Texas Airing
Texas Gov. Rick Perry's signing ceremony on the state's new sunset law protecting a separate and independent regulator also became a vehicle for airing the industry's national campaign on the same topic.
Addressing Congressional and White House moves on an independent CU regulator, Richard Ensweiler, president/CEO of the Texas Credit Union League, said the state's passage of its sunset law last May demonstrates how a "robust" industry can uphold a successful structure for state-chartered CUs.
"With both federal regulators and the financial sector under an unprecedented level of scrutiny, this signing comes during what is a historical crossroad for the industry," said Ensweiler. "We see this is as a tremendous vote of confidence in credit unions by Texas policymakers."
He said the message from the governor and lawmakers "is clear: a strong credit union industry thrives with a separate and independent" framework. Also attending the Austin ceremony was state Rep. Dan Flynn, (R.-Canton) who helped shepherd the Texas sunset law, passed last May, which protects the existing structure for 12 years.
Public Weighs in on Regulator Overlaps
The SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission are moving forward to identify agency overlaps even as some in the credit union industry continue to speak out against a consolidated financial services regulator.
Both regulators will host joint meetings Sept. 2-3 to seek public input on harmonization of market regulation, the SEC said. In June, President Barack Obama called on the two agencies to recommend changes to statutes and regulations that would eliminate differences with respect to similar types of financial instruments.
The White House has asked the SEC and CFTC to submit a report by Sept. 30 that identifies existing conflicts in statues and regulations with an explanation of why those differences are essential to achieve underlying policy objectives with respect to investor protection, market integrity, and price transparency. The administration has also asked for recommendations for changes to statutes and regulations that would eliminate the differences.
The CFTC regulates commodity futures and option markets in the United States.