Credit Union Times Magazine March-26, 2003

  • Conversion Or Not? That Was Prime Topic in Utah

    SALT LAKE CITY - No surprise, federal charter conversion proved to be topic No. 1 at the annual meeting of the Utah League of Credit Unions here. Even the state's new first district GOP Congressman, Rob Porter, opened a featured luncheon address with, "welcome to the federal charter," a remark...

  • Bankruptcy Reform Bill Passes House in Landslide

    WASHINGTON-The House last week passed the bankruptcy reform bill by an overwhelming vote of 315-113, with one Democrat voting present. Though the House moved the bill quickly, the Senate is expected to take its time. The House approved an amendment to H.R. 975, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection...

  • Dollar: Tax on CUs Requires Congress Revisit PCA

    SALT LAKE CITY - Any national push to start taxing the retained earnings of credit unions poses a dangerous erosion of CUs' net worth and would require Congress to revisit the 1998 prompt corrective action law, NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar told Utah CU executives here. In a keynote speech to...

  • Erie General EFCU Rides Wave for Latest Branch

    ERIE, Pa. - Step into Erie General Electric Federal Credit Union's latest branch and prepare for an under-the-sea experience. Using fish and waves to play up the idea that the new branch is a "wave of the future", it combines an aquatic theme complete with two fish tanks and the...

  • Four Credit Unions Recognized For Mortgage Lending

    WASHINGTON - Four credit unions around the country have been recognized for their mortgage lending by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. While none of the four credit unions were big enough to have their lending recognized at the national level, each was among the 25 best lenders in their own...

  • Fed Council Questions Whether Overdraft Protection Encourages Bad Checks

    WASHINGTON-The Federal Reserve Board's Consumer Advisory Council took a crack at the controversial issue of overdraft protection, its advertisement and disclosure during its meeting this month. Overdraft protection is a product gaining steam in the credit union industry. E Federal Credit Union President and CEO Kenneth Bordelon, who has a...

  • As CUSOs Wait for Word from SEC, CUs Make Plans to Integrate CUSO with CU

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Credit unions' decision to roll their CUSOs' investment services back under the credit union's roof as a result of the No-Action Letter, is an individual business decision each credit union will have to make on their own, but integrating the CUSO's functions with the CUs may prove...

  • 61% of FCUs Qualify for RegFlex

    ALEXANDRIA, Va.-Recent Call Reports and examination cycles have indicated that 3,650 federal credit unions are eligible for RegFlex treatment. RegFlex is a program initiated by NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar to reward well-managed federal credit unions with a reduction in regulator burden. RegFlex eligible credit unions represent 61% of the 5,978...

  • Merger of Michigan Bank Associations Not to Have Much Impact on CUs

    PLYMOUTH, Mich. - The merger of two Michigan bank trade associations should not hurt the state's credit unions, said Michigan Credit Union League president David Adams. The Michigan Bankers Association and the Michigan League of Community Banks announced they would merge April 1. The MBA has about 170 members, and...

  • FCUs May Facilitate City Loan Program

    ALEXANDRIA, Va.-Federal credit unions' lending and incidental powers authorities permit federal credit unions to facilitate certain functions of a city loan program. NCUA Associate General Counsel Sheila Albin wrote in a recent legal opinion letter that federal credit unions may aid a city government loan program by reviewing members' applications,...

  • Funny Money Dropping Worldwide

    WASHINGTON-Put away your Monopolyr money, because it is not working any more. Counterfeiting of U.S. currency has dropped markedly around the world since the introduction of the 1996-series currency, which included changing the designs and other technological updates. A joint report, issued by the Federal Reserve Board and the Treasury...

  • House Committee Makes Favorable Recommendations for Several Financial Services Bills

    WASHINGTON-Amidst a montage of bills affecting the financial services industry, the House Financial Services Committee approved an amendment to the business checking and sterile reserves bill, which would continue the Federal Reserve's bank fee study and include credit unions. In a mark up of several bills, the Fed's Annual Report...

  • Thinking of Getting Involved in Commercial Real Estate Lending? Don't Underestimate What's Involved

    ORLANDO, Fla. - The idea of offering commercial real estate lending services is becoming increasingly appealing to credit unions, and will probably be more so after NCUA announces its proposed changes to the agency's member business lending act that will make it easier for CUs to provide business loans and...

  • TNB Announces Its First Two Card Portfolio Purchases

    DALLAS - TNB Card Services has purchased two credit unions' credit card portfolios since December of 2002, according to the firm. The wholly credit union-owned card services firm bought one portfolio worth about $2 million from the $31 million Spur Credit Union based in El Paso, Texas in December. TNB...

  • UBIT: It Applies to State Charters, but not Federal Charters

    WASHINGTON - The IRS' Unrelated Business Income Tax for non-profits is nothing new to credit unions, but a recent flurry of credit union audits for UBIT has raised concern in a handful of states, notably Connecticut, Alabama, and Colorado. According to the IRS Code, UBIT is income that is unrelated...

  • While Credit Unions Still Use Mail Ballots for Board Elections, Online Voting is a `Viable' Choice

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A few years ago during a board of directors elections, officials at State Department Federal Credit Union wondered out loud how convenient it would be if members could vote by telephone or through the Internet. An NCUA statute didn't allow for such alternative voting until 1999. After...

  • IRS Stepping up CU Audits for Unrelated Business Income Tax in Some States

    WASHINGTON - The IRS' Unrelated Business Income Tax for non-profits is nothing new to credit unions, but a recent flurry of credit union audits for UBIT has raised concern in a handful of states, notably Connecticut, Alabama, and Colorado. According to the IRS Code, UBIT is income that is unrelated...

  • Interns a Lifesaver for Tinker FCU Marketing Departments

    TINKER AFB, Okla. - For those credit union marketing departments that are short staffed, overworked and on a limited budget Tinker Federal Credit Union says don't underestimate the value of interns. In 1998, faced with developing all aspects of the $1.1 billion credit union's promotional campaigns, advertising, and business development...

  • Many U.S. Firms Unprepared for Business/IT Outages, Think Firm Finds

    STAMFORD, Conn. - As war clouds gather and the worst is feared from hackers and attackers, are businesses, including credit unions, ready to handle the business and IT outages that could come with a severe calamity in the homeland? "Despite the possibility of war and terrorist activity, most U.S. companies...

  • `More United Than Ever,' says League Leadership

    SALT LAKE CITY - If nothing else, the leadership of the battle-scarred Utah League of Credit Unions pronounced itself "more unified than ever" and satisfied that while "we didn't win in the legislature, we stopped the bankers." "It was an all-out national assault" by the national banking lobby that Utah...

  • McDonnell vs. Callahan

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Navy FCU President/CEO Brian McDonnell and retired Patelco CU President/CEO Ed Callahan are two well-known credit union figures who are on the opposite sides of the fence on the private insurance issue, which has raised a firestorm of debate recently. There's certainly no solidarity coming...

  • New Mexico Governor Signs Modernized New Mexico Credit Union Act into Law

    SANTA FE, N.M. - The state's modernized Credit Union Act passed on March 5th by the state legislature was signed into law by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) on March 17. Among the provisions of the measure - SB 546 - it allows state-chartered credit unions to cash checks,...

  • Underserved Areas Added in February Lowest in a Year

    ALEXANDRIA, Va.-The month of February showed the least number of underserved areas adopted by federal credit unions in the last 12 months, according to NCUA's Regional Director's Actions Taken Under Delegation of Authority. Out of 20 underserved area applications, just six were approved totaling 431,024 potential members during February and...

  • The IRS on "Substantially Related"

    One of the factors to determine if a credit union will fall under UBIT is if the activity is not "substantially related" to its purpose. That's an area that could be open to interpretation as noted in the story in terms of the IRS' challenge of credit insurance. The following...

  • North Island Financial CU Recognized for Pioneering Involvement in SBA 504 Program

    CHULA VISTA, Calif. - North Island Financial Credit Union was recently honored by CDC Small Business Finance for becoming the first credit union in San Diego County to enter the Small Business Administration's 504 loan program. Loans made under the program provide long-term fixed rate financing to small businesses for...

  • Do CUs Have a Competitive Advantage?

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The list of states where bankers have introduced legislation to tax credit unions is growing. So far, measures have been introduced in six states - a bill was defeated in New Mexico, and another was amended and passed n Utah to form a task force...

  • Member Business Lending a Growing Market for CUs

    WASHINGTON - Credit unions are increasingly building member business lending programs and reaching out to provide business services to the small business market, but the latest Trendwatch data from Callahan & Associates shows there's still plenty of room for more credit unions to get involved. Credit unions member business loans...

  • Less Checks Being Written

    ST. PAUL, Minn. - Deluxe Corp., one the country's largest check printers, recently said that higher jobless claims and lower consumer confidence have resulted in fewer checks being written and check-reorder cycles being extended, resulting in less checks for it to print. Deluxe prints checks for more than 10,000 credit...

  • A Higher Power Postpones NCUA Board Meeting

    ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar postponed the agency's monthly board meeting due to a higher calling: Capitol Hill. The NCUA Board meeting was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 27, which also happened to be the exact time Dollar was called upon by House Financial Services Committee...

  • Consumer Groups Decry FDIC Rules on Payday Lending

    WASHINGTON - A coalition of 15 state and national consumer protection groups, led by the Consumer Federation of America, has written the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to decry the insurer's regulations that, they said, allow state-chartered banks to get into the payday loan business through third-party vendors. "The plain truth...

  • CU Merges with Former CU

    SYRACUSE, N.Y.-In a somewhat cannibalistic move that is becoming more common, a federal credit union merged with a former credit union last month. The $8.4 million Salt City Hospitals Federal Credit Union of Syracuse, N.Y. has merged with Beacon Federal, a former credit union mainly serving Carrier air conditioning employees,...

  • Service Centers Awards Dividend

    SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - Service Centers Corporation, the Michigan-based subsidiary of CO-OP Network that provides shared banking facilities to 300 member credit unions, announced its first patronage dividend in its history. The 300 member credit unions that are part of its shared branching network will receive part of a nearly $300,000...

  • Florida Governor Welcomes Navy FCU's Call Center at Groundbreaking

    PENSACOLA, Fla. - Gov. Jeb Bush was on hand for the March 18 groundbreaking of Navy Federal Credit Union's first remote, inbound call center. The 56,000-square-foot center scheduled to open in December, will employ 500 people by 2008. The credit union has also optioned an additional 10 acres of land...

News Briefs

  • Minority Market Ripe for Mortgages, Matz Says

    ORLANDO, Fla.-Most Hispanic and African-American households do not own their homes, making them a tremendous mortgage lending opportunity for credit unions, according to NCUA Board Member Deborah Matz. Addressing the American Credit Union Mortgage Association annual conference, Matz told attendees, "While more than 70% of white households own their home,...

  • Oregon Latest State to Consider Tax on CUs

    SALEM, Ore. - Add Oregon to the list of states that have introduced measures to impose a corporate excise tax on state-chartered credit unions with $100 million or more in assets. The bill, introduced in the state legislature on March 14, was seen as the latest move by the banking...

  • Fisher Quiet on CDFI Future

    WASHINGTON - Peter Fisher, Undersecretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance, emphasized for the 12th Annual Conference of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition how proud he was of the work of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund and its director, Tony Brown. He did not address the future of the...

  • NCUA Vice Chair's Executive Assistant Homeward Bound

    ALEXANDRIA, Va.-Julie Starnes, executive assistant to NCUA Vice Chair JoAnn Johnson, is packing up and moving back to Iowa. "[I] hate to lose her," she said. "I am really grateful that I had her.She's well-respected in the credit union community." Starnes was formerly with the Iowa league, where she and...

  • Credit Union of Denver, One of Colorado's Largest, Applies for FOM Expansion

    LAKEWOOD, Colo. - The Colorado Financial Services Board will hold a public hearing on April 11 to consider the application it received from Credit Union of Denver, the seventh largest credit union in the state, to expand its field-of-membership to include all of Jefferson County. Credit Union of Denver already...

Briefs

  • Santorella Joins State National Companies

    FORT WORTH, Texas - State National Companies, a collateral protection insurance solutions provider, has recently named Bruce Santorella regional vice president of sales. Santorella will be heading SNC's Pennsylvania and New Jersey expansion, which comprises 10% of the credit union market.

  • ISO, Amsec Offer Kidnap/Ransom Protection

    JERSEY CITY, N.J. -With reports indicating kidnapping for ransom on the rise, Insurance Services Office, Inc. has teamed up with security firm Amsec International to offer kidnap/ransom and extortion (KR&E) coverage. As part of the crime and fidelity insurance program, the KR&E Insurance Program includes policy forms, endorsements, manuals, and...

  • Taunton FCU Partnership Hits Sales Goal

    TAUNTON, Mass. - Talk about getting a jump on resolutions. In less than two years Church Green Insurance Agency, which offers credit union members group discounts on insurance plans has already reached its target one million in sales -in less than two years. Formed when Taunton Federal Credit Union and...

  • Launches Unified Direct Bill Inquiry System

    ATLANTA - ebix.com Inc., a software and e-commerce solutions provider, has launched a unified direct bill inquiry system, which offers insurance agents access to bill status in real-time. The system provides a single interface that provides access to multiple insurance carriers with a single master password and login. The service...

  • Employers Cautioned to Remember e-Insurance Coverage

    BELLEVUE, Wash. - A recent survey by Assurex Global, a risk management/commercial insurance brokerage group, and Clearswift, an electronic solutions provider, reveals that U.S. employers are making only a half-hearted effort to keep the workplace free from e-disasters including legal claims, malicious hackers, viruses, and security breaches. The survey finds...

  • Aberdeen FCU Ready to Offer Insurance

    ABERDEEN, S.D. -Following the path of a growing number of credit unions, Aberdeen Federal Credit Union is now offering insurance products to its members. The insurance will be provided through the $39 million credit union's CUSO Dakota Financial Services Inc. where members can find answers to their annuities and home,...

News

  • ASI Inside and Out: The Financial Status

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - When you're talking about private insurance you're really just talking about Ohio-based ASI. That is why Credit Union Times is providing this detailed financial look into the fiscal status of the company and some stats on its CU clients. (There is also private insurer Massachusetts...

  • Special Report: Insurance Products

    Private insurance has been a tidal wave of controversy recently, take a statistical look at the leading private insurance firm for credit unions, ASI. Pages 18-20.

  • A History Lesson on Massachusetts CU Insurer

    WESTBOROUGH, Mass.-Since 1961, the Massachusetts Credit Union Share Insurance Corporation (MSIC) has provided excess insurance to all its state chartered credit unions. Federal credit unions may also opt for excess coverage from MSIC. Massachusetts state law requires excess deposit insurance coverage for Massachusetts customers of cooperative and savings banks and...

  • RegFlex Rocking

    The latest stats from NCUA indicate that some 61% of credit unions are eligible for the regulation that is designed to reduce credit unions' regulatory burden. Page 25.

Letters to the editor

Opinion

Publisher's Column

  • Private Insurance Attack Sparks Huge Response

    The controversy over whether all credit unions should be required to have federal insurance for their primary coverage, as advocated by first the NAFCU Board, and later the Consumer Federation of America Board, has apparently hit a very sensitive nerve. Only a couple of weeks after the two national groups...

Publisher's Notebook

  • Uncontrollable News

    In a recent letter from a reader, he opened with the phrase, "who controls the news," in a reference to the publisher of Credit Union Times. He couldn't be more wrong on several counts. Publishers of reputable publications like Credit Union Times do not "control the news." Real news just...

In Other News

  • SCHOLARSHIPS

    Insight Financial Credit Union, Orlando, Fla., and the Paul H. Higgs family have awarded four $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors. Award recipients were selected based on their academic status and essays focusing on the credit union philosophy and what it means for their generation.

  • BRANCHING OUT

    USAlliance Federal Credit Union, Rye, N.Y., has celebrated the grand opening of its full-service Malden branch. Local dignitaries such as Malden Chamber of Commerce President Joseph A. Piantedosi and members attended the festivities. Great Lakes Credit Union, North Chicago, Ill., has held the grand opening of its 3,200 square-foot Gurnee...

People

  • VENDORS

    The Members Group, a CUSO/subsidiary of the Iowa Credit Union League and Iowa League Corporate Central Credit Union, has named Darcy Maynes training specialist. DEI, Inc., a design/build firm, has named Alan Angus, regional sales manager for Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut; Cindy Compton, administrative assistant; Charles Gray, site manager...

  • SOUTHWEST

    Shell Employees Federal Credit Union, Houston, Texas, has appointed Patricia Garcia Signal Hill Financial Resources president/CEO and Signal Hill Investment Services vice president; Brian Orsak Signal Hill Investment Services director of investments; and Brad Wilson Signal Hill Financial Resources director of financial consulting.

  • EAST

    AmeriChoice Federal Credit Union, Mechanicsburg, Pa., has named John Needs profitability analyst. Citadel Federal Credit Union, Thorndale, Pa., has named William C. Vink chief compliance auditor. In addition, CFCU has promoted Curtis Baker to director of consumer lending. Steel Works Community Federal Credit Union, Weirton, W. Va., has elected the...

  • SOUTH

    Redstone Federal Credit Union, Huntsville, Ala., has promoted Sheri Henson to assistant vice president of technology. Memphis Area Teachers' Credit Union, Tenn., has named Ken Newberry senior vice president.

  • MIDWEST

    SECURITY Federal Credit Union, Flint, Mich., has elected the following officers to its board: Kennith Scott, president; John Truchan, vice president; Richard Hazel, secretary; and Ben Cortez treasurer. In addition, SFCU has elected Joe Niedzwiecki and Chuck Whitten board directors and Jerry DeMaria, Al Fritzler and Earl Oram credit committee...

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