Credit Union Times Magazine January-14, 2004

  • California Credit Unions Waiting to See Proposed ATM Licensing Law

    ONTARIO, Calif. - CO-OP Network, the nation's largest credit union owned, surcharge-free ATM network, along with California credit unions, are keeping an eye on potential California legislation that could require independent service organizations which place ATMs to be licensed or otherwise regulated. According to Mark Lowe, public relations specialist with...

  • California Credit Unions Create Their Own Solution to Workers Compensation Crisis

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. - When the top 25 credit unions in California met in January 2003 for roundtable discussions of various challenges facing credit unions here, Travis Credit Union Human Resources/Training Vice President Chris Daniels mentioned that his credit union was seriously looking at self-insurance under workers compensation. That comment began...

  • Bacino Puts Career Rumors to Rest, Joins Centrix Financial as EVP

    WASHINGTON - Ever since leaving the NCUA Board in 2001, Geoff Bacino says he has been inundated with job offers, endorsement deals, and consulting work, but nothing seemed to fit until now. Bacino is joining Denver-based CENTRIX Financial as Executive Vice President for Legislative Affairs. "I have had a lot...

  • Credit Unions Remember Long-time Senator Bill Roth, Creator of Roth IRA

    NEWARK, Del. - More than 350 friends and colleagues attended a Dec. 21 memorial service at the University of Delaware to honor the legacy of former state Senator Bill Roth, who passed away on Dec. 13 at the age of 82. Roth, who represented Delaware for 34 years in Congress,...

  • Digital FCU Launches New Television Brand Campaign With a Movie-Like Feel

    MARLBOROUGH, Mass. - Digital Federal Credit Union is hoping its first television branding campaign will help residents "think beyond the bank." Wanting to raise awareness and position its brand as a consumer-friendly alternative to commercial banks, New England's largest credit union turned to Boston-based marketing communications agency Cronin|Wallwork Curry to...

  • Internet Caf, CUSO `Storefronts' a Hit at Indiana Credit Union Branch

    MARION, Ind. - The high-tech branch complete with internet caf, remote tellers and a CUSO area with a "small town" motif is proving a hit for Marion School Employees Federal Credit Union. "There is nothing like it in Marion for sure and we are seeing very good traffic," said Kari...

  • Capital Communication FCU's Investment Arm Earns Top Mutual Fund Ranking

    LATHAM, N.Y. - CAP COM Financial Services LLC recently ranked sixth in the nation out of more than 350 financial institutions for its mutual fund production during the third quarter of 2003. CAP COM, the wholly-owned subsidiary of $350 million Capital Communications Federal Credit Union, received the high mark from...

  • Top Lobbyist for Colorado League, Sheehy, to be Honored

    DENVER - John P. Sheehy, the top lobbyist for the Colorado Credit Union League for 30 years and who retired last September for health reasons, will receive a special honor Jan. 29 during the League's annual Legislative Forum. Sheehy, 58, joined the Colorado League in 1973 and has served as...

  • Predatory Lending PALS Conference Booked Solid

    ALEXANDRIA, Va.-Speakers at the Jan. 26 Partnering and Leadership Successes workshop on alternatives to predatory lending will be facing a sold out crowd, NCUA Board Member Debbie Matz announced last week. "It is very encouraging to see the overwhelming interest shown by credit union leaders in providing alternatives to predatory...

  • EFFCU Name Badges Spark Conversation, Member Relations

    MIRIMAR, Fla. - Eastern Financial Florida Credit Union has taken the term "ice-breaker" to a whole new level with its new Hometown Awareness Program. The $1.7 billion credit union has provided staffers with nametags featuring their home state or country. After seeing a variety of retailers using a similar technique,...

  • Credit Union ONE Name Being Fraudulently Used

    FERNDALE, Mich. - Credit Union ONE's corporate name is being fraudulently used to solicit debt consolidation services throughout the U.S. According to the CU, since September 2003, numerous newspaper ads originating from an unknown group in Toronto, Ontario, have appeared in about 50 publications, and those in Ohio and Illinois...

  • Credit Union Realty Opens Satellite Office at TopLine FCU Branch

    MAPLE GROVE, Minn. - CU Realty, a subsidiary of CU Companies Inc. which is owned by 38 metro area CUs and which provides full real estate services to CU members, has opened a satellite office at TopLine FCU's Maple Grove branch. TopLine is one of the owners of CU Companies....

  • Boeing ECU Delves Into Business Services

    TUKWILA, Wash.-Boeing Employees Credit Union is diving into the member business services arena. In less than a year, BECU President and CEO Gary Oakland said his credit union has developed a member business services arm that will launch early this spring. BECU plans to offer a full range of services...

  • Senior Financial Services Committee Member to Retire From Congress

    WASHINGTON-Last month, Congressman Doug Bereuter (R-Neb.) officially announced that he would not be seeking reelection to the seat that he has easily won in the last 13 elections. "Rep. Bereuter has had a distinguished career over his 25 years in the Congress. CUNA has enjoyed working with the congressman on...

  • NAFCU's 2004 Priorities Mirror 2003 Priorities; State Tax Attacks Have to Be Vigorously Defended

    ARLINGTON, Va.-Though not much on NAFCU's list of priorities has changed from last year to this year, the goals remain high and ongoing. Though the #2 priority for 2004 is enhancing the federal charter, according to NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker, that really is the all-encompassing theme that each...

  • VISA Streamlining Its Processing, Little Direct Credit Union Impact Seen

    ARLINGTON, Va. - It may take a while to happen, but soon credit union credit card and debit card holders who view their accounts online will be able to see their card transactions in the same day they make them. A Visa spokesman confirmed that the San Francisco-based card association...

  • Virginia CUs, Members to Mutually Benefit from Virginia League's Relationship with Palmetto Coop Services

    LYNCHBURG, Va. - Virginia credit unions and their members stand to mutually benefit from a new share draft processing relationship recently finalized between the Virginia Credit Union League and Palmetto Cooperative Services Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the South Carolina Credit Union League. According to the arrangement, checks from members...

  • VBA Will Not Push CU-Taxation Legislation, but Virginia League Warns CUs Not to Let Down Their Guard

    RICHMOND, Va. - The Virginia Bankers Association notified state legislators it will not seek the introduction of legislation to tax state-chartered CUs, but the Virginia Credit Union League was quick to clarify for CUs that this does not mean the bankers are waving the white flag. Just the contrary, said...

  • Travis CU Staffers Reel in Member Satisfaction with FISH! Philosophy Made Famous by World Renowned Pike Place Fish Market

    VACAVILLE, Calif. - Travis Credit Union employees have flipped over FISH!- the philosophy that emphasizes a fun approach to work. The philosophy is based on the film, FISH! which chronicles the fun-loving, energetic environment of the Seattle-based World Famous Pike Place Fish Market. Despite the hard work, long hours and...

  • Wireless Banking is All But Dead in CU Land, But Text Messaging/Multi-Messaging May Have a Shot

    SAN DIEGO - It didn't take long for credit unions, banks, brokerages and anyone else who tried it to realize that wireless Web banking isn't the killer app they thought it could be, but there may be hope for another shade of wireless banking. The main problem with wireless banking...

  • Young Members More Likely to Have Individual Retirement Accounts, IRA Rollover Flush May Create Scramble

    WASHINGTON - While only a small percentage of members have an Individual Retirement Account at their credit union, many more may be open to the possibility if more information was made available. According to a recent Callahan & Associates Web-based survey, only 5.2% of members have an IRA at their...

  • `Tennessee Saves' Plans Statewide Kickoff

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Backers of a program encouraging more people to save plan a statewide rollout early this year. The program is already supported by a coalition including the Tennessee Credit Union League, state government and the University of Tennessee Agricultural Cooperative Extension Service. Participating financial institutions will offer Tennessee...

  • NCUA Visits Columbia as Investigation Continues; Save CCU Nets Enough Signatures to Call Special Meeting

    ALEXANDRIA Va. - A team from NCUA visited Columbia Community Credit Union the week of January 5 as part of the agency's ongoing investigation into whether the $600-million credit union properly handled its recent vote to change its charter. The agency acknowledged that the time required for the visit will...

  • NCUA, Trades Close the Book on GAO Report; Oppose ABA's Input and Use of HMDA Data

    WASHINGTON-While NCUA and the credit union community focused on different aspects of the October 2003 General Accounting Office report on the credit union industry, there was agreement that the industry is overall in good shape. "NCUA is gratified that the GAO concludes in its report that `the credit union industry...

  • New Jersey, New York Credit Unions Seek Level Playing Field Through Risk-based Capital

    HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. - Obtaining Congressional approval of H.R. 3579, the Credit Union Regulatory Improvement Act of 2003 (CURIA)-particularly the section regarding risk-based capital-has become a top legislative priority for the credit union leagues of New Jersey and New York and their members. If the bill is passed, the concept of...

  • No Wheels on BestSource Credit Union Mobile Branch

    WATERFORD, Mich. - A mobile branch concept, but without wheels, is helping BestSource Credit Union reach out to members at Target, Marshall Field and Mervyn's stores throughout southeastern Michigan and even Chicago. Instead of driving a converted van from location to location, BCU is working with local stores to arrange...

  • NCUA Employees Score a Win for Forming Labor Union

    WASHINGTON-Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) Regional Director Gerald M. Cole determined that most of the employees NCUA had objected to as part of a potential union would be eligible to vote on the creation of a union. According to the National Treasury Employees Union, which is working to organize the...

  • Patriotic Music CD Well-Received in Credit Union Land as Marketing Tool, Member Gift

    MANASSAS, Va. - A new CD of Patriotic hymns and fight songs written for the nation's periods of civil uncertainty and new freedoms is finding an audience among credit unions. The National Men's Chorus of "Life and Liberty-American Patriotic Music" - a compact disc of 21 tracks performed with the...

  • Tennessee CU League Charts Proactive Approach to Conference Attendance

    CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The situation resounds with a number of credit union industry groups: conference attendance is declining in spite of solid post-conference reviews from attendees. The Tennessee Credit Union League is stepping up to the situation with a proactive approach aimed at more clearly identifying attendees' needs and phasing...

  • Corporates Showing Cooperation With Primary Financial

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - It's very rare in the credit union industry to get 100% agreement on anything, but corporates are showing they're all on the same page when it comes to Primary Financial. With the mergers of Mid-States and Minnesota Corporate and PacCorp and WesCorp, only 31 corporates remain, and...

  • New Online Voting Poll: Credit Union CEOs on the Firing Line?

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - In recent weeks a number of prominent credit union CEOs have left their positions, but did they want to? While many CEO departures are depicted as mutually agreed upon partings of the ways, there are often behind-the-scenes things occurring that lead to CEOs leaving the...

  • Voting Poll Results: Voters Pick Utah Bank Attack, Fallout as Top Story of '03

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The banker attacks in Utah which led to an American Bankers Association field-of-membership lawsuit against NCUA was voted as the top story of 2003 by respondents to Credit Union Times' just expired online voting poll. Utah garnered nearly 43.15% of the vote. Coming in behind...

  • CUNA's GAC Offers Attendees Variety

    WASHINGTON-A varying array of hot button topics will be the focus of the breakout sessions at CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference slated for Feb. 22-25. During the Feb. 23 session, breakout workshops will cover everything from financial privacy to the bankers' attacks to small business services. Breakouts will also touch on...

  • XCU Capital Corp. Partners with StatementOne for Investment Management

    CARLSBAD, Calif. - Credit union owned-broker dealer XCU Capital Corp. recently aligned with StatementOne, a technology solution provider to the retail wealth management market, for technology solutions in managing the company's investment services. XCU Capital will use StatementOne's platforms to increase company awareness through a variety of promotional themes. StatementOne...

  • Credit Card Delinquencies Up in Third Quarter 2003

    WASHINGTON - The American Bankers Association is reporting that the number of past due credit card accounts hit an all-time high in the third quarter of 2003 even as delinquencies in other consumer loans fell. ABA chief economist James Chessen predicts that without strong job growth, credit card delinquencies would...

  • Maine Credit Unions Helping Troops, Families Stay in Touch

    WESTBROOK, Maine - As a continued show of support for U.S. troops on active duty, Maine credit unions have once again teamed up to jumpstart the "Operation Phone Home" program. From January 5 - 25, credit unions across Maine will be collecting phone cards and cash for "Operation Phone Home...

  • SELCO CU Approved for Community Charter

    EUGENE, Ore. - SELCO CU, the fifth largest credit union in the state, was approved on Jan. 1 by the state regulator to become a community credit union. SELCO currently has 67,000 members and serves Lane and Deschutes counties. As a result of its new community charter, the credit union...

  • MasterCard Changes May Not Impact Many Credit Unions

    CLEARWATER, Fla. - MasterCard's recent announcement that, as of May 1, their smaller issuers will have to generate $200,000 in business for the association or possibly drop to a lower level of membership is not likely to impact many small credit union card issuers, according to a spokeswoman for Card...

  • Chicago Credit Union Overwhelmed With New Members

    CHICAGO - It's always great to get new members, but when they come in droves and they're nervous it can be challenging for any credit union. That's just what one Chicago credit union is discovering. The 77th Street Depot Federal Credit Union, an almost $12 million dollar CU serving primarily...

  • NCSL Condemns OCC Rules Exempting National Banks from Consumer Protection Laws

    WASHINGTON - The National Conference of State Legislatures strongly condemned two new rules implemented Jan 7. by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to exempt national banks and their operating subsidiaries from state consumer protection laws and enforcement actions. Delaware State Representative Donna Stone, chair of the House...

  • Budgetary Issues Cause SBA to Temporarily Halt 7(a) Guarantees

    WASHINGTON-The U.S. Small Business Administration has issued a policy notice to its 7(a) lenders stating that, until further notice, the program will not approve any more 7(a) loan requests. "SBA has encountered unprecedented demand for the 7(a) loan program. Due to this spike in demand, SBA is forced to take...

  • Eighty Percent of CUs Merged in November Below $10 Million in Assets

    ALEXANDRIA, Va.-The bulk of the 25 credit unions merged in November were of credit unions with less than $10 million in assets. Twenty of the 25 mergers that took place last month involved credit unions under $10 million in assets, according to NCUA's November Insurance Report of Activity. Of those,...

  • FBI Takes Notice of Fraudulent CU Activities

    WASHINGTON-Federal Bureau of Investigation Financial Institutions Fraud Unit Chief John V. Gillies wrote CUNA last month explaining that it has alerted its field offices to the concerns over schemes using fraudulent credit union fronts. The FBI's Dec. 16 letter, in response to one from CUNA in October, stated that the...

  • Schroeder Left on "Good Note"; Wants to Stay in CUs

    ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. - Joe Schroeder is in "good spirits" nearly a month after he resigned as president/CEO of Financial Partners Credit Union. "I'm looking at other opportunities right now. My preference is to stay with credit unions," Schroeder said. Schroeder would not discuss specific details about his resignation but...

  • CUNA, NAFCU Applaud Abernathy's Interest in CU Capital Issues

    WASHINGTON-CUNA and NAFCU have both sent letters to Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Wayne Abernathy thanking him for his comments on a risk-based capital system for credit unions during a Consumer Federation of America conference last month. "While risk-based capital may not be the answer for every credit union's...

  • Scottish Deputy Minister says `Yes' to CUs

    GLASGOW, Scotland - "Credit unions have an important role to play in helping us tackle financial exclusion," Scottish Executive Deputy Minister for Communities Mary Mulligan told the 300 delegates at the fall conference of the Association of British Credit Unions, Ltd. (ABCUL) held in November. The Scottish Executive oversees health,...

  • Credit Union Loans and Savings Evening Out as 2003 Closes

    WASHINGTON-CUNA's economics department churned out some positive numbers for November's loans and savings, indicating that the economy is steadier on its feet. "Loans have been strengthening and savings have been softening," CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel said. "The net result of this is that for the year-to-date through November, we've...

  • Third Quarter Knocks CU Investments Off 18-Month High

    WASHINGTON - A serious lack of share inflow could not keep up with the industry's rapid loan growth leading to a down spiral for credit union investments in the third quarter of 2003 to $216 billion. Callahan & Associates Inc. reported even after a steady $64 billion growth stream over...

  • Florida CU Settles with OFAC on TWEA Violation

    WASHINGTON-Eastern Financial Florida Credit Union was cited, along with a few other institutions, on the Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control's Jan. 2 edition of the monthly Civil Penalties Enforcement Information. The $1.8 billion credit union located in Miramar, Fla. was cited for a 2002 funds transfer dealing with Cuba....

  • NY CUs Donate Over $78,000 to Children Organizations

    LATHAM, N.Y. - One cute terrycloth lion has helped credit unions here raise over $78,000 as part of Credit Unions Care for Kids. New York credit unions not only tapped into the popularity of the New York State Credit Union League's 2003 Care for Kids mascot Louie the Lion, but...

In Other News

  • HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS

    Credit unions were so busy living the `people helping people' philosophy this holiday season that it is impossible for Credit Union Times to list all their generous efforts. So here is just a glimpse at how credit unions celebrated the holidays: People's Alliance Federal Credit Union, Hauppauge, N.Y., staffers joined...

News

News Briefs

  • Winter Oregon Storm Shuts Portland CUs Down

    PORTLAND, OR - Heavy snow followed by freezing rain forced numerous credit unions throughout the area to shut down or curtail operations Jan. 7. The Credit Union Association of Oregon was among the businesses in the city that were forced to close. Forecasters said the storm west of the Cascades...

  • Board Taps John Ruffin as New CEO of Robins Federal Credit Union

    WARNER ROBINS, Ga. - In an a fast changing of the guard, John S. Ruffin has been named the new president/CEO of $800 million Robins Federal Credit Union replacing Ed "Buck" Levins who served at the helm for 16 years. Ruffin, a former RFCU executive vice president since 1997, previously...

  • Colorado League Getting Close To Hiring New President

    DENVER - The Colorado Credit Union League, which has been without a CEO since last September, is looking to fill the job "by the end of the month or the first few weeks of February," according to League Chairman Carl Hedrick. In picking a new president, the League is following...

  • EasCorp Partners with Charlie Mac for Jumbos

    WOBURN, Mass. - EasCorp has partnered with Charlie Mac to help its member credit unions sell off jumbo mortgages. Charlie Mac, a U.S. Central subsidiary, acts as a secondary market for credit unions interested in selling off auto loans and jumbo mortgages. EasCorp is specifically interested in Charlie Mac's JumboExpress...

  • MEMBERS Capital Advisors Mutual Funds Unscathed From Industry Scandals

    MADISON, Wis. - For the latter half of 2003, mutual fund companies saw their fair share of market timing and after-hour trading scandals but at least two of CUNA Mutual Group's MEMBERS Capital Advisors' funds weathered the fallout quite well. MEMBERS' Capital Appreciation Fund was up 29.01% for the year...

  • Former Michigan CU League VP Named Chief of Staff for State's OFIS Commissioner

    LANSING, Mich. - Ken Ross, the former vice president of regulatory and legal affairs for the Michigan Credit Union League, was named chief of staff by Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Services Commissioner Linda Watters, effective Dec. 22. Ross will primarily be responsible for working with OFIS staff, a...

  • HUD Ends Loan Incentives For Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

    WASHINGTON - A recent decision by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to end its bonus point incentive system for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that encouraged the housing Government Sponsored Enterprises to buy mortgages on small apartment buildings, may cause the GSEs problems in meeting their affordable housing...

  • Asset Exchange Facilitates Two More Portfolio Sales

    PORTLAND Ore. - Asset Exchange, the leading independent broker of credit union credit card portfolios announced the facilitation of CU card portfolios to InfiCorp, a significant purchaser of CU card portfolios based in Atlanta. Northern FCU, a $70 million CU headquartered in Watertown, New York, sold its portfolio valued at...

Letters to the editor

  • Discussion on Critical Issues Missing from Conferences

    Over the years we have seen greed and self-serving become something of the norm in business today. Has this phenomena now become part of the world of credit unions? This is hard to tell since most CEOs don't like to talk about it in an open forum for fear of...

  • CEOs Need to Develop Their Political Skills to Stay Out of Firing Line

    Credit Union Times' latest online voting poll (see www.cutimes.com) asking why credit union CEOs get terminated, poses an interesting question. The number one reason I have seen is, "The CEO falls out of favor with the board for reasons other than fiduciary performance." Here's my take on it, based on...

  • Columbia Community CU is Performing Just Fine as a CU Thank You

    When I first read of Columbia Community CU's conversion to a state-chartered mutual bank, I assumed that the credit union was struggling to survive in a competitive environment or that the credit union needed to increase its business lending beyond NCUA guidelines to survive or that there was some other...

Opinion

Publisher's Column

  • Credit Union Success May Have a Down Side

    One of these days consumers may get so angry that they decide to revolt over the shoddy (and getting worse) treatment they are receiving as they seek out affordable, efficient, and convenient everyday financial services. It is no longer unusual for a consumer to go to the mail box one...

Publisher's Notebook

  • Free Lunch

    Readers who haven't checked out the completely re-designed Credit Union Times Web site (www.cutimes.com) lately are missing out on three things. First, the only credit union electronic news source that is updated as many as 20 or more times each day. When news happens, it goes out on this site...

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