AWARDS Columbia Credit Union, Vancouver, Wash., has once again earned a SUPERIOR five-star rating from the credit union rating firm, BauerFinancial. The SUPERIOR rating recognizes Columbia as one of the top performing credit unions in the nation. The CU has been recognized with this rating for 16 consecutive quarters. BauerFinancial...
The $331 million Lafayette Federal Credit Union and $1.2 billion Think Federal Credit Union are both wending their way through the conversion process. Lafayette is almost finished and has scheduled its special meeting at which members will be able to cast their final votes on the proposal. Think filed its...
At its Dec. 11 holiday event, CUNA recognized President/CEO Dan Mica and Chief Operating Officer Richard McBride for their 10 years of service. Mica right was presented with a crystal eagle, and McBride a crystal golf bag.
The University of Oregon has named Oregon Community Credit Union Recruiter Cheryl Collins, Recruiter of the Year.
Senator-elect Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), then-ranking member of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee, has requested a Government Accountability Office study of several issues concerning the cost of banks to the American taxpayers.
By DAVID MORRISON Credit Union Times Staff Reporter
What started out with strong promise and an idea has slowed down a bit. Trust services continued to eke along for the industry, but there were a few launches this year.
This year continued a 10-year downturn trend in membership growth but the latter half of 2006 has shown some momentum that could carry over into 2007. It looked promising in January when 158,000 members joined credit unions, according to CUNA Mutual Group's Credit Union Trends Report for that month. January...
Payday lenders have started fighting back against a report that, they charge, falsely puts their industry in a bad light.
For many in the credit union industry, particularly if they worked with electronic payments generally and cards in particular, 2006 may go down in memory as the year card security really arrived as an issue that overhung the whole industry. In many ways the year began much as 2005 ended....
Kathryn Gonzales was named the new president/CEO of Members Business Services, LLC. Gonzales, who previously served as senior vice president of branch administration and sales at $1 billion Arrowhead Credit Union, succeeded Steve von Rajcs, who left in spring 2005. Launched in 2003, MBS provides commercial loans and deposit services...
The CUNA Board has adopted a national disaster preparedness plan for credit unions to manage future responses to major disasters.
The unraveling of subprime lender Centrix Financial, LLC into Chapter 11 bankruptcy last September may have had its roots years ago, but the company's dire troubles turned out to be one of the most jarring events to impact the industry in nearly a decade. By year-end, scores of CUs across...
Jill Jarman took the reins at Credit Union House on Capitol Hill early this year. Jarman replaced Kyle Noble as Credit Union House manager as of Jan. 3, 2006; prior to that she served as director of advocacy and communication with the Montana Credit Union Network. Most recently in her...
Nine months after it was first notified by the House Ways and Means Committee requesting state regulators to collect data from a representative sample of credit unions they regulate in their state in four designated areas, NASCUS expects to complete its data collection by the end of 2006.
This year saw credit union institutions dedicated to helping lower income members and unbanked communities make innovations and change the way they did business to bring more depth to their efforts.
President George W. Bush signed the latest deposit insurance reforms into law in February 2006.
The largest ever corporate credit union merger closed in 2006.
In one of the largest credit union dividends ever, the $1.8 billion DFCU Financial will distribute $17.5 million to its members in January 2007.
For the first time in 12 years, the Democratic Party won control over the House of Representatives in the 2006 elections, as well as barely tipping the scale in the Senate.
Geoff Bacino, a former NCUA Board member and career credit union person, was named to the Federal Housing Finance Board this year, starting work there July 28.
CUNA has awarded Certified Credit Union Executive designations to some 46 individuals from 11 different states, bringing the total nationwide to 2,429.
In a Supervisory Letter earlier this year distributed to all examiners as well as federal credit unions, NCUA hoped to steer examiners away from the suggested 1% return on average assets to achieve a CAMEL 1 rating.
With less than a week left before the special meeting at which the members of the $331 million Lafayette Federal Credit Union will discuss and finish voting on their potential charter change, controversy continued to dog the issue.
There may be no records kept, but Regional Federal Credit Union of Hammond believes it holds the national title of having the most in-school branches--five of them.
Former Treasury Secretary John Snow was as strong a supporter of the credit union tax-exemption as the community has ever seen in that post, but Henry Paulson has shown willingness to dialogue with credit unions. Though no big public announcements have been made by Paulson in support of the tax-exemption...
NCUA issued a letter to credit unions calling attention to modifications made to the fourth quarter call reports.
As a result of hearings in the House Ways and Means Committee late in 2005, NCUA and the Government Accountability Office released data recently outlining credit union service to those of modest means and providing executive compensation data; GAO also performed a study of NCUA's objectivity. The two studies came...
After CUNA lost its two top lobbyists to NCUA early this year the group filled the slots with seasoned Hill staffers.
One lawsuit brought by the American Bankers Association late in 2005 ended with non-multiple common bond credit unions being unable to adopt underserved areas and another, challenging NCUA's judgment of "well-defined community" is still awaiting a decision.
Credit unions continued to outgrow their spaces in 2006 as many were either breaking ground or opening the doors to new headquarters.
The Federal Reserve Board announced recently that it had approved an interim final rule to eliminate several statutory reporting and disclosure requirements relating to insider lending by insured depository institutions and was seeking public comment on it.
Banks with highly concentrated levels of commercial real estate loans in their portfolios, will be subject to scrutiny under final guidelines released Dec. 6 by industry regulators.
the Missouri Credit Union Association--were disappointed 2006 did not bring some resolution to five years of ongoing field of membership litigation brought by the Missouri Bankers Association challenging the language in the state's credit union statute concerning geographic field of membership.
National Association of Community Credit Unions' Board decided after Executive Director Marc Selvitelli announced his departure to recommend that the organization be disbanded.
NCUA saw a number of staffing changes as newly installed board members named executive assistants and typical comings and goings occurred.
NAFCU President Fred Becker, in response to NCUA's request for comment on the Proposed Illustrations of Consumer Information for Nontraditional Mortgage Products and the Proposed Illustrations that were simultaneously issued with the Interagency Guidance Regarding Nontraditional Mortgage Products by the five federal regulatory agencies, has written NCUA and expressed his...
The Minnesota Credit Union Network has selected the CEO of a small Denver CU to be its new staff head effective Jan. 8.
The president/CEO, C. Alan Peppers, frequently stressed that consolidation "is now a way of life in Colorado" as the Denver CU says it is open to more mergers in the future. The CU also spent months in coming up with the Westerra name hiring a local agency for marketing communication.
Credit unions continued their tradition of rewarding members with all sorts of bonuses and dividends.
The confidence in Health Savings Accounts being the next big thing since individual retirement accounts continued to build in 2006.
Though it may be difficult to recognize from previous forms, a pared-down Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act was signed into law this year, leaving credit unions to continue pursuing regulatory relief.
In response to the updated insurance coverage following the Federal Deposit Insurance Reform Act signed into law earlier this year, NCUA has revised its Your Insured Funds Booklet.
Apart from the high profile changes at the helm of the California/Nevada Credit Union Leagues a year ago involving the retirement of David H. Chatfield, state credit union leagues saw their share of leadership shifts during 2006.
This year may be remembered as the year that two groups of credit unions, CUSOs, associations and vendors got together to try to launch industrial loan corporations which, it was hoped, would purchase card portfolios and give CUs a way to participate in the credit card industry other than by...
As one entity, the credit union aimed to combine expertise and resources to achieve operational efficiencies and be better positioned to consider additional products and services, said Tom DeWitt, who is serving as president/CEO.
Credit union marketers stretched beyond all boundaries to share their message in 2006. From exploring nontraditional venues such as running into area offices and challenging staffers to become "superheroes" by encouraging credit union membership and chauffeuring a "just married couple" around downtown to promote joint checking to offering special newborn...
NCUA and the other federal financial regulators last week issued a revised interagency policy statement on the Allowance for Loan and Lease Losses, supplemented with frequently asked questions.
The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, recently issued an advisory about a possible cyber attack on U.S. financial institutions.
The NCUA Board voted to give federal credit unions the authority to participate in repurchase transactions in which the instruments are comprised of first-lien mortgages at its monthly board meeting last week.
The Connecticut Department of Banking has compiled the results of its year-end 2005 survey of state-chartered credit unions it conducted to determine what types of fee-producing services are being provided to consumers. The results offer an interesting insight into the revenue producing services being provided to members through credit unions...
Marking one of the largest year-end payouts to members, $10 million, Arizona Federal Credit Union promoted the event with Dec. 15 visits by NCUA Vice Chairman Rodney Hood and U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.). The state's second largest CU said the $10 million capital distribution underscored a good year for...
The NCUA Board took on a number of serious issues impacting the entire industry over 2006 and there appears to be no let up for 2007.
The national credit union trade associations lobbied hard for the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act that they say targets debtors trying to game the system, and after nearly a decade of work got their wish at the end of 2005.
NCUA and NASCUS have scheduled a national meeting between the federal and state credit union regulators for March 25-27, 2007 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
With this the 51st and final issue of 2006, Credit Union Times offers up holiday wishes to all of our subscribers and advertisers. Pictured here are members of the editorial and production team. The group recently held its traditional annual holiday dinner in Red Bank, N.J. (Back row, from left)...
Both the Pennsylvania Banking Department and Connecticut Department of Banking saw new faces in their respective state regulators' chairs in 2006. On Aug. 15, Pennsylvania Banking Secretary A. William Schenck resigned from the government position after three years of service to take a private sector job. Noted for his support...
Credit Union Times is launching an expanded awards program in 2007. As the leading independent publication in the industry, the awards program is unbiased and open to all credit union professionals and volunteers, making it the premier awards program in the industry. Winners will be selected by the editorial department.
At Treasury's Southwest Regional Conference on Reaching Unbanked People, NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson and other government officials took the stage to share consumer-oriented best practices.
In a very close race, Iowa Rep. Bob Kressig (D-Cedar Falls) was re-elected during November's elections.
From the Oregon coast to Atlantic City, the credit union message of awareness, advocacy and membership underwent a large-scale tune up in 2006 conveyed by characters as diverse as Bob the Credit Union Guy or those BizKid$ from Junior Achievement. Leading the yearlong drive to test new and creative approaches...
Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union has announced a special dividend of almost $7.5 million. PSECU's board made the decision to return the funds to its members since its capital was already at levels that it felt were adequate--currently over 10%--according to Greg Smith, president of the CU. The dividend was...
Sunshine State first applied to become a bank in 2003 and withdrew the application when it became clear that, for a variety of reasons, which were never explicitly articulated, the Office of Thrift Supervision was not going to approve the application.
Conversion Rule Headlines NCUA Board Meeting
The Centrix Financial Chapter 11 bankruptcy prompted a new reminder from NCUA last week about CUs having "effective controls" in place to handle third-party risk.
Since this year's final data will not be available until early 2007, it's impossible to tell precisely how many credit unions sold their card portfolios to agent issuing partners in 2006.
Oregon Community Credit Union is doing its part to ensure area residents get the best medical care.
Winds of change swept through NAFCU's workforce over the last year.
A happy New Year will begin early for the more than 147,000 members of Founders Federal Credit Union. Founders will return $6 million to its members as a bonus dividend--the largest in the credit union's history. It will be distributed among borrowers and savers on December 31.
When all the paperwork has been signed off on, the $24 million Marcy Federal Credit Union will be the seventh credit union to convert to a mutual bank as part of the process of merging with a mutual bank.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, an office of the Treasury Department, sent out a call for nominations of financial organizations and trade associations to serve on its Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group.
Debbie Matz retired from government service when she left the NCUA Board in the fall of 2005, but resurfaced in the private sector. She started April 17, as executive vice president and chief operating officer at Andrews Federal Credit Union, fulfilling her desire to stay in the credit union community....
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Hampshire has appointed Northeast Credit Union President/CEO Peter J. Kavalauskas to serve on its board.
The NCUA Board last week voted unanimously to maintain the 1.3% operating level for the NCUSIF into 2007.
John Henry, senior vice president, MEMBERS Financial Services, Sales, resigned on Aug. 23.
Top 10 Stories of the Year 1.
The U.S. Senate confirmed Jovita Carranza on Dec. 9, as the deputy administrator of the Small Business Administration.
Securian Financial Group, Inc. has appointed Allied Solutions President Christopher Hilger, senior vice president and head of its Financial Services business unit, which manufactures and markets insurance and lending products and services through banks and credit unions. Hilger has played an integral role in the business unit since 2004 when...
After working in the credit union industry for more than 30 years and leading Option 1 Credit Union--formerly called Financial Health Credit Union--since 1986, Jo Anne Fillwock has retired this month.
The $2.7 billion Desert Schools Federal Credit Union has hired its first-ever public relations manager.
Balance Sheet Solutions, LLC, has hired Lonnie Schaffer as senior director of financial product sales. Schaffer's responsibilities will include the oversight of financial product sales for credit unions primarily located in the Northeast. In addition, he will co-develop business unit strategies and sales plans to ensure resources and sales efforts...
Christopher A. Johnson, a relatively new attorney with CUNA's regulatory advocacy department, has been promoted to vice president of state government affairs.
CUSOs Share One, Inc. and Tellagent, LLC, have entered into a partnership to deploy a self-service kiosk called "FRED" that conducts electronic shared branch transactions and performs financial services quickly and conveniently. FRED incorporates a Fujitsu ATM as one of its components and allows credit union members to make deposits,...
In an effort to upgrade its Web site's navigation and functionality, Northeast Credit Union opted for easy-to-use features.
Equifax recently launched two products designed to improve and speed decision-making and loan processing for financial institutions.
Challenged to find a product that would help it automate and create a paperless environment for its documents with the ability to integrate with its two core systems, NSWC Federal Credit Union has turned to TotaleAtlas, a turnkey, browser-based document presentment solution provided by Linden, N.J.-based Integrated Media Management.
United Nations Federal Credit Union will institute PortAuthority's Information Leak Protection (ILP) solution to protect its confidential information and members' personal data.
TopLine Federal Credit Union has broken ground on its new Brooklyn Park branch in the new Park Place Promenade development.
OnPoint Community Credit Union's 10th branch has set new records.
Talk about offering services to everyone! Alaska USA FCU member Jim Reynolds snapped up this "area resident" contemplating whether he's eligible to join.
Dade County Federal Credit Union has celebrated the opening of its three newest branches in Miami-Dade County.
Northeast Credit Union is ensuring members can get the answers they need when they need them by keeping its Member Service Contact Center open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
As we say goodbye to the 109th Congress and prepare to welcome the 110th, now is a good time to pause and consider what credit unions were able to accomplish this past year--and what unfinished business we may pursue in the session beginning in January.
It's always dangerous to predict things because you can look horribly bad at year-end or you can be accused of not sounding the warning bells for things you "knew" were in the works. Well so be it, this column isn't for the meek. Here are my predictions for everything credit...
This blockbuster year in review issue is the 51st and final issue of 2006. Credit Union Times will return in two weeks with the Jan. 3 issue.
EAST The Brockton Housing Partnership recently voted an expression of appreciation to Aguinaldo "Nato" Fonseca, minority business development officer of HarborOne Credit Union, Brockton, Mass., in recognition of his many efforts on behalf of local residents. Also, the Metro South Chamber of Commerce awarded the Charles A. Fuller Community Service...
2006 unfortunately saw some tragic deaths of rising credit union stars such as Mike Osborne and Kelly Purcell. Longtime pioneers like John Arnold also passed, as did well-known experts like William R. Mapother.
In the Nov. 15 issue of Credit Union Times, a story on page 103 entitled, "CULAC Independent Expenditures on Lieberman Pay Off," Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) was inadvertently labeled as being from Vermont. We regret the error.