Credit Union Times Magazine March 2, 2011

Front Page News

News

  • iPads Can Help Deliver Unique Member Experience

    Don’t be quick to dismiss the iPad as just a fad. According to Celent Senior Analyst Bob Meara, with their distinctive attributes like mobility, ability to operate in both online and offline environments, rich video delivery capability and a platform that encourages interactivity between staffers and consumers, tablets may be...

  • Merger Rules Impact CFOs

    The sign on some credit union doors this spring might be "Help Wanted: Highly Educated Chief Financial Officers, Well-Versed in the New Accounting Rules and Ready to Put in Long Hours on Mergers." And one other requirement: the employing credit union best prepare to spend big bucks for outside accounting...

  • Strongest Rewards Now From Retailers

    Call it a sign of the times that when consumer card advocate Bill Hardekopf of LowCards.com praised two cards' debit rewards programs, they were not cards issued by financial institutions.

  • CUNA Updates Model Act

    It’s been four years now since lawyers from CUNA and the American Association of Credit Union Leagues drafted a so-called "Model Credit Union Act" for implementation by the leagues. But the 2011 project is off to a quick start with bills ready for introduction in several state legislatures.

  • CU CEOs Appointed to Fed Panels

    Underscoring a policy aimed at reaching out to small community banks and credit unions, the Federal Reserve Board and its district banks last week began completing a series of high-level CEO appointments to its new advisory panels.

  • Professor Says CUs Should Back GSEs’ Privatization

    A professor of law at Brooklyn Law School argued that credit unions should back the privatization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, provided they can also ensure they get the same access to a privatized secondary mortgage market that banks would get.

  • Speaking No Evil as CRE Troubles Put Nerves on Edge

    The credit union industry is known for its kinship. Few dare to go on record and point fingers at their credit union peers for poor loan performance.

  • How Many Corporate Credit Unions Will Be Standing by Year End?

    There may be no more contentious question in the typically placid world of credit unions than this: How many corporate credit unions are needed to keep the system smoothly functioning? And that leads to the allied question: Do we need any corporates at all?

  • Fostering a Culture of Continuing Education Starts at the Top

    Given the fast pace in which the world changes, never has the need for continuing credit union board education been greater.

  • Mortgage Issuing Firm Revamps

    The changing requirements for mortgage issuing have led CU Members Mortgage, one of the leading mortgage issuing firms with credit union partners, to restructure its operations.

  • McKechnie Reflects On Tenure

    John McKechnie began his first day on a Delaware beach in the summer of 2008 reading a front-page story in The Wall Street Journal about the serious financial problems facing some of the corporate credit unions.

  • Canadian CU Reduces Log-In Times Across Virtual Platform

    A thousand or so users using up to 10 applications or more apiece and spread across a vast Canadian province can present a bit of a challenge for the IT folks responsible for keeping the network up and running well.

  • Creating Financially Savvy Employees

    The Investor Education in Your Workplace program is being rolled out in North Carolina, with an initial quiz and survey set for March 28. Coursework and a final quiz and survey are scheduled for July 1.

  • Oregon Tax Drive

    With so many states facing huge budget deficits, the banking lobby last week fired the first salvo in Oregon in a re-energized national drive targeting the credit union tax exemption.

  • Large Lenders Dominate the Small Business Market

    There is more proof that lending to small businesses is starting to recover in some loan size categories even in the midst of a continued decline of activity by financial institutions.

  • Wisconsin CU Members Saved Millions

    The Wisconsin Credit Union League is touting a report from National Credit Union Foundation's Real Solutions program about the amount of money the state's credit unions saved their members in 2010.

  • Tax Time Means CUs Launch Annual VITA Efforts

    As it’s grown, credit unions and their volunteers have become an integral part of VITA, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program that provides free help on returns to those who qualify–and that’s millions of American households.

  • Time for CUs to Trust Bankers?

    No conversation about the future of corporate credit unions goes very far before an ugly question intrudes. Isn’t it time to extinguish corporates entirely and turn the correspondent service work over to banks?

  • Redwood Takes Cal State

    The $1.7 billion Redwood Credit Union of Santa Rosa, Calif. marking its first merger in three years, is expanding its local footprint by taking over the ailing, $90 million Cal State Central CU effective April 1.

  • The Auto Chronicles

    Among the federal government’s most controversial actions during the Great Recession was the rescue of the automobile industry.

  • SECU Moves to Chip Card

    The nation's second largest credit union, State Employees' Credit Union, has become the second CU in the country to put computer chips into its credit or debit cards.

Tech Bytes

  • FinCEN Issues Annual Report

    Reaching out to credit unions and other community financial institutions is among 2011’s goals, according to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s just-released 2010 annual report.

  • CUs Deploy Xetus

    Xetus Mortgage Corp. of Palo Alto, Calif., said it has signed up two more small credit unions as users of its remote-delivery loan origination platform.

  • PayPal Field Is Filling With Competitors Seeking an Edge

    A South Carolina online banking specialist made a P2P shot across the bow recently when it said it was using PayPal as the person-to-person payment engine on its Internet banking platform.

  • Social Media Survey

    Credit unions that want to connect with their members through social media should find a receptive audience, according to a new report from Fiserv Inc.

  • Online Payments Lure Phishers

    A major international antiphishing coalition said online payments services continue to be the favorite target of phishing fraudsters.

  • AOD Adds Mobile

    The 27,700 members of the $213 million AOD Federal Credit Union can now take advantage of mobile banking.

  • Fighting Bogus Checks

    Educating consumers about the dangers of fake checks is the goal of a joint credit union-bank effort now under way in New York.

  • Downloadable Apps

    The $781 million Altura Credit Union is now offering users of iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys and other Internet-enabled devices free downloadable mobile banking applications.

Focus Report

  • Regulatory & Compliance

    Although the financial crisis is over, credit unions still have an array of challenges to deal with to ensure that they survive and thrive in the complicated modern-day financial services marketplace.

  • State Regulators, Examiners Strive to Meet Challenges

    Congress, state legislatures, the media, consumer groups and the general public continue to shine a spotlight on the strength of financial institution management. This same spotlight is shining on the strength of state and federal regulatory examination and supervision procedures. In the credit union system, growing compliance requirements and the...

  • NCUA’s Rulemaking Pendulum Has Swung Too Far

    Unfortunately, it has become increasingly difficult for the credit union industry to discuss the NCUA board’s regulatory rulemaking without a profusion of expletives. The NCUA’s regulatory pendulum has swung from the overly permissive cheerleading that led to the corporate credit union crisis to the opposite extreme of paralyzing restrictions and...

  • Got a Letter? Be Calm

    So the NCUA or Federal Reserve has issued a proposed rule that you detest. What to do? Hold your fire and be rational.

  • Caller ID Law Could Impact CUs

    Credit unions that engage in legitimate debt collection practices could still find their actions restricted by the Federal Communications Commission.

  • Feds, States Eye How Credit Unions Are Run

    It’s not just about your assets. While the NCUA and state regulators certainly care about the raw numbers of credit unions, they are putting more emphasis on scrutinizing how credit unions are run. In other words, the "M" in CAMEL is getting the spotlight.

  • Consumer Bureau Will Soon Flex Its Muscles

    The new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection–which will be the driving force behind the writing and enforcement of a myriad of consumer regulations–isn’t scheduled to begin operating until July.

Special Report

Billlionaires Club

Corporates

  • How to Prevent Another Wave Of Corporate Failures

    Failure happens, often again and again. When the nation was beset with a huge wave of savings and loan failures in the late 1980s–747 institutions were shuttered by regulators–lawmakers and regulators assured the public it had taken steps to prevent this from happening again. And then the recent more expensive...

  • Sour Mood On Corporate Bridge Plans

    Glum is the one word summing up of the mood of the bridge task forces, at least for Members United Corporate Bridge and Western Bridge and their plans to create viable entities for tomorrow.

  • Director’s Handbook: New Rules, New Times

    Call the NCUA suit against WesCorp’s outside directors the warning shot that, whether the NCUA wins or loses that case, makes clear one fact. Serving on a credit union board involves risks, responsibilities, accountability and losses when the job is not done well.

CEO's Corner

Editor-in-Chief's Column

Opinion

  • Why Interchange Reform Is Necessary

    Last year, Congress passed landmark legislation to reform the interchange fee system in America. This bipartisan effort came after years of congressional hearings and Government Accountability Office studies that made clear that the interchange system was on an unsustainable course.

  • Daunting Challenges Face the CU Industry

    Congress won’t undertake a massive overhaul of the regulatory system during the next two years, but there will no shortage of action on lower profile issues that impact credit unions.

  • Stick to the Fundamentals and Reignite Your Passion

    It’s easy to let NCUA assessments have a negative impact on not only your balance sheet but also the attitudes within your credit union. However, the direction of our momentum in 2011 is vitally important to the credit union system’s success beyond 2011.

  • We Cannot Relent in Opposing Interchange Cap

    Since its introduction last year as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the interchange price cap amendment has been a source of great consternation for our industry. NAFCU, both in principle and substance, has fought it fervently.

Marketing

Letters to the editor

  • Think Before You Sell Card Portfolio

    In what was almost a throw-away line in the Feb. 16 Editor’s Column, it was suggested that the agent credit card portfolio at NIH Federal Credit Union’s "illustrates the credit union difference and should make credit unions think long and hard about what could happen when selling their credit card...

  • Brokers’ Economic Interests

    The article about credit unions’ future investment options ("Natural Person CUs Plunge Into DIY Investing," Feb. 9 issue) correctly asks, "Who can you trust?" To a large degree, credit unions are currently placing their trust in firms, such as brokers, whose economic interests are contrary to their own.

People

  • Northeast

    Garden Savings Federal Credit Union, Parsippany, N.J., has announced the promotion of Robert Anselmo to chief retail officer. Anselmo has more than 18 years of experience in the financial services industry including the past four at Garden Savings, where he served as vice president of retail sales and service.

  • Northeast

    Dover Federal Credit Union, Dover, Del., hired Lynne Schwab Schaefer in January as vice president of business services. The new division will provide the Delaware business community with lending and deposit options. Schaefer brings over 20 years of diverse banking experience, most recently with WSFS Business Banking, to her new...

In Other News

  • Donations

    Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Bethpage, N.Y., in conjunction with the Elmont/Franklin Square Rotary Club to benefit the St. Vincent de Paul Society, collected over 75 bags of much-needed winter coats for Long Island’s needy during the cold winter months. Elmont school district residents, local community businesses and Bethpage Elmont branch...

Publisher's Notebook

  • Numbers Don’t Lie, Part II

    Almost a year ago, I wrote a column explaining how publishers live in a world of numbers. As a credit union executive, your numbers are designed to show how your business is pacing and help identify trouble if the ranges get of synch.

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