NEWS ARCHIVES: 2007
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Watch for CUNA Annual Survey in January
MADISON, Wis.--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Annual Survey will be mailed out to all U.S. credit unions at the beginning of January. This year, CUNA has added a special question to the survey so it can help credit unions find more sources for back-office services.
The survey is used to track new trends in credit union service offerings not covered by the National Credit Union Administration 5300 Call Report, and enables CUNA to answer questions from the public, government agencies and elected officials about credit unions.
The survey can be completed online. To sign up, go to http://resource.cuna.org/econstat/yearbook/qstpre.html. The time required to complete the survey should be less than 10 minutes. For any questions about the survey, contact Marc Shafroth at 608-231-4182 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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CUNA Board election ballots due Dec. 14
MADISON, Wis.--Ballots for the election of the board of directors at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) are due Dec. 14 to the outside auditing firm.
In District 3, Class C, the candidates are Tom Dorety, president/CEO, Suncoast Schools FCU, Tampa, Fla. and Bruce Burns, chairman, SRP FCU, North Augusta, S.C. The successful candidate will begin a full three-year term March 3, 2008.
In a special election to fill the unexpired term of Mary Shipe, whose resignation from the board is effective Dec. 31, four candidates will vie for the District 5, Class A position. The winner of that race will take office Jan. 1, 2008, and the term will expire in 2009. Candidates are:
- Brian J. Barkdull, president/CEO, American Southwest CU, Sierra Vista, Ariz.;
- Paul J. Brucker, president, Railway CU, Mandan, N.D.;
- Winona Nava, president/CEO, Guadalupe CU, Sante Fe, N.M.; and
- Marsha Tynsky, president, Trona Valley Community FCU, Green River, Wyo.
Incumbents who ran unopposed and were re-elected to the board include:
- District 1, Class D: Joseph G. Bergeron, president, Association of Vermont Credit Unions, South Burlington, Vt.;
- District 2, Class B: William A. Herring, president/CEO, Cincinnati Central CU, Cincinnati, Ohio;
- District 2, Class D: Paul L. Mercer, president, Ohio Credit Union System, Dublin, Ohio;
- District 4, Class A: Pat Wesenberg, president/CEO, Point Plus CU, Stevens Point, Wis.; and
- District 5, Class C: Harriet May, CEO, GECU, El Paso, Texas.
New board members Mary Cunningham, president/CEO, USA FCU, San Diego, and Edwin L. Williams, president/CEO, Discovery FCU, Wyomissing, Pa., will take office March 3, 2008.
Cunningham represents credit unions in District 6, Class B. Williams represents District 1, Class A. Each ran unopposed in their district categories.
SCCUL Board Nominating Committee set
The South Carolina Credit Union League Board of Directors has confirmed its Nominating Committee for the 2008 board election process. Anyone interested in running or nominating another for one of the seats up for election in 2008 should contact one of the following Nominating Committee members and make candidacies official by November 30, 2007: Robert Wilson (email@example.com); Rick Hammond (firstname.lastname@example.org); Tonya Haun (email@example.com); or Tim Lyda (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Nominating Committee will send official notice of nominees and credit union credentials by January 25, 2008. Any credit union petitions to nominate candidates are due to the League by February 15. Voting credentials are due back to the League by February 20, when the League will mail ballots. Then, credit unions’ completed ballots are due to the independent accounting firm by March 20 for tabulation.
Columbia Chapter seeking officer nominations
The nominating committee of the Columbia Chapter of Credit Unions is accepting nominations for the 2008 slate of officers. Nominations should be submitted to one of the following committee members:
Nominations are due by November 16, 2007.
CUNA Mutual warns of online wildfire scams
MADISON, Wis.--CUNA Mutual Group is advising credit unions to warn their members about online scams relating to the California wildfires.
Websense Inc., a web filtering and desktop security software provider, announced that its security research team has discovered suspicious online scams designed by criminals to steal money from those donating to the California fire effort.
"There are criminals who attempt to divert monies intended for the victims by creating bogus online donation websites and advertising them on high-traffic websites," said Dan Hubbard, Websense vice president of security research. "These criminals are trying to take advantage of the amazing outpouring of support locally, statewide and internationally."
CUNA Mutual has issued a Risk Alert to its bond policyholder credit unions advising them to alert their members to the scams and encouraging them to follow these loss-prevention recommendations provided by Websense:
- Ensure donations go to legitimate organizations;
- Contact donation organizations;
- Go to websites rather than clicking on e-mail links;
- Remember that legitimate organizations will not aggressively approach people for money;
- Be mindful of groups saying they are affiliated with legitimate organizations and who ask for donations or request visits to their websites. They may be fraudulent or hosting malicious code designed to steal personal financial information;
- Be wary of online auctions that claim to support the donation effort; and
- Report suspicious Internet sites and e-mails to the government, and for additional protection tips, visit the Internet Crime Compliant Center.
CUNA Mutual has added a link to its website for CUAid, a national online giving center for credit unions sponsored by the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF). All contributions made through the site will go to the NCUF Disaster Relief Fund. Go to http://www.cuaid.coop for more details.
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CUAid.coop relief site activated for California wildfires
SAN DIEGO—The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) and the California Credit Union League (CCUL) have activated the online disaster relief system CUAid.coop to raise money for credit union employees, volunteers and members affected by the fires in Southern California.
Credit union supporters can donate through the secured website. All donations made via CUAid.coop will be forwarded to credit union organizations in affected areas through NCUF.
Credit unions and other organizations that want to help are encouraged to:
- Go to www.CUAid.coop and make a donation via credit card, wire transfer, or check;
- Download any of the CUAid.coop buttons and banners, then place a button and/or banner with a link to www.CUAid.coop on their internet and intranet home pages; and
- Use the CUAid.coop sample letters, statement stuffer and point-of-sale materials to encourage employees, volunteers, and members to make donations that will help survivors recover from this disaster and future disasters.
"We are calling on credit union leaders and communicators to promote CUAid.coop to help the credit union community help itself," said NCUF Executive Director Steve Delfin. "When credit union organizations link to CUAid.coop, we can collect donations more efficiently and distribute funds much faster to credit unions, employees, volunteers and members in affected areas."
CU Aid was developed by NCUF in cooperation with state credit union foundations, state credit union leagues, and the Credit Union National Association's Disaster Preparedness Committee.
In Southern California, more than 950,000 residents have been evacuated, and more than 2,400 homes and businesses have been destroyed. CCUL is working to determine how many of those impacted are affiliated with credit unions.
Throughout California, about one of every four residents is a credit union member, with nine million members counted in the population of 36 million.
SCCUL and CUNA announce partnership
South Carolina credit unions will soon have access to enhanced educational programming and resources through a unique partnership between CUNA and the South Carolina Credit Union League (SCCUL). Press Release
Newsweek: CUs most promising payday solution
NEW YORK--Jane Bryant Quinn, columnist for national publication Newsweek, said that credit unions are the "most promising solution" for payday lending in her most recent column.
She mentioned recent efforts to create low-cost payday lending products for members, singling out four credit unions.
Quinn said that QuickCash, a product offered at Langley FCU in Hampton, Va., provides 36-day loans for $100 and up, at an annualized rate of 18%. Madison, Wis.-based Summit CU provides members with a 29.9% line of credit with an annual fee of $25 (Newsweek Oct. 8).
Both these programs just break even, but are evidence of how much lower payday lending rates can be, according to Quinn's column.
San Diego, Calif.-based USA FCU, which serves military members and others, absorbs losses on its 18% program, but justifies it as a member service, Quinn added.
The biggest industry success story, according to Quinn, is a 12% payday loan offered by State Employees' CU in Raleigh, N.C., which features automatic repayments from member checking accounts.
Quinn quoted State Employees' CEO Jim Blaine who said it is his credit union's "most profitable product."
Read the entire article at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21047650/site/newsweek/page/0/.
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NCUA adopts revised members' info access rule
ALEXANDRIA, Va.--The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Thursday approved a revised plan to standardize member inspection rights regarding federal credit union books, records and minutes—a plan the agency believes addresses privacy concerns some expressed concerning the original proposal.
The NCUA reiterated that the regulation is not intended to confer any new rights to members, but would set a standard for records access that has not existed. To date, records-access issues have fallen under a myriad of state corporate laws and various interpretations of each state's approach.
The final rule, approved unanimously by the board, adopted the following changes to the original proposal:
- It increased to 500, up from 250, the maximum number of signatures that must be attached to a petition to inspect and copy the nonconfidential books, records, and minutes of its credit union. The rule requires 1% of the membership, with a minimum of 20 names and a maximum of 500, must be represented on a petition.
- Members may petition for information for a "proper purpose." The final rule includes a definition of proper purpose as "a purpose that relates to the protection of the members' financial interest in the credit union."
- The final rule also requires that those represented on a petition for information have been members for at least 180 days.
The changes, according to NCUA staff attorney Paul Peterson, were intended to increase credit unions' "comfort level" with the final rule in part by guarding against two situations that commenters noted with concern: the possibility of harassment by a small group of members; or a representative from a competitive interest taking unfair advantage of the records availability.
The final also eliminated the authorization for members to examine information pertaining to "senior executive compensation," as was originally proposed.
The final rule will require that petitioners state specifically that the inspection is not desired for any purpose in the interest of a business or object other than the business of the credit union; that petitioners have not within five years preceding the signature date sold or offered for sale, and will not sell or offer for sale, any information obtained from the credit union; and that the petitioners have not in that time aided or abetted another person in procuring information for that purpose.
A credit union will have 14-days to respond to a request for access to the allowed information and disputes between a credit union and members could be brought by either party to the NCUA Regional Director.
Response to a request can consist, at a minimum, of a letter indicating when the credit union will be able to provide the documents and what, if anything, it intends to withhold.
The rule is effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
'Banker' satire closes on Capitol Hill
WASHINGTON —The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) completed a short-term campaign on Capitol Hill that used political satire to poke fun at the banking industry's over-the-top rhetoric about credit unions.
The campaign culminated with a two-minute video distributed via the Internet that satirized the banking industry and its representatives' rhetoric about credit unions.
The character in the video, The Banker, also appeared at a Capitol Hill metro station Thursday to promote the video.
"The character's activities in our video, the Banker, may have been over the top. But then so is the banking industry's complaints about credit unions, particularly their objections to the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act, HR 1537," said CUNA's Patrick Keefe, vice president of communications.
"Satire has a long and effective history in American politics. In satirizing bankers' rhetoric about credit unions and CURIA, our attempt in this video was to display just how ludicrous are the bankers' claims," he said.
The Thursday video was preceded by three short "trailers" that called attention to the delivery of the final product. The trailers were distributed Monday through Wednesday to Capitol Hill offices.
To watch the daily preview videos, click on the links below:
Additional teasers (not distributed):
CURIA matches 2006 co-sponsor level
WASHINGTON—Co-sponsorship for the 2007 Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA, H.R. 1537) reached an important milestone last night. In less than six months, the bill has gathered an equal number of co-sponsors that were featured during all of the 109th Congress.
Most recently, the following names were added to the official co-sponsor list:
- On Sept. 5, Rep. Norman Dicks (D-Wash.) signed on to become the 124th on the list;
- On Sept. 6, Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) became the 125th.
Along with primary sponsor Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), who with Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) introduced the 2007 bill on March 15, those names tie the record 125 signatures garnered for CURIA in 2006.
In just under six months, CURIA has attracted the same level of support it took two years to build in the 109th Congress, according to Ryan Donovan, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) vice president of legislative affairs.
"This is a tremendous illustration of the important role that credit unions and the leagues have played in advocating for this important bill," he said. "Our job is not done, though. As we move forward, we are going to need an even stronger effort to attract new cosponsors and move this bill through Congress."
For more CURIA details and information on CURIA advocacy, go to http://www.cuna.org/initiatives/member/curia.html.
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Mississippi CUs say 'thank you' for Katrina recovery efforts
JACKSON, Miss.--On the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi credit unions are thanking contributors to disaster relief and reminding the credit union community of the importance of continued support.
To highlight the impact of the support, Mississippi credit unions have created a nine-minute "thank you" video that is available on YouTube (or on CUNA’s website at http://www.cuna.org/newsnow/07/system082907-1.html.)
"With the recent earthquake in Peru as well as Hurricane Dean, we are reminded that credit union support makes a tremendous difference in the lives of those affected," said Charles Elliott, Mississippi Credit Union Association President/CEO. "While we wish we could thank everyone personally, the People Helping People video should convey our sincere gratitude for the thoughts, prayers and overwhelming generosity from our extended credit union family during our greatest hour of need.
"The employees in the video share the difference you made in their lives," he continued. "Their words will make you proud to be a part of America's Credit Unions and will add more meaning to the phrase ‘where people are worth more than money.’"
Filene project to address CUs' relevancy to Gen Y
Filene Research Institute's administrative board has approved a large-scale, multi-year program to address the urgent need for credit unions to become relevant to young adults.
The funding of the project is made possible in part by Filene's Benefactor supporters interested in enabling future credit union growth, including the Credit Union Executives Society, Fiserv and PSCU Financial Services.
The new endeavor expands on Filene's COOL (Custom-fit, Online, Outrageous, and Loyal) Solutions: a series of research reports about Generation Y, published in 2005 and 2006.
Filene supporters indicate that the research enhanced credit union executives' awareness about the increasing average adult age of credit union members, the probability of sagging borrowing demand, low awareness among Gen Y about credit unions, and Gen Y's lower satisfaction with credit unions.
Today, credit unions leaders recognize this need, says Filene Research Institute CEO Mark Meyer. "But many are still struggling with how to turn research into tactics and then execute them," he said.
Filene will build coalitions with universities, leagues, and a new group of young credit union professionals to implement proven products, pricing, and marketing tactics at credit unions.
The coalition will guide pilot tests of new tactics at credit unions and measure the results. The goal is to create a relevant value proposition for young adults and identify sustainable, replicable programs that are successful in reaching the segment.
In 2008, Filene will add a source of youthful energy and ideas as part of this campaign: "30 Under 30," a group of 30 credit union industry employees under the age of 30 who will focus on fresh and practical ways to put credit unions on the radar screens of young consumers.
Meyer estimates that the project will run between 18 and 36 months, with a target of 24 months. Driving down the average age of credit union members will protect the financial health of credit unions and of young adults, and deserves this major commitment of time and resources, Meyer said. Anyone interested in joining 30 Under 30 should go to http://filene.org/30u30.
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Filene i3 Savings program seeks CUs for pilot
The Filene Research Institute's i3 innovation group is looking for credit unions interested in further piloting Savings Revolution, a program aimed at helping members get out of debt.
The program relies on local media partnerships and credit union communications to monitor the progress of competing members working to achieve their savings goals. It follows the format of an extreme makeover reality show, and the media will air 90-second vignettes capturing the ups and downs of families saving each month.
An Internet-based software program is being developed to complement the media exposure, allowing members to design their own Savings Revolution program. The members will be connected not only to the Savings Revolution competition, but with a blog to share their experiences.
"The Savings Revolution program gives members a support network made up of consumers with similar goals," said Denise Gabel, chief innovation officer for Filene.
The reality TV component already has been piloted at Greater El Paso CU (GECU) in El Paso, Texas.
"The response to GECU's Savings Challenge '07 has been amazing, and it has been really inspiring to watch our six families working through their financial challenges to reach their goals," said Musette Bracher, vice president of marketing at GECU.
To learn more about the Savings Revolution, contact Gabel at 608-231-8922 or email@example.com.
and CUNA offer answers to UBIT questions
credit unions now have more information on unrelated
business income tax (UBIT) issues thanks to CUNA,
CUNA Mutual Group, NASCUS, and
the American Association of Credit Union Leagues. (Details)
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S.235 Amendments to the SC CU Act
Senate bill 235, which amends the State Credit Union Act, cleared the S.C. Senate on Tuesday and has been enrolled for ratification before being sent to the Governor. S. 235, which takes effect upon approval by and signature of the Governor, accomplishes the following:
- Adds "organization" as defined in the Federal Credit Union Act to the list of deposit account holders.
- Permits purchase of property for future expansion with approval of Board of Financial Institutions.
- Clarifies that incidental powers allowed by state law shall not exceed those provided by federal law to federal credit unions.
- Increases from 100 to 250 the maximum number of members in a group that may be added via "file and serve" process.
- Eliminates the requirement that the group's "file and serve" letter indicate that no other credit union is providing service to the organization.
- Provides the option of either a board-appointed credit committee or loan officers as credit union bylaws stipulate.
- Changes the maximum residential loan term from thirty years to "the maximum allowed by FNMA or GNMA."
- Changes the maximum loan-to-value percentage from 85% to the maximum allowed for federal credit unions.
- Changes the requirement for certified appraisals on loans of $50,000 or more to the maximum allowed for federal credit unions, while requiring inspection by a credit union appointed individual and evidence of value on file for those below that maximum.
“We appreciate the many people involved in moving this bill through, including League staff, Joyce Hearn and Dwight Cauthen, and Eric Jenkins and Buck Holland, who represented credit unions during committee hearings,” said SCCUL Executive Vice President Steve Fowler. “We will ask credit unions to be part of the Governor’s signing and to thank elected officials for helping modernize the State Credit Union Act and bring parity among state and federal charters.”
CUs are better alternative
Amid the controversy over payday lenders, credit
unions and other consumer groups insist there are
An editorial from earlier this year by Warren Bolton highlights credit unions'
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June learning opportunities plentiful for CUs
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will offer credit unions and members a variety of learning opportunities in June. Opportunities include:
Security and Fraud Institute: Introduction and Advanced, San Francisco, Calif. The introduction June 10-15 will focus on internal fraud, emergency preparedness, workplace violence, robbery, scams, identity theft and online fraud. Sessions will cover policies for different issues in addition to security planning, risk assessment and investigations. The advanced session June 10-13 will offer a refresher of topics plus strategies for responding to new threats, maintaining security and preventing fraud. An optional Robbery and Fear Seminar June 10 will provide information on how to protect staff in case of a robbery.
Business Lending and Services Conference, June 1-3 in Las Vegas. Credit unions will discover what is needed to build a successful business lending program. Additional topics include creating an in-house program, the role of technology in business lending, the pros and cons of credit union service organizations, and developing a business program and plan.
Strategic Planning Institute, June 1-3 in Las Vegas. Attendees will learn about today's business environment and how to identify their own credit union's current position in order to better direct its course.
America's Credit Union Conference and Expo (ACUC & E) June 3-6, Las Vegas, with sessions led by credit union executives and progressive leaders.
Regulatory Compliance eSchool: Introduction. The 10-session school runs from June 6 to Aug. 15 and will provide information on mortgage and consumer lending, deposit accounts and general operations regulations such as the Bank Secrecy Act, Bank Bribery Act, Internal Revenue Service Information Reporting and Withholding Requirements and more.
Spam e-mail citing expired 'account' not from CUNA
MADISON, Wis. (4/10/07)--A fraudulent e-mail claiming to be from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has been reported as circulating.
The phish attempt claims fraudulently to be an "official notification from CUNA Inc." and addresses the recipient as "Dear CUNA Cardholder." The e-mail says the recipient's online account has expired and must be renewed or it will be "deactivated and deleted" (LoneStar Leaguer April 9).
The e-mail follows the usual phish procedure: It suggests clicking on a link to renew, and the link directs the user to a website that attempts to trick the recipient into providing sensitive information.
CUNA's fraud alert states that CUNA "will never solicit e-mails requesting your credit union username, password, PIN number, or other personal identity information."
Fraud/ID theft resources http://www.cuna.org/initiatives/idtheft.html
Perimeter CounterPhish/CUNA Strategic Service http://strategicservices.cuna.org/csa_perimeter.html
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CURIA: New and Improved in 2007
U.S. Representatives Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) and Ed Royce (R-Calif.) introduced a new Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA) yesterday, and ten co-sponsors immediately joined them on HR 1537.
South Carolina’s contingent at last month’s CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference took the opportunity during Hill visits to hint that the bill may be introduced. Congressmen Henry Brown (R-1st District) and Joe Wilson (R-2nd District) were co-sponsors of the 2006 version, and Jim Clyburn (D-6th District) pledged his support during his remarks at the GAC General Session. CUNA and the South Carolina Credit Union League ask that credit unions invite these and the other Palmetto State Congressmen to join the HR 1537 co-sponsor list.
HR 1537 is very similar to the 2006 version, adding provisions regarding field of membership rules and safeguards for consumers in the event of credit union conversion to another form of financial institution. For today’s complete article in CUNA’s News Now, visit http://www.cuna.org/newsnow/07/wash031507-2.html.
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2007 GAC in Washington, D.C.
Get all the news from the 2007 Government Affairs Conference in Washington D.C. Access the Daily News here:
Tuesday, February 27
Monday, February 26
Sunday, February 25
Congress back, CUNA GAC starts with 4,000 strong
WASHINGTON (2/26/07)—-After a week-long President's Day break, Congress returns to legislative session today as approximately 4,000 credit union movement representatives gather here for the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA's) 2007 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).The program for this year's GAC features key members of the House leadership as well as the chairmen of the two financial institutions panels.
During Tuesday's general session, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), as well as that panel's ranking minority member, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), will be among those who address the GAC participants.
Rounding out the program, are notables from the media, Washington's political establishment--and even Hollywood. On Monday, conference participants will hear from Brit Hume, Fox news anchor, as well as Martin Sheen, Hollywood actor and star of television's West Wing. On Tuesday, Washington's "happily married political duelists," James Carville and Mary Matalin will speak.
On Wednesday, as a culminating event of the annual conference, participants will visit Capitol Hill to talk to their representatives and senators about key issues of interest to the credit union movement.
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