Saturday, June 27, 2015

NCUA Confirms Periodic Membership Fee Ban for FCUs


The NCUA has confirmed that federal credit unions cannot charge periodic membership fees, according to a letter it sent to the American Bankers Association last month.

“FCUs may not charge periodic membership fees, but they may charge a uniform entrance fee and account or service-related fees,” NCUA General Counsel Michael McKenna wrote in the letter, which was dated May 1, 2015. “In a 1993 Legal Opinion Letter, No. 93-0226, NCUA opined that the mention of the entrance fee without the mention of other membership fees forecloses on an FCU’s ability to assess annual membership fees.”

Entrance fees and fees for account services and other financial products don’t count as membership fees, he said, and they can’t serve as a condition for continued membership.

NCUA Confirms Periodic Membership Fee Ban for FCUs

CUNA Mutual Group Launches Mortgage Payment Protection Program


CUNA Mutual Group has launched its new mortgage payment protection product for credit unions and members that covers mortgage payments in the event of a borrower’s death, disability or involuntary unemployment. Credit unions that offer it are leveraging a comprehensive insurance and training program that protects members’ home mortgages.

The launch comes just in time for summer, which is peak moving season according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It’s also the time of year when new mortgages, mortgage refinancing and protection for these investments are likely to be top-of-mind for many Americans, especially for the 45 million who move from one home to another every year. Mortgage payment protection gives credit unions a new way to support members and homeowners who may be less prepared than ever for emergency expenses.

CUNA Mutual Group Launches Mortgage Payment Protection Program

Friday, June 26, 2015

Firefighters First Credit Union Video Ad

Just thought I would share this with you. If you'r looking for innovative ways to market to your membership, this is one. Take a minute and look at what Firefighters First Credit Union put together, stars are born!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Firefighters First Credit Union President & CEO Mike Mastro - 35 years of legendary service

MikeMastroBlogImg"We would like to congratulate and thank Firefighters First Credit Union President & CEO Mike Mastro for providing 35 years of legendary service and leadership to the Credit Union and its members! 

Mike joined the Fire Family in 1980 as an accounting and investment controller and quickly worked his way up to President/CEO. 

Today, Firefighters First exclusively serves full-time, paid, active and retired professional firefighters and their families throughout the State of California, and has over 32,000 members and assets of $1 billion

Firefighters First Credit Union
Board of Directors and Staff

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

NAFCU Opens Membership to State-Chartered Credit Unions


MONTREAL — In a surprise move Tuesday afternoon, NAFCU announced that it is broadening its membership to include federally insured, state-chartered credit unions, putting it directly at odds with CUNA, which had previously been the only trade group representing both types of CUs.

The expansion, effective immediately, has the potential to massively grow NAFCU's member base. According to the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS), there are more than 2,500 state-chartered CUs, 95% of which are federally insured.

"The NAFCU Board made this unanimous decision because our industry is rapidly evolving, and in a changing marketplace, credit unions are seeking more from their advocacy organizations," NAFCU president and CEO Dan Berger said in a statement from Montreal, where the trade group is currently holding its annual convention. "We've heard that message and are ready to rise to the challenge."

CUNA Media Relations Manager Vicki Christner said her trade group does not comment on the internal workings of other trade groups.

NAFCU already represents several state-chartered CUs that were grandfathered into membership after converting from federal to state charters. Moving forward, state charters will join as associate members of NAFCU.

Ed Templeton, chair of NAFCU's board of directors, called the expansion "a natural evolution of NAFCU's mission" in that it "supports our goal to help all credit unions with federal issues by becoming a stronger, more impactful organization."

NAFCU's shift to serving state-chartered credit unions adds fuel to the fire for those who say credit unions are over-represented by having two major trade groups that are often in lockstep (though not always).

Raleigh. N.C.-based State Employees' CU — one of the nation's largest credit unions — disaffiliated from CUNA last year in part due to concerns about the future structure of the organization.

NAFCU also released a video with more information on the change.

Friday, June 19, 2015

NCUA Proposes Drastic MBL Regulation Changes

The NCUA Board today unanimously approved a proposed new rule that Board members said would move its business lending regulations away from a system of barriers and waivers, and toward one that would instead center on credit unions developing and using sound business lending practices and policies.

“For many years, the prescriptive approach may have been appropriate as credit unions entering the business loan marketplace gained experience,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said in regards to the proposed change. “Today, however, the vast majority of credit union business lenders have well-established, solid commercial lending infrastructure and sound risk management policies.” Read More

Read Complete Story at:

Happy Fathers Day

happy fathers day

From all of us at NCOFCU

Sunday, June 14, 2015

NCOFCU Conference Scholarships - It Is Not Too Late! – Scholarships are still available

“Conference Scholarships”  First Time Attending or Just Need A Little Help?

The National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. (NCOFCU) offers   Conference Scholarships to credit unions wishing to apply for assistance to offset the cost of sending a representative from their credit union to the conference.

By offering these educational conference scholarships, NCOFCU is moving towards their vision to educate, create and maintain a climate of safety, soundness, innovation and unity among firefighter credit unions.

Application can be found at; Conference Scholarships and apply for the one that would encourage your credit union to be represented at our annual educational conference.

  • Conference Registration - Based on current registration
  • Transportation - $400 towards one round trip airfare
  • 3 Room Nights - includes tax based on current hotel rates
  • Full Conference Registration - for one (1) attendee which covers, as indicated above:
    • Registration,
    • Transportation
    • Room (3 Nights)

 Conference Scholarships

All scholarships will be reviewed by the Scholarship Committee and awarded reference to need and availability of funds.
Michael R. Tobler Chairman of the Board
National Coalition of Firefighter Credit unions

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Early Bird Expires July 1St.


NCOFCU Conference Nashville, TN 2015
October 7-10, 2015

Don’t miss out on the Early Bird pricing!

Register On-Line now at 

Mail in Registration click HERE or 

If you need more time let us know at

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

We need our members of Congress to support the Data Security Act of 2015, S. 961, and the companion House bill, H.R. 2205.

We know that as credit union employees and volunteers, you understand the impact of the data breaches at large retailers like Target, Home Depot and Michaels. These breaches have been costly to your credit union and frustrating for your members.

We are writing to share that newly introduced bills in each chamber of Congress will hold merchants accountable when they are responsible for a breach of consumer data. We need our members of Congress to support the Data Security Act of 2015, S. 961, and the companion House bill, H.R. 2205.

These bills strengthen merchant security standards to be comparable with those of credit unions and mandate a federal notification requirement for merchants when breaches occur. Additionally, each bill provides a floor for data security standards nationwide and also includes the important provision to exclude financial institutions from the requirements as they are already subject to rigorous standards under the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (GLBA).

NCOFCU is working with Credit Union Leagues to make sure our members of Congress understand just how important this issue is to credit unions and our members.

Please take a moment through links below to send an email today to your members of Congress. The email addresses and a pre-written message are provided through the CUNA’s Grassroots Action Center. There is a sign in process so that the correct Representative is selected. The process is easy and will just take a few minutes.

Take action with members of the US House

Take action with members of the US Senate

Thanks in advance for your participation in this important grassroots campaign!

Monday, June 8, 2015


Credit Union Shared Branching Network Now Third Among Financial Institutions

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (June 8, 2015) - CO-OP Shared Branch has surpassed Bank of America in number of branch offices, and is now the nation's third largest network of financial institution branches, according to data drawn from the FDIC.

CO-OP Shared Branch comprises 5,341 branches, compared to Bank of America's 5,244 branches. The figures were compiled by CO-OP Financial Services on May 19, 2015, and retrieved from the FDIC's "Find Banks" page at

"We have achieved a significant milestone by reaching more than 5,300 branches, but the sky is still the limit for our industry's unique shared branching concept," said Stan Hollen, President/CEO, CO-OP Financial Services. "There are about 1,800 credit unions participating in shared branching, offering convenient branch access to more than 52 million members wherever they may travel in the United States.

"In addition to member convenience, shared branching offers a means of generating revenue and operational efficiencies for participating institutions," said Hollen. "If all of the nearly 7,000 credit unions in the U.S. were part of shared branching, our locations would number about 21,000."

The credit union industry's shared branch network is also gaining fast on the two remaining networks with more branches. Chase has 5,892 branches and Wells Fargo has 6,392 according to the same FDIC source.

In addition to the more than 5,300 "live teller" branches, CO-OP Shared Branch also includes nearly 1,800 self-service kiosks within select 7-Eleven stores nationwide.


A business unit of CO-OP Financial Services (, CO-OP Shared Branch is the credit union movement's national network for extending branch services to members between institutions. Members of participating credit unions can enter the branch of any other participating credit union and transact account-related business as if they were in their own home branch.

To find a CO-OP Shared Branch location, or a CO-OP ATM, visit

For more information, visit

About CO-OP Financial Services
Based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and founded in 1981, CO-OP Financial Services is the nation's largest credit union service organization in terms of number of credit unions, assets and members. The company helps credit unions thrive by providing products and services that make it more convenient for members to do business with them. With a motto of "Be There. Be More," CO-OP's products fall into three business lines, including "Locations," (ATM, shared branching and call center services); "Card Payments" (debit and credit processing) and "Mobile/Virtual" (mobile, online, check imaging, bill pay services). To learn more visit

Thursday, June 4, 2015

IWS Acquisition Corporation Is 2015 Official Conference Sponsor of National Coalition of Firefighter Credit Unions Annual Meeting


Margaret Blankers
MJB Public Relations Group
866.714.7041 ·

IWS Acquisition Corporation Is 2015 Official Conference Sponsor of National Coalition of Firefighter Credit Unions Annual Meeting

Boca Raton, FL. (June 4, 2015) – IWS Acquisition Corporation (IWS) is pleased to announce it is the Official Conference Sponsor for The National Coalition of Firefighter Credit Unions (NCOFCU) 2015 Annual Conference. The Conference, “By Firefighters for Firefighters, will be held in Nashville Oct. 7-10. NCOFCU is the nation’s premier professional association of credit unions serving firefighters and their families.

“We are thrilled to welcome IWS as this year’s Official Conference Sponsor,” said Grant J. Sheehan, Executive Director & CEO of NCOFCU. “I have firsthand experience with IWS’ dedication and commitment to our brotherhood of credit unions. For five years, we have been pleased to partner with and endorse IWS’ suite of vehicle protection products to our members, and theirs. By stepping up its role at the conference, IWS is further demonstrating its support for firefighters and the credit union community.”

“IWS is proud to be this year’s 2015 Official Conference Sponsor,” said James H. Hawk, President/CEO of IWS. “We share the Coalition’s commitment to providing relevant and constituent-customized financial literacy training, as well growth-oriented auto lending protection products and non-interest income generating programs to our nation’s firefighter credit unions. Structured in a peer-to-peer, roundtable discussion format that resembles IWS’ annual Top Achievers Conference we look forward to an active conversation on the issues and opportunities presented to this important group of executives.”

For more than 20 years, IWS has partnered with credit unions nationwide to deepen their member relationships, offering products such as Vehicle Service Agreement (VSA), Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI), and Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP). “Our desire is to stay focused on what we do best; provide outstanding products and unsurpassed customer service,” said Hawk.

For more information contact Jack Chadam, IWS National Marketing Manager, at (561) 981.7012 or

About IWS Acquisition Corporation

Based in Boca Raton, FL IWS Acquisition Corporation is a well-known provider of Vehicle Service Agreements (VSA), Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI), and GAP to credit unions nationwide. IWS provides vehicle protection solutions and peace of mind for credit union members that go beyond the actual products to include service after the sale. The company’s proven success in meeting this need is based on its ability to train credit unions to match members with the right product to fit their need. For more information, visit

About the National Coalition of Firefighter Credit Unions

The National Coalition of Firefighter Credit Unions (NCOFCU) is a non-profit 501©3 professional association of credit unions serving firefighters and their families. The purpose of the NCOFCU is to provide financial literacy training to firefighters serving as volunteer credit union directors, supervisory and credit committee members; to promote the growth, viability and unity of firefighter credit unions; and to facilitate opportunities for partnerships and collaboration among its membership. For more information, visit .

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Career Opportunity - CEO Houston Fire Fighters Federal Credit Union

Houston Texas Fire Fighters Federal Credit Union located in Houston, Texas has just announced a search for a new Chief Executive Officer to replace the incumbent who will retire in early 2016. With over $245M in assets, 3 branches and a strong financial position HTFFFCU offers an outstanding opportunity for an exceptional financial services executive. The board is seeking a strong leader with a commitment to both member service and a controlled growth strategy. Successful candidates will exhibit exceptional communication skills and management capabilities, have experience with strategy development and balance sheet management, and have a strong commitment to employee development. Preferred candidates will have at least 5 years of senior management experience in a credit union and a bachelor’s degree with an advanced degree a plus.

Apply by June 30, 2015 to Houston Texas Fire Fighters FCU, c/o Julirey Velasquez, PO Box 70009, Houston TX 77270-0009 or

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day


A Memorial Day Observance Speech
Randomly Selected

by Johnny Q. Gogue III 2007

An excellent history of Memorial Day

Memorial Day – For most it is a three-day weekend, filled with bar-b-que’s and picnics . . . A time to get away from the normal humdrum of the week. For other’s it’s the beginning of summer, a time to look towards the long lazy days and a time to plan your summer get-a-ways. Though for some, Memorial Day holds a special significance.

On May 5, 1868, an order issued by General John Logan established a day of remembrance for those soldiers who died during the Civil War. May 30, 1868, was the day designated for this observance and flowers were placed on the graves of the fallen soldiers of both the Union and Confederate Armies. New York was the first state to officially recognize this observance in 1873 and in 1971 with the passage of the National Holiday Act; Memorial Day was designated as the last Monday of May.

Now for many of us, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, and the Korean War are ancient history. The Vietnam War a fading memory. But with the recent Operations Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom we, the American people have once again been thrust into a position of remembering those who are fighting and dying today.

I, like my grandfathers, father, uncles and aunt before me, am a veteran. I am and was proud of serving in the Armed Forces. I served in the Army from 1985 to 1994. I was in Operation Desert Storm/Shield. I know what Memorial Day is about.

I have two brothers who are currently serving. One brother is serving in the Navy in Italy. My youngest brother, who is currently serving in the Army, is right now in Iraq supporting and defending his fellow soldiers. I know what Memorial Day is about.

Memorial Day for all soldiers is embodied in the words of the oath that you first take when you enlist into the service of the country:


This oath taken by each and every soldier exemplifies the reason why soldiers do what they do each and every day. Soldiers are defenders of the same principles that made this country great. They stand as Patriots to defend and protect the ideals and sentiments espoused in the Constitution of the United States. Soldiers bear true faith and allegiance to that document and they work, and live, within the Codes of Military Justice. Soldiers also obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Officers appointed over them. These truths are self evident in the everyday lives of soldiers.

Now, as we see our fellow citizens arrive back from a foreign land, we should not forget those words that each and every soldier spoke upon enlistment. Because when we look upon a returning soldier from conflict, a disabled veteran, or a grave marker – those words should ring in your conscience.

  • I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic . . . streaming from the eyes of the returning soldier.
  • That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the Officers appointed over me . . . sounding from the stumbling gait of the disabled veteran.
  • According to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God . . . blasting from the cold stone face of a grave marker.

Remember those that gave their lives, so that we may continue to live in freedom as spelled out in the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence . . . Lest we forget.

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