Friday, April 18, 2014

New NCUA Video Answers Questions about Proposed Risk-Based Capital Rule

NCUAnewslayoutALEXANDRIA, Va. (April 17, 2014) – Federally insured credit unions with questions about the National Credit Union Administration’s proposed risk-based capital rule have a new resource just a click or two away: a two-part, 20-minute video released today by the agency.

“NCUA’s risk-based capital proposal is complex, but its overall purpose is simple,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “This proposal has generated a great deal of discussion, and some misinformation, so we are providing the new video during the comment period to explain why a rule is necessary and how it would affect credit unions. We hope this will provide stakeholders with useful information as they evaluate the proposal.”

The free video, available on NCUA’s YouTube channel, will help credit unions understand how and why NCUA’s proposal differs from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s rule and Basel III. Introduced by Chairman Matz, the video provides an in-depth review of why the rule is needed and how credit unions would fare under both the current risk-based net worth system and the proposed risk-based capital rule.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Avoiding Common Social Media Mistakes

Social media offers infinite opportunities to interact with existing and potential members, build your brand and promote your credit unions offerings. However, the vastness of social media also makes it possible that your posts will disappear into cyberspace without causing the impact you imagined.
READ More>Avoiding Common Social Media Mistakes:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

U.S. banks & credit unions starting toward microchip credit cards |

By Sarah Kleiner Varble
The Virginian-Pilot
© April 6, 2014

Credit Cards 3Curtis Baker didn’t think buying apple juice in London would be so complicated.

With a line of shoppers growing impatient behind him, the father of three and senior vice president of lending at Newport News-based Langley Federal Credit Union felt like an hour had passed before the store’s manager responded to the clerk’s page.

He was looking for a fraud-preventing microchip embedded in Baker’s card. But like all standard-issue American cards, it didn’t have one. Most of the rest of the world had already adopted microchip technology in its credit cards by the time Baker traveled to Europe two years ago. Magnetic stripes, like the one on the back of his card, were becoming less recognizable.

Within the next several years --- READ MORE  U.S. banks starting toward microchip credit cards | |

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Los Angeles Firemen’s Credit Union now Firefighters First Credit Union

LAFCU-logoLos Angeles Firemen’s Credit Union is proud to announce it has changed its name to Firefighters First Credit Union, effective March 31, 2014. The credit union was motivated to find a name that would honor its long history of exclusively serving professional firefighters, while reflecting the entirety of its growing Fire Family. The credit union today serves over 265 fire departments all across California.

“The Board reached the decision to rename after significant research and a strategic brand process. As a result, we are confident this new name will help us continue to grow stronger and provide our members with outstanding service, while reaching more of our Fire Family with the financial services they need and deserve,” commented Firefighters First Credit Union’s President/CEO, Michael Mastro.

The credit union will retain the brand tagline “It’s yours” and remain exclusively focused on serving professional firefighters and their family members. “Our 100% commitment to this group – who we call our Fire Family – means the service we offer is tailored to their unique financial needs and goals. We know this group better than anyone, we are proud to serve them, and we are ready to welcome more of our Fire Family into our membership,” said Chief Strategy and Operations Officer, Dixie Abramian. “We were founded by the Los Angeles City firefighters in 1935, and will always have a deep connection to our history. Passing their legacy to new generations of firefighters statewide will help ensure their Credit Union thrives in the future. This new name highlights what has always been true – our commitment to putting members first.”

Friday, March 28, 2014

Boston Firefighters Credit Union sets up fund

Posted Mar. 27, 2014 @ 7:35 pm
Boston LLDThe Boston Firefighters Credit Union has created a fund to help support the families of Lieutenant Ed Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy.
"In difficult times like these, I am so proud to be mayor of a city that comes together to help our neighbors in need," said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "Since yesterday's tragic events, we've experienced an outpouring of support from across the city, state, and country. So many people have expressed a willingness to help, in some way, as we grieve the loss of Lieutenant Walsh and Firefighter Kennedy."
"Although no donation can heal the wounds suffered by the Walsh and Kennedy families, we are grateful to the Boston Firefighter's Credit Union for helping us create a focal point for peoples’ generosity, and to the people of Boston, of Massachusetts, and of the United States, who have once again shown the power of a community to help healing process begin."
Donations to the Lieutenant Walsh - Firefighter Kennedy Memorial Fund can be made by visiting the website of the Boston Firefighter's Credit Union at Donations can also be made by mailing checks to the Fund, care of the Boston Firefighter's Credit Union, 60 Hallet Street, Dorchester, MA 02124.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Boston mourns 2 firefighters killed in blaze

Boston firefighters battle big brownstone fire
Badge DODBOSTON (AP) — Boston residents mourned the deaths of two firefighters who were killed when a fire driven by strong winds whipped through a brownstone and trapped them in the basement in a neighborhood just blocks from where nine city firefighters died in a 1972 hotel collapse.
Tributes poured in Wednesday for Lt. Edward J. Walsh, a 43-year-old father of three who had almost a decade of experience, and firefighter Michael R. Kennedy, a 33-year-old Marine Corps combat veteran who had been a firefighter for more than six years.
Thirteen other firefighters were injured in the blaze in the city's Back Bay district, and several police officers also were taken to hospitals. Some residents were rescued from the upper floors of the four-story apartment building, but none was hurt, city officials said.
"Today's a sad day for the city of Boston," Mayor Martin J. Walsh said. "We lost two heroes here today."

Boston firefighters battle big brownstone fire

We will continue to update our page as more information becomes available.

Here is a link with some videos and photos of the fire:

Audio of the incident:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What CEOs Want Their Board to Know

By Leisa Goodman CUES

In his work coaching more than 300 boards, Les Wallace, Ph.D., has found common themes among their CEOs.

“There are many items CEOS regularly ask me to remind their boards of,” said Wallace, president of Signature Resources, Inc., and facilitator of CUES’ recent Board Chair Director Seminar.

  • Bowling, golfing or skiing might be great networking venues, but the relationship needs to stay professional and not cross over into buddy territory. 
  • Remember to give feedback in a professional manner and setting, not on the golf course or at the bar. 
  • Rules of engagement help everyone to know what to expect. This can include having regular face-to-face meetings scheduled outside of board meetings and using advance agendas.
  • CEOs appreciate timely, specific feedback, with solid examples and data, not speculation or hints.  

Wallace has also found a common thread when it comes to CEO stressors. “In addition to running one of the most challenging businesses in the world, credit union CEOs can be most stressed by their board,” he said. Frequently mentioned points of pain include: 

  • lack of clarity from the board to the CEO, or irregular feedback and evaluation;
  • board members who aren’t literate in governance;
  • boards “getting in the weeds”—the details—of management;
  • board members who are not up to date on national and regional banking issues; and
  • the board makeup not matching the future needs of the CU, or being conservative to the point that innovation stops.

According to Wallace, it’s also important for boards to remember that one of their most important duties is to help their CEO be as successful as possible. He recommends:

  • doing annual CEO goal-setting, review and evaluation with entire the board—not committees. The chair and vice chair may deliver the final report, but the entire board needs to be accountable.
  • supplementing the annual review with mid-year feedback on CEO performance. Tell the CEO what the board wants—and listen to feedback.
  • recognizing that there’s no textbook answer to how often the CEO and chair should touch base. However, a weekly email or phone conversation is a great starting point. The team can decide from there what’s needed.
  • having a personal management development plan, with at least part coming from sources outside the CU world.
  • having an annual facilitated retreat to help align vision and strategy.

CUES SKYBOX a Credit Union Blog - Home

Saturday, March 15, 2014

All Investments Are Not Created Equal

     Investment rates are at a record low, and credit unions across the country are deploying different ways to make the most of excess funds; however, it is difficult to find a solid return these days. Currently, the industry averages a 1.14% return on investments. That’s less than a quarter of what the industry average was in 2007. So what makes some strategies outperform others? A dive into data from the 5300 Call Report offers some guidance.
     In the comparisons below, credit unions are divided into quartiles based on their investment return. The average asset size in the quartiles ranges from $88.1 million for the bottom quartile to $245.8 million for the largest quartile. The top quartile posted an average return of 1.63% as of Dec. 31, 2013. That’s 49 basis points above the credit union industry average and is more than four times the return of the bottom quartile.
INVESTMENT RETURN BY QUARTILEData as of December 31, 2013
© Callahan & Associates |
Source: Callahan & Associates’ Peer-to-Peer Analytics
Read the complete article at; All Investments Are Not Created Equal - General Features - News | Credit Unions

Don’t miss this great opportunity from one of our sponsors, "Vining Sparks"!
Moving Forward 
 Vining Sparks' annual Credit Union Forum, registration FREE to NCOFCU, is geared to assist today's credit union executives and management team as they move forward in our current challenging environment of low interest rates and gradual recovering loan demand.
     The seminar will be held on April 28 at The Peabody Hotel in Memphis. This full-day event will equip executives of today's credit union management team to deal with the challenges and opportunities facing them.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Elizabeth Whitehead, Director Region V NCUA Will Be AT NCOFCU’s 2014 Conference San Diego Conference


Liz Whitehead, began at the agency in 1988 as a district examiner, and is running NCUA's district V  with supervisory oversight of 480 federal credit unions with $57.6 billion in assets located in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming and Guam. Region V is headquartered in Tempe, Ariz.
Earlier in her career at the NCUA, Whitehead was a senior supervision analyst and principal examiner. Before she joined the agency, Whitehead was CEO of Hurlbut Employees FCU in South Lee, Mass.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Review Of Firefighter vs All Credit Unions Investment Trends At Year-End 2013

This chart shows all Firefighter Credit Unions vs National yield. If you would like to see how your credit union rated Click HERE

As of Dec. 31, 2013, credit unions in the United States held more than $362 billion in investments.  It’s not only total investments that are shrinking, however. For the past year, investment growth has slowed and the -1.77% growth rate posted at year-end 2013 marks the first time since fourth quarter 2006 the rate has dipped into negative territory. Despite this trend, the investment portfolio still comprises a significant portion, 35%, of the industry’s total asset composition.

Read More A Review Of Credit Union Investment Trends At Year-End 2013 - General Features - News | Credit Unions

Monday, March 10, 2014

Don’t Miss This Great Opportunity!

Don’t miss this great opportunity to meet with other firefighter credit unions and Vining Sparks in Memphis TN. Vining Sparks is offering this, registration free, one day seminar to all our firefighter credit unions.



Moving Forward

Vining Sparks' annual Credit Union Forum is geared to assist today's credit union executives and management team as they move forward in our current challenging environment of low interest rates and gradual recovering loan demand.

The seminar will be held on April 28 at The Peabody Hotel in Memphis. This full-day event will equip executives of today's credit union management team to deal with the challenges and opportunities facing them.

The last few quarters have presented mixed signals in terms of economic growth and future interest rate expectations. However, rates remain generally low and loan demand has begun gaining strength in certain parts of the country.

We will explore methods to move forward in this changing environment while simultaneously managing risk and coping with new regulations.

We invite you to come to the Forum and gather valuable ideas while networking with other credit union executives facing the same issues as you.

Monday, April 28: Schedule
Sessions (8:30am-5:00pm) - The Forum will begin early and run until late afternoon with sessions discussing the economy, balance sheet trends and risk management.

Evening (7:00pm) - The evening entertainment will include admission to a Memphis Redbirds' baseball game and a catered dinner in the ball park. Afterwards, you can explore the night life on Beale Street if you desire.

Hotel Information: The Peabody Hotel
Overnight accommodations are the attendees' responsibility and can be made directly with the Hotel Reservation Department by calling The Peabody Hotel at 800-PEABODY and asking for a room from the "Vining Sparks" room block. Reservations must be made by 3/28/2014, and the nightly rate is $195.00.
Up to 7 hours of CPE credit will be available.

A more detailed agenda and website will be coming next week!

Please call our firefighter credit union representative, Lee Chandler, Senior Vice President
Office 800-786-1245, Cell 970-445-8410
or Randy Wade at 800-829-0321 email him at

Vining-Sparks IBG, L.P.
775 Ridge Lake Blvd. Memphis, TN 38120
Visit us on the web at
© 2014 Vining Sparks IBG, LP | Member FINRA/SIPC

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Steven Rick, Senior Economist for CUNA will Be At NCOFCU's 2014 San Diego Conference

We are please to have Steve Rick Senior Economist from CUNA back with us this year.

Steven Rick is the Senior Economist for CUNA & Affiliate’s Economics &
Statistics Department. Steve has been with CUNA since January, 1992. He conducts economic research, teaches and lectures at various credit union schools and conferences across the country and internationally and writes articles for CUNA publications. Steve facilitates strategic planning sessions for credit union board of directors. He has authored a textbook on asset-liability management for credit union executives. Steve also holds a Lecturer position at the University of Wisconsin where he teaches various courses. Mr. Rick has a B.A. in Economics from Moorhead State University; a B.S. in Finance from Moorhead University; and a M.S. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is also a Ph.D. candidate for a doctoral degree in Economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Mr. Rick has nine years teaching experience in the following courses: macroeconomics, microeconomics, and money and banking and the government’s role in the economy. He also has two years’ experience as a bank simulation advisor for a computerized bank simulation game for the Prochnow Graduate School of Banking.

Book your rooms at the Westin Gaslamp NOW
Download a 2014 Mail In Conference Registration HERE
Register ON-LINE

Friday, February 28, 2014

Diana Dykstra, President/CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues will be at NCOFCU’s San Diego Conference

Lets welcome Diana Dykstra as a Keynote speaker at our 2014 Conference in San Diego. Don’t miss this great opportunity to hear what one of the outstanding leaders in the credit union community has to say!

Diana is currently President of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. Diana Dykstra is a 1992 graduate of Western CUNA Management School (WCMS). Diana was awarded the James D. Likens Alumni Recognition Award at the 2001 WCMS graduation in July and the Distinguished Service Award at the 2002 California Credit Union League Annual Meeting.

Download Conference Registration
Diana has been President/CEO of San Francisco Fire Credit Union located in San Francisco; serving 26,000 members with assets exceeding $650 million since August 2004. Under her leadership the credit union has achieved recognition as a leader in Return to Member, Net Promoter Scores and is the highest rated financial institution in San Francisco from the consumers view point.

Diana was previously the President/CO of CoastHills FCU (formerly Vandenberg FCU) in the Central Coast of California. And lead the team through a name and branding change that elevated the credit union posture in the community resulting in increased growth trends in membership, loans and member satisfaction.

Prior to joining CoastHills in February 2000, Diana was Senior Vice President at Patelco Credit Union located in San Francisco. She was responsible for developing member education programs and as CEO of CUSO operations, offered investment and insurance services. One of her primary focuses was to evaluate non-traditional products and services and introduce them into the credit union product mix where appropriate.

Previously, Diana worked for The Golden 1 Credit Union. She was responsible for Consumer Lending, Statewide Services, Real Estate, Collections and Marketing.
She is on the board of directors and past Chairman for California Credit Union League and CU Direct Lending, and currently Vice Chair of Prime Alliance Solutions, Chairman of the board for O’Rourke and Associates.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

San Diego CA “Mix Business with Pleasure!”

2014 Brochure
It is time to start talking up NCOFCU's Annual Conference in San Diego October 8-11, 2014 at your board meetings. Don't miss out on the Early Bird pricing!.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to network with fellow firefighter’s and CEO’s of other firefighter credit unions.

San Diego Firefighters Federal Credit Union has planned a conference filled with information and networking opportunities as well as southern California hospitality.

Conference Registration
Mix Business with Pleasure!
Bring spouse, guest and family and take advantage of our heavily-discounted $176.00 rate at the beautiful San Diego Westin Gaslamp Quarters. This rate is in effect Monday, October 6 -- Sunday, October 12, 2014 based on hotel availability. Rooms are limited so we suggest you register early.
Westin Hotel Reservations

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The New Orleans Firemen's Fed. Credit Union Opens New Branch

The New Orleans Firemen's Fed. Credit Union hosted a “Winter Wonderland Celebration” on Jan. 25 to commemorate the opening of its location in Bogalusa. Guests were treated to food, door prizes, face painting, and a special performance by the Bogalusa High School marching band.
Firemen's Federal Credit Union
Shown during the ribbon cutting are, from left, first row: JoAnna  Frazier, Paige Carbone (branch manager) and Judy DeLucca (CEO); and second row: Joseph Jurisich, Frank Corona, Marilyn Bateman (Bogalusa Chamber of Commerce), Earl Juneau, Donald Bock (board president), Joseph Papa, Shasta Leininger, Joseph Carter and John Hoolahan.

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