Friday, July 18, 2014

Facebook Calculator Drives Auto Loans for Chicago Credit Union - American Banker Article

Facebook Calculator Drives Auto Loans for Chicago Credit Union

by Mary Wisniewski
JUL 17, 2014 4:20pm ET

As financial institutions struggle to find revenue-generating social media strategies, a Chicago credit union has achieved a surprising level of success from a simple tool: a loan calculator app on its Facebook page. Calcubot, the name of the calculator tool that connects to one running on its website, has helped generate nearly $1 million of auto loans for Alliant Credit Union since its November debut.

The tool, which lets people determine their monthly loan payments and optionally share them with friends and family, drove 478 prospects to Alliant's online auto loan application within the first four months, when the credit union actively promoted the tool on its website's homepage and through posts written on its social media channels. The credit union plans to prominently feature Calcubot again in coming months to grow sales leads.

"We are looking to increase engagement with social media and to drive more traffic to loan applications," says George Balchev, manager of digital channels for Alliant, an $8.1 billion-asset financial institution.

Alliant Credit Union, which has more than 270,000 members, created its Facebook page in 2009 and now counts more than 13,000 page likes.

Calcubot, created by a Berkeley, Calif.- based company called Shastic, estimates loan payments once a person enters in information like the selling price and down payment. It directs those interested to websites where they can apply for a loan.

Research shows the majority of U.S. car buyers use Facebook in their research.

Read Complete Story >>Facebook Calculator Drives Auto Loans for Chicago Credit Union - American Banker Article

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

5 Factors Fueling Credit Union Loan Surge

5 Factors Fueling Credit Union Loan Surge

By Michelle A. Samaad July 14, 2014

Loan balances at credit unions are on pace to rise twice as fast as the average pace seen over the past two years.

That’s according to CUNA Mutual Group’s July Credit Union Trends Report, which tracked data through May.

Credit union loan balances rose 1.2% that month, almost twice as fast as the 0.65% average pace set in May 2012 and May 2013.

Total loan balances were up 3.3% year-to-date, versus 1.5% set during the first five months of 2013, the report noted.

What’s driving the surge in credit union lending? 

Steve Rick 140x120Steve Rick, the new chief economist at CUNA Mutual since his predecessor, Dave Colby, retired July 11, pointed to five factors for the rise in loans.

“Rising consumer confidence, rising household expectations for income growth, an improving labor market, improved consumer balance sheets and credit unions gaining a larger piece of the consumer credit pie,” Rick said.

Indeed, the credit union share of the total U.S. consumer credit market rose in the last year from 8.4% in May 2013 to 8.9% today, he said.

Meanwhile, new auto loans led the pack with loan balances increasing 2.6% in May, versus 0.5% in May 2013, according to Rick. On a year-over-year basis, new auto loans were up 17.3%, which was the fastest pace since 1995. 

“Credit unions are offering very competitive loan pricing; five-year new auto interest rates averaged 2.61%, 132 basis points below the bank average,” Rick said. “Moreover, longer-term loans are increasing the affordability of new cars. We expect 16.5 million cars sold this year, up from 15.5 million in 2013.”

In May, credit union auto loan balances rose 1.9% as 16.8 million cars and light trucks were sold in the U.S. at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the trends report. June vehicle sales came in at 17 million. 

5 Factors Fueling Credit Union Loan Surge

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hole In One

Congratulate Michael Tobler for his Hole In One!
Michael Tobler on Facebook

Dayton Firefighters Federal Credit Union

Check out Dayton Firefighters Federal Credit Union Facebook page. Read down their time line and see how you can market products and events at your credit union.


Dayton Firefighters Federal Credit Union

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

CEO Spotlight: Michael Tobler, Albany Firemen’s FCU


CEO Spotlight: Michael Tobler, Albany Firemen’s FCU

Mike Tobler was a firefighter long before he became the leader of Albany Firemen’s FCU. And for nearly 40 years, he’s combined the two roles to build an inspiring legacy of service. Tobler recently shared his experiences and insights for this month’s CEO Spotlight column.

Q: What led you to Albany Firemen’s FCU back in 1976?

A: My father was the credit union manager at the time, and I was a firefighter. I was asked if I would be a loan officer. I became the manager when my father retired in 1986.

Q: How have your experiences as a firefighter and Battalion Chief influenced your approach to leading the credit union?

A: I think the two jobs work well together, considering each involves the service of others. Both positions have taught me to work with people and to be prepared for change.

Q: Albany Firemen’s FCU was founded back in 1935 with a $2.50 loan to help a member purchase clothing. For more than 50 years, it operated out of a firehouse. How has this unique history helped shape the credit union?

A: I think that first loan exemplified the need for credit unions. What bank, even at that time, would write a loan for so little? I am proud that men with no financial background understood how important the credit union was to better their financial positions.

We used to have an envelope in each firehouse that our members would put their weekly payments in, and then we would collect the envelopes every Friday. During the 50-plus years we did that, we never lost any monies from those payments. I believe this shows how important the service was to our members.

Q: What’s your primary goal when you go into work each day?

A: To promote the credit union difference—not only in the way we do business, but also by making our members feel that they can depend on us.

Q: What do you view as your greatest accomplishment at the credit union?

A: I am very proud that I have been able to continue the one-on-one service we are known for while also bringing in new employees and services. I think we give special attention to our members, as our member service representatives work individually with each member in a private office space.

Q: What is Albany Firemen’s FCU most focused on for 2014?

A: Growing our membership. This is something that has been slowly accepted by our members, but it is necessary so that we can offer new services for a competitive price. We also have a second branch where we will be increasing our hours of operation and promoting family membership.

Q: How does it feel to see your daughter, Renee Cowan (also a firefighter), in a leadership role at the credit union?

A: I feel very proud, as does our board of directors. Renee is being trained to carry on our great tradition while promoting the future of our credit union.

Q: You’ve been on the Association board since 2007. What do you enjoy most about this role?

A: Being voted to the Association board of directors is probably one of my best accomplishments. I work with an amazing group of people who are committed 100 percent to the goals we all strive for. To have the opportunity to express opinions with leaders of all asset sizes is truly a learning experience, and it epitomizes our willingness to work together.

Q: What do you love most about being part of the credit union movement?

A: There is no doubt that credit union people care about one another. We may sometimes compete for the same member, but when one of us asks for help, others are there to assist. It reminds me of the brotherhood of firefighting.

Q: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?

A: My family and I enjoy traveling and spending time together in Florida. My wife Dale and I enjoy our rides together in our red Corvette. I also enjoy snow and waterskiing, and certainly a round of golf.

Q: What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?

A: My father, who was my hero, told me “the bottom line is important, but people come first.” Twenty years after his passing, members still are eager to tell me how he changed their lives through the credit union.

Q: How do you define success?

A: Knowing that things are better because of the actions I have taken. Big or small, I get the same feeling of satisfaction.

About CEO Spotlight:
Each month, the CEO Spotlight column features credit union leaders from around the state, offering an inside look at their experiences and insights. Previous CEO Spotlight columns are available on the Credit Union Association of New York website.

The Point: July 7, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

Email Hacked? 7 Things You Need to do NOW – Ask Leo!

Since this seems to be an everyday occurrence, I though I would pass this article on to you. I continually receive questions on how to correct this theft and this is where I refer them. It is probably the most complete solution with easy to follow instructions.

Grant Sheehan
Executive Director NCOFCU

email 1Email Hacked? 7 Things You Need to do NOW

Email account theft is rampant. If it happens to you, there are several steps that you need to take not only to recover your account, but to prevent it from being easily hacked again.

It seems like not a day goes by where I don’t get a question from someone that boils down to their email account having been hacked.

Someone, somewhere has gained access to their account and has started using it to send spam. Sometimes passwords are changed, sometimes not. Sometimes traces are left, sometimes not. Sometimes everything in the account is erased, both contacts and saved email, and sometimes not.

Continued at>>>>Email Hacked? 7 Things You Need to do NOW – Ask Leo!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Bubble of Protection -


By Bankston, Karen
Proquest LLC

meeting-800x800When members step up to serve as directors, their credit union agrees to protect them from personal liability for carrying out their board responsibilities a promise that takes the form of directors and officers insurance as part of the organization's management liability coverage.

But with the incidence and costs of litigation on the rise in the financial services industry, according to a recent survey by the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright (www.nortonrosefulbright. com), how can directors ensure that adequate protections are in place? Specialists recommend regular reviews of the risk exposures facing your credit union with a special focus on regulatory and business expansions to ensure that your liability coverage is up to the task.

Credit unions are immune to the most common type of lawsuit filed against directors-the sort filed by stockholders unhappy with investment returns, notes insurance consultant Scott Simmonds (, Saco, Maine. And credit unions are unlikely to face legal action from regulators, like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s suits against shuttered savings and loans a quarter-century ago and against big banks rocked by securities losses more recently. A notable exception was the National Credit Union Administration's lawsuit against officers of the failed Western Corporate Federal Credit Union (WesCorp) in 2010; board members were not named in the complaint, and the case was eventually settled before going to trial.

As a director, you should be familiar with the indemnification provisions in your credit union's bylaws and other legal documents, says Jay Isaacson, director of product management with CUNA Mutual Group (, Madison, Wis. These provisions specify under what circumstances the credit union can protect its directors and officers from legal claims associated with fulfilling their responsibilities to the organization.

Under Rule 750 of the NCUA Rules and Regulations, credit unions may indemnify directors as long as they fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities: the duty of care (e.g., attend meetings regularly, engage in board discussions, assess and understand financial reports, and make the best possible decisions for the organization), the duty of loyalty (consider the credit union's interests and avoid conflicts of interest), and the duty of obedience (comply with laws and regulations in carrying out their board responsibilities), Isaacson explains.

READ MORE>> A Bubble of Protection - Top News -

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Firefighters Wanted!

The National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. (NCOFCU) is looking for firefighters who serve on credit union boards or committees.

For over 13 years firefighters from across the country have been meeting to collaborate on how they can better provide products and services to their credit union membership. Whether you serve on a firefighter, police, municipal or other credit union board or committee, this collaboration among your peer group of fellow firefighters is irreplaceable. Please take a minute and visit our website at to see what awaits you.

Grant Sheehan Executive Director
National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc.

Monday, June 16, 2014

New York Firefighter Benefits and Salary

The New York City Fire Department is advertising for positions.

Benefits and Salary


As a New York City Firefighter, you will receive an incredible benefits package and a competitive salary that more than doubles in your first five years on the job.

But act now, the chance to join only comes every four years.

Benefits include:

  • Lifelong medical coverage for you and your family;
  • Growth opportunities;
  • Flexible work schedules;
  • Up to four weeks paid vacation per year;
  • Generous pension

Firefighter Salary:
































Promotion Opportunities:    












Battalion Chief




* Fringe benefits reflect overtime, holiday pay and other differentials

Firefighter Benefits and Salary

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Fire Police Credit Union, FOP Ensure Summer Safety (VIDEO)

Fire Police Credit Union, FOP Ensure Summer Safety (VIDEO)

By Chris Smurr - 21Alive
By Rachel Martin - 21Alive

June 14, 2014Updated Jun 14, 2014 at 6:39 PM EDT
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – The Fort Wayne Fire and Police Federal Credit Union and the Fraternal Order of Police were out fitting children for bike helmets.
The Credit Union donates annually to help the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) purchase the helmets.
Fire Police Credit Union, FOP Ensure Summer Safety (VIDEO) | Indiana's NewsCenter: News, Sports, Weather, Fort Wayne WPTA-TV, WISE-TV, and CW | Local

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Early Bird Pricing About To Expire July 1st

Just a reminder the Early Bird cut-off date to save $100 per registration is Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Don't miss out! Make your reservation for the 2014 San Diego annual educational conference and exposition for the National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Union’s Inc. for only $875, a savings of $100 per registration.

You can make your reservation on-Line by visiting the Conference Web Site at or to download the Mail-In Registration Form or confirm your spot by calling or sending an  e-mail to: 

Grant Sheehan Executive Director
3741 De Garmo Lane
Miami, Fl 33133

Tel: 305-951-3306

Because of the overwhelming response, hotel rooms at the Westin Gaslamp Quarters are in short supply so please pre-register so you don't have to stay off site..If the conference hotel is full we have made arrangements in a neighboring hotel for you, just contact ESP at 508-429-2121 and let us know how many rooms you need. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Charitable Donation Accounts Balance Giving, Investing


Balance Giving, Investing

By Michelle A. Samaad June 08, 2014

Charitable giving by credit unions is nothing new, but the investment aspect of such accounts had caused regulators to wonder if the funds were being used for their intended purposes.

The NCUA board approved a new rule in December 2013 that offers protections against those concerns by allowing federal credit unions to fund hybrid charitable and investment vehicles designated as charitable donation accounts under certain conditions.

The final rule clarified that a federal credit union may hold investments within a CDA that are not allowed otherwise, so long as the account is primarily charitable in nature and structured to preserve the safety and soundness of the federal credit union, according to the NCUA.

Among the requirements is a minimum of 51% of the total return from the CDA must be distributed to one or more 501(c)(3) charities. Continue Reading > Charitable Donation Accounts Balance Giving, Investing

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Letter from NCOFCU Chairman Michael R Tobler,

Michael ToblerThere is now less than 4 months to our “Annual Convention” that will be in San Diego this year. We invite everyone that has not signed up to get your registration and hotel reservations in as soon as possible. We are looking forward to another successful convention and with the number of people signed up to date it appears we are on course to match and possible exceed last year’s attendees.

We have a talented line up of speakers and the breakout sessions will surely be lively with discussions. There is still time to submit names to our “Volunteer of the Year” award and our “Scholarship Program” which assists with financial assistance to attend the convention. Our credit unions have many talented members that should be recognized for their efforts to the credit union movement. You can submit an application on line which will be held in confidence.

We have reviewed last year’s parting comments and we are sure that we have addressed issues that were of concern. San Diego is surely one of the most desirable locations for a convention. Be sure to view our video of the convention location and surrounding area for entertainment and attractions. Plan on arriving early or stay a couple of days later to enjoy the beautiful southern California coastline.

San Diego GaslampOur convention starts with the Wednesday night reception followed with three days filled with speakers and sessions to leave you enlightened and charged to go back to your credit unions with new ideas and energy. Be sure to review our line-up speakers which will bring together information and insight into what’s happening now in credit unions and the financial market around us.

The convention is supported by a number of corporate sponsors that we invite you to visit while at the convention and support with your business. So the dates to remember are October 8-11 at the San Diego Gaslamp Quarters. As always we welcome any suggestions and comments. We hope to see you all again and meet new members.

Michael R. Tobler
Chairman of the Board
National Coalition of Firefighter Credit Unions

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Three Key Obligations of Board Chairs

Focus on duties related to the organization, board processes and leadership.

By Leisa Goodman CUES

How do you measure a chairperson’s effectiveness? Ask 10 different board members, and you may just get 10 different answers.

Ask Les Wallace, Ph.D., president of Signature Resources, Aurora, Colo., and facilitator of CUES' first-ever Board Chair Development Seminar this spring, and he’ll tell you a chair’s duties can be broken down into three key areas.

1. Organizational obligations

  • Keep a watchful eye on fiduciary oversight.
  • Ensure the board is taking ownership of strategy.
  • Make sure the CEO’s direction is on course.

2. Process obligations

  • Manage the agenda. Wallace suggests this agenda for efficient, productive meetings:
  1. Convene
  2. Consent agenda—routine, non-controversial items collected into a group for a streamlined motion and vote
  3. Financials—a “skinny” report that provides what’s needed, but not too much detail that gets into the weeds
  4. Strategy
    • Manage meeting dialogue and discussion.
    • Be ready to have the tough conversations regarding board behavior.
      What to do with quiet or unprepared board members? “As chair, you can call on the quiet ones,” suggests Wallace. “For those who come unprepared, you may have to take a range of efforts. The first time it happens, just have a conversation with the board member. You can be a gentle coach, but you need to address it.”
      At the end of each meeting, Wallace suggests doing a very quick self-evaluation. “Ask things like, did everyone come prepared? Did we do everything we set out to accomplish? What can we do better next time?” he said.

    3. Leadership obligations

    • Set the tone, and be an example of preparation and service.
    Leisa Goodman is a CUES marketing specialist

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