Friday, November 30, 2012

NCUA Has Change of Heart on Volunteer Reporting Requirement

The NCUA told Credit Union Times on Thursday that it has scrapped a proposal that would require credit unions to report the original appointment or election date of directors, a move that could have created bad publicity for those with long-tenured board members. READ MORE >NCUA Has Change of Heart on Volunteer Reporting Requirement: CU Times

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

5 Lessons From Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath

Experts discuss lessons from MCU’s issues. MCU President/CEO Kam Wong discusses what his credit union has learned not to do next time. READ ALL 5 > 5 Lessons From Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from NCOFCU

National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc.
Your Board of Directors
Save the Date!
October 2-5, 2013
NCOFCU Annual Meeting & Conference
Boston MA.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

NCUA budget hike costs CUs;Becker: NCUA budget hike costly |

Nov. 15, 2012 – NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker said the NCUA Board's approval today of a troubling, 6.1 percent budget increase for 2013 will be too costly for credit unions, which fund the agency budget and are still dealing with fallout from the housing downturn and ensuing financial crisis.
The two-member board voted unanimously in approving a 6.1 percent increase in next year's operating budget to a total of $251.4 million. Of the $14.5 million increase, $12.8 million is for a 7.5 percent increase in pay – provided the president approves an increase in the general schedule pay scale. Other factors in this increase is full funding of the agency’s 1,261.5 full-time equivalents, a staffing figure that will not change in 2013. READ MORE > Becker: NCUA budget hike costs CUs;Becker: NCUA budget hike costly | NAFCU

Fed Minutes Show Interest in Extending Bond-Buying

In the records from its last policy meeting, the Federal Reserve signaled that it would probably begin a new bond-buying program in December to try to spur job growth. READ MORE > Fed Minutes Show Interest in Extending Bond-Buying:

Ending Tax Exemption Mistakenly Added to House Bill, Sponsor Says?

Spokesman for U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross says tax exemption should be in "maintain" and not "phase-out" part of the bill. READ MORE CU Times >Ending Tax Exemption Mistakenly Added to House Bill, Sponsor Says:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Does this sound familiar?

Here is a quote from the chairman of a 3 million 320 member credit union facing a merger/buyout.
"The credit union Chairman  said the credit union faces challenges typical of its asset size: retaining management and compliance.
“We can’t produce enough income to hire decent help,” he said. “Every time we get a good manager trained, they move on to bigger and better things.”
Compliance also killed the 292-member credit union, he said.
“These days, it takes more manpower because there are so many new regulations.  Just trying to stay compliant is monumental for a little credit union like ours,” he said."
Does this sound familiar?
NCOFCU's goal is to each out to our fellow firefighters credit unions who may find themselves in this same situation. To encourage them to participate in a peer to peer organization of firefighters and CEO's managing their credit unions.
If you know of anyone or find yourself in this situation please contact Grant Sheehan CEO NCOFCU, 305-951-3306,  or visit our website at and sign up so that a wealth of information and assistance will be available to you.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

England | West Midlands Fire Service rapid response vehicles trial enters second phase | Big Medicine

Englands New Rapid Response Vehicles

In the second phase of the trial, the Toyotas – complete with a powerful water pump, 300 litres of water, a ladder, vehicle cutting equipment and water rescue kit – are available as a resource to consider sending to all incidents.

“We’ll continue to send the best possible response we can, using the most appropriate vehicles and equipment. A fully-crewed fire engine will still respond to our highest risk incidents, but we are now exploring ways to use other vehicles to respond to lower risk incidents and to ensure we have the right number of firefighters at higher risk ones.”

Vij Randeniya, Chief Fire Officer for the West Midlands, added: “We are facing unprecedented financial challenges, and are prepared for further cuts when the Government announces the next funding figures in December. BRVs, and the professional, risk-assessed approach we will take to deploying them, are just one of the necessary but innovative ways we’re responding to the new financial world in which we must now operate.”
READ MORE > England | West Midlands Fire Service rapid response vehicles trial enters second phase | Big Medicine

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Firefighters Community Credit Union in Cleveland.

"Our goal is to make this merger experience as smooth and positive as possible for everyone," said Ben Laurendeau, president/CEO of FFCCU. "The transition should be fairly seamless for our new UFCW members."
The $10.3 million United Food and Commercial Workers Local 880 Credit Union in Cleveland has merged into the $184 million Firefighters Community Credit Union in Cleveland.
Taking effect Monday, the merger made the 3,600 UFCW members new members of FFCCU, increasing the surviving credit union membership base to 27,500. As part of the merger agreement, the UFCW Local 880 CU closed its doors Nov. 2, and all UFCW member data was transferred and integrated into FFCCU’s IT system

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Facebook Rules Social Media: CUNA Councils Survey

Nearly all the credit unions surveyed by a pair of CUNA Mutual Councils were using Facebook to interact with members, the company said Monday.

And the longer they had been doing it, the better they have gotten at it, according to the findings presented by CUNA Mutual Group sales planner Patrick McElhenie at the 2012 CUNA Lending Council Conference in Miami. READ MORE >Facebook Rules Social Media: CUNA Councils Survey

By Firefighters for Firefighters! Boston 2013

Register NOW 10/2-5/13
NCOFCU 2013 Annual Conference/Meeting    
“By Firefighters for Firefighters”
NCOFCU’s board of directors goal is to provide you with a conference as good as if not better than in the past. The board feels that the coalition, acting as a not for profit, can eventually produce a conference that is more cost affordable and informative to the majority of our credit unions.

Performing as a not for profit encourages contributors to invest in NCOFCU and be part of the educational opportunities available to the coalitions members, therefore assisting in reducing the eventual cost to the participating credit unions.

It is with the above goals in mind that we move forward to Boston. We wish that you will support  NCOFCU's efforts in accomplishing these goals, for the benefit of all firefighter credit unions.

Please take this opportunity and confirm your rooms with the Westin and register with NCOFCU at:

Reserve Your Rooms

Register For The Conference On-Line
Grant Sheehan CEO
National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Newark Fireman FCU

Newark Firemen
Federal Credit Union


Hello from New Jersey,
I want to thank everyone for their concern and phone calls.
We here at the Credit Union are now back to 100% of operations and as of this morning with full internet service.
I’m still without power at home, but I got lucky on Saturday and scored a generator and now have limited power.  Thanks to our Governor we now have odd/even (license plate number) gas rationing which has shortened the gas lines!
Thanks to everyone again for your concern and calls, during a disaster it helps to know you have friends who care and prayers  on your side!!!
Be safe,
Gene Benick CEO

Credit Unions Reaping Benefits from Housing Market Gains - Yahoo! News

San Diego, CA (PRWEB) November 04, 2012 Tobias Nergarden issued his statement following reports in the Credit Union Times that credit unions are benefiting from the healing market for mortgages; he believes that this news is great for home buyers, as it increases their options for home financing and will lead to more competitive lending among banks.

Traditionally, most credit unions have relied on checking accounts, auto loans and higher-interest savings accounts to drive their membership. However, record-low interest rates and a buyer’s market make home buying more attractive than it’s been in years, and more Americans are turning to buying over vacation rental by owners. Some credit unions are noticing that mortgages are driving a growth in new member rolls for credit unions.

READ MORE > Credit Unions Reaping Benefits from Housing Market Gains - Yahoo! News

F&A Federal Credit Union Auto Loan Rate: 1.99% APR

Members of F&A Federal Credit Union receive the financial support they need for their evolving needs. Since 1936, they have offered employees of the Los Angeles County Fire Department and Agricultural Department financial guidance, and now has approximately $1.1 billion in assets and over 40,000 members

READ MORE > F&A Federal Credit Union Auto Loan Rate: 1.99% APR

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Chicago Firefighter Killed Battling House Fire

Our condolences to the family of Captain Herbert Johnson!
A 33-year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department died and another was injured battling a house fire on the city's southwest side.  READ MORE > Chicago <b>Firefighter</b> Killed Battling House Fire:

Hurricane Sandy: NCUA Reports 118 CUs Affected by Storm

NCUA says credit unions in six states are not operational, closed or have a pending status.
According to a list of credit unions affected by Hurricane Sandy, which the NCUA posted Friday on its website, 118 credit unions in six states are not operational, closed or have a pending status.
The list was developed with the assistance of examiners from NCUA Regions I and II, who attempted to contact the credit unions they supervise to measure the impact of the natural disaster. READ MORE > Hurricane Sandy: NCUA Reports 118 CUs Affected by Storm:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: NYC's Municipal Credit Union Responds

No matter how well your are prepared for a disaster you will never be able to do enough!

Municipal Credit Union says online banking is restored, reaches out to members with post-storm services...

Wong said in his letter that MCU is here to help in any way it can “one member at a time.”
“If you or someone you know was affected by the severe storms and floods, our Membership Assistance Program can help,” he wrote. “You may qualify to:
  • Receive emergency credit line increases on your existing MCU Visa card.
  • Modify or extend payment on loans, credit cards or lines of credit.
  • Receive special assistant with lost, missing or late loan and credit card payment.
  • Receive a refund on any returned items and or non-sufficient funds.”
Wong also encouraged members to check MCU’s website,, or call 1-888-220-0320 for information updates.

Keeping Your Members Happy

Keeping Your Members Happy:
Management guru Peter Drucker once said, “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.” It is a “law” of any business: It is more cost effective to keep your current customers satisfied than it is to look for new customers to replace them. A recent Ernst and Young global consumer survey found that 25% of customers changed banks in 2011 due to poor levels of personalized service and branch location proximity. While it would be nice to think that most of them switched from banks to credit unions as part of Bank Transfer Day, odds are that plenty went the other direction too.
Successful credit unions will look at all aspects of their operations for opportunities to retain current members by constantly striving to improve their member experience.
The phrase ‘member experience’ is broad and encompasses practically every aspect of a credit union. There are many ways credit unions can improve the member experience. Loyalty programs, financial education, and community involvement are a few things your credit union may want to look at adjusting. There is another area of member experience, however, that is often overlooked even though it comprises a large part of your members’ interaction with your credit union: ATMs.

As this recent whitepaper from NCR (our Preferred Partner for ATM Products and Services, Teller Cash Recyclers) states, “The ATM remains the most recognized banking channel as it satisfies many consumers’ daily banking needs. Yet, while the new multi‑function, self‑service ATMs offer the convenience of completing more complex self‑service transactions, they fail to recreate the level of engagement found in-branch.” ATMs are often the most frequent interaction a member has with your credit union, yet they are also the most impersonal.
Fortunately, given the prevalence of ATM use, there is a solution – use live video technology to add that human dimension to significantly increase the level of engagement and efficiency.
Video technology allows for a rich audio and visual experience to occur via ATM, offering complete teller availability to members 24/7. This type of technology so closely replicates the in-branch experience that in August, NCUA stated that Video Teller Machines qualify as federal credit union service facilities for select group additions and underserved areas. It’s a win-win situation: Both members and the credit union get the benefit of human interaction, with extended hours and from convenient locations.
But video ATMs also enhance the member experience by increasing efficiency. Based on real-world observations, NCR found that only 10% of teller time is actually spent interacting with members. Deploying video ATMs resulted in 50% less time to completion for members for their banking tasks – and the migration of a substantial 44% of transaction volume (50% of members!) away from in-branch tellers.
Helping members accomplish their banking tasks as efficiently as possible is certainly key to a positive member experience, as anyone who has waited in line for service anywhere can attest. Consider using your ATMs to help that process.
More information can be found on NAFCU Services’ NCR Preferred Partner Page (
Post written by  Chelsea Sisson, Associate Marketing Manager, NAFCU Services Corp.
Comment on this post.
Related Blog Post:
Christopher Columbus had his flag, credit unions have video ATMs

NASA-style mission control centers for social media are taking off

FORTUNE -- Houston, we have a tweet. Growing numbers of global organizations -- from Gatorade to Dell and major universities -- are building multimillion-dollar mission control centers for social media: dedicated physical hubs for monitoring and responding to the torrent of social commentary and queries flooding in via Facebook, Twitter and other channels.  Decked out with giant flat panel screens, sleek mood lighting and banks of monitors, the command centers track a dizzying array of real-time stats and indicators, from mentions on Twitter to general consumer sentiment and social media market share....READ MORE > NASA-style mission control centers for social media are taking off: