Monday, November 23, 2015

Proposed Rule on Field of Membership Offers Regulatory Relief, Growth Opportunities

NCUAnewslayoutNCUA Board Proposes Sweeping Field-of-Membership Reform
Millions of Americans who need affordable financial services would be eligible for credit union membership under a proposed field-of-membership modernization rule (Part 701) unanimously approved by the NCUA Board.

“There is nothing more vital to the future of a credit union than the ability to attract new members,” Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “Our vision is to enable federal credit unions to reach potential members from all walks of life. With this proposed rule, we would expand consumer choice, increase access to affordable financial services and provide regulatory relief to a wide range of federal credit unions. At the same time, we will keep the federal charter competitive with state charters that allow more permissive field-of-membership rules.”
Consistent with the limitations outlined in the Federal Credit Union Act, the proposed rule would amend NCUA’s chartering and field-of-membership rule by:
  • Modernizing the definition of “multiple common bond” to streamline the process for adding new groups to a charter;
  • Enlarging the pool of potential members by expanding the areas that may be served by a community charter;
  • Updating the process of defining an “underserved area;”
  • Revising the “rural district” definition to include populations of up to 1 million people; and
  • Expanding the definition of a “trade, industry or profession” as a single common bond.
Matz said the proposed rule was in large part the result of work by the Field-of-Membership Working Group she appointed in December 2014. NCUA Board Vice Chairman Rick Metsger had previously called on the agency to reform its field-of-membership rules.
“I would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who participated on calls with the NCUA Working Group,” Matz said. “Over the last 11 months, staff heard from hundreds of stakeholders from every region in the country. As a result, this proposal includes creative ideas, and we look forward to more input during the comment period.”

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Firefighters First Credit Union celebrates its 80th Anniversary.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – As the trusted provider of premier financial services to its fire family, Firefighters First Credit Union is proud to celebrate its 80th Anniversary.

Founded on November 16, 1935, the Credit Union’s journey began at the depth of the great depression above Fire Station 28 in downtown Los Angeles. A few senior firemen pooled their money in an old cigar box, to help younger firefighters in need. This common bond created personal and trusting relationships, which became the foundation for the Credit Union. Within the first 13 months of operation, the Credit Union had reached $90,000 in assets and had over 800 members.

To recognize this important milestone, the Credit Union began its celebration early. In fact, the celebration began 80 days prior to its anniversary day of November 16. Festivities included in-branch appreciation days and online prize giveaways. Exclusive social media campaigns provided members with the opportunity to share photos, meet at off-site locations, and more. The celebration was capped off with festivities at each of its branch locations with a catered lunch and awarding of a $5,000 vacation sweepstakes.
According to Mike Mastro, Firefighters First CU President/CEO, “I am honored to have worked with our very special firefighter members for over 35 years. Through their loyalty, we’ve been allowed to hold true to our 80-year legacy of improving the financial lives of our Fire Family.”

While the Credit Union has grown over the years, its focus and dedication to the Fire Family remains unwavering. The Credit Union is focused on delivering legendary service for each member and it shows in its member satisfaction scores. Differentiated through member ease of use, and a trusted financial adviser, they know their members interests & needs and provide that personal touch that firefighters appreciate. Add to that no fees, profit sharing and an exclusive membership.

With a strong fire community alignment, they are able to  provide investment services, insurance service and small business banking. Plus, they are able to give back to the fire community through our charitable hand of Fire Family Foundation.

For more information, please visit

Saturday, November 7, 2015

NCOFCU 2015 Nashville, TN. Conference Recap

The National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc (NCOFCU) just concluded its 2015 conference. It was attended by a record breaking 240 firefighters, staff and guests.

Wednesday night’s Welcome Reception was a hit with our special (look alike) guest Dolly Parton. She welcomed everyone to Nashville, posed for pictures and sang a few songs, great time welcoming old friends and meeting new ones.

The conference was opened by NCOFCU Board Chairman Michael R. Tobler, CEO Albany Firemens FCU, who introduced Bonnie Sensing CEO Nashville Firefighters CU, host credit union. She then introduced retired Chief, Charles M. Vance for the invocation followed by Fire Chief Rick White and Fred Robinson President Tennessee CUL.

Chairman Michael Tobler then presented a “Thank You” plaque to Bonnie Sensing for hosting the conference. Francis Reed CEO of Firefighters CU received “Letter of Appreciation” for being a founding board member. Clint Hartmann retiring CEO Houston Texas Fire fighters FCU received NCOFCU’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his outstanding service to NCOFCU and the credit union industry.  

Tim Harrington, CPA spoke on Enlightened Leadership followed by a very notable line up of speakers over the next 2 days, Michael Lozoff ESQ, Shutts & Bowen, Murray Halperin President, Biz-Lending, Prescott Ford Managing Director, First Empire, Steven Rick Chief Economist, CUNA Mutual Group, Myra Toeppe Director D-3, NCUA, Jeff Carpenter CUNA, and Leo Vaulin CEO, CU-South.

Thursday afternoon exhibitors had their opportunity to meet and great the attendees and award prizes for visiting their booths.

Our Friday night closing dinner at the Wildhorse Saloon gave everyone a chance to feel the Nashville vibe. Attendees danced, ate and drank the night away while wild horses ran across the ceiling.

This year we went country next year we are going West to Denver, CO! Reserve the dates September 28th – October 1st, 2016 at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Denver.

The National Credit Union Administration recovesr nearly $400 million for member credit unions.

Consumer Protection, Inside the Beltway
Friday, November 06, 2015
The National Credit Union Administration recently announced a pair of settlement actions that will allow the agency to recover nearly $400 million for member credit unions.
The first is an agreement with Barclay’s Capital for $325 million to resolve claims from losses related to residential mortgage-backed securities by corporate credit unions that went bad. NCUA filed suit against Barclay’s in 2012 and will dismiss pending suits against the company with the settlement.
Barclay’s does not admit fault in the settlement. NCUA said it will use the net proceeds to reduce Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund assessments charged to federally insured credit unions to pay for the losses caused by the failure of five corporate credit unions.
“In order to help minimize losses and future costs to the credit union system, NCUA is committed to pursuing recoveries against financial firms we maintain contributed to the corporate crisis,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said in a statement announcing the action. “The agency has a statutory obligation to secure recoveries for credit unions and ensure that consumers remain protected, and we take that responsibility very seriously.”
NCUA continues to pursue litigation in federal courts in New York, Kansas and California against financial firms, including Goldman Sachs, UBS, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley, based on the sale of faulty securities. The agency has other litigation pending against securities firms alleging violations of state and federal anti-trust law by manipulation of interest rates through the London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR) system.
In addition, Wachovia agreed to pay $53 million to resolve the agency’s claims arising from losses related to purchases of the securities by corporate credit unions. That brings the total amount recovered from the RMBS defaults to $2.2 billion.
NCUA filed suit against Wachovia in 2011. Wachovia does not admit fault in the settlement. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Credit Unions and Dealing With An Active Shooter

A Powerful, Free Video Worth Watching  NOTE: Contains  replicated violence! May not be suitable for all viewers.
The Department of Homeland Security and the city of Houston have created a very powerful, free, six-minute video on the “Run, Hide, Fight” approach that should be shown to all credit union employees.  It is now the legal obligation of employers to provide a safe working environment for employees. By incorporating active shooter training as part of your existing life safety program, you should be able to adopt them with minimal disruption and anxiety to your workforce.

SAVE THE DATE National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. - 2016 Denver Conference

Denver is a top-rated event,  future-focused and themed around idea-sharing and innovation! 
Where Credit Union Leaders Connect!

September 28 - October 1, 2016 Denver, CO
"By Firefighters For Firefighters"
“Great things happen when firefighters come together. Our Face-to-face interaction is the platform where collaboration begins, relationships are forged, and ideas are generated.”
The key aspects of this meeting will focus on the structured round table discussions among the attendees from the credit union community. Participants will have the opportunity to sit in on breakout sessions covering a variety of subjects of key interest to credit unions.You'll walk away with:
  • Tools and techniques from credit union leaders
  • Fresh and innovative business strategies – from growing your products to being ready for the next wave of change
  • What you really need to know about the firefighter credit union environment
  • New connections from open forums, networking receptions and special events.
 It is never too early to book your rooms!  Grand Hyatt Hotel & Convention Center
Come early stay late, lots to see and do in Denver, CO and the surrounding communities!
Welcome to the Grand Hyatt Denver, in the heart of downtown Denver, a block from the 16st. Pedestrian Walkway. You can access the very best the city has to offer in a setting without compromise.
For group registrations or any registration issues, please address them to AMANDA POPP  Event Planning Manager Grand Hyatt Denver 303.603.4067 or  Grant Sheehan 305-951-3306 /

National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. - 2016 Denver Conference

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Free Webinar: What’s New at AffirmX?

Webinar: What’s New at AffirmX?

Free webinar offered Nov. 17 and Nov. 19

Since launching its revolutionary Risk Intel Center platform a few years ago, AffirmX has continued to enhance its patented solution based on input from NCOFCU users and to meet ever-expanding regulatory requirements. If you're unfamiliar with AffirmX's innovative solution, or if it has been awhile since you've seen what it can do, here is your chance to get quickly up to speed on how it can help your credit union reduce workloads, anxieties and costs. This webinar will cover:
  • The six top features of the Risk Intel Center, including two new features our clients love
  • An overview of the new credit union compliance solution called AffirmX Lite
  • An introduction of the new Vendor Management Module.

For your convenience, this one-hour webinar will be offered at your choice of two times. Reserve your spot today:

What's New at AffirmX Webinar #1
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 11 am Eastern

What's New at AffirmX Webinar #2
Thursday, Nov. 19, 2 pm EasternRegister here: