Thursday, December 22, 2016

Happy Holidays

Happy holidays from everyone at the, 
National Council of Firefighter Credit Unions Inc. (NCOFCU)

     We truly value your relationship and thank you for being an important part of our association.
     We wish you a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous new year in 2017

NCOFCU Directors and Staff

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

NAFCU To Formally Change Its Name

ARLINGTON, Va.—Much like CUs themselves that have gone through evolution in fields of membership and resulting name changes, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) will be operating with a slightly different name as of Jan. 1 – the National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions.

The change, stated NAFCU, reflects that all the association’s federally insured members—including state charters--now have full voting rights and the ability to serve on the NAFCU board of directors.

“While our name change reflects our mission to serve all federally insured credit unions, our focus remains the same,” said NAFCU Chair Richard L. Harris, president and CEO of Caltech Employees Federal Credit Union. “We remain committed to providing the best in advocacy, education and compliance assistance at the federal level.”

The NAFCU board voted unanimously to change the association’s name. NAFCU’s logo and acronym will stay the same, preserving the association’s strong brand recognition, the association stated.

In September, NAFCU’s membership approved the board’s unanimous recommendation to amend the association’s articles of incorporation to give federally insured, state-chartered members full membership and to reinforce NAFCU’s focus on credit union issues at the federal level.

NAFCU said it will continue to advocate for credit unions at the federal level, with a focus on obtaining regulatory relief for the industry from NCUA, CFPB and other regulators.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Federal Reserve raise the federal funds rate by 25 basis points

WASHINGTON–The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee has voted to raise the federal funds rate by 25 basis points, moving from a range of 0.25%-0.50% to 0.50% to 0.75%.
At the same time, the FOMC issued revised projections calling for three rate hikes in 2017, three in 2018 and three in 2019. The FOMC will next week Jan. 31-Feb. 1.
In response, economists with the CU trade groups expect the effect on CUs to be minimal, but did indicate credit unions may need to reprice deposits more quickly than anticipated.
“Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in November indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been expanding at a moderate pace since mid-year,” the FOMC said. “Job gains have been solid in recent months and the unemployment rate has declined. Household spending has been rising moderately but business fixed investment has remained soft. Inflation has increased since earlier this year but is still below the Committee's 2% longer-run objective, partly reflecting earlier declines in energy prices and in prices of non-energy imports. Market-based measures of inflation compensation have moved up considerably but still are low; most survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance, in recent months.”
The FOMC added that it expects with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further, and that inflation is expected to rise to 2% over the medium term.
“On the whole, the impact of a quarter-point rate hike on U.S. households should be minimal,” said NAFCU Chief Economist and Director of Research Curt Long. 
Long said the FOMC’s economic projections “may hold more interest than the statement itself.” 
“The Fed will not make any assumptions about President-elect Trump’s economic agenda,” he continued. “A large spending bill accompanied by tax cuts certainly has the potential to increase growth and inflation, paving the way for faster rate normalization in the coming years. But the Fed will stick to its wait-and-see approach.”
Perc Pineda, senior economist for CUNA, said of the Fed decision, “A 25-basis point hike in the Federal Funds rate today will affect credit unions in the medium-term. Deposit rates will be re-priced eventually, though not immediately. Credit unions savings rates have stayed well above the rates offered by the banks. Data from Informa Research Services show that the average savings rate at credit unions is 14 basis points higher than average savings rates at banks. Credit unions’ third quarter savings growth was 8.6%--higher than the banks’ 6.7% savings growth rate--suggesting that credit unions’ capital inflow continued strong despite a low interest rate environment.

 “After the 25-basis point hike last year, savings rates at credit unions remained practically unchanged. However, rates of other deposit products such as certificates and money market rose, but not right away. The difference this time is, although the rate hike is moderate, recent economic data are positive, along with signs of higher borrowing cost ahead,” Pineda continued. “We had strong third-quarter GDP growth; an unemployment rate of 4.6% is now below what the FOMC considers longer-run full employment rate, and inflation is on the horizon. The 10-year Treasury yield is moving back to its prior levels. This means that mortgage rates will rise—it is already 50 basis point higher in November than October. Credit unions are not-for-profit service maximizing institutions. Hence, it maintains a reasonable net interest margin to serve the financial needs of its tax-paying-working class members. If the upward pressure on loan rates strengthens in the near-term, credit unions would need to reprice their deposit products much sooner to compensate members the real rate of return on investment.”

Monday, December 5, 2016

NCOFCU Member Benefits

NCOFCU Member Benefits 
The National Council of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. (NCOFCU) is your credit union’s partner in boosting revenue and reducing overhead. By harnessing our collective buying power, we are able to bring you, through your membership, the business-critical services and products vital to your credit union.
Your NCOFCU membership entitles you to one (1) license of “ This is a $240 dollar value provided to you with your membership in NCOFCU. Your membership also entitles you to their NCOFCU member discounted pricing on all their compliance services. For more about their products and services Click Here
To schedule a demo contact Heather Riley

Client Service/Project Coordinator
o: 888.972.3624, ext. 7014

NCOFCU business partner Auto Link was a real HIT at the 2015 Conference. Ed Bourgeois  demonstrated to each credit union how there program would look and operate within their website.
Your credit union has the best rates on loans and products, but only 15.74% of the national auto market share went to credit unions in 2014 — down 7.2% from 2013.
The online shopping paradigm shift is changing the way your members buy vehicles and get auto loans.
Auto Link™ is a complete member marketing package for your credit union that will increase auto loan revenue by engaging your members in the new digital world.
For more information contact:
Ed Bourgeois
Discounted for NCOFCU Members:
25% off fees (25% off standard fees) Additional Discounts for small asset size member credit unions. 
To receive discount, please use the on-line form and mention you were referred by "NCOFCU Member Discount"

Credit Union Digital University (CUDU)
20% off already NCOFCU discounted prices on their CUDigitalIU Basic, Plus & Pro 
For over 15 years, Credit Unions have protected their organizations, ensured accountability, prepared for audits and examinations, as well as supported the professional growth of their employees and directors with Credit Union Digital University’s smart approach to training.    For more information contact our representative: Tony Roberts 888.201.4394**7517

IWS & Credit Unions   
IWS is committed to offering our credit union members vehicle protection programs such as Vehicle Service Agreements (VSA), Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI) and GAP. This commitment has driven them to become the most innovative, progressive and respected company in the credit union industry. IWS has agreed to provide NCOFCU with a small royalty for each protection purchased to assist us in reaching our vision. For more about their products and services
 visit  and contact our representative Michael Leon   847.894.6436               

Vining Sparks specializes in assisting Credit Unions with Asset Liability management, CD and government bond investments and structure, as well as loan participation's across the country. They are also one of the world’s top 20 underwriters of newly issued debt by agencies of the U.S. Government  They have agreed to provide NCOFCU with a small royalty for each investment purchased to assist us in reaching our vision. Vining Sparks is a member of FINRA/SIPC.  For more about their products and services for credit unions contact our representative, Lee Chandler800-786-1245

NCOFCU has worked hard in providing these products and services and we want to know how they work for you. Should you have any questions or comments, please contact Grant Sheehan CEO at or call 305-951-3306

Mortgage Rates Move Higher; FHA Loan Limits Increased

WASHINGTON–Mortgage rates have moved higher for a fifth consecutive week.
According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates on the:
  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.08% with an average 0.5 point for the week ending Dec. 1, 2016, up from one week earlier when it averaged 4.03%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.93%.
  • 15-year FRM averaged 3.34% with an average 0.5 point, up from the prior week when it averaged 3.25%. One year earlier the 15-year FRM averaged 3.16%.
  • Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.15% this week with an average 0.4 point, up from one week earlier when it averaged 3.12%. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.99%.
In other mortgage news, the Federal Housing Administration has increased loan limits in 2017. In high-cost areas, the FHA said the new national loan limit “ceiling” will increase to $636,150 from $625,500, while its “floor” will increase to $275,665 from $271,050.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

New NCUA Videos Educate Credit Union Board Members about Financial Statements

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Nov. 30, 2016) – Reading financial statements is an essential job for any credit union board member, and a new video series from the National Credit Union Administration can help make that job easier.

Understanding Financial Statements, now available on NCUA’s YouTube channel, is a five-part series that discusses the balance sheet and income statement, key line items in each and the relationship between the documents. The videos also will help you know what questions, you, as a board member, need to ask your staff about your credit union’s performance.

NCUA regulations require that federal credit union directors have a working familiarity with basic finance and accounting practices, including the ability to read and understand the federal credit union’s balance sheet an income statement and to ask, as appropriate, substantive questions of management and the internal and external auditors.
There is a quiz at the end of the series, and viewers who pass that will receive a Certificate of Completion.

Understanding Financial Statements is part of a comprehensive series of educational videos developed for credit union board members by NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives. The videos are available on the Small Credit Union Learning Center webpage.

The Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives fosters credit union development and the effective delivery of financial services for small credit unions, minority depository institutions, new credit unions, and credit unions with a low-income designation. The office also publishes FOCUS, a monthly electronic newsletter with helpful information for all credit unions.