Monday, January 29, 2018

You are not alone with NCOFCU!

     
With the number of credit unions shrinking day by day from closures and mergers it is essential that you know that the National Council of Firefighter Credit Unions Inc. (NCOFCU) is here for you.

With an exclusive network (have been meeting for 17 years) of over 100 credit unions primarily serving over 700 thousand firefighters and first responders, our collaborative effort is to assist the volunteers and staff of credit unions serving firefighters and first responders with their operational and educational needs.

This peer two peer networking relationship brings together, 
  • credit union volunteers and staff with the same employment backgrounds, 
  • field of membership, and 
  • financial and educational needs.
Through NCOFCU’s exclusive network and annual conference, credit unions serving firefighters and first responders are available to assist fellow credit unions in making operational decisions such as;
  • field of membership expansion, 
  • products and services, 
  • both staff and volunteer succession planning and 
  • possible in network merger solutions (should it come to that)
NCOFCU’s board of directors and membership is made up of credit union executives and volunteers from across the country of all asset and membership sizes. It is this diverse makeup that brings forth our goals and objectives that we hope will assist credit unions, serving firefighters, and first responders, to continue to survive and support their memberships.

Please take this opportunity to visit our website, www.ncofcu.org, and look at the many member benefits, services, and scholarships available to you.

Member sponsorship is voluntary, but the benefits are for everyone! www.ncofcu.org/join-us

We are here for you,
Grant Sheehan CEO
305-951-3306  

www.ncofcu.org/2018-Seattle-Conference



NCOFCU’s National Board of Directors

Chairman: Gerald Horwedel Director Firefighters First FCU. V. Chairman: Bonnie Sensing Nashville Firefighters CU, 2nd V. Chairman Michael Tobler Chairman Albany Firemen’s FCU, Treasurer: Gene Benick CEO Newark Firefighters FCU, Secretary: David Lantrip Director Houston Firefighters FCU Directors: Michael McCormick Director San Diego Firefighters FCU, Eddie Paris Director Boston Firefighters CU, Brian Kurzel Director Charlotte Fire Dept. CU, Associate Directors: Linda Williams CEO Akron Firefighters CU, Howard Ward Director Baton Rouge Fire Dept. FCU

Friday, January 26, 2018

Going to be at the GAC?


Going to be at the GAC?

The National Council of Firefighter Credit Unions Inc (NCOFCU) will be at CUNA's GAC (2/25-27/2018) booth 679 to meet with our attending members. This is a great opportunity for you to stop by our booth 679 to meet us and see how you can benefit from our conferences.

Looking forward to discussing NCOFCU with you,

Grant J. Sheehan: CEO: NCOFCU
Direct: (305) 951-3306 Fax: (305) 448-6478 E-Mail: ceo@ncofcu.org
National Council of Firefighter Credit Unions Inc.: www.ncofcu.org


See you in Seattle, WA September 19-22, 2018

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Ransomware, what the fuss is about?

I am sharing the following article with you on Ransomware. It is provided as part of our educational program to keep you up to date on threats in the industry.
Grant Sheehan CEO
NCOFCU


Ever wondered what all the ransomware fuss is about? You've heard about it at the office or read about it in the news. Maybe you've got a pop-up on your computer screen right now warning of a ransomware infection. Well, if you’re curious to learn all there is to know about ransomware, you’ve come to the right place. We'll tell you about ransomware’s different forms, how you get it, where it came from, who it targets, and what to do to protect against it.
Read More




See you in Seattle
www.ncofcu.org/2018-Seattle-Conference


FIREFIGHTERS FIRST CREDIT UNION GIVES BACK OVER $1.5 MILLION


LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – At Firefighters First Credit Union our members are owners and we hold true to our over 80 year legacy of firefighters helping firefighters. That is why we return our profits directly back to our members in the form of our Annual Profit Sharing.  With this year’s over $1.5 Million payout, it brings the total amount we have paid back to our members to over $44 Million since 1981.

“It is rare to find an organization today that shares any percentage of their profits. However, as a cooperative, this is part of our foundation. While many credit unions have stopped sharing their profits, we feel strongly about giving back to our members and to helping improve the financial lives of our Fire Family.  At the discretion of our Board of Directors, we feel it is an important part of our tradition and our members agree. The payouts vary based on member relationships – if you have a mortgage and a money market with us, your payout will be much higher than if you just had an auto loan.” explained Dixie Abramian, Firefighters First CU President/CEO.

We also reward members that have additional services with us through investment accounts, insurance policies, and business loans. Deeper member engagement is an important growth strategy for us and we want to thank them for their business. We continue to focus on member loyalty by delivering exceptional products and services, and personable service. We know our members and go we the extra mile to exceed their expectations.

Delivering the products and services our members need and want has helped us grow our member ranks. With our new Federal charter and the expansion into Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico, we have been able to fulfill the financial needs to even more of the Fire Family. We have been able to grow in strength, agility and reach. With each new fire department and new family member contributing to the success of the Credit Union, the rewards grow for the entire membership.

Payouts represent a rebate on the interest paid on loan accounts and a bonus on the earnings on savings accounts.  Payouts vary on individual financial relationships and were posted to member accounts on December 31, 2017; proving one thing – the more members bring to Firefighters First Credit Union, the more they receive in return!

Our commitment to our members remains as strong as ever. We continue to focus on delivering legendary service to each member and to try and exceed their expectations with every interaction. We are proud to share our success with them and we couldn't do it without the trust, loyalty and support of our members.

For more information, please visit www.firefightersfirstcu.org/payout.

About us

Firefighters First Credit Union was formed in 1935 as Los Angeles Firemen’s Credit Union and serves fulltime, paid firefighters nationwide and their families. In 2014 we changed our name to Firefighters First Credit Union to better reflect our member base and in 2017 we received our Federal charter and expanded in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. Firefighters First currently has assets of over $1.2 Billion, over 41,000 members and we are in over 445 fire departments nationwide.

Friday, January 19, 2018

NAFCU's Chief Economist Curt Long Will Join Us In Seattle

We are proud to report that NAFCU's Chief Economist Curt Long will bring us up to date on the national economy and how it will affect the credit union industry at our 2018 Annual Conference in Seattle.


Curt Long was named chief economist and vice president of research in July 2017 after having been director of research and chief economist since August 2014. In this role, he serves as the association's chief economic analyst, conducting economic and financial policy research and providing ongoing economic analysis for NAFCU's staff and its member credit unions. Long also helps produce a number of NAFCU's publications – including the quarterly CU Performance Benchmark Report and the monthly Economic & CU Monitor – and its numerous economic forecasts and surveys. In addition, he presents on economic topics at NAFCU events and conferences. 
Long holds a Master's degree in Economics from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from Texas Christian University.
Prior to joining NAFCU, Long practiced his financial skills for a real estate development company in Irving, Texas.

See you in Seattle

https://www.ncofcu.org/2018-Seattle-Conference

Sunday, January 14, 2018

FOMC President William Dudley reiterated his support of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) decision to increase interest rates.


NAFCU Chief Economist Curt Long.

"While there are reasons to be cautious about raising interest rates in the face of flagging inflation, at this time the FOMC seems to be in the mood to press forward with rate normalization, "Moreover, a number of the more dovish members will be cycling off the voting contingent of the committee in 2018. Plenty can change between now and then, but based on the present trajectory of the economy, NAFCU's expectation is that the Fed will raise rates again in March."

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley yesterday reiterated his support of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) decision to increase interest rates. Dudley said "above-trend growth" offsets the low inflation that has made some on the committee more cautious toward rate hikes.
Dudley, who also serves as the FOMC's vice chair, made his comments during a speech before the Securities and Financial Markets Association in New York. A day prior, Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans indicated that he would prefer to wait until mid-2018 before going forward with another rate increase. Evans was one of two voters who dissented to the FOMC's decision to raise rates last month.
The FOMC, which is the rate-setting council for the Federal Reserve, voted to raise the federal funds target by a quarter-point during its December meeting to a range of 1.25 to 1.5 percent.
Evans said he disagreed with other committee members' belief that inflation will be boosted by strong economic conditions – he doesn't believe inflation will hit 2 percent until 2019 or 2020. However, Evans stated that the recent tax reform will continue to strengthen economic growth.
Dudley, in his speech, was optimistic about this year's economic growth and unemployment, but he said a too-quick uptick in economic growth could lead the Fed to be more aggressive in its rate setting. 
In 2017, the FOMC raised interest rates three times. Also during the December meeting, the committee revised its projections to three quarter-point rate hikes in 2018 and two or three in 2019.
Dudley is a permanent member of the FOMC; Evans' rotation on the committee ends this year.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Lowell Firefighters Credit Union Supports Firefighter Challange

http://lffcu.com/
The firefighters are taking part in the 2018 B-Fit First Responders Challenge hosted by the Boston Bruins, as they seek to raise at least $3,000 for the 100 Club of Massachusetts, a charity that supports the families of fallen police officers and firefighters.

LOWELL -- Most people who head to the TD Garden in Boston have a fun time planned, whether they're catching a game or a concert, but for 10 Lowell firefighters who are heading there later this month, a little less fun is on tap.
The firefighters head to the Garden on Jan. 28 to run about 1.3 miles, much of it up stairs, while wearing their roughly 70 pounds worth of turnout gear in an effort to raise money for fallen colleagues.
The firefighters are taking part in the 2018 B-Fit First Responders Challenge hosted by the Boston Bruins, as they seek to raise at least $3,000 for the 100 Club of Massachusetts, a charity that supports the families of fallen police officers and firefighters.
Last year the event raised about $130,000 in all, according to the Boston Bruins, which hosts the event to help promote both The 100 Club and awareness of the importance of health and fitness.
"In a profession where any shift can be your last, knowing an organization like The 100 Club is out there and will look after our families if the ultimate sacrifice is made gives our brothers and sisters peace of mind," said Lt. Dave Keene.
The firefighters will don their gear in the morning, and run up the garden's steps before running a lap around one concourse, then another, then another, on a route that's about 1.3 miles long according to team captain Firefighter Mike Dexter.
The firefighters put their group together quickly, and have been buoyed by large donations from Madison Security, Fay-McCabe Funeral Home, W.L. French Excavating Corp., J Mike Ponte Floor Covering, the Lowell Firefighters Credit Union and the International Association of Firefighters Local 853.
"We don't rely solely on major contributions, though," Dexter said. "Any donation from $5 to $10 goes a long way as every bit helps."
Those taking part are Capt. Robert Beane, Lts. Dave Keene, Sean Quealy, Kevin McCauley, and firefighters Mike Dexter, Manny Martinez, Ryan Underwood, Dave McNeil, Will Garcia, and Buntha Kouy.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Akron Firefighters CU Modernizes Their Website

Linda Willams, CEO of Akron Firefighters Credit Union, looked at their website and decided that it was a little dated and that she has so many young employees she would give them the challenge to modernize the site.

Knowing that your website is the first impression your members, and non-members have of you, it is essential to keep it modern and up to date.  Take a look at what they came up with, a fresh new look! 

https://www.akfirecu.com/home

Comments to Linda Williams akfirecu@aol.com

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What is a 'Blockchain'?

Lately, there has been a lot of discussion on Blockchain's and Bitcom so I decided to provide the following article from Investopedia  This should assist credit union directors and staff in the better understanding of Blockchains and how they will affect everyday life and the financial industry.

Grant Sheehan CEO
NCOFCU

What is a 'Blockchain'

A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order, it allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central recordkeeping. Each node (a computer connected to the network) gets a copy of the blockchain, which is downloaded automatically.

Originally developed as the accounting method for the virtual currency Bitcoin, blockchains – which use what's known as distributed ledger technology (DLT) – are appearing in a variety of commercial applications today. Currently, the technology is primarily used to verify transactions, within digital currencies though it is possible to digitize, code and insert practically any document into the blockchain. Doing so creates an indelible record that cannot be changed; furthermore, the record’s authenticity can be verified by the entire community using the blockchain instead of a single centralized authority.

BREAKING DOWN 'Blockchain'

A block is the ‘current’ part of a blockchain, which records some or all of the recent transactions. Once completed, a block goes into the blockchain as a permanent database. Each time a block gets completed, read more

See you in Seattle



Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Will banking be the next industry to feel the 'Amazon Effect'?

It seems like there’s nothing Amazon can’t do these days. They’ve moved into the cloud with web storage and computing services. They’ve launched music and video streaming services. And they’ve even taken on old-fashioned brick-and-mortar retailing.
In June 2017, Amazon announced they were buying upscale grocer Whole Foods. According to reports, they are also looking at getting into the pharmaceutical and home furnishing industries as well.
This has many wondering if Amazon’s appetite knows no bounds. Is there anything they aren’t planning on taking over, including banking?
Probably not.
Asheet Mehta with the global banking practice at McKinsey, one of the world’s most respected consulting firms, explained in an interview with Business Insider that Amazon’s stock trades on the company’s future growth potential, not it’s current market value, which is why Amazon needs to continually move into adjacent markets.

NAFCU economist Curt Long optimistic about 2018 growth

NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long said Friday’s jobs report - with 148,000 jobs gained in December - was "modestly positive" and signals positive economic growth for 2018.
The unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent in December as 64,000 workers joined the labor force. This matched the lowest unemployment level since December 2000.
"The December jobs report was modestly positive, as employment gains were below expectations but still strong enough to keep the unemployment rate steady," said Long. "Wage growth remains low but did tick up slightly to 2.5 percent. Overall, the job market performed well in 2017 and is a key reason why the economy is poised for its best year since the crisis in 2018."
Based on strong economic growth and strengthening in the labor market, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised the federal fund's target rate by a quarter-point to a range of 1.25 to 1.5 percent during its December meeting. The FOMC’s next two-day monetary policy meeting is set for Jan. 30-31.
In other report data, total private-sector payroll employment increased by 146,000 jobs during December. The goods-producing sector increased by 55,000 jobs, while the service sector increased by 91,000 jobs. Public sector employment rose by 2,000 from the prior month.
Average hourly earnings increased by 9 cents to $26.63 in December. Over the last 12 months, wages are up 2.5 percent. Since 2009, year-over-year wage growth has averaged just 2.2 percent.
                                                                                                                                                                     
Curt Long was named chief economist and vice president of research in July 2017 after having been director of research and chief economist since August 2014. In this role, he serves as the association's chief economic analyst, conducting economic and financial policy research and providing ongoing economic analysis for NAFCU's staff and its member credit unions. Long also helps produce a number of NAFCU's publications – including the quarterly CU Performance Benchmark Report and the monthly Economic & CU Monitor – and its numerous economic forecasts and surveys. In addition, he presents on economic topics at NAFCU events and conferences. 
Long holds a Master's degree in Economics from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from Texas Christian University.
Prior to joining NAFCU, Long practiced his financial skills for a real estate development company in Irving, Texas.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Denver Fire Dept. Federal Credit Union Has Moved!

The Denver Fire Department Federal Credit Union has moved to a new location west of downtown Denver.  The credit union opened its doors at the new location on November 21st, 2017.

After weighing many options, the strategic decision was made by the DFDFCU Board of Directors to completely renovate a building that was previously a technical university building.  The building is over 18,000 square feet and includes an event center that has a picturesque view of Lake Rhoda with historical ties to Lakeside Amusement Park across the lake.  The new location offers the Credit Union an opportunity to work jointly with the firefighters it serves.  It includes office space for local firefighter unions and foundation groups, in addition to an event center that can be rented by firefighters for a wide variety of uses.  Additional tenants include the Colorado Professional Firefighters, Local 858, and Firefighter Events.

Throughout the building, members and guests can enjoy different details and types of wood including shou sugi ban.  Shou sugi ban is a treatment technique from Japan that is done on wood that helps protect it from pests, mold and also make it fire resistant.  They also can find an antique fire truck, hydrant handles to the faucets, an axe barn door handle and much more!

With the expansion in space, DFDFCU is able to accommodate more staff comfortably with private offices in the credit union.  Financial Services Consultants are no longer standing at a teller line which gives members the comfort and security to conduct their transactions in private offices.  The modern upgrade is attributed to the dedication from our firefighter membership of almost 80 years.


The project began in March 2016 and was completed in November 2017 by the design-build team Punch Architecture and Financial Construction Services.




NAFCU - Vehicle Sales Decline During 2017

ARLINGTON, Va.—Vehicle sales in 2017 totaled 17.23 million units, non-seasonally adjusted, marking the first year-over-year sales decline since 2009.
Total vehicle sales increased in December to 17.85 million seasonally adjusted, annualized units but were down 1.7% from a year ago.
"Looking ahead, sales are expected to trend down further in 2018 as pent-up demand from earlier years diminishes," observed NAFCU Research Assistant Yun Cohen in a Macro Data Flash report. "In addition, banks are tightening standards on auto loans according to a recent survey by the Federal Reserve, which could lead to credit constraints. Despite the slowdown, vehicle sales are expected to remain strong in light of a strong labor market and growing economy."
According to data by Autodata Corp., car sales decreased from 6.3 million to 6.1 million annualized units during the month. However, sales of light trucks increased from 11.2 million to 11.8 million annualized units, Cohen noted.
Five of the six largest automakers reported decreases in their year-over-year sales numbers: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' sales were down 10.7%, followed by Nissan (-9.5%), Toyota (-8.3%), Honda (-7%) and General Motors (-3.4%). Ford reported gains in sales of 1.3%.
The U.S. brand share of the total vehicle market increased to 45% in December, while the share of domestically assembled vehicles decreased slightly to 78.1%. 

See you in Seattle

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Setting & Meeting Your 2018 GOALS - Dan Berger

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

McWatters’ name has surfaced along with three or four others to head the CFPB

WASHINGTON–NCUA Chairman J. Mark McWatters is on the shortlist to potentially head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to one industry report.
McWatters’ name has surfaced along with three to four others, according to “industry sources” as reported by American Banker.
“He’s pragmatic and measured, which will make it very difficult for Democrats to vilify him during the nomination process,” Isaac Boltansky, an analyst at Compass Point Research & Trading, was quoted by American Banker as saying.
American Banker reported that others in the running for the appointment to the position include Todd Zywicki, a law professor at George Mason University; Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), who chairs the House Financial Services Committee; and Keith Noreika, the former acting comptroller of the currency.Any appointment to lead the CFPB, of course, could be affected by a lawsuit currently working its way through the courts that challenges President Trump’s authority to appoint Mick Mulvaney as the current acting director. That suit was filed by Leandra English, the deputy director of the CFPB who is arguing that as the result of the resignation by former director Richard Cordray the Dodd-Frank Act states the deputy director should be elevated to the top position.
Sources told American Banker the president hopes to announce a permanent appointment in January, allowing Mulvaney to return to his other position as director of the Office of Management and Budget.
“McWatters would potentially offer the administration another way forward,” American Banker reported. “He was confirmed to head the credit union agency over the summer, suggesting he’d be able to secure the necessary votes. And while he’s solicited the CFPB to roll back its oversight of credit unions in several cases, McWatters has not openly criticized the consumer agency — its operations or its structure — as others being considered have done.”
This is not the first time McWatters’ name has surfaced as a potential nominee to another agency leadership position beyond NCUA. He was previously considered for appointment to the board of the Export-Import Bank, but that move was blocked in Congress.
McWatters, an attorney and CPA, joined NCUA in 2014 after being appointed by President Obama, and was named chairman in January of this year. Should McWatters leave NCUA, it would give President Trump the opportunity to appoint all three NCUA board members immediately, should he chose to do so. The term of current NCUA Board Member Rick Metsger has already expired, and the third board seat is currently vacant. 

Welcome to 2018

Let's get together in 2018


CUNA's GAC

The National Council of Firefighter Credit Unions Inc (NCOFCU)  will be at CUNA's GAC (2/25-27/2018) booth 679 for our attending members. Stop by to see whats new in 2018 and enter to win one of two 2018 Seattle conference registrations. 

See you in Seattle

NCOFCU will be in Seattle, WA 9/19-22/18 for our annual educational conference.Tim Harrington will be our leadoff speaker discussing the Fintech revolution and "What Will Be Your Uber" as well as a special breakout, "What Directors Need to Know" Other speakers will address national issues, the economy, whats new in the CU industry as well as breakouts to collaborate with other firefighters and first responders. Our Friday night dinner event will take place at Seattle's world-famous Marine Aquarium.

For updated conference information and registration visit: https://www.ncofcu.org/2018-Seattle-Conferencehttps