Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Is a Recession Already Underway?

The depth and length of the recession depends on the coronavirus and assumptions there will be, among other things, no natural disasters.

The recession that seemed a distant possibility a few weeks ago is now upon us, according to CUNA economists.
A little more than a month ago, CUNA was predicting U.S. gross domestic product would rise 1.8% this year. But in the wake of widespread stay-at-home orders and shuttering of many businesses to contain the coronavirus, the CUNA Economic and Credit Union Forecast released this week predicted the U.S. economy will shrink 2.25% this year.
CUNA economist Jordan van Rijn said Thursday the forecast appears optimistic in the wake of Thursday’s report of a massive wave of 3.3 million unemployment claims last week.
The published forecast anticipated as many as five million people being out of work this year, and the unemployment rate rising to 6.5% by the third quarter.
“That’s going to be an underestimate,” van Rijn said. “With the 3.3 million jobs lost in the last week alone, the unemployment rate is probably already about 4.5% to 5%.”
On Friday, the University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers reported its fourth-largest drop in consumer sentiment in nearly 50 years. The 11.9-point drop in its Consumer Sentiment index was only slightly smaller than its largest drop: the 12.7-point fall in response to the escalating financial crisis in October 2008.
University of Michigan economist Richard Curtin said confidence appears headed for an even larger fall in April based on the trend from late March.
“Stabilizing confidence at its month’s end level will be difficult given surging unemployment and falling household incomes. The extent of additional declines in April will depend on the success in curtailing the spread of the virus and how quickly households receive funds to relieve their financial hardships.
The CUNA forecast, completed March 24, preceded those reports. For credit unions, the forecast predicted:
  • Net income for the 12 months ending Dec. 31, 2020 is likely to fall to 0.50% of average assets, or perhaps lower. ROA was 0.93% in 2019, and the forecast posted in February predicted 0.90% this year.
  • Loans will grow 3.5% this year, bottoming out at 0.5% in the first and second quarters. That’s down from 6.5% in 2019 and CUNA’s previous prediction of 5.5% for 2020.
  • Loan quality will deteriorate, but not as badly as in the Great Recession. By the end of the year, delinquencies will rise to 1.00% and the net charge-off rate to 0.75%.
Delinquencies were 0.70% at the end of 2019, and CUNA previously predicted they would be 0.75% by the end of 2020. The net charge-off rate was 0.56% at the end of 2019, and was predicted to rise to 0.60% by the end of 2020.
In the recession of 2007-2009, delinquencies peaked at 1.8% and net charge-off rates at 1.2%.
“At this point, we don’t quite think things are going to get quite that bad, but it’s very possible,” van Rijn said.
Van Rijn said he figures the current recession began only a week or so ago, as markets plummeted and the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic.
Because January and February had been relatively strong months, real GDP will probably only fall at an annualized 1% rate in the first quarter, but a walloping 12% drop in the second quarter.
From there, CUNA said it now expects the economy to rise 1% in the third quarter and 3% in the fourth. But those projections are based on some optimistic assumptions:
  • The coronavirus’ spread is slowed by social distancing and other measures, with the COVID-19 pandemic peaking in the second quarter, trailing off in May or June, and not returning to any significant degree later in the year.
  • The path of the pandemic is “maybe not quite as bad as Italy, but certainly not as good as South Korea.”
  • Congress and the Federal Reserve will respond aggressively with fiscal and monetary policy, “which they’ve basically already done.”
  • Lastly, “We also have to assume nothing else in the economy goes wrong: No other natural disasters, wars or things like that,” he said.
“There’s a tremendous degree of uncertainty,” he said. “It could be the virus comes back in the summer or the fall. That would certainly throw things off track. Or it could be that we need to have shelter-in-place orders in effect longer than anyone predicted.”
For credit unions, predictions by CUNA and CUNA Mutual Group are amplified: Savings will grow much more quickly than lending and membership.
On one hand, that means loads of liquidity. On the other, it means many fewer members will have the appetite or ability to borrow.
The federal stimulus bill provides $1,200 per adult with extra amounts for children. Van Rijn said it is overall a good idea, “but it isn’t particularly well targeted.”
For one thing, some households will get $3,400 checks when both spouses are employed, while across town the same size family will also get $3,400 that will barely pay the mortgage for a couple months.
The first couple is likely to save the money, especially with signs of recession around them. The second couple will use the money for food, car loans, rent or a mortgage payment.
“For a lot of folks, $1,200 is not going to cover their rent or mortgage for one month, let alone two, three or four months,” he said.
And unlike past recessions, families are not going to be piling into cars to shop at the mall or wait in line for a table at a restaurant. They’re not going to buy tickets to a concert or a baseball game. They’re not going to renovate a kitchen.
“We don’t expect a lot of that money to go to discretionary spending,” he said. “We envision a very big spike in credit union deposits this year of 12%.”

Monday, March 30, 2020

Rethinking Credit Union’s Social Media Strategy During Stressful Situations

By: Daniel Martinez, Social Media Marketing Specialist, PSCU

So much has changed in the last few weeks as the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold around the world. Here in the US, many organizations have been forced to quickly adapt to “social distancing,” teleworking, and stay-at-home orders within just a matter of days. Some have even ceased their operations entirely.
As the focus on COVID-19 has dominated nearly all news sources, social media has been no exception. In fact, many organizations have been consistently using their social media accounts to share updates and important information about the coronavirus with their followers. For organizations across the country, this has been a significant shift away from their 2020 social media strategies or general marketing efforts.
For credit unions, it’s an opportunity to stand out as a trusted and valued resource for not only their members but also for the communities they serve. To achieve this, credit unions will need to rethink their current social media strategies – at least for the time being.
Here are some tips on what to post across social media during stressful situations like the one we’re all facing right now.
Be Consistent with Your Posts
If there was ever a time to make sure your followers are seeing new posts from you, it’s right now. Every credit union’s social media schedule is different, but if yours typically schedules daily posts on Monday through Friday, then you should do what you can to stick to that same schedule. With so much uncertainty in the market, chances are your members are becoming more concerned when they learn about businesses closing down or loved ones being laid off. As credit unions are deemed “essential” services during the COVID-19 crisis, this is the best time to reassure your members that you’re still in business and ready to support their needs.
Focus on What You’re Doing to Help
While you may already have posts scheduled around credit card rewards, IRA accounts, or commercial loans, you should consider putting a pause on those types of posts for right now. Instead, communicate to your followers about the many ways your credit union is able and ready to support its members during this time of crisis.
  • Post about how you’re temporarily waiving overdraft fees on checking accounts
  • Alert your followers about trending scams related to COVID-19 and how to protect themselves from theft
  • Highlight your advanced ATM capabilities or mobile banking technology as easy ways for your members to access their accounts and perform transactions
  • Mention how your credit union is donating to local food pantries or other community activities, as well as providing additional support to staff who have been displaced
These are all ways you can keep your followers informed while presenting your credit union as a valued partner in the community.
Rise Above the Noise
With so much content being posted across social media regarding COVID-19, it can be overwhelming. As important as it is to provide your followers with the most up-to-date information and resources related to the coronavirus situation, consider including some motivational posts in your social media mix.
  • Share some inspirational messages from your credit union leadership
  • Ask your staff to create an uplifting playlist to share across social media
  • Leverage lighthearted photos of your team members in their daily work
The idea is to find creative ways to not only express solidarity with your members but also your community and even other credit unions in your area. After all, we’re in this together, and “people helping people” is what credit unions are all about!
PSCU is committed to delivering credit unions with the highest levels of support possible – especially when faced with unexpected circumstances like COVID-19. For that reason, we’ve launched a COVID-19 support resources site for credit unions to access our thought leadership content, webinars, guides, and social media assets regarding the pandemic. For more information, visit www.pscu.com/covid19.
Daniel Martinez is PSCU’s Social Media Marketing Specialist. With nearly eight years of experience in marketing and communications, Daniel has held positions in both corporate and non-profit organizations. He is focused on communicating PSCU’s mission and services across social media and providing credit unions with the information and resources they need to have a powerful impact in their communities.

Friday, March 27, 2020

A Common Sense Look at What's Ahead!

Brian Turner is president and chief economist with Meridian Economics.
As you might anticipate, I’ve been getting a lot of questions as of late over the current economic climate, what to expect, what institutions might do and what advice we can pass to our members as the nation navigates through our current crisis. I thought I’d share a few thoughts:
A Wall Street reporter asked if there were other suggestions, beyond the governments’ provisions and protocols, that might help. I suggested turning off their televisions and staying away from the Internet in particular to avoid all the demonstrable doom and gloom that is being projected. If the daily communication of prevailing conditions wasn’t so key, I’d be serious about it. 
The point being, the projected path of the virus will diminish if we all follow the protocols. This could mean new cases peaking in as little as three months, but people still make poor, selfish choices that could threaten all of us while delaying the recovery. So, this is a very fluid situation.
Not Great Recession 2.0
First, this in no way resembles the market conditions that created the 2008-09 recession. In fact, it is more comparable to the immediate impact of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States that created similar disarray in the same sectors of the economy that today’s virus is attacking. But unlike in 2001, with today’s crisis, we’re dealing with a virus that prevents consumer spending behavior that would give assistance to a more immediate recovery stemming from a "stay-home” protocol. 
This is even more important to our friends in the West Coast and Northeast, namely the New York City area, where approximately 60% to 75% of all new cases are being reported.
Second, although the economic slowdown will have an impact on the wages of many Americans, a greater majority of citizens will see less impact to household income over the next few months. Consumer spending behavior will adversely impact GDP, which may or may not be offset by the increase in government spending. The administration’s and Federal Reserve’s stimulus package will go far to support business and consumer wages by protecting cash flows in both, even if it means exploding fiscal deficits that we’ll have to deal with later.
Spending is Slowing
Third, consumer spending, other than for toilet paper and sanitizer, will start to slow and most likely so too will the demand for products and services from institutions that provide financing for big ticket items, namely cars, homes and appliances--unfortunately, all services credit unions provide.
Therefore, loan demand and originations will slow and most likely not cover scheduled principal run-off over the next three to six months. A 2% to 3% decline in loan portfolio holdings over this period of time is not out of the question. 
The good news is that it will also create pent-up demand that will boil over once the recovery period commences, hopefully later this fall.
Fourth, we’ve most likely returned to an environment (at least for three to four months) in which market-rate levels (namely lower) will have little effect on stimulating market demand,  other than supporting whatever A-paper loan applicants remain in the market. To these and many B-paper loan applicants, competitive rates might still make a little difference. Remember, 3% vehicle loan rates are still 275 bps over cash and 225 bps over investment yields.
For most, C&D-paper applicants may be too much credit risk to take under the current environment and would require too much additional pricing spread, making the loan rate virtually unaffordable to our members.
What Else to Watch
In addition to watching which loans we should portfolio over the next few months, some might return to underwriting provisions that lower LTV qualification to 75% or 80%. This most likely will not affect the standards for A- or B-paper applicants anyway or mortgage refinancing applicants. There is some speculation that the current crisis could ultimately result in lowering home values, thus affecting subsequent LTV and collateral values. It is highly unlikely that we would come anywhere close to the average 20% decline experienced during the 2008-09 recession. 
Fifth, the cash flow aspect of spending behavior will be seen at credit union tills. Cash withdrawals are to be expected at first as members stockpile personal needs but then reduce their expenses as we struggle through the next few months. Flight-to-quality and protecting of principal means having nowhere else to place their funds other than in their bank of CU accounts or under their mattresses.
This could sustain or slightly increase shares during a time when institutions are already cash-flush and overnight rates having fallen to post-2009 recession levels and investment security yields falling below 1.00%.
If You Don’t Need the Cash…
So, as for shares and deposits, if you don’t need the cash, currently retain a strong liquidity profile and anticipate a drop in loans over the next few months, don’t pay a relatively high rate to retain term certificates. In fact, use the opportunity to rid high-cost CDs or other “hot money.” 
The market should drop certificate rates anyway, but certainly don’t be afraid to lower now. The rates on transaction accounts (drafts, savings and money markets) are already relatively low so anticipate little change… 
Lastly, the combination of credit risk and share pricing initiatives will help to manage our gross interest margins while protecting our liquidity and net worth profiles through the end of this year. The economic stimulus package will help to sustain us (consumers and institutions) during the darkest part of the crisis but will also position us and the economy’s recovery to accelerate once recovery has commenced.
Don’t Be Stubborn
Stubbornly trying to stick to growth budgets established last Fall is impractical and, for most of us, would most likely produce lower interim earnings and threaten net worth greater than properly adjusting balance sheets today to enhance what the recovery will provide later.
To some, it means shrinking balance sheets while to others it means curtailing credit extension or even increasing our A-paper initiatives.
Brian Turner is president and chief economist with Meridian Economics.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

A Thank You letter

We have used FreeConferenceCall here at NCOFCU for years and have been very pleased with their service so I thought I would pass on their thank you letter and video.

Last week was one without precedent. I want to send a thank you to everyone in our FreeConferenceCall.com community. The Work From The home industry was given the ultimate test last week as audio and video usage soared past record levels. All in the industry worked tirelessly to meet that challenge. The difference for us was you.

Most Importantly, Thank You: Many companies in the industry dealt with customers expressing displeasure when there were service disturbances. Our community, on the other hand, was beyond incredible. You gave us patience when you could have given frustration. You gave us support. You are the best part of FreeConferenceCall.com and we want to thank you.
You Brought Free Communications To Millions Of People: A lot of people don’t know this but when you use FreeConferenceCall.com you help us give free communications to charities, volunteers, and students all over the world. If you’d like to see how and if you could use a smile, check out this quick video.

A Shocking Number Of You Made Contributions: We’re able to offer free communications because of you. When people choose to pay us what they think is fair for our service it helps us build the infrastructure needed to make sure everyone has access to world-class communications. This week that infrastructure was tested. We are adding to it. Your contributions help make that possible. If you’re interested in learning more, click here and login.

Federal Reserve Announces ‘Unlimited’ Responses

NEW YORK––The Federal Reserve is making it absolutely clear it will do whatever it can to stave off a depression in the United States as a result of the spreading coronavirus pandemic.
Federal Reserve5
The central bank has announced numerous moves aimed at maintaining employment and ensuring liquidity and credit in the markets. On Monday, it announced unlimited bond-buying, three new credit facilities and an upcoming Main Street lending program.
Altogether, the Fed said the new programs will provide up to $300 billion in new financing to an economy economist, including those in credit unions, expect to shrink in the second and even third quarters.  
The latest moves include the Fed pledging to buy bonds "in the amounts needed" to support markets, and indicating there would be no limit to its efforts.  The Fed has also invoked emergency powers to create a special entity that will buy corporate bonds.
The moves come as the stock market has seen declines that have erased all gains since 2016.
The Major Moves
As compiled by CNN, major moves announced by the Fed include:
  • QE Infinity: Open-ended quantitative easing.
  • Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities purchases
  • Two lending facilities to large companies: Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility(PMCCF) for new bond and loan issuance, and the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF) to provide liquidity for existing corporate bonds
  • Corporate bonds and even bond ETFs could be purchased by the Fed. Many have raised concerns over the extremely high level of debt many corporations are carrying
  • A return of the crisis-era Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) to support the flow of credit to consumers and businesses
  • An expanded money market mutual fund liquidity facility to include a wider range of municipal bonds
  • An expanded commercial paper credit facility
New on Main Street
The Fed said it also plans to launch a Main Street Business Lending Program to support small- and medium-sized businesses. 
At the same time, the Fed was announcing its newest moves, Goldman Sachs warned second-quarter GDP could collapse by a record 24%, while unemployment claims could spike eightfold to 2.25 million this week.
White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett even went as far as to say the United States could face a repeat of the Great Depression.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Agencies Provide Additional Information to Encourage Financial Institutions to Work with Borrowers Affected by COVID-19

(March 22, 2020) - The federal financial institution regulatory agencies and the state banking regulators issued an interagency statement encouraging financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers affected by COVID-19 and providing additional information regarding loan modifications.

The agencies encourage financial institutions to work with borrowers, will not criticize institutions for doing so in a safe and sound manner, and will not direct supervised institutions to automatically categorize loan modifications as troubled debt restructurings (TDRs). The joint statement also provides supervisory views on past-due and nonaccrual regulatory reporting of loan modification programs.

The agencies view prudent loan modification programs offered to financial institution customers affected by COVID-19 as positive and proactive actions that can manage or mitigate adverse impacts on borrowers, and lead to improved loan performance and reduced credit risk.

The statement reminds institutions that not all modifications of loan terms result in a TDR. Short-term modifications made on a good faith basis in response to COVID-19 to borrowers who were current prior to any relief are not TDRs. This includes short-term — for example, six months — modifications such as payment deferrals, fee waivers, extensions of repayment terms, or other delays in payment that are insignificant.

The agencies’ examiners will exercise judgment in reviewing loan modifications, including TDRs, and will not automatically adversely risk rate credits that are affected, including those considered TDRs. Regardless of whether modifications are considered TDRs or are adversely classified, agency examiners will not criticize prudent efforts to modify terms on existing loans for affected customers.

Attachment: Interagency Statement(opens new window)

AgencyContactPhoneFederal Reserve Board Eric Kollig 202.452.2955
CFPB Marisol Garibay 202.435.7170
CSBS Jim Kurtzke 202.728.5733
FDIC David Barr 202.898.6992
NCUA Ben Hardaway 703.518.6333
OCC Stephanie Collins 202.649.6870

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

How Credit Unions Are Addressing COVID-19

Callahan & Associates hosted a virtual event featuring a panel of credit union leaders across the United States. Panel participants shared their plans and perspectives on the matter at hand including, but not limited to, personnel management, travel, disaster recovery, branch services, member impact, and more. Read More

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Update to Letter Issued by NCUA Monday

NCUA issued a letter to credit unions (20-CU-02) Monday outlining the agency’s actions related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“The NCUA recognizes there may be other accommodations that could assist members and communities in responding to challenges associated with COVID-19,” the letter reads. “We encourage credit unions to consult with their respective NCUA regional office or state regulator regarding additional actions that may help address the situation.”
The letter includes suggestions for ways credit unions can work with affected borrowers, including:
  • Waiving ATM, overdraft and loan balance or credit card late fees, early withdrawal penalties on time deposits and availability restrictions on insurance checks;
  • Easing restrictions on cashing out-of-state and non-member checks, credit terms for new loans for members who qualify;
  • Offering or expanding payday alternative loan programs, increasing credit card limits for creditworthy borrowers; and
  • Offering payment accommodations, such as allowing borrowers to defer or skip some payments, or extending the payment due dates, which would avoid delinquencies and negative credit bureau reporting caused by any COVID-19-related disruptions.
CUNA is currently seeking information on exactly how credit unions are meeting member needs as they arise. Credit unions can submit information here on how they are supporting members and employees.
The letter also notes that NCUA has prepared a frequently asked questions document to further assist federal credit unions (attached to the letter itself currently), and will soon launch a site containing the FAQs (which will be updated as necessary) as well as the most current information from NCUA regarding COVID-19.
NCUA says it is limiting examination and supervision work over the next couple of weeks to offsite procedures only, with a few exceptions for exigent circumstances. It will be evaluating this posture regularly and extending it as necessary.
“Examiners will work with credit union staff to facilitate the secure exchange of information needed to conduct offsite examination and supervision work, and will be mindful of the impact of information requests on any credit unions experiencing operational and staffing challenges associated with responding to COVID-19,” the letter reads. “As we evaluate credit unions over the coming months, consistent with long-standing practices, examiners will consider the extraordinary circumstances.”

NCUA promises flexibility in examinations and the flexibility to prudently adjust or alter member loan terms

In an effort to help members through the coronavirus crisis, the NCUA will give credit unions the flexibility to prudently adjust or alter member loan terms and will not subject those decisions to “examiner criticism,” agency Chairman Rodney Hood said Monday.

Hood, in a letter to credit unions, outlined the steps the agency is taking to address the health emergency.

Those steps include requiring all agency staff to work offsite through March 30. All examination work will be conducted offsite as well, the agency said.

“A credit union’s efforts to work with members in communities under stress may contribute to the strength and recovery of these communities,” Hood wrote in outlining steps that credit unions may take to help members.

Those steps include:

  • Waiving ATM fees and increasing ATM daily cash withdrawal limits.
  • Waiving overdraft fees.
  • Waiving early withdrawal penalties in time deposits.
  • Easing restrictions on cashing out-of-state and non-members checks.
  • Easing credit terms for new loans for qualifying members.
  • Expanding payday alternative loan programs.
  • Waiving late fees for credit card and other loans.
  • Offering payment accommodations that would avoid loan delinquencies and might affect a member’s credit rating.

Hood also said a federal credit union can delay its annual membership meeting and that credit union boards can meet remotely, as long as they have one face-to-face meeting each year.

Credit unions also have the flexibility to decide whether to limit their hours or to close, Hood said.

Credit unions do not have to notify the NCUA about branch closures unless there is an interruption exceeding two days.

The NCUA also is requiring staff to self-quarantine and not come to work for 14 days if they have returned from traveling to or have had contact with people who have been in Level 3 countries — those with widespread, ongoing transmission.

Staff also must self-quarantine if they have had close contact with anyone who tests positive for the virus or if they exhibit any symptoms of the illness.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Fed slashes interest rates close to zero, boosts assets by $700B to fight coronavirus pandemic

The Federal Reserve on Sunday slashed interest rates by a full percentage point to near zero and said it would buy $700 billion in Treasury securities, an aggressive step to insulate the U.S. economy from the coronavirus pandemic.

“The coronavirus outbreak has harmed communities and disrupted economic activity in many countries, including the United States,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement. “The Federal Reserve is prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses.”

The benchmark federal fund rate is now at a range of 0 to 0.25 percent, down from a range of 1 to 1.25 percent. The cut essentially brings the nation’s interest rate to zero -- something that President Trump has repeatedly pressed for over the past year.


The historically low interest rates, which not been at this level since the 2008 financial crisis, are expected to remain until the economy recovers from the recent downturn.
"The Committee expects to maintain this target range until it is confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals," the Fed said in its Sunday evening statement.

The Fed also said that it will buy at least $500 billion in Treasury securities and $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities over the coming months, a program known as "quantitative easing."

Earlier this month, Powell announced an emergency 50-basis-point cut to the benchmark federal funds rate, sending it to a range of just 1 percent to 1.25 percent. It marked the first time since the financial crisis that the Fed has reduced its key rate outside of scheduled policy-setting meetings.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures and the Fed is doing just that in an effort to keep credit markets functioning and prevent the type of starving of credit that nearly toppled the global economy into a depression in 2008," Bankrate chief financial analyst Greg McBride said in a statement.

Powell is slated to hold a news conference at 6:30 p.m. ET.


Friday, March 13, 2020

Being prepared and implementing your plan for business interruption is only part of the disaster. How do you get this information to your members?

Being prepared and implementing your plan for business interruption is only part of the disaster. How do you get this information to your members?

Branches Closed - Website open!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

NAFCU will be hosting a free webinar to determine your institution's readiness to handle a pandemic

ARLINGTON–NAFCU will be hosting a free webinar on March 17 aimed at helping credit unions determine their institution's readiness to handle a pandemic as the threat of the coronavirus increases.
Financial regulators recently released pandemic preparedness guidance and have also encouraged financial institutions to be ready to help consumers who experience financial hardships as a result of the virus.
The webinar is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET Tuesday. While it is free, registration is required. It will be available on-demand for a year after the initial airing, NAFCU.
NAFCU added it is closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 – the disease caused by the coronavirus – and has a resource page available online to help credit unions stay in-the-know of recent developments.
During the March17 webinar, NAFCU said credit unions will:
  • Learn more about pandemics
  • Identify their credit union's pandemic plan
  • Discuss how to effectively communicate with employees and members the credit union's efforts to monitor and address the situation
  • Prepare for likely scenarios
  • Review ways to mitigate risk

Monday, March 9, 2020

NCOFCU 2020 Exhibitor Sponsorships

Come join the National Council of Firefighter Credit Unions Inc (NCOFCU) in New Orleans, LA October 7-10, 2020   Register HERE
Help us complete our mission!
NCOFCU is an exclusive network (have been meeting since 2001) of credit unions primarily serving over 800 thousand first responders, and their families. Our collaborative effort is to assist the volunteers and staff of credit unions serving first responders with their operational and educational needs and to promote the importance of first responder credit unions to the credit union community.

For a list of our excellent sponsorship opportunities Click HERE
  • Separate Exhibitors Reception
  • Enjoy our casual format with credit union attendees: participation not segregation!
  • Exhibitors are located in general break & entry area for optimum exposure, not isolated in a large exhibit hall!
  • Exhibitors are invited to set up early and remain throughout the entire conference
  • You’re invited to attend all presentations and forums, enjoy meals and meet credit union decision makers
  • A limited number of booths and corporate registrations means very little competition!
  • Your name & logo stays on our website and marketed for the year!
  • 100+ Unified Credit Unions Collectively serving over 800,000 first responders and their families
  • Credit Unions supporting firefighters and their families have been meeting since 2001
  • Over 250 attendees & guests expected
  • Speakers include international speakers, authors, top CU industry and government professionals
  • Registration includes social and evening events
  • Conference schedule offers plenty of exhibitor exposure

For more information contact, Grant Sheehan CEO at grant@ncofcu.org or call 305-951-3306

Friday, March 6, 2020

Federally Insured Credit Unions Assets Grow $113B During 2019, But Small CUs Still Struggling

ALEXANDRIA, Va.–Federally insured credit unions during 2019 grew total assets by $113 billion (7.8%), loans by $64 billion (6.2%) and membership was up by 4.2 million, according to NCUA’s Quarterly Credit Union Data Summary for Q4 2019.

Credit unions also showed improvements in net interest margins and ROA. But CUs in the smallest asset categories once again showed declines in lending and membership.
The data is based on call reports from 5,236 federally insured CUs, representing approximately 120.4 million members.
According to the report, here’s how credit unions performed during Q4 and 2019:

Performance by Asset Category
In its analysis, NCUA once again noted consistent with long-running trends, credit unions with assets of at least $1 billion reported the strongest growth in loans, membership, and net worth over the year ending in the fourth quarter of 2019. Credit unions with less than $500 million in assets reported declines in those categories over the year.
  • The number of federally insured credit unions with assets of at least $1 billion increased to 330 in the fourth quarter of 2019 from 308 in the fourth quarter of 2018. These 330 credit unions held $1.1 trillion in assets or 68% of total system assets. Credit unions in this category reported loan growth of 9.7%. Membership rose 8.4%. Net worth increased by 12.4%.
  • The number of federally insured credit unions with assets of at least $500 million but less than $1 billion rose to 247 in the fourth quarter of 2019 from 237 in the fourth quarter of 2018. These 247 credit unions held $172.7 billion in total assets, or 11% of total system assets. Credit unions in this category reported a 1.9% increase in total loans outstanding over the year. Membership rose 0.3% and net worth increased by 3.3%.
  • The number of federally insured credit unions with at least $100 million but less than $500 million in assets declined to 1,018 in the fourth quarter of 2019 from 1,026 in the fourth quarter of 2018. These 1,018 credit unions held $227.8 billion in total assets or 15% of total system assets. Credit unions in this category reported a 3.0% decline in total loans outstanding. Membership fell 4.6%. Net worth edged up 0.6%.
  • The number of federally insured credit unions with at least $50 million but less than $100 million in assets declined to 677 in the fourth quarter of 2019 from 688 in the fourth quarter of 2018. These 677 credit unions held $48.5 billion in total assets or 3% of total system assets. Credit unions in this category reported a 2.4% decrease in total loans. Membership fell 4.3%. Net worth rose by 1.1%.
  • The number of federally insured credit unions with assets of at least $10 million but less than $50 million declined to 1,635 in the fourth quarter of 2019 from 1,695 in the fourth quarter of 2018. These credit unions held $41.3 billion in assets or 3% of total system assets. Credit unions in this category reported a 3.0% decrease in loans. Membership declined by 5.8%. Net worth fell 1.0%.
  • The number of federally insured credit unions with less than $10 million in assets declined to 1,329 in the fourth quarter of 2019 from 1,421 in the fourth quarter of 2018. These credit unions held $5.5 billion in assets or 0.4% of total system assets. Credit unions in this category reported a 7.0% decline in loans. Membership fell 9.1%. Net worth declined by 4.6%. 

The full report can be found here.

Rember, "You're Not Alone With NCOFCU"!

See you in New Orleans 10/2-10/20

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Federal Reserve has cut the target range for the federal funds rate by .5%

WASHINGTON–Citing the threat from the coronavirus, the Federal Reserve has cut the target range for the federal funds rate by .5% to a target range of 1% to 1.25%.

In a statement, the Fed said the "fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain strong. However, the coronavirus poses evolving risks to economic activity. In light of these risks and in support of
achieving its maximum employment and price stability goals, the Federal Open Market Committee decided today to lower the target range..."

The Fed said it is closely monitoring developments and their implications for the economic outlook and will use its tools and act as appropriate to support the economy.

Voting for the monetary policy action were Jerome H. Powell, Chair; John C. Williams, Vice Chair; Michelle W. Bowman; Lael Brainard; Richard H. Clarida; Patrick Harker; Robert S. Kaplan; Neel Kashkari; Loretta J. Mester; and Randal K. Quarles.

Monday, March 2, 2020

25 firefighters and two police officers in Washington state were placed under quarantine “

News broke over the weekend that 25 firefighters and two police officers in Washington state were placed under quarantine “out of an abundance of caution” due to a COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak at a care facility.

The exposure of prehospital care providers in the U.S. was inevitable, and in the days and weeks ahead, we are certain to receive additional reports of first responders exposed to patients known or suspected to be infected with COVID-19. In today’s newsletter, EMS1 Editor-in-Chief Greg Friese offers key takeaways on the first responder COVID-19 quarantine

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Firefighters Quarantined Re COVID-19 In Washington State

Firefighters in Kirkland and Redmond, Washington are now under quarantine after possible coronavirus exposure at a nursing facility. State health officials confirmed yesterday that two people connected to the Life Care Center in Kirkland tested presumptively positive for the virus.

One patient is a woman in her 40s who is a health care worker at the facility. She is in satisfactory condition at Overlake hospital. The other is a Life Care resident in her 70s and she is in serious condition at Evergreen Health. At least 27 patients and 25 staff members at the Life Care Center have symptoms associated with COVID-19, according to local health officials.

Several of the Kirkland Firefighters who helped ill patients at the facility in the last week are now under quarantine as a precaution. The firefighters are quarantined at home and a fire department facility. Officials in Kirkland and Redmond have confirmed that all fire department personnel who assisted in transporting the infected patients will be monitored for signs of the virus for two weeks.

Seven members of the Redmond Fire Department in King County have been removed from service, according to public health officials. Six are quarantined at home and one other at a secured facility.

"Out of an abundance of caution, firefighters that were involved in patient care have been placed under quarantine," said Kellie Stickney, a City of Kirkland spokesperson. In Redmond, city officials said all seven involved firefighters were asymptomatic, but would stay in quarantine as directed by King County Public Health.

"We have identified all firefighters who came in contact with the patients that tested positive for the virus," a city spokesperson said. "These firefighters have been removed from service and will be quarantined for 14 days, based upon the Health Department's recommendation."

The total number of firefighters currently under monitoring in Kirkland was not immediately released. City officials said an update would be provided Sunday.

News of the latest cases followed an announcement Friday night that a Snohomish County teen and a King County woman had returned "presumptive positive" tests for the virus.