Credit Union Magazine

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April 2009

In This Issue

Handheld Hazard

Mary Mink While portable digital devices afford convenience, they also make it easier to steal CU data and disrupt operations. Take note: Glue guns aren’t a reliable form of information security in the age of smartphones, MP3 music players, laptop computers, digital cameras, and thumb drives. Countrywide Home Loans, Calabasas,... Read More

The Ultimate Service: Member House Calls

Last year’s high-profile bank failures gave Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union the perfect opportunity to set itself apart from other providers. Following a Chicago Sun-Times article urging consumers to make sure their deposits were federally insured, an elderly, longtime Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal member had trouble getting through the credit union’s... Read More

Beggs on the Market: Market Overview & Wholesale Trends

Ricky Beggs, vice president and managing editor for Black Book USA , a Gainesville, Ga., publisher of electronic and print valuation guides, gives the latest scoop on the used-car market. Each week, Black Book representatives attend more than 50 auto auctions nationwide, gathering data the company  uses to report values for... Read More

America's CU Conference: Plan to Stay, Stay to Plan

Bringing your planning team to Boston before the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) America’s Credit Union Conference & Expo will pay immediate dividends. Tweet and Save Want to save $200 on your America's Credit Union Conference registration? Send a "tweet" describing your top rule for credit union success. Here's what... Read More

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How is the Economy Affecting CUs?

The recession will continue through 2009 before there’s light at the end of the economic tunnel, according to CUNA Senior Economist Steve Rick. Negative economic growth began in the third quarter of 2008 as consumer spending declined for the first time in 17 years, he explains. Credit-dependent sectors will see the... Read More

May 2009

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May 2009

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Aces of Diamonds

From left: Nancy Hutchinson, Kathryn Davis, Mary Olson Dianne Molvig Top award winners share their perspectives on marketing and business development. Top award winners at this year’s CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference in San Diego were: Mary Olson , Hall of Fame inductee. Olson is vice president of... Read More

Beat the Repo Blues

Mary Mink Underwriting changes and loan workouts avert some vehicle repossessions. But when CUs must take back vehicles, remarketing recoups some losses. With unemployment at record levels and property values down, credit union members across the country every day face the unthinkable choice between a car to drive or a... Read More

The Ultimate Question

What can marketers learn about member loyalty from a "rubber chicken" dinner? Read More

A Matter of Time

LEAD STORY Promotional messages emphasizing a person’s time and experiences with a product lead to more favorable attitudes and more purchases, according to Stanford Knowledgebase . Researchers Jennifer Aaker and Cassie Mogilner cite MillerCoors’ “It’s Miller Time” and Citigroup’s “Live Richly” as effective campaigns because they focus on the consumer... Read More

Let's Get the Ape Off the Building

Daniel A. Mica The CU movement definitely faces a monster of a problem. Veteran comedian Bob Newhart had a famous routine that may describe best what credit unions have been experiencing during the past months. It goes something like this: It’s a security guard’s first night on the job at... Read More

Trigger a Mood Swing

John Franklin Deliver the five things members want most. In my 41 years in the Credit Union System, I’ve seen periods where credit unions experienced problems and losses due to the economy or market fluctuations. They survived every one of them and usually emerged stronger and more highly esteemed than... Read More

The Barometer of Influence

John Magill The movement’s political force has put CUNA at the bargaining table with legislators. Influence is to Congress what the dollar is to the economy. Both allow the holder to obtain a desired product. In the economy, the dollar gives you purchasing power. In Congress, influence gives you power,... Read More

Rev Up Auto Lending

Sharyn Alden CUs accelerate back-to-basics approaches to boost auto loan programs. How do you encourage auto loans during a down economy? While no one formula fits all situations, CEOs agree: You must approach auto lending differently. You must work smarter to attract members who may be interested in, and qualify... Read More

Web Exclusives

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Marketing: Do More With Less

LEAD STORY Take these steps to get more from your marketing budget, advises Anne Legg, vice president of marketing for $168 million asset Cabrillo Credit Union, San Diego, and chair of the CUNA Mar-keting & Business Development Council Executive Committee: Evaluate processes. Map out your marketing activities and “sculpt” away... Read More

Online Gambling: Don't Bet on It

Valerie Moss Gambling reg has implications for CU transactions and relationships. Credit unions participating in certain payment systems will have to verify at account opening that their member businesses aren’t Internet gambling outfits and have procedures in place to prevent restricted transactions. That’s according to a regulation effective Jan. 19... Read More

Compliance Q&A: Denied Loan Applications

By Valerie Moss Q What are the Regulation B record-keeping requirements for denied loan applications?   A The credit union should retain either the original loan application or a copy of the original—as well as copies of the adverse action notice and any written statement from the loan applicant that... Read More

Skittish Lawyers Net Reaffirmation Woes

Michael McLain Some attorneys balk due to concerns about liability or clients’ ability to pay. Ease the anxieties of debtors’ attorneys, and your reaffirmation agreements are more likely to stick. Ordinarily, when a debtor’s attorney participates in reaffirmation agreement negotiations during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the reaffirmation must contain a... Read More

CUs Move a Lap Up

Patrick Totty Vendors help CUs fuel up on auto loans as other lenders withdraw. This year’s auto sales likely won’t approach recent levels. But there is good news: Car dealers are looking to credit unions to pump up sales. “There’s no question the recession has had a negative impact on... Read More

Four Things to Look for in a Health Insurance Broker

By Michael Evert When building an employee benefits plan, credit unions often face the choice of working with a representative from a medical insurance carrier or a broker. Brokers shop the wider marketplace to find the best fit for the client’s specific needs, but this advantage is only as good... Read More

Cost-Effective Marketing That Works

By Anne Legg “Do more with less” has evolved from a catchphrase to quite possibly our country’s mantra during these tough economic times. This phrase is getting a fierce workout in credit union marketing and business development departments across the country as well. And please let the record reflect that... Read More

'Traditional Marketing is Dead'

Forget direct mail, television advertising, and other mass media marketing, advises consultant Denise Wymore. Read More

Tough Times Call For Fresh Ideas

LEAD STORY In the 1930s, Edward Filene believed in a fresh idea—and contributed $1 million to launch the U.S. credit union movement. Attend the America’s Credit Union Conference & Expo, June 21-24, in Boston, and tap into the revolutionary ideas of these thought leaders: Dave Mitchell, president/CEO, The Leadership Difference,... Read More

Avoid the Repo Man: Six Steps

By Mary Mink No credit union wants to be in the used-car business—trying to sell repossessed vehicles. Take these six steps to avoid that scenario: 1. Underwrite properly "It all comes down to underwriting and managing the risk based on the loan-to-value ratio. On every unit losing value, you want... Read More

NPS: Advice From the CU Trenches

By Bill Merrick The best thing about using the Net Promoter Score (NPS), says Doug Marshall, is that it uses a single number to measure member loyalty. “The bad thing about NPS is that it’s one number” that measures member loyalty, adds Marshall, chief marketing officer and senior vice president,... Read More

Welcome to the Housing Trough

Mike Schenk After hitting bottom, real estate shows signs of turnaround. Did you hear that “thud”? I’m pretty sure it was the housing market hitting bottom. Actually, hitting bottom will be a process rather than an event. But recent real estate news is much more positive: Housing affordability is very... Read More

Six Cost Control Myths

Expense control is fraught with myths for two reasons: 1. What works for one organization won’t work for another; and 2. Changes in technology and regulations. That’s according to the CUNA CFO Council  white paper, “The Essentials of Expense Control,” by Mike Moebs, principal and founder of Moebs Services ,... Read More

Rates & Ratios

Review this month's rates and ratios . Read More

Control Costs, Boost Spreads

Judy Dahl Shrinking margins make cost control vitally important. Credit union margins are perilously low: Return on assets fell to 31 basis points (bp) at year-end 2008 versus a five-year average of 71 bp, reports the Credit Union National Association. This makes cost control more important than ever, say Eve... Read More

Vehicle Titles Go Electronic

One upside to the current credit crunch plaguing the financial industry is that car buyers are turning to their local credit unions to finance both new and used vehicles.

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Top 10 CUs: Five-Year New-Auto Loan Growth

Credit Union Assets ($ millions) Five-year auto-loan growth 1. Tombstone (Ariz) FCU $10.5 216.82% 2. Division 819 Transit ECU, Irvington, N.J. $15.9 210.41 3. Emsco CU, Salt Lake City $0.9 177.83% 4. Ellis (Kan.) CU $3.1 173.39% 5. Omega PSI Phi Fraternity FCU, Suwanee, Ga. $0.8 172.84% 6. Wyandotte (Mich.)... Read More

High-Tech Trends of Yesteryear

LEAD STORY Technology has played a big role in the evolution of the U.S. Credit Union System. The trappings of early 20th century member service and back-office operations—typewriters, carbon paper, adding machines, and “desk set” telephones—evolved to today’s personal digital assistants, laptop computers, online banking, and photocopiers. Today’s compact devices... Read More

Dealing With The Dealers

James Collins Job worries and $4 gasoline have put a dent in car sales. The $17.4 billion spent on Chrysler and General Motors through January is an amount even eclipsing Sarah Palin’s campaign wardrobe. At press time, the auto makers had just asked for another $21 billion. While we wait... Read More

Revolutionaries Rule

Kathryn Kuehn Learn how to duck ‘death magnets’ at America’s CU Conference & Expo. “Too many companies duke it out on the same curve,” says Guy Kawasaki, author of “Rules for Revolutionaries.” “True innovation happens when a company jumps to the next curve—or better still, invents the next curve. So... Read More

Meet a Member Experience Auditor

Like many in the credit union movement, Leanne Drallmeier didn’t plan her current career path. But the former psychology major is happy she landed where she did: member experience auditor at $1 billion Educators Credit Union , Racine, Wis. Drallmeier oversees the credit union’s day-to-day Net Promoter Score (NPS) efforts,... Read More

Special Report: Indirect Auto Lending Roundtable

'Rehash Mondays' provide second-chance auto loans. Indirect auto lending can significantly increase auto loan volume—but it also subjects credit unions to credit quality issues and other risks. Below, two seasoned credit union indirect auto lenders explain how they differentiate their programs from other lenders, how the recession has affected credit quality—and... Read More

ACUC Preview: What Makes Staff Drink the 'Corporate Kool-Aid?'

Register now Curious to see what happens behind the "employees only" doors of big companies, journalist and America’s Credit Union Conference (ACUC) speaker Alex Frankel embarked on an undercover reporting project to learn how some of America’s best-known companies win the hearts and minds of their retail and service employees. During... Read More

Risk vs. Reward: The Story of Repo No. 75

By Jeff Schroth One of the most important lessons a credit union manager must learn is to walk the fine line between risk and reward. Sometimes that lesson is learned the hard way. I received my “initiation” into the financial services business about 25 years ago at a finance company.... Read More

Today's Top Issues Top America's CU Conference Agenda

CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica will host new general session at the America's Credit Union Conference & Expo (ACUC) in Boston June 21-24: " Corporate credit unions and critical issues : A Q&A with CUNA CEO Dan Mica." This and other newly added sessions will keep ACUC attendees updated on the changing... Read More

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