Friday, July 7, 2017

The Fed may be pushing rates up

WASHINGTON–The Fed may be pushing rates up, but the 30-year mortgage rate average has declined to new lows for 2017.
According to Freddie Mac data:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.88% with an average 0.5 point for the week ending June 29, 2017, down from one week earlier when it averaged 3.90%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.48%
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.17% with an average 0.5 point, the same as one week earlier. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.78%
  • Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.17% as of June 29, with an average 0.5 point, up from one week earlier when it averaged 3.14%. A year ago at the same time, the five-year ARM averaged 2.70%

"The 30-year mortgage rate fell two basis points to 3.88% this week," says Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac, in a statement. "However, the majority of our survey was conducted prior to Tuesday's sell-off in the bond market, which drove Treasury yields higher. Mortgage rates may increase in next week's survey if Treasury yields continue to rise.

Monday, November 23, 2015

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

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

“There is nothing more vital to the future of a credit union than the ability to attract new members,” Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “Our vision is to enable federal credit unions to reach potential members from all walks of life. With this proposed rule, we would expand consumer choice, increase access to affordable financial services and provide regulatory relief to a wide range of federal credit unions. At the same time, we will keep the federal charter competitive with state charters that allow more permissive field-of-membership rules.”

Consistent with the limitations outlined in the Federal Credit Union Act, the proposed rule would amend NCUA’s chartering and field-of-membership rule by:

  • Modernizing the definition of “multiple common bond” to streamline the process for adding new groups to a charter;
  • Enlarging the pool of potential members by expanding the areas that may be served by a community charter;
  • Updating the process of defining an “underserved area;”
  • Revising the “rural district” definition to include populations of up to 1 million people; and
  • Expanding the definition of a “trade, industry or profession” as a single common bond.

Matz said the proposed rule was in large part the result of work by the Field-of-Membership Working Group she appointed in December 2014. NCUA Board Vice Chairman Rick Metsger had previously called on the agency to reform its field-of-membership rules.

“I would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who participated on calls with the NCUA Working Group,” Matz said. “Over the last 11 months, staff heard from hundreds of stakeholders from every region in the country. As a result, this proposal includes creative ideas, and we look forward to more input during the comment period.”

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

Friday, September 18, 2015

NCUA Board Doubles Small Credit Union Threshold to $100 Million

 

Updated Definition of “Small” Means Relief for Hundreds More Credit Unions
More than three-quarters of all federally insured credit unions will be classified as small entities under the final rule (Part 791) and interpretive ruling and policy statement (IRPS 15-1) approved by the NCUA Board.

The Board’s action raises the asset ceiling for a “small” credit union from $50 million to $100 million under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The change makes an additional 733 federally insured credit unions eligible for special consideration of regulatory relief in future rulemakings and assistance from NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives, including training and consulting. In all, 4,690 federally insured credit unions will be classified as small.

“The asset ceiling for small credit unions is now 10 times higher than when I became Chairman in 2009 and 100 times higher than when I first joined the Board in 2002,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “When I returned to the Board, CEOs of small credit unions told me the definition hadn’t kept pace with credit union trends, so updating this definition became part of my Regulatory Modernization Initiative.”

Matz said the Board considered even higher thresholds, as some advocated, but determined they would be difficult to justify with economic data.

“In today’s credit union system, an asset threshold above $100 million is the logical floor for complex credit unions, and our data analysis shows a threshold under $100 million meets the modern definition of a small credit union,” Matz said. “If we had chosen the same small entity threshold of $550 million as the banking industry is required by law to do, we would have created five times the asset exposure to the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.”

In approving the $100 million asset ceiling, the NCUA Board analyzed a wide range of metrics, including growth rates for assets, deposits, loans and membership; the ratio of operating costs to assets; and merger and liquidation rates.

Pages - NCUA Board Doubles Small Credit Union Threshold to $100 Million

Monday, September 14, 2015

Fire Family Foundation Establishes Middleton Relief Fund to Support Local NoCal Communities Devastated by Fire

MEDIA CONTACT: Robin McCarthy
323 550 2208

Fire Family Foundation Establishes Middleton Relief Fund to Support Local NoCal Communities Devastated by Fire

September 14, 2015 – Los Angeles/Middleton, CA: Responding to the emergency of deadly wildfires that are currently blazing through Northern California, the California Credit Union League and Fire Family Foundation (www.FireFamilyFoundation.org), the charitable hand of Firefighters First Credit Union, have partnered to create the Middletown Relief Fund.

Located in Lake County, Middletown was devastated by a fast-moving wildfire that erupted Saturday afternoon; thousands have left their homes and four firefighters were critically injured with second degree burns.

The Middletown Relief Fund will dedicate 100% of the funds raised to those in these areas from Napa to Sacramento. As it has done for other firefighters and fire victims, the funds will be used to pay expenses for everything from food to mortgages/rent.

"Our firefighters are facing immense obstacles and frankly, awful conditions in this tremendous heat, while the fire continues to rage and spread," explains Mike Mastro, Chair, Fire Family Foundation Board, and CEO/President, Firefighters First Credit Union. "Our commitment is to firefighters. We have always been there to help our firefighters and now those injured need our help even more."

Diana Dykstra, President/CEO of the California Credit Union League, comments on the unique partnership, "Credit Unions are part of the community. We are marshaling credit unions across California to aid in helping those affected by this destruction. When one suffers we believe in banding together to help and serve. Some of our member credit unions are in these local communities, and yes, they truly need us now. Working through Fire Family Foundation, we can serve those affected.”

The Foundation is a nonprofit organization currently helping Firefighter Damien Pereira who was critically injured earlier this year fighting a wild land fire. A limb fell on him and the 27-year old is paralyzed from the waist down.

All donations to the Middleton Relief Fund are tax deductible. To make a donation, visit www.FireFamilyFoundation.org and enter Middleton Relief Fund for tribute gift or make checks payable to Fire Family Foundation, 815 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041 with a notation: Middleton Relief Fund.

ABOUT FIRE FAMILY FOUNDATION

Fire Family Foundation responds when tragedy affects firefighters and fire victims. A nonprofit founded by the respected Firefighters First Credit Union, Fire Family Foundation offers immediate assistance to firefighters and their families, fire victims, fire departments, and charities. The Foundation believes that by coming together as a “Fire Family,” assistance can be provided to those impacted by fire. Learn more at www.FireFamilyFoundation.org.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Auto Link Now Available to NCOFCU Members

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. 



Now special discounts for NCOFCU Members, visit NCOFCU Member Benefits 
http://www.ncofcu.org/Member-Benefits 

Plus Your Members Get a myEZ Car Care® VIP package

Get continual marketing touch points to engage your members throughout the entire vehicle ownership lifecycle.

Any member with a vehicle will enjoy the savings and convenience of using your credit union branded wallet card and mobile or desktop app to save money and properly care for their vehicles.
Your credit union will be top of mind as the myEZ Car Care® program continually reminds them of how you care about their vehicle ownership experience.
myEZ Car Care® membership comes with discounts on the following services:
  • Vehicle Repair, Service and Maintenance
  • Rental Cars from Avis, Budget, Dollar, and Thrifty
  • Hotels, Resorts, and Vacation Rentals
  • Electronic Glove Box® for Desktop and Mobile Ap
For more information contact:
Ed Bourgeois
myEZ Car Care, LLC
304 Garden Road
River Ridge, LA  70123
ebourg@myEZCarCare.com
504-273-0337

Saturday, August 29, 2015

NCOFCU Annual Meeting & Election

Notification of Annual Meeting & Election

Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting of the members and Election results of NCOFCU will be held Saturday October 10th, 2015, 10:00 AM at NCOFCU’s Annual Meeting & Educational Conference in Nashville, TN.

Directors Election

The Board of Directors Election will be held by electronic ballot and the results will be announced at the Annual Meeting.

  • Nominations for the 3 recurring positions up for re-election are required to be either a staff member or volunteer of a paid member credit union.
  • Apply through the Nominating Committee by completing the Directors application on-line at; Directors Application   no later than 9/11/2015 11:59 p.m.

Protecting and preserving the vision and purpose of firefighter credit unions is paramount to the continued success of the firefighter credit union movement. The National Coalition of Firefighter's Credit Unions Inc. (NCOFCU), a 501 c 3 not for profit, is the only organization exclusively representing firefighters and their credit unions.  The coalition meets once a year at their annual conference and continues their established relationships through NCOFCU's Website, Newsroom, Facebook and Twitter This exclusive networking leads to the continued discussions of best business practices, products and services which cannot be found anywhere else.

Membership in NCOFCU is a great opportunity for your credit union to protect and preserve the vision and purpose of Firefighters and their Credit Unions by joining the coalition. Membership Application

Sincerely,

Grant Sheehan Executive Director/CEO
National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc.
305-951-3306
grant@ncofcu.org

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Minutes Show Fed Believes Economy ‘Approaching The Point’ Of A Rate Increase

 

SlideWASHINGTON — Federal Reserve officials believe the economy is “approaching the point” where “policy firming” will be needed—in other words, the point at which it will see a need to raise short-term interest rates.

The Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee released minutes of its July meeting yesterday with its members indicating they are still waiting on more evidence the economy has returned to solid footing before they will move on rates.

“Most judged that the conditions for policy firming had not yet been achieved, but they noted that conditions were approaching that point,” the released minutes state, adding nearly all of the FOMC committee members said “they would need to see more evidence that economic growth was sufficiently strong.”

Short-term interest rates have been near zero since the financial crisis, and regulators and other analysts have been cautioning credit unions for more than a year to prepare for a rate increase that has yet to materialize. Analysts continue to say they believe the Fed will move before year-end to raise short-term rates.

“Many members thought that labor market underutilization would be largely eliminated in the near term if economic activity evolved as they expected,” the minutes said.

The Federal Reserve has said it anticipates inflation will increase in the months ahead. Prices, excluding energy and food, are up 1.8% this year over 2014.

The minutes show that most committee members, including Chairwoman Janet Yellen, say they do not see a need to wait for prices to continue to increase before they would favor raising rates.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Boston Fire Dept. Gets Cancer Awareness Program

www.FireFighterCloseCalls.com

All,

The Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) announced today it is providing occupational cancer awareness and prevention training to the Boston Fire Department (BFD). Since Commissioner Joe Finn  took the reigns, among numerous leadership changes, CANCER and his IAFF Local 718 Firefighters have become a major priority.

As you know, cancer is

the leading cause

of firefighter line-of-duty deaths in the United States. Cancer caused 60 percent of line-of-duty deaths for career firefighters between 2002-2014, according to International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) data. Naturally, volunteer and call Firefighters across North America even more so increase the overall numbers. DO YOU REALIZE:

Cancer has caused 67 (SIXTY SEVEN) percent of the Boston Fire Department's line-of-duty deaths for the same period....

"Boston firefighters develop cancer at a rate two-and-a-half times higher than other Boston residents," said BFD Commissioner Joseph Finn. "We have recognized cancer's effect on our firefighters, and FCSN's department-wide prevention training is an important part of our ongoing, comprehensive safety, health, and wellness program."

FCSN collaborated with Finn and leaders of IAFF Local 718 to bring its cancer-prevention training to Boston. "Since 1990, the Boston Fire Department has lost 160 members to cancer,"

said Richard Paris, president of IAFF Local 718. "It's a staggering number. We know that cancer is killing our members, and we're making a collaborative effort to save the lives of Boston firefighters. FCSN's training focuses on preventive measures the department and firefighters can take to reduce exposure to carcinogens and help avoid contracting this deadly disease."

FCSN President Bryan Frieders, a division chief with the San Gabriel (CA) Fire Department, praised Boston's collaborative, aggressive approach to reducing firefighters' occupational cancer risk. "Addressing the occupational cancer epidemic requires a cultural change for the fire service," Frieders said.

"Joe Finn and Richie Paris are leading from the front. Their work together with FCSN illustrates how effective labor-management relationships can be to enhance the safety and well-being of firefighters."

FCSN's training for the Boston Fire Department's 1,400 members began in July. Russell Osgood, a firefighter with the Portsmouth (NH) Fire Department and an FCSN state director, is FCSN's lead instructor for the Boston training. The Boston training is part of an FCSN pilot program funded by a FEMA Fire Prevention and Safety grant. FCSN's firefighter cancer prevention pilot combines FCSN's proven awareness and prevention training with a new train-the-trainer component. The train-the-trainer component will help FCSN ensure consistent, accurate education delivered with highly personal interaction by fellow firefighters and other qualified instructors. Please direct inquiries about FCSN's firefighter cancer prevention pilot to Tim Elliott

attelliott@fcsn.net.

FCSN's 2013 white paper, "Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service," provides lifesaving details about recognizing and reducing firefighters' cancer risks. An excerpt with 11 immediate actions firefighters should take to protect themselves, their families, and their fellow firefighters is available as a free download from http://bit.ly/1HH4zVA. The full white paper is available as a free download HERE:

http://www.firefightercancersupport.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Taking-Action-against-Cancer-in-the-Fire-Service.pdf

Take Care. Be Careful. Pass it On.

BillyG

The Secret List 8-3-2015-1445 hours

www.FireFighterCloseCalls.com

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=4162d8d3-c4f6-4310-b07e-bc631cc9fc2b&c=6a2ac1a0-cd33-11e3-b78e-d4ae527b79b7&ch=6b20e170-cd33-11e3-b7e0-d4ae527b79b7

Friday, July 31, 2015

Fed still holds off on rate increase | 2015-07-30 | CUNA News

 

WASHINGTON (7/30/15)--Citing “moderate” economic expansion, the Federal Open Market Committee continues to do “a balancing act,” said CUNA Senior Economist Perc Pineda.

The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy-making body completed its meeting Wednesday without edging up the federal funds interest rate. Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said the committee will opt for an interest-rate increase sometime this fall. The July meeting, however, was not the time.

“The Federal Reserve continues to do a balancing act: the U.S. economy is not in a recession and definitely not overheating,” Pineda told News Now. “Changes in monetary policy after all are meant to influence an underperforming or an overheating economy.”

Household spending growth has been moderate, and housing has shown additional improvement, the committee said. Labor conditions continue to improve with declining unemployment and solid job gains.

Inflation is anticipated to remain near its recent low level in the near term, but the committee expects it to gradually rise to 2% over the medium term.

“The Committee currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run,” it said in its statement at the conclusion of Wednesday’s meeting.

Pineda said, “My sense is that raising federal funds rate is really a continuation of the gradual normalization of monetary policy that started last year with the end of quantitative easing (QE). If you look at the trend, monetary base has started to decrease last year when QE ended.  We at CUNA had said before that a rate lift-off may have some ‘announcement effect’ but definitely is not going to stall U.S. economic expansion.”

The baseline forecast is for the Fed to begin normalizing interest rates in September--the first of two increases this year--by raising the target range for the fed funds rate to between 0.25% and 0.5% from between 0% and 0.25%.

“If the Fed doesn’t begin normalizing interest rates in September it will be because of low inflation or strains in global financial market,” said Moody’s analyst Ryan Sweet (Economy.com July 29).

The committee next meets Sept. 16-17.