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

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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 (, 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 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.


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

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 

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

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


Grant Sheehan Executive Director/CEO
National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc.

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


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

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 The full white paper is available as a free download HERE:

Take Care. Be Careful. Pass it On.


The Secret List 8-3-2015-1445 hours

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 ( July 29).

The committee next meets Sept. 16-17.

NCOFCU and Social Media

This is just a reminder that NCOFCU is is everywhere you want to be!

Stay informed as to what is happening at NCOFCU and the hundreds of followers of NCOFCU. Like Us, Follow Us

Stay in touch with the friends you meet at the conference, Share you thoughts and photos.

Check us out NOW at the above links..or

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Is Your Board Packet Online?


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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Join NCOFCU partner Vining Sparks this Thursday for their economic outlook webinar

Join NCOFCU partner Vining Sparks this Thursday for their economic outlook webinar

If you are a portfolio manager, CFO, or CEO/president be sure to join NCOFCU partner Vining Sparks this Thursday, July 16, at 11 a.m. ET for its third quarter economic outlook webinar. Webinar

Vining Sparks' Chief Economist Craig Dismuke will evaluate economic developments and fixed income sector performance to identify risks and opportunities within the U.S. market.

To attend this free webinar register today! You will receive instructions to access the webinar after your registration is confirmed. If you do not receive a registration confirmation email, please contact Vining Sparks via email.

This educational event is offered to institutional investors only. Vining Sparks is a member of FINRA/SIPC.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Firefighters First Credit Union President & CEO Mike Mastro -35 years of legendary service

MikeMastroBlogImg"We would like to congratulate and to thank Firefighters First Credit Union President & CEO Mike Mastro for providing 35 years of legendary service and leadership to the Credit Union and its members! Mike joined the Fire Family in 1980 as an accounting and investment controller and quickly worked his way up to President/CEO. Today, Firefighters First exclusively serves full-time, paid, active and retired professional firefighters and their families throughout the State of California, and has over 32,000 members and assets of $1 billion

Firefighters First Credit Union
Board of Directors and Staff

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

NAFCU Opens Membership to State-Chartered Credit Unions


MONTREAL — In a surprise move Tuesday afternoon, NAFCU announced that it is broadening its membership to include federally insured, state-chartered credit unions, putting it directly at odds with CUNA, which had previously been the only trade group representing both types of CUs.

The expansion, effective immediately, has the potential to massively grow NAFCU's member base. According to the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS), there are more than 2,500 state-chartered CUs, 95% of which are federally insured.

"The NAFCU Board made this unanimous decision because our industry is rapidly evolving, and in a changing marketplace, credit unions are seeking more from their advocacy organizations," NAFCU president and CEO Dan Berger said in a statement from Montreal, where the trade group is currently holding its annual convention. "We've heard that message and are ready to rise to the challenge."

CUNA Media Relations Manager Vicki Christner said her trade group does not comment on the internal workings of other trade groups.

NAFCU already represents several state-chartered CUs that were grandfathered into membership after converting from federal to state charters. Moving forward, state charters will join as associate members of NAFCU.

Ed Templeton, chair of NAFCU's board of directors, called the expansion "a natural evolution of NAFCU's mission" in that it "supports our goal to help all credit unions with federal issues by becoming a stronger, more impactful organization."

NAFCU's shift to serving state-chartered credit unions adds fuel to the fire for those who say credit unions are over-represented by having two major trade groups that are often in lockstep (though not always).

Raleigh. N.C.-based State Employees' CU — one of the nation's largest credit unions — disaffiliated from CUNA last year in part due to concerns about the future structure of the organization.

NAFCU also released a video with more information on the change.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

NCOFCU Conference Scholarships - It Is Not Too Late! – Scholarships are still available

“Conference Scholarships”  First Time Attending or Just Need A Little Help?

The National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. (NCOFCU) offers   Conference Scholarships to credit unions wishing to apply for assistance to offset the cost of sending a representative from their credit union to the conference.

By offering these educational conference scholarships, NCOFCU is moving towards their vision to educate, create and maintain a climate of safety, soundness, innovation and unity among firefighter credit unions.

Application can be found at; Conference Scholarships and apply for the one that would encourage your credit union to be represented at our annual educational conference.

  • Conference Registration - Based on current registration
  • Transportation - $400 towards one round trip airfare
  • 3 Room Nights - includes tax based on current hotel rates
  • Full Conference Registration - for one (1) attendee which covers, as indicated above:
    • Registration,
    • Transportation
    • Room (3 Nights)

 Conference Scholarships

All scholarships will be reviewed by the Scholarship Committee and awarded reference to need and availability of funds.
Michael R. Tobler Chairman of the Board
National Coalition of Firefighter Credit unions

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Early Bird Expires July 1St.


NCOFCU Conference Nashville, TN 2015
October 7-10, 2015

Don’t miss out on the Early Bird pricing!

Register On-Line now at 

Mail in Registration click HERE or 

If you need more time let us know at

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

We need our members of Congress to support the Data Security Act of 2015, S. 961, and the companion House bill, H.R. 2205.

Good Afternoon Everyone,

We know that as credit union employees and volunteers, you understand the impact of the data breaches at large retailers like Target, Home Depot and Michaels. These breaches have been costly to your credit union and frustrating for your members.

We are writing to share that newly introduced bills in each chamber of Congress will hold merchants accountable when they are responsible for a breach of consumer data. We need our members of Congress to support the Data Security Act of 2015, S. 961, and the companion House bill, H.R. 2205.

These bills strengthen merchant security standards to be comparable with those of credit unions and mandate a federal notification requirement for merchants when breaches occur. Additionally, each bill provides a floor for data security standards nationwide and also includes the important provision to exclude financial institutions from the requirements as they are already subject to rigorous standards under the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (GLBA).

NCOFCU is working with Credit Union Leagues to make sure our members of Congress understand just how important this issue is to credit unions and our members. The credit union Leagues are initiating a ten-week grassroots campaign and NCOFCU will participate this week in this statewide grassroots effort.

Please take a moment through links below to send an email today to your members of Congress. The email addresses and a pre-written message are provided through the CUNA’s Grassroots Action Center. There is a sign in process so that the correct Representative is selected. the process is easy and will just take a few minutes.

Take action with members of the US House

Take action with members of the US Senate

Thanks in advance for your participation in this important grassroots campaign!

Monday, June 8, 2015


Credit Union Shared Branching Network Now Third Among Financial Institutions

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (June 8, 2015) - CO-OP Shared Branch has surpassed Bank of America in number of branch offices, and is now the nation's third largest network of financial institution branches, according to data drawn from the FDIC.

CO-OP Shared Branch comprises 5,341 branches, compared to Bank of America's 5,244 branches. The figures were compiled by CO-OP Financial Services on May 19, 2015, and retrieved from the FDIC's "Find Banks" page at

"We have achieved a significant milestone by reaching more than 5,300 branches, but the sky is still the limit for our industry's unique shared branching concept," said Stan Hollen, President/CEO, CO-OP Financial Services. "There are about 1,800 credit unions participating in shared branching, offering convenient branch access to more than 52 million members wherever they may travel in the United States.

"In addition to member convenience, shared branching offers a means of generating revenue and operational efficiencies for participating institutions," said Hollen. "If all of the nearly 7,000 credit unions in the U.S. were part of shared branching, our locations would number about 21,000."

The credit union industry's shared branch network is also gaining fast on the two remaining networks with more branches. Chase has 5,892 branches and Wells Fargo has 6,392 according to the same FDIC source.

In addition to the more than 5,300 "live teller" branches, CO-OP Shared Branch also includes nearly 1,800 self-service kiosks within select 7-Eleven stores nationwide.


A business unit of CO-OP Financial Services (, CO-OP Shared Branch is the credit union movement's national network for extending branch services to members between institutions. Members of participating credit unions can enter the branch of any other participating credit union and transact account-related business as if they were in their own home branch.

To find a CO-OP Shared Branch location, or a CO-OP ATM, visit

For more information, visit

About CO-OP Financial Services
Based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and founded in 1981, CO-OP Financial Services is the nation's largest credit union service organization in terms of number of credit unions, assets and members. The company helps credit unions thrive by providing products and services that make it more convenient for members to do business with them. With a motto of "Be There. Be More," CO-OP's products fall into three business lines, including "Locations," (ATM, shared branching and call center services); "Card Payments" (debit and credit processing) and "Mobile/Virtual" (mobile, online, check imaging, bill pay services). To learn more visit

Thursday, June 4, 2015

IWS Acquisition Corporation Is 2015 Official Conference Sponsor of National Coalition of Firefighter Credit Unions Annual Meeting


Margaret Blankers
MJB Public Relations Group
866.714.7041 ·

IWS Acquisition Corporation Is 2015 Official Conference Sponsor of National Coalition of Firefighter Credit Unions Annual Meeting

Boca Raton, FL. (June 4, 2015) – IWS Acquisition Corporation (IWS) is pleased to announce it is the Official Conference Sponsor for The National Coalition of Firefighter Credit Unions (NCOFCU) 2015 Annual Conference. The Conference, “By Firefighters for Firefighters, will be held in Nashville Oct. 7-10. NCOFCU is the nation’s premier professional association of credit unions serving firefighters and their families.

“We are thrilled to welcome IWS as this year’s Official Conference Sponsor,” said Grant J. Sheehan, Executive Director & CEO of NCOFCU. “I have firsthand experience with IWS’ dedication and commitment to our brotherhood of credit unions. For five years, we have been pleased to partner with and endorse IWS’ suite of vehicle protection products to our members, and theirs. By stepping up its role at the conference, IWS is further demonstrating its support for firefighters and the credit union community.”

“IWS is proud to be this year’s 2015 Official Conference Sponsor,” said James H. Hawk, President/CEO of IWS. “We share the Coalition’s commitment to providing relevant and constituent-customized financial literacy training, as well growth-oriented auto lending protection products and non-interest income generating programs to our nation’s firefighter credit unions. Structured in a peer-to-peer, roundtable discussion format that resembles IWS’ annual Top Achievers Conference we look forward to an active conversation on the issues and opportunities presented to this important group of executives.”

For more than 20 years, IWS has partnered with credit unions nationwide to deepen their member relationships, offering products such as Vehicle Service Agreement (VSA), Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI), and Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP). “Our desire is to stay focused on what we do best; provide outstanding products and unsurpassed customer service,” said Hawk.

For more information contact Jack Chadam, IWS National Marketing Manager, at (561) 981.7012 or

About IWS Acquisition Corporation

Based in Boca Raton, FL IWS Acquisition Corporation is a well-known provider of Vehicle Service Agreements (VSA), Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI), and GAP to credit unions nationwide. IWS provides vehicle protection solutions and peace of mind for credit union members that go beyond the actual products to include service after the sale. The company’s proven success in meeting this need is based on its ability to train credit unions to match members with the right product to fit their need. For more information, visit

About the National Coalition of Firefighter Credit Unions

The National Coalition of Firefighter Credit Unions (NCOFCU) is a non-profit 501©3 professional association of credit unions serving firefighters and their families. The purpose of the NCOFCU is to provide financial literacy training to firefighters serving as volunteer credit union directors, supervisory and credit committee members; to promote the growth, viability and unity of firefighter credit unions; and to facilitate opportunities for partnerships and collaboration among its membership. For more information, visit .

# # #

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day


A Memorial Day Observance Speech
by Johnny Q. Gogue III

Memorial Day – For most it is a three-day weekend, filled with bar-b-que’s and picnics . . . A time to get away from the normal humdrum of the week. For other’s it’s the beginning of summer, a time to look towards the long lazy days and a time to plan your summer get-a-ways. Though for some, Memorial Day holds a special significance.

On May 5, 1868, an order issued by General John Logan established a day of remembrance for those soldiers who died during the Civil War. May 30, 1868, was the day designated for this observance and flowers were placed on the graves of the fallen soldiers of both the Union and Confederate Armies. New York was the first state to officially recognize this observance in 1873 and in 1971 with the passage of the National Holiday Act; Memorial Day was designated as the last Monday of May.

Now for many of us, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, and the Korean War are ancient history. The Vietnam War a fading memory. But with the recent Operations Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom we, the American people have once again been thrust into a position of remembering those who are fighting and dying today.

I, like my grandfathers, father, uncles and aunt before me, am a veteran. I am and was proud of serving in the Armed Forces. I served in the Army from 1985 to 1994. I was in Operation Desert Storm/Shield. I know what Memorial Day is about.

I have two brothers who are currently serving. One brother is serving in the Navy in Italy. My youngest brother, who is currently serving in the Army, is right now in Iraq supporting and defending his fellow soldiers. I know what Memorial Day is about.

Memorial Day for all soldiers is embodied in the words of the oath that you first take when you enlist into the service of the country:


This oath taken by each and every soldier exemplifies the reason why soldiers do what they do each and every day. Soldiers are defenders of the same principles that made this country great. They stand as Patriots to defend and protect the ideals and sentiments espoused in the Constitution of the United States. Soldiers bear true faith and allegiance to that document and they work, and live, within the Codes of Military Justice. Soldiers also obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Officers appointed over them. These truths are self evident in the everyday lives of soldiers.

Now, as we see our fellow citizens arrive back from a foreign land, we should not forget those words that each and every soldier spoke upon enlistment. Because when we look upon a returning soldier from conflict, a disabled veteran, or a grave marker – those words should ring in your conscience.

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic . . . streaming from the eyes of the returning soldier. That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the Officers appointed over me . . . sounding from the stumbling gait of the disabled veteran. According to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God . . . blasting from the cold stone face of a grave marker.

Remember those that gave their lives, so that we may continue to live in freedom as spelled out in the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence . . . Lest we forget.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Retirement Notice: Clint Hartmann CEO of Houston Texas Fire Fighters FCU is Retiring!

The Board of Directors of Houston Texas Fire Fighters FCU has announced that Clint Hartmann is retiring in March 2016 as President/CEO after 12 years of distinguished service.

After graduating with his MBA and working several years in finance and accounting, Hartmann began his credit union career at Tropical Telco FCU (now Tropical Financial CU) in 1983 as Assistant Controller. Over the next 25 years, Hartmann served as President and CEO of credit unions with the Martin Marietta and the University of South Florida, where he learned to respect and appreciate the membership aspect of the credit union philosophy. He was named President and CEO of HTFFFCU in 2004.

Hartmann cites that his biggest challenge as CEO was navigating through the recent recession and collapse of the corporate credit union network, a challenge that hurt many credit unions throughout the country.

“I am proud that we managed to work through these challenges while maintaining positive earnings and capital growth. We also did not reduce any employee benefits or lay off staff.”
Under Hartmann’s exceptional direction, the Credit Union has grown in assets from $165 million in 2004 to over $247 million as of March 2015. Under his leadership, the credit union’s technological potential grew from establishing a new updated website to now accepting mobile deposits—technology that rivals the big banks.

In addition to his time at HTFFFCU, Hartmann has been extremely active in the Credit Union industry, currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors of Corporate America Credit Union. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Houston Chapter of Credit Unions for 9 years–5 of those years as President. Much of his time with the Houston Chapter centered on fundraising efforts for community charities and political advocacy for the credit union industry in Texas.

“The Houston Chapter has accomplished a great many things while I have been on the Board but there are probably two that I am most proud of,” he stated. “The first is that we won chapter of the year for 4 consecutive years. This demonstrates the overall excellence of the chapter and its many efforts. The second and definitely the one I am most proud of is that the Chapter has donated over $400,000 to Texas Children’s Hospital. In addition, the chapter has a current pledge of $250,000 that will be met next year. Working with the volunteers for the chapter has been a rewarding experience.”

He and his wife will enjoy a pastime they have both looked forward to, seeing the country in their travel trailer.

"Leaving HTFFFCU is bitter sweet,” Hartmann said. “On the one hand I look forward to traveling and spending more time with my grandchildren. On the other I will miss the involvement with the Chapter and my colleagues. I will miss the staff at the credit union, especially the management team. Finally, I will miss the Board of Directors at HTFFFCU. They have been very supportive over the last 12 years. Something I truly appreciate.”

Friday, May 15, 2015

Great Things Happen When Firefighters Get Together

The Face-to-face interaction is the platform where collaboration begins, relationships are forged, and ideas are generated.”

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Firefighters First Credit Union, Fire Family Foundation Presents, the 2nd Annual Fire Boot Classic “Chips & Tequila” | Pasadena California,


Fire-Family-Foundations-Chips-TequilaBrookside Golf Club will turn into an evening of Vintage Mexico High Stakes poker tournament and bingo for the 2nd Annual Fire Family Foundation’s Fire Boot Classic on Saturday, May 16, 2015.

The evening consists of a high stakes poker classic, bingo, cigars, tequila tasting, silent auction, food/drink, and a fun photo booth by the students of Room 13 of Eliot Middle School in Pasadena. Adding to this is the equally fun-loving celebrity master of ceremonies Tim Conway Jr. Host of Tim Conway Jr. Show (KFI 640 AM, Actor Roger Mosley calling bingo alongside Pasadena Firefighters. Proceeds benefit the Fire Family Foundation, the charitable hand of Firefighters First Credit Union.

Recent Ways Fire Family Foundation Has Helped:

• Suddenly on Thanksgiving morning, the Fire Captain did not wake up; he left behind 4 devastated kids and a wife to face a changed world; Their December mortgage was paid by the Foundation
• Help with a down-payment for a newer car for a young family with a boy struggling with leukemia, and his granddad worked for LAFD; now the family can get him safely to his therapy
• Matching Red Cross’ donation to bury a 15-year old boy who had just arrived from Bangladesh, but was caught in an apartment fire.
• When a firefighter battled cancer and was unable to work he was about to lose his water service, but at 4 PM on a Friday afternoon the Foundation stepped in to help
• When a young firefighter returned home and died due to smoke in the lungs, the family wanted to come together, but one cousin was thousands of miles away. The Foundation paid to fly her out; she too is a firefighter and she attended her cousin’s funeral on what would have been his 32nd birthday.
• Hardware store gift card for a house fire victim, so she could return to her burnt home and try to clean up.

Pasadena Now » Fire Family Foundation Presents the 2nd Annual Fire Boot Classic “Chips & Tequila” | Pasadena California, Hotels,CA Real Estate,Restaurants,City Guide... -

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. - Leadership


NCOFCU Leadership
NCOFCU is governed by a 9 member Board of Directors elected by the member credit unions. The Board is comprised of Firefighter credit union executives and volunteers from across the US. The Board meets periodically by phone throughout the year, and twice in person, at the annual planning session and at the annual educational conference.
There are 5 standing committees that are charged with managing various facets of the organization. The Committees are Audit, Conference, Marketing, Membership, Nominating and 3 Associate Directors. Each committee sets their meeting schedule and is comprised of at least one board member and volunteers from the member credit unions. The committee chairmen reports their projects and progress directly to the Board of Directors.

National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. - Leadership

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Honolulu Fire Department Federal Credit Union one of Three Hawaii credit unions among nation’s least likely to fail

Apr 22, 2015

Ingram Publishing Jason Ubay  Reporter- Pacific Business News

Three Hawaii credit unions were among the 50 healthiest in the United States, according to an analysis by Sageworks Bank Information.

Kahului Federal Credit Union, Honolulu Fire Department Federal Credit Union and Hawaii Schools Federal Credit Union are among the top 50 healthiest credit unions and are less likely to fail, according to a study by Sageworks Bank Information, a web-based data platform that includes data on all U.S. banks and credit unions.

The study looked at financial data from the fourth quarter of 2014 for 6,000 credit unions across the country and calculated their Texas Ratios, an indicator of a financial institution’s health.

The Texas Ratio is determined by dividing the credit union’s nonperforming assets by the sum of its total net worth and loan loss reserve. Generally speaking, a high ratio means an institution has credit quality issues and a high risk of failure, while a low ratio is an indicator of a healthy institution. A ratio between 0.5-1.0 is a warning sign, while greater than 1.0 indicates a bank or credit union could fail.

Among Hawaii credit unions, Kahului FCU on Maui ranked seventh overall with a Texas Ratio of 0.000032 on $56.56 million in assets. Next highest was Honolulu Fire Department FCU, which had a Texas Ratio of 0.001292 on $64.1 million in assets, followed by Hawaii Schools FCU, which had a Texas Ratio of 0.001493 on $67.06 million in assets.

The study did not include financial institutions that carried no loans on their latest call reports, nor did it include credit unions under $50 million in total assets.

“Considering that credit unions have a more stringent cut-off than banks for non-performing loans, it’s impressive that each of these institutions has been able to keep asset quality so high,” said James Noe, an analyst at Sageworks, in a statement. “Each credit union highlighted on the top 50 list has a Texas Ratio of less than 0.003, which indicates a very healthy institution. We’ll continue to monitor the trend overall, but it seems like along with banks, credit unions are seeing solid health overall.”

Saturday, April 18, 2015

NAFCU: We've Always Opposed CFPB Rulemaking


First and foremost, let’s be clear: NAFCU listened to its members in 2009, and we listen to them now. We fight every day to make our members and the credit union movement stronger. As noted correctly in Ms. Anderson’s column, NAFCU has always been steadfast in strongly opposing the CFPB’s rulemaking authority over credit unions. At every possible opportunity, in hearings and in myriad letters to Congress, NAFCU has been unequivocal in its conviction.

Throughout the legislative negotiations in 2009, NAFCU strongly challenged the CFPB’s authority over credit unions.  Specifically, it was at the hearing before the House Committee on Small Business on Sep. 23, 2009, where Price Choppers Employees Federal Credit Union President and CEO Dawn Donovan, testifying on behalf of NAFCU, clearly stated our position. Notably, this was the only official hearing where credit union trade groups testified before Congress on financial reform, including the creation of the CFPB (earlier proposed as the CFPA). As Donovan pointed out:

“NAFCU does not believe such an agency should be given authority over regulated federally insured depository institutions, and opposes extending this authority to credit unions.

“As the only not-for-profit institutions that would be subject to the CFPA, credit unions would stand to get lost in the enormity of the proposed agency. Giving the CFPA the authority to regulate, examine and supervise credit unions, already regulated by the NCUA, would add an additional regulatory burden and cost to credit unions.

Over time in subsequent testimony, we have been unwavering about the CFPB and the dangers of overregulation on credit unions. 

As SRP Federal Credit Union President and CEO Ed Templeton, who is also NAFCU’s board chair, testified just this year:

“As expected, the breadth and pace of CFPB rulemaking is troublesome, and the unprecedented new compliance burden placed on credit unions has been immense.

“The impact of this growing compliance burden is evident as the number of credit unions continues to decline, dropping by 22% (more than 1,700) in institutions since 2007. A main reason for the decline is the increasing cost and complexity of complying with the ever-increasing onslaught of regulations. Since the second quarter of 2010, we have lost 1,100 federally insured credit unions, 96% of which were smaller institutions below $100 million in assets. Many smaller institutions simply cannot keep up with the new regulatory tide and have had to merge out of business or be taken over. Credit unions need regulatory relief, both from Congress and their regulators.”

Our position was not a politically popular one, nor was it an easy one to take. NAFCU’s board of directors and our lobbying team stood strong under unbelievable political pressure throughout the Dodd-Frank Act negotiations. But then again, NAFCU has never shied away from difficult positions. Over the years, NAFCU has always taken positions that are in the best interests of NAFCU members and the credit union industry. And that will never change.  

Ms. Anderson is also correct in noting that the CFPB represents a significant hazard for credit unions – especially when you consider that not all the Dodd-Frank rules have been implemented yet. According to the Davis Polk report, in the first quarter of 2015, 235 (60.3%) of the 390 total required rulemakings have been finalized, while 84 (21.5%) rulemaking requirements have not yet been proposed. With still so many rules outstanding, it is a rather ominous outlook for credit unions and all the more reason for us to stand fast by our position.

NAFCU continues to believe credit unions should be exempt from CFPB rulemaking, and we will continue to advance that with full vigor at every juncture possible because it is the right thing to do. For us, there is little comfort in being right and seeing our worst predictions regarding the burden of overregulation come to fruition while our industry erodes. 

B. Dan Berger is president/CEO of NAFCU. He can be reached at 703-522-4770 or

NAFCU: We've Always Opposed CFPB Rulemaking

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Follow-up to Operation Choke Point - NCUA Doesn’t Dictate Businesses CUs Can Serve


In response to a letter from House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz wrote that the NCUA has not and will not participate in Operation Choke point.

“NCUA does not dictate which businesses credit unions can serve as long as these businesses are legal and within the credit union’s field of membership, and the credit union can serve them safely and soundly,” she wrote in the letter dated April 15. “Going forward, the NCUA will continue to ensure that all our material and guidance clearly outline these policies.”

Matz explained that the NCUA issued a memorandum to all field staff in August of 2014, which stated the agency’s policy for opening and closing accounts is a decision generally left to the credit union.

“The decision may be based on a credit union’s particular business objectives, its evaluations of the risks associated with offering particular products or services and its capacity and systems to effectively manage those risks,” she wrote.

Mike Schuetz, owner of Hawkins Guns LLC in Wisconsin, has claimed the $272 million Heritage Credit Union in Madison, Wis. closed his account due to Operation Choke Point. Schuetz recorded a conversation with a branch manager who said the credit union was being pressured by regulators.

“They came in, looked at our books, looked at everything and said, ‘Here's some accounts we feel like we’re going to regulate you on,’ and they kind of put the screws to us on what we could and couldn't do type thing,” a manager stated in the recording. “We’re not anti-gun as a company but our hands are tied.”

Heritage’s CEO Anita Rauch told CU Times the account was closed for other reasons.

“Our position all along has been our inability to serve Mike at Hawkins Guns was simply a temporary situation,” she said. “It's not reasonable to think you can buy the software, plug it in and it just works. It takes a little bit of programming.”

Rauch said the credit union’s assets grew to $100 million in three years so the amount of monitoring for cash intense businesses increased.

“We began working on accommodating cash intense businesses no matter what the type of business. It wasn't strictly directed at guns or gun shop owners,” she said.

Matz: NCUA Doesn’t Dictate Businesses CUs Can Serve

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Compliance and How Much It Cost You!

Do you believe someone is actually measuring what and how much it costs to comply with all the new regulations.

BCI stands for Bank Compliance Index, a quarterly evaluation system created by financial experts at Continuity (formerly Continuity Control), a New Haven, Conn.-based provider of automated compliance solutions, to track the incremental burden on financial institutions of keeping up with regulatory changes. The number 1.35 represents the number of employees needed to address just the new regulations issued during the first three months of 2015.

“In real terms, Perdue said the BCI was calculated by measuring specific variables within the financial compliance realm. In this case, the 1.35 ranking is drawn from the efforts it would take to respond to the 61 new regulatory items issued during first quarter that comprised an aggregate 1,605 pages. At an estimated 331 hours necessary to address the regulations, multiplied by an average salary-and-benefits rate of $44.22 per hour for employees involved throughout the entire process, the financial cost of responding to new regulations would be $30,998 per institution for first-quarter activity.”

Read the complete report at; Webinar Discusses Hot Compliance Climate

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Mortgage Strategy With A 61% Growth Rate | Credit Unions


A Mortgage Strategy With A 61% Growth Rate

Investments in products, technology, and personnel contribute to tremendous mortgage loan performance at Ventura County Credit Union.

By Erik Payne

When CEO Joseph Schroeder started at Ventura County Credit Union in October 2009, total loan growth was decreasing at a negative clip of -6.02%; its loan-to-share ratio of 62.44% lagged behind its asset-based peers’ 78.45%; and its loan originations and efficiency ratio were underwhelming for an institution of its size.

Changes, specifically to the mortgage side of the credit union’s operations, were nigh.

“[Joe] told us to retool the department because we were not funding many loans for the size of the department,” says Jackie Benoun, vice president of lending at the credit union. “It was just not the bread and butter of the credit union, and Joe had the vision to think we could become more competitive.”  To read complete article follow this link ; A Mortgage Strategy With A 61% Growth Rate | Credit Unions

Friday, April 10, 2015

Operation Choke Point Accuser Speaks Out


Is your credit union being pressured by auditors to close or not open certain accounts because they feel they are too risky.

Not sure if you know about Operation Choke Point so I have included these 2 article's,

When Mike Schuetz, owner of Hawkins Guns LLC in Hawkins, Wis., asked the branch manager for an explanation, he was told the credit union had received pressure from regulators. He recorded his conversation with the manager, who also explained the credit union did not serve businesses associated with guns and ammunition.

Schuetz is convinced the situation occurred as a result of Operation Choke Point, which the U.S. Department of Justice established to reduce fraud and reputational risk to financial institutions by pressuring them to refuse business from risky sectors.

“They told me I had to close it because I was a high-risk industry and they were not able to service me,” Schuetz told CU Times. “The local manager had a clip board from which she read off of with certain industries listed.”  Operation Choke Point Accuser Speaks Out


House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling and other committee leaders have asked the NCUA and the CFPB to cease any enforcement of Operation Choke Point.

The lawmakers requested that the agencies publicly disclaim their past, present and future involvement in Operation Choke Point or any similar operation. The agencies were asked to clarify their policy for documenting and reporting orders to financial institutions regarding the termination of deposit account relationships. Lawmakers also requested a notice in writing from each agency to confirm that employees have been notified about the policy.  Lawmakers to NCUA: Abandon Operation Choke Point

Friday, March 13, 2015

The 10-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Worth Bragging About

Sound like anyone we know?

“Approximately half of its membership is 50 years old or older, says Star One marketing manager Susanna Fong. The 10-year mortgage is meant to entice those members close to retirement to bring their loans — including the remainder of a 30-year-mortgage — to the credit union.”

How Star One’s 14-month-old mortgage product attracts both young professionals and soon-to-be retirees.

By Erik Payne

For borrowers nearing retirement, desirable mortgage options are limited. Long-term loans can extend into retirement years and cut into savings earmarked for food, travel, and other expenses. Short-term loans can make budgeting difficult for the remaining working years.

Star One Credit Union ($7.2B, Sunnyvale, CA) understands that borrowers want to be free of loan obligations before they leave the workforce without breaking the bank to do so. So in January of 2014, the credit union introduced a promotional 10-year fixed-rate mortgage that charges no closing costs and models its rate after Fannie Mae.

Approximately half of its membership is 50 years old or older, says Star One marketing manager Susanna Fong. The 10-year mortgage is meant to entice those members close to retirement to bring their loans — including the remainder of a 30-year-mortgage — to the credit union.

“We thought lowering the term and eliminating closing costs would allow us to get those balances from other financial institutions,” says Victoria Tabler, real estate loan services manager at the credit union. “Someone with lower outstanding loan balance might not move to a different lender if they have to pay closing costs.”

A Low-Cost Loan

Star One removed all closing costs, such as credit reporting fees, appraisal fees, and escrow and title fees. And unlike rates on other 10-year fixed-rate mortgages — which can be as high as 3.3% — there is no gimmick to this refinance program.

“We do not increase the rate to compensate for the loss of the closing costs,” Tabler says. “In fact, we lower the rate to [meet] the market. It’s a true low-cost loan.”

Star One’s asset and liability committee (ALCO) reviews the product every quarter. The credit union initially designed the loan as a three-month promotion more than one year ago and is set to evaluate for the 5th time at the end of March, and Tabler is optimistic Star One will extend it.

The ALCO also reviews the rate every week and considers how current rates affect the profit margins. And depending on the loan amount — which can range from $50,000 to $500,000 — the credit union foregoes $1,500 to $2,000 in fees per loan. That’s not an insignificant amount to leave on the table, but the shorter term helps offset the interest rate risk of long-term loans.

New business also helps counterbalance the loss in fee income. To date, the credit union has processed more than 200, 10-year fixed-rate mortgages and holds a total portfolio of approximately $44 million on its books. That’s 20% higher than its initial projections.

Pricing And Underwriting

As of Dec. 31, 2014, Star One’s efficiency ratio — how much the credit union spends to create $1 of revenue — is 42.69%, well below state and asset-based peer averages. This performance allows the credit union to offer lower rates than competitors on the 10-year loan without sacrificing profit.

Although exact numbers are not available, Tabler says a study by its accounting department indicates these loans are profitable. Taking into consideration the variable interest rates — which have ranged from 2.25% to 2.75% in the past 14 months — and lost fee income, the study found that loans are profitable beginning at $200,000. Currently, the average loan balance is slightly less than $250,000.

Underwriting standards for the product are similar to the credit union’s other mortgage products and follow general Fannie Mae guidelines.

The maximum loan-to-value ratio the credit union will accept for cash-out refinances is 75%, however, it will grant purchase and limited cash-out transactions with ratios as high as 95%. For loans with LTVs that exceed 80%, Star One requires mortgage insurance.

A borrower’s debt-to-income ratio must be in line with the CFPB’s ability-to-repay guidelines and not exceed 43%. Although the credit union does not have specific requirements for credit scores, it diligently evaluates and documents all credit, income, assets, and collateral. Overall, Star One takes a more conservative approach to this shorter-term loan

“We review income, income stability, assets, and loan-to-value,” Tabler says. “Most important is ability to repay. This is a short-term loan and we don’t want members to realize it’s too hard to repay and need to extend it.”

The credit union originates loans through Accenture Mortgage Cadence before applying additional decisioning overlay with an in-house team of 10 underwriters, using Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter guidelines. In January of 2014, Star One received 111 applications. Since then, it has received approximately 16 applications per month. In total, it has received 291 applications and declined 38, Tabler says.

And although the credit union initially instituted this program to refinance borrowers closer to retirement, higher-income young professionals and first-time homebuyers who qualify based on the credit and income standards have also taken advantage of it. These “upscale” members — who are 35-to-55 years old and have household incomes of $125,000 or more — account for 30% of the loan’s borrowers, Fong says. To date, Star One has financed 10 purchase mortgages with the 10-year option.

Read more:

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Apple Pay Nearing Triple Digit Milestone


Apple PayFor Apple Pay, it’s 98 and counting. Apple confirmed on Tuesday (March 3) that 17 more financial institutions have gone live with full Apple Pay support in the past two weeks, bringing the total just shy of the century mark, 9to5 Mac reported.
To be clear, that’s not the number of banks and credit unions that have signed contracts to support Apple Pay — just the ones that have completed the transition. At least 500 more Visa card issuers — just Visa, not MasterCard — are in the process of setting up the necessary new technology, including tokenization for Apple Pay, Visa CEO Charlie Scharf told analysts during an earnings call in January.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously said that more than 2,000 financial institutions have signed up for mobile payments system.
The March crop so far includes just one bank — Bank of Hawaii, which says on its website that Apple Pay will be available soon for “select Bank of Hawaii debit cards” — as well as 16 credit unions: Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union; American Airlines Credit Union; Baxter Credit Union; CFE Federal Credit Union; Commonwealth Credit Union; Foothill Credit Union; Founders Federal Credit Union; IBM Southeast Employees Federal Credit Union; Lister Hill Credit Union; PenFed Credit Union; Royal Credit Union; Schools First Federal Credit Union; Spokane Teachers Federal Credit Union; Telhio Credit Union; University First Federal Credit Union; West Community Credit Union.
Credit unions make up more than half of the financial institutions that have gone live with Apple Pay so far.  In the past month, Apple Pay also got the nod as a standard for roughly 9 million Federal payment cards, including debit card accounts used for distributing Social Security and Veterans benefits. A Feb. 13 White House announcement said that both cards used for distributing federal benefits and those used for government employee expenses would support Apple Pay, though no date for those cards to go live was announced. Apple Pay will also be available for many transactions with the federal government, such as at national parks, starting in September.
Apple Pay Nearing Triple Digit Milestone

News & Buzz for Edu CUs: Apple Pay Nearing Triple Digit Milestone

Saturday, February 28, 2015

SBA partners with credit unions to boost Main Street

By Natalia Olson-Urtecho | Feb 27, 2015

Two out of every three new, private sector jobs are created by small businesses, making them unique cornerstones of America and the backbone of our economy. That’s why it’s so important for small businesses to have access to capital to start and grow their businesses.

To help bridge credit gaps, we at the U.S. Small Business Administration are partnering with credit unions. Credit unions in the mid-Atlantic region are incredibly important because they are community-based and mission focused. They help their members finance cars, homes, education, and of course, small businesses!

With this partnership we’re engaging 250 credit unions to approve at least 10 loans of $50,000 or less, injecting over $125 million into the small business economy. The economic influence of this partnership cannot be overstated. There are nearly 6,800 federally insured credit unions with over 100 million members and around $1 trillion in assets.

Additionally, this partnership meets our mandate of being “Smart, Bold, and Accessible” since small-dollar loans do not count toward the credit unions’ business loan cap. This provides flexibility to distribute small-dollar loans, which will increase access to capital to communities and fire up local economies.

This partnership is one of the many ways SBA is dedicated to creating jobs and tapping into America’s full entrepreneurial potential. We know that for those who dream big, work hard, and play fair to achieve the American Dream with the SBA, the possibilities are limitless!

Along with President Obama, we’re committed to moving America forward by making it easier for entrepreneurs to access fundamental tools and resources to start and grow new businesses. When we strengthen small businesses, we’re driving the overall economy, and increasing opportunities to small business owners and the middle class.

SBA has taken additional steps to boost small-dollar lending, which will also bolster our credit union partnership. We’ve streamlined credit evaluations by revising credit criteria for SBA 7(a) small dollar loans and we’ve zeroed out fees on small-dollar loans ($150,000 or less), making it easier for entrepreneurs to access capital by cutting costs and time.

So connect with your local credit union, and ask them to stay tuned for further details from SBA. For now, visit to learn more about how you can gain access to capital to jumpstart your business.

Natalia Olson-Urtecho
U.S. Small Business Administration Mid-Atlantic regional administrator

Friday, February 27, 2015

12 Strategies to Attract Young Members


I thought I would pass on this great article in the CU Times from the World Council of Credit Unions on 12 Strategies to Attract Young Members.

Grant Sheehan

Young members are the future of credit unions.

Yet, in many nations, the average age of credit union members is in the mid-to-to late 40s, according to the World Council of Credit Unions in Madison, Wis.

In the U.S., U.K. and Australia, the median member age is 47, while the median age of credit union members in Canada is 53. Nations with the youngest cooperative members are Afghanistan (25), Malawi and Kenya (30), Jamaica and Cameroon (35), Guatemala (36) and Ghana (38).

Read More 12 Strategies to Attract Young Members

Sunday, February 22, 2015




The Secret List

We regret to pass on to you notice that Houston (Texas) Captain Dwight Bazile, station 46 D shift, died in the Line of Duty today at 1815 Hours at Memorial Herman Hospital.  Captain Bazile collapsed on that fire scene Thursday, February 19th 2015 and has been fighting for his life at Memorial Herman Heart & Vascular Institute.  He is survived by his Wife Pamela Bazile, Son Dwight Bazile II, and Mother Charlotte Felder. We ask that you keep the family, of Captain Bazile, and the members of the HFD in your thoughts and prayers. RIP.

Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.


The Secret List 2/21/2015-2156 Hours

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Worcester Fire Chief Dio to retire - Worcester Telegram & Gazette -

Dieo Worcester  2

WORCESTER — When Fire Chief Gerard A. Dio retires at the end of this year, he will end a 35-year career with the department marked most distinctly by his efforts surrounding the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building fire in 1999.

Chief Dio was an incident commander on Dec. 3, 1999, the day the massive structure fire killed six local firefighters. In the days that followed, the soon-to-be fire chief put back-breaking, physically and emotionally exhausting, work into the site, searching for his colleagues. Then, in the evenings after grueling days, he would head over to the Worcester Fire Department Credit Union to handle administrative work.

At the office, Chief Dio would oversee the processing of thousands of contributions pouring in from around the world for families of the lost firefighters, totaling millions of dollars in the end. When honored with a community leadership award in 2000 for his efforts, he notably downplayed his efforts.

Chief Dio, 61, announced Friday he will step down after 15 years as leader of the department. The Worcester resident joined the ranks in 1980 and moved up quickly from there. He was appointed to a district chief spot in 1992 and then to a deputy position four years later before taking over as chief in 2000.

o retire - Worcester Telegram & Gazette -

Friday, February 13, 2015

Boston Firefighters Credit Union can open membership to police officers


By Deirdre Fernandes Globe Staff  February 12, 2015

The Boston Firefighters Credit Union will be able to open its membership to the city’s police officers and other law enforcement officials, a Suffolk County Superior Court judge ruled Thursday.

Judge Mitchell Kaplan rebuffed an attempt by the City of Boston Credit Union to stop the firefighters credit union from expanding its membership and taking away some of its most lucrative customers: police officers, who are among the highest-paid city employees.

The turf battle between the two financial institutions grew unusually emotional as they accused each other of distorting facts and invoking the events surrounding the Boston Marathon bombing to promote their cause.

David Cotney, the state’s commissioner of banks, had approved the firefighters’ expansion plans in November. But the city’s credit union filed a court injunction to stop it.

In his decision dismissing the case, Judge Kaplan said the commissioner’s decision could not be contested in court. Cotney determined that it will be up to the consumers to decide where to bank, the judge ruled.

Boston Firefighters Credit Union can open membership to police officers - Business - The Boston Globe

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NCUA Eyes $100M Small Credit Union Cap


WASHINGTON — The NCUA board will consider a proposal to raise the definition of a small credit union from assets under $50 million to assets under $100 million at the Feb. 19 board meeting.

”Increasing the threshold from $50 million to $100 million would provide special consideration for regulatory relief for an additional 745 credit unions in future rulemakings,” Larry Fazio, director of the NCUA Office of Examination and Insurance, said Tuesday at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on regulatory relief for small financial institutions.

If the threshold increase is approved, the NCUA estimated that hundreds of additional credit unions would fall under the definition of a small entity.

“Should the board adopt a $100 million threshold, 77% of all credit unions would be covered in future considerations of regulatory relief,” Fazio said in his written testimony. “Taking this action also would recognize the challenges encountered by credit unions below $100 million in assets, which have slower deposit growth rates, slower membership growth rates, and higher operating costs than peer credit unions above the threshold.”

Fazio recommended some field of membership changes that Congress should consider.

“Allowing federal credit unions that have a community or single common-bond charter the opportunity to add underserved areas would open up access for many more unbanked and under banked households to credit union membership,” Fazio said in his written testimony.

“This legislative change could also eventually enable more credit unions to participate in the programs offered through the congressionally established Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, thus increasing the availability of credit and savings options in distressed areas,” he added.

Fazio also said Congress could allow federal credit unions to serve underserved areas without requiring those areas to be local communities.

“NCUA stands ready to work with the Committee on these ideas as well as other options for adjusting field of membership requirements,” he said.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Firefighters First Credit Union’s Fire Family Foundation Provided Nearly $104,000 in Assistance to CA Firefighters and Fire Families in 2014


LOS ANGELES, CA -- As the charitable hand of the Los Angeles-based Firefighters First Credit Union, Fire Family Foundation distributed almost $104,000 in assistance to firefighters and fire families in 2014, providing hope and comfort to those in need.

Serving firefighters, their families and fire victims, the Foundation ensures donations go directly to those in need; assistance is distributed statewide and supports numerous individuals and organizations.

The Foundation assisted many in 2014, including:

· Daughter of a firefighter, three -year-old Cecilia has been battling cancer over half her life;

· The family of three-week old Harper who needed to be airlifted for life-saving heart surgery; her daddy too is a firefighter;

· Veteran firefighter Valerie who is battling cancer; the Foundation raised funds and participated in a volunteer work day to help with needed home chores and to create a backyard awning to help in her recuperation from intense chemotherapy;

· The family of Roger, a young Fresno firefighter who passed away in the line of duty; the Foundation helped reunite his close-knit family for his funeral –which took place on what would have been his 32 birthday;

· Chris, a young firefighter, was struck and killed by an errant driver leaving behind a pregnant wife and a young son;

· A local low-income emergency shelter lost its building in a fire; the Foundation made a donation toward the rebuilding effort; and

· Victims of the devastating Weed fire that tore through the community in Northern California.

“Our donations have greatly increased in the second half of the year due to the generosity of the firefighting community and the general public,” says Mike Mastro, President and CEO of Firefighters First who serves as the Foundation Board Chair. “This year, the Foundation touched countless lives and we are proud to be that helping hand to those who are grieving, in shock or feel like hope is lost.”

The Foundation in 2015 is continuing to reach out and respond to communities and the firefighters who serve them in times of need.

Learn more about Fire Family Foundation and individuals/organizations that it’s currently helping at Follow Fire Family Foundation on Facebook at


Fire Family responds when tragedy affects firefighters and fire victims.  The charitable hand of 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

The Foundation is based in Los Angeles, but serves the state of Cal