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NCUA Reduces Operating Fee Scale For 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA has reduced the operating fee scale for FCUs in 2011, the second consecutive year it has done so. For natural-person FCU, the 2011 operating fee assessment rate is 2.86% lower than the 2010 rate. As it also does annually, the agency has adjusted the asset ranges between the dividing lines on the operating fee chart based on projected asset growth. For 2011, those ranges are being adjusted upward by 3.4%. Credit unions will receive their invoice for their 2011 operating fee, along with any amounts needed to adjust their NCUSIF capitalization deposit, in March.


Invest In America Discount Plan Adds CUNA Mutual

LIVONIA, Mich.-Invest in America is partnering with CUNA Mutual Group to provide CU members with discounts on home and auto insurance.

The partnership, which begins in February, provides discounts through CUNA Mutual Group's MEMBERS Auto & Homeowners Insurance program. According to Lois Zajac, director of product management at CUNA Mutual Group, the partnership is a natural fit. "Almost 63% of today's auto insurance buyers get an online quote before purchasing a policy."

David Adams, president of CU Solutions Group, sees a "natural synergy" in the arrangement. Invest in America is operated by CU Solutions Group, a marketing, technology and human resources subsidiary of the MCUL.


CUNA To Host Roundtable For Small CUs At GAC

WASHINGTON-CUNA said it will host its first-ever Small Credit Union Roundtable as part of its Governmental Affairs Conference later this year. The event will be held from 1to 5 p.m. on Feb. 27, and will include three panel discussions and an address from CUNA CEO Bill Cheney. The panels will include the views of research experts, service providers and small credit union professionals as well as open forum discussion among attendees. The panels include a Collaboration and Cooperation Roundtable panel, a Regulatory Compliance panel, and the Open Forum. The event is being sponsored by CUNA Mutual.


Credit Union 1 In Merger

NARANTOUL, Ill.-Credit Union 1, one of the largest privately insured credit unions, has agreed to absorb via merger another failed privately insured credit union, $14-million Elgin City Employees CU. The $665-million Credit Union 1 has been active in mergers, acquiring two small credit unions in 2008, Douglas CU and J.W. Hobbs CU, and failed Cumorah CU, a privately insured, one-time $185-million credit union in Las Vegas.


NAFCU Nominates 2 For Panel

ARLINGTON, Va.-NAFCU has nominated to people for membership on the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group: Donna Brown, SVP-risk management with MIDFLORIDA Credit Union, Lakeland, Fla.; and Emily Borowski, director of risk assessment with Notre Dame FCU in Indiana. The group advises the Treasury secretary on BSA operations.


Teller Gets 3-Year Sentence

MACON, Ga.-A former head teller at MidSouth FCU last week was sentenced to three years in federal prison for stealing almost $625,000 from teller drawers and the cash vault between 2001 and 2007. Cox worked for the credit union for 17 years. A 2007 audit uncovered missing money. As part of her sentence, Cox was ordered to pay $624,000 in restitution.


Member Sues NFCU Over Calls

NEW YORK-A member of Navy FCU is suing the credit union for harassment over thousands of phone calls she says Navy Fed made to her home and work to collect on her Visa "N Rewards" card.

The repeated calls, an average of six-to-12 a day starting in October 2009, were in violation of the Fair Credit Billing Act provisions of Reg Z, the Truth in Lending Act, according to the suit filed by Carolee Dempsey, of Coram, N.Y. She claims the credit union's "merciless campaign to bully her into increasing her payments" included repeated verbal threats, including threats to garnish her child support payments and wages. When she stopped answering the calls after identifying Navy Fed through caller ID, the credit union would leave voice mail messages, she alleges.

The credit union member is asking the court to assess punitive damages for emotional distress, which manifested itself in stress, crying, anxiety, difficulty performing work and sleeplessness.

Officials at Navy Fed declined to comment.

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