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Freddie Mac Now Freddie Black After Surprising First Quarter

WASHINGTON -Freddie Mac has posted its first net profit in almost two years, earning $676 million in Q1, even after paying the U.S. Treasury a $1.6-billion dividend on the preferred stock it owns, the company reported last week. Freddie reported that its total earnings (before dividends) came to a stunning $2.7 billion in the quarter, one of its best ever. Not only did it earn money, but its net worth now stands at $1.2 billion. As a result, no additional funding from Treasury was required for the first quarter of 2011.

Freddie reported that the serious delinquency rate on its single-family loans fell to 3.63% at March 31, compared to 3.84% at year-end.

Congress continues to weigh options on how to dismantle the company and its sister firm, Fannie Mae. Both were placed into conservatorship in September 2008.


Myers Named To Head NCUA's Office of Small CUs

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA last week named Bill Myers, a pioneer in the community development movement and founder of New York's Alternatives FCU, to head its Office of Small CUs, which is tasked with assisting CDCUs. Myers, who chartered the Ithaca, N.Y., CDCU in 1979, retired from the credit union in 2008 and recently worked as a senior fellow at the Aspen Institute, where he also consulted on credit union economic development, community opportunity, and strategic planning.


Eakes Wins $100,000 Prize

NEW YORK-Martin Eakes, the creator of Self-Help community development credit unions on both coasts, was named by the Ford Foundation as one of 12 winners of its $100,000 Social Change Visionary awards. Eakes, who created the Center for Community Self-Help, which operates North Carolina's Self-Help CU and California's Self-Help FCU, was cited for his work combating abusive financial practices that target poor people and trap them in cycles of poverty. The Durham-based Center for Community Self-Help is also the founder and operator of the Center for Responsible Lending, a leading consumer lobby fighting abusive lending practices, and the Self-Help Ventures Fund, which helps finance community development projects.


NCUA Takes Over 2 CUs

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA took over two small credit unions last week. The $9-million Valued Members FCU in Jackson, Miss., and the $2.7-million Hmong American FCU in St. Paul, Minn., were both placed into conservatorship. Both remain open to members.


Sievewright To Head Fiserv Unit

BROOKFIELD, Wis.-Fiserv has named Mark Sievewright as president of its Credit Union Solutions group, replacing Scott Butler, who has left the company. Sievewright is well known to many credit unions, and has been a frequent speaker at various events, with 30 years in financial services, including positions with HSBC, MasterCard, Payment Systems, Inc., and TowerGroup (where he was CEO).


SSCU To Shut 2 Branches

LAS VEGAS-Silver State Schools CU last week said it would close two branches inside Albertson's Grocery Stores that have leases set to expire in 2011. At the same time, it said it would enhance the functionality of its online banking services. SSCU will continue to operate 12 branches in Las Vegas and one in Reno. It also belongs to a shared branch network.


TruStone To Absorb UCU

MINNEAPOLIS-The $665-million TruStone Financial FCU, based in nearby Plymouth, has agreed to merge into it troubled Ukrainian CU, as the credit union market in the Twin Cities continues its consolidation. Ukrainian CU is a one-time $8-million credit union that has reported losses in each of the last 11 quarters, as its net worth ratio declined to 6%.


Robber Picks Clever Disguise

SAN JOSE, Calif.-A man who robbed the Pleasant Hill branch of Pacific Service CU used the playoff fever gripping the region's hockey fans by donning a San Jose Sharks hockey shirt and team hat during a Tuesday holdup. Police acknowledged the description will be difficult to trace the robber because of the thousands of local hockey fans wearing similar garb during this week's NHL playoffs.

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