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Breach At Michaels Stores Cancellation of Debit Cards

CHICAGO-Credit unions and banks around the country were frantically cancelling debit cards last week after Michaels Stores announced that fraud stemming from tampered checkout line terminals at its stores had spread across 20 states.

Chicago's Credit Union 1 posted a warning on its website: "Due to an enormous surge in fraudulent 'PIN based' ATM transactions in California throughout the financial industry, Credit Union 1 has shut down the availability of 'PIN based' ATM transactions in California only. Effective immediately, when a 'PIN based' transactions occurs in California, your Credit Union 1 Visa Debit card will be 'flagged' and will not be able to be used again."

Michaels identified 90 key pads that were tampered with in 20 states. Debit card fraud is worse for consumers than credit card fraud. In the case of Michaels' stores, many customers had money stolen directly from their bank accounts via ATM withdrawals.


NCUA Expands Disaster Relief To Additional States

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA last week expanded its disaster relief policy to assist CUs and members in dealing with local recovery efforts and flooding expanded into Missouri, Tennessee, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Louisiana.

Under the agency's disaster assistance policy in relation to communities covered by a presidential disaster declaration, NCUA will, where necessary: Encourage credit unions to make loans with special terms and reduced documentation to affected members; Reschedule routine examinations of affected credit unions if necessary; Guarantee lines of credit for credit unions through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund; and make loans to meet the liquidity needs of member credit unions through the Central Liquidity Facility.

For info: www.ncua.gov.


Hidden River To Be Less Hidden

POTTSVILLE, Penn.-Hidden River CU, a $110 million credit union serving the education community in Schuylkill County, has been approved by state regulators to convert to a community charter serving all 150,000 people in the county. The credit union was chartered in 1953 as Schuylkill County School Employees CU.


Webinar Focuses On ERM Solution

CLEVELAND-Sarah Lawson, IIT specialist with Alcoa Tenn FCU, and Steve Comer, CU industry manager with Hyland Software, will join with Credit Union Journal to lead a webinar on enterprise content management and the fundamental changes it can lead to in the way business gets done on May 19 at 11 a.m. EST.

The webinar is free, and will address compliance with Check 21 standards, strategies for educing member wait times and fees, and eliminating concerns over disaster recovery.

For info: www.cujournal.com/subscribe/lead_webinar.html?product_id=1008141&?st=Pmail&s=


Washington Savings Lottery Official

OLYMPIA, Wash.-Governor Christine Gregoire has signed the new law allowing credit unions to offer prize-linked savings contests.

"With the household savings rates of Americans in a decade-long decline, this legislation law will allow financial institutions to encourage savings with innovative solutions," said John Annaloro, president of the Northwest CU. "Credit unions are seemingly the only group offering such innovative solutions to a complex societal trend."

Washington follows last month's passage of a similar bill allowing savings lotteries in Nebraska.


CU-Turned-Bank Figure Base Retires

PLANO, Texas-Gary Base, a longtime credit union executive who turned heads in 2005 when he converted his $1 billion Community CU to a bank, announced his retirement at the end of the year, after 25 years with the institution.

Base was a popular figure in credit unions and even served as chairman of the Texas CU Commission when he took the unpopular move of switching to a bank charter. The plot thickened when Community and nearby OmniAmerican FCU had to go to court to block NCUA's efforts to stop their conversions. Since the 2006 conversion to mutual savings bank ViewPoint Bank has grown to $3 billion in assets.

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