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Loan Growth Remains Strong During October

MADISON, Wis.-Loan growth continued to be strong at credit unions in October, according to CUNA. Loans expanded by 0.6% during October, pushing year-to-date loan growth to 9.2%, the strongest since 2000. Home equity loans led the way for the month, growing by 2.7%; while adustable-rate real estate loans grew by 1.3% and new car loans by 1.1%. Unsecured personal loans, fixed-rate mortgages and credit card loans all declined during the month. Share growth rebounded in October after two down months, rising to 1%. Share growth through the first 10 months of the year was 5.2%.

FCUs Can Recover Costs On Insurance

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-A federal credit union may recover costs incurred when investing in a life insurance product to fund an employee benefit, NCUA said in a new legal opinion letter. So if the credit union were to promise an employee a $500,000 retirement benefit that costs the credit union $250,000, the credit union may plan on a $750,000 payout when the retirement benefit becomes due. The FCU may also recover certain opportunity costs, such as cost of funds to finance the employee benefit, but must adopt an "appropriate, conservative" approach to doing so, NCUA said.

Remittance Deal In Mexico

LOS ANGELES-No Borders Inc. said it has signed a remittance deal with a Mexican credit union association that allows Mexican credit union members to use the company's No Borders Stored Value Card to send money from the U.S. to Mexico at low cost. Under the deal, No Borders will provide the Associacion Mexicana de Uniones de Credito del Sector Social with an advanced technology platform to offer a wide range of financial services to Mexican immigrants in the U.S. and their family members in Mexico. The association consists of 12 Mexican credit unions.

Members OK Endowment

RALEIGH, N.C.-More than 99% of members of State Employees CU approved a massive educational endowment program that will allow SECU to award four-year college scholarships at every one of the state's 341 public high schools and two charter schools. The "'People Helping People' High School Scholarships," each at $10,000, will be awarded for study at one of the 16 campuses of the University of North Carolina. The $3.5-million annual commitment, along with $580,000 to provide 116 two-year scholarships at the state's 58 community colleges, will be funded through its newly formed SECU Foundation. The credit union's members overwhelmingly agreed to let SECU route the $1 a month they pay for checking to fund the new foundation. The scholarships will be awarded for the first time to students entering a UNC institution in the fall of 2005. Preference will be given to public sector employees and their families who work in state and local government agencies served by the credit union.

Minn. CU Gets TIP Charter

MINNEAPOLIS-The Star Tribune Employees CU, one of the few single-sponsor credit unions, is believed to be the first state-chartered credit union to receive approval for a TIP (tradewide, industrywide or professionwide) charter pioneered by NCUA. State regulators said they have approved the $38-million credit union's application for a TIP charter serving all people working in the information media profession throughout the state.

The Credit Union Journal's On Deadline coverage is sponsored by Liberty. For info: www.libertysite.com.

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