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Senators Back Plan For New GSE Oversight

WASHINGTON-A group of influential senators introduced legislation last week that would set a new regulatory scheme for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as the Federal Home Loan Bank System. The bill would create a new regulator for the three dominant players in the huge secondary market for mortgages, allow that regulator to set new capital standards, and provide for a government receivership in case of failure of one of the entities. It is sponsored by Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, John Sununu of New Hampshire and Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina.

Two Large Colo. CUs Planning To Merge

DENVER-DPS Credit Union and Safeway Rocky Mountain FCU announced plans last week to merge, pending regulatory approval and a vote by SRMFCU's members. Combined, the credit union will have $713 million and nearly 56,000 members. DPSCU President C. Alan Peppers will lead the new organization; Safeway RMFCU President Darrick Weeks will serve as an officer and oversee the credit union partnership implementation. The board of directors will be expanded to 11 members to allow for proportionate representation from both CUs.

CUNA Mutual Donates $100K For Tsunami

MADISON, Wis.-The CUNA Mutual Group, through its International Division, has donated $100,000 via the National Credit Union Foundation to the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund. The fund was created to help rebuild credit unions and those communities affected by the tsunami (see related story, page 18).

"The tsunami is a disaster of epic proportions. CUNA Mutual wants to assist in the credit union recovery effort," said Ralph Swoboda, senior VP of CUNA Mutual's International Division.

Discover, Wal-Mart Team Up

CHICAGO-Discover Financial, fresh off its acquisition of PULSE EFT, unveiled the first of a planned series of special label card deals last week with announcement of a co-branded credit card for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

The Wal-Mart Discover card, issued in conjunction with GE Consumer Finance, will carry no annual fee and offer cardholders up to 1% back from GE on all purchases. Discover executives said the deal is the first of many the new PULSE owner plans with banks, credit unions, GE and others to issue cards over its network.

The deal comes a week after Discover, a unit of Morgan Stanley, finalized its acquisition of PULSE, an electronic funds transfer network for 4,100 financials, including 1,700 CUs.

The deal was also made possible by last year's court decision ending exclusive issuing arrangements that Visa and MasterCard had with issuing institutions.

Youth Week Theme Chosen

MADISON, Wis.-"Want it...Save it...Get it!" has been chosen by CUNA as the theme for the upcoming National Credit Union Youth Week, April 17-23. CUNA said it was chosen to emphasize the correlation between goal setting and saving to a "young consumer group that already controls billions of dollars in economic activity, yet lacks fundamental financial literacy information." National Youth Week is now in its fourth year, and this year will bring the second annual National Youth Saving Challenge.

For info: www.cuna.org and click on the Youth Education link, or Philip Heckman at 800-356-9655, ext. 4088.

Nebraska CUs On Match-Up

OMAHA, Neb.-The Nebraska league has added its 73 member credit unions to the California league's Match Up website, enabling consumers to use the bilingual, online searchable database to search for specific Nebraska credit unions that they may be eligible to join. Nebraska has become the 25th state to be listed at www.howtojoinacu.org, bringing the total to some 5,709 participating CUs.

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