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New Group Wants CRA

For Largest CUs

WASHINGTON-Another advocacy group for low-income and minority lending has added its voice to those urging Congress to apply the Community Reinvestment Act to credit unions. In a letter sent to Rep. Michael Oxley (R-OH), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and the 69 other members of the panel, the Greenlining Institute said it will oppose the CU Regulatory Improvements Act unless Congress requires credit unions of more than $1 billion in assets to comply with CRA in exchange for broader business lending authority.

Robert Gnizda, general counsel for the Berkley, Calif.-based group, insisted they are not working in concert with the banks, which have been lobbying for CRA for credit unions for years. "The banks reasons are not our reasons," Gnizda, told The Credit Union Journal. "The banks are interested in decreasing competition. We're interested in increasing competition (for serving inner cities and low-income communitie."

In its letter, The Greenlining Institute urged Congress to compare the community service and investment of 20 of the largest credit unions with 20 comparably-sized banks subject to CRA, before passing CURIA. The Institute's initiative comes a month after the National Community Reinvestment Coalition issued a report highly critical of credit unions' service to the underserved and calling on Congress to pass CRA for credit unions, and two weeks after Rep. Barney Frank, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, told his home state Massachusetts Bankers Association he would be amenable to CRA for credit unions.

Phishing Attack At Navy Fed

VIENNA, Va.-Members of Navy FCU are being warned by the giant credit union that an e-mail claiming to be from NFCU and asking for their personal account information is another phishing expedition. The e-mail which sports a copy of the $24-billion credit union's logo and purports to be a "Navy Federal Credit Union Account Update," asks recipients to click on a link, which takes them to a copycat website that asks for account information. The message even states that 'NAVY and its service providers are committed to protecting your privacy and ask you not to send sensitive account information through e-mail.' Officials say so far the phishing attempt has hooked few members.

Summit FCU Joins Initiative

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-The Summit FCU said it has joined with Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to form their own smart commute initiative that will aid people who buy homes near public transportation. The program, called the Buffalo Niagara Smart Commute Initiative, will allow the credit union to add a portion of transportation savings to the income of qualified home buyers within a half mile of the NFTA's Metro rail system or a bus stop. Officials said the monthly savings could be worth $200 for one-wage earner households and $250 for two wage-earner families. Added incentives include a 3% down payment on the purchase of a home and six-month free passes for bus and rail use.

The Credit Union Journal's On Deadline coverage is sponsored by Liberty. For info: www.libertysite.com. (c) 2005 The Credit Union Journal and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.cujournal.com http://www.sourcemedia.com

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