Agency Collecting Data On CU Service
ALEXANDRIA,Va.-NCUA last week said an intra-agency working group that has been charged with analyzing credit union service to persons of modest means is "making progress and is expanding its focus in three areas: transparency, definition of modest means, and the data gathering process demonstrating service to those members." The NCUA working group was formed in 2003, as a result of a General Accountability Office (GAO) study focusing on credit unions' mission of service, but was expanded to determine a data collection process.
NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson was subjected to numerous questions from members of Congress during a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee on Nov. 3 demanding evidence and data that credit unions continue to deserve their federal tax exemption and are serving people of modest means. The agency noted that Johnson directed the working group to expand its scope in an effort to expeditiously address the issues raised at the hearing.
Viewpointe Archive To Connect To Network
CHARLOTTE, N.C.-In another major milestone for Check 21, Viewpointe Archive Services announced last week it has agreed to connect with Fiserv's check clearing network, the largest private network in the country. The agreement calls for Viewpointe's Point2Pointe image exchange, which operates the largest archive of check images in the country, to connect with Fiserv Clearing Network, and comes a week after Viewpointe announced a connection with Endpoint Exchange, Metavante's nationwide check-clearing network. Connectivity between the Viewpointe and Fiserv networks will begin immediately, enabling more than 5,000 financial institutions served by both networks to begin exchanging electronic items in early 2006. Viewpointe is owned by Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and IBM.
N.Y. CUs, Banks In Campaign
NEW YORK-State officials said last week they have doubled the number of credit unions and banks participating in the second annual 'Bank On New York' campaign, aimed at encouraging the unbanked to open basic financial accounts and educating low-income consumers about the Earned Income Tax Credit. More than 40 credit unions and banks will team up to use targeted advertising and consumer education in English, Spanish and Chinese. Ads on buses, in newspapers and in the city's financial institutions will display a jar of coins and ask, 'Is This Your Idea of a Bank Account?' Among the participants are: Bethex FCU, Brooklyn Cooperative FCU, Lower East Side People's FCU, Montauk CU, Municipal CU, Neighborhood Trust FCU, Union Settlement FCU and the National Federation of CDCUs.
Fiserv Acquires IRAs
BROOKFIELD, Wis.-Fiserv said its Investment Support Services unit has acquired more than 1,000 self-directed IRA accounts with $48 million of assets from Arrowhead Trust Inc., a wholly owned CUSO of Arrowhead CU. The accounts held both traditional investments, such as mutual funds, and alternative investments, like private equity, real estate, mortgages and trust deeds.
CCU Joins World Comm. Grid
RALEIGH, N.C.-Coastal FCU, a former IBM credit union, said it has become the first financial institution to join the World Community Grid, a global computing project overseen by IBM. The project seeks to harness unused processing power in idle computers to create a flexible infrastructure for researchers to run calculations for projects that will benefit global humanitarian issues. The credit union has initially dedicated a set of desktop computers that are exclusively running the grid agent software. The computers, which previously sat idle as surplus equipment, are now busily processing information around the clock for the grid's current initiative, AIDS therapy research. The program contacts the grid server via the Internet, requests a packet of data, runs the computations and then sends the results back to the grid before starting again.