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CUNA Executives Officially Join NCUA

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA announced last week that CUNA's two top lobbyists are joining the agency in executive capacities. CUNA's chief lobbyist John McKechnie is expected to be named congressional liaison for NCUA, while his second-in-command at CUNA, Gary Kohn is expected to be named as top aide to new NCUA Board member Gigi Hyland.

The two appointments continue a recent trend of CUNA executives being placed in high NCUA positions, as three of the last four NCUA Board members have chosen CUNA operatives as their executive assistants.

That includes NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson, who hired former CUNA director Holly Herman as her executive assistant, former NCUA Board member Deborah Matz, who had former CUNA vice president Steve Bosack as her top aide, and Hyland, herself, a former CUNA vice president, hiring Kohn.

CU To Help Fund Law Enforcement Museum

WASHINGTON-The DC Police FCU has agreed to help raise building funds for the new National Law Enforcement Museum in the nation's capital.

The credit union said it is working with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund to create automatic payroll deduction for its members, send deposit slips in monthly mailings to members, and other methods to help collect donations for the nascent project.

"Most of our members work in the law enforcement profession, so we feel it's imperative to support the efforts of the NLEOMF to build the National Law Enforcement Museum," said Clay Goldston, chairman of the board for the $100-million credit union.

The museum will cost about $80 million, about $10 million of which is expected to come from the law enforcement community.

The 90,000 square-foot museum is scheduled to open in 2009, across from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in downtown Washington.

Patelco CU Launches HSA

SAN FRANCISCO-Patelco CU has begun offering its members tax-deductible Health Savings Accounts, one of the first credit unions in the nation to do so.

The Patelco HSA features a 5.12% annual percentage yield with a 5% rate and has no fees for the first year.

It has a low opening balance of just $5. Funds are accessible through an HSA debit card or through HSA checks. The annual fee is $12 after the first year.

Banks Claim Huge Select Group

WASHINGTON-In a page taken from the credit union playbook, bank giants Wachovia and U.S. Bank have signed with the National Restaurant Association to provide financial services through an affinity program for the nation's restaurant workers.

The Restaurant Direct program will provide free checking and Visa check card, free Internet banking, free ATM transactions, loan discounts (including car loans), investment services, special rates on deposits, and other benefits.

The National Restaurant Association is comprised of 925,000 restaurants and about 12.5 million employees.

Loyalty Program Boosts Lending

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa.-USX FCU has breathed life into an anemic loan-to-share ratio using a loyalty reward program for borrowers that this year is paying 21 cents on every dollar of interest earned or paid during 2005.

A credit union spokesperson told The Credit Union Journal that the credit union has boosted its loan-to-share ratio to 55% from 40% in the four years the program has been in place.

"People have started calling now and asking what the reward will be," the spokesperson said.

The CU sends a letter to members across the bottom of which is a representation of a check (it's non-negotiable) to show them how much has been earned. The credit union rebated as much as $3,500 to one mortgage borrower and $1,800 to one CD holder. The $120-million USX FCU is well-capitalized and is rebating to members nearly all $1 million in earnings from 2005. (c) 2006 The Credit Union Journal and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.cujournal.com http://www.sourcemedia.com

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