The Year In Review

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January 10

As some 800 CUs in Thailand struggled to recover following the tsunami, Community CU, Plano, Texas announced plans to convert to a bank charter.

January 17

The NCUA Board sought tighter conversion rules; a CU manager nabbed the "Fishing Hat Bandit," and CUs began reaching out to tsunami victims.

January 24

CUs hobnobbed at President Bush's second inauguration, Jeff Post was named CUNA Mutual Group's new CEO, and CU Vet Bob Bianchini retired.

January 31

CUs hoped the fifth Congress to consider the bankruptcy bill would finally pass it, while Utah CUs fended off yet another bank attack on the tax exemption.

February 7

Bankruptcy bill hit the Senate, Utah lawmaker proposed eliminating franchise tax for banks, and experts predicted a surge in member business credit cards.

February 14

President Bush proposed to cut most CDFI subsidy programs as the bankruptcy reform bill continued making its way through the Senate.

February 21

An abortion-related amendment that had managed to kill bankruptcy reform in past Congresses reared its head again, and PULSE was acquired by Discover.

February 28

Changes to Prompt Corrective Action were proposed, Utah legislators wrangled with the anti-CU resolution, OmniAmerican CU unveiled plan to convert to bank.

March 7

Support for bankruptcy reform grew as CUs headed to D.C. for the GAC; 80 CUs signed on to offer American Express cards; one CU outsourced staff.

March 14

Senate OK'd bankruptcy reform; Ohio CU dumped 10 fees to differentiate itself; CUNA examined NCUA's lastest PCA proposal.

March 21

NCUA OKs CUs to buy into a secondary market created by CUNA Mutual, Texas league adopted conversion policy, and WesCorp predicted a spike in rates.

March 28

CUs learned how to defend against 'phishing,' found themselves being 'blogged' about, " and a tax reform plan in Texas hit a glitch.

April 4

CUs support anti-predatory lending legislation, competitive pressures drive more mergers, and members offered $20,000 prize in vote on Texas conversion.

April 11

CU leagues formed a conversion task force, California League CEO David Chatfield announced his retirement, CUNA Mutual filed suit in card data breach.

April 18

CUs downplayed a 'pop' in the 'housing bubble,' the D.C. league opted to end its management agreement with the Va. league, merging with Md. instead.

April 25

Bankruptcy reform bill signed into law, credit unions dodged bullet in a hearing on tax-exempt groups, and Oklahoma's CUs reflected on tragic 1995 bombing.

May 2

A group of Community CU members form to fight conversion atttempt as Columbia CU board members who voted for conversion were challenged by "dissidents."

May 9

Rodney Hood nominated for the NCUA board, as two differing groups faced off over the pending conversion of Community CU to a bank charter.

May 16

CU leadership struggled for the right approach to charter conversion issue, new CU Regulatory Improvement Act (CURIA) debuted in Congress.

May 23

Evidence of insider dealing early on in the conversion of IGA CU to bank exposed, NCUA asked for more authority over CU vendors.

May 30

NCUA refused to OK Community CU's conversion vote; overall number of CUs hit four-decade low, and Congress explored changes at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

June 6

NCUA OK'd IR FCU TIP charter; economists predicted lending to slow despite economy's growth, CCU forged ahead with conversion despite NCUA's opposition.

June 13

Members of Congress called NCUA's refusal to OK Community CU's conversion into question, while questions surrounding bankruptcy reform continued.

June 20

NCUA examined liquidation as a conversion option, thieves learned to gain access to ATMs sited at mall locations, CUNA Mutual worked to resolve labor dispute.

June 27

Community CU members voted to convert, one CU sought reimbursement in major data breach case, Senate vowed reg relief must include consumer input.

July 4

With OTS' approval of CCU's conversion, NCUA was the only holdout; a study showed consumers may like CUs better than banks, but feel banks are safer.

July 11

NAFCU met in Las Vegas as CU Journal explored various "risks" to CUs; NCUA expressed concern about 3rd-party subprime indirect lending programs.

July 18

Community CU took NCUA to court over its refusal to certify the conversion vote as Congress exerted pressure on the agency to capitulate on the issue.

July 25

Volunteers called for more representation in national CU leadership as some worried that NCUA's intervention in conversions could bog down CURIA.

August 1

Congress left the coveted risk-based capital out of the reg relief bill, an MBL mutual fund was created for CUs, and CUs headed to Rome for WOCCU event.

August 8

CCU's conversion continued to make headlines as Texas regulator reviewed procedures; U.S. Central's Dan Kampen resigned as CEO.

August 15

After months of falling interest rates, CUs began pushing up rates on deposits; CU boards urged to prepare for salary increases to retain staff.

August 22

The Credit Union Journal released its comprehensive 2006 Fact Book & Buyer's Guide, a value-added product free to all subscribers.

August 29

A court upheld CCU's membership vote favoring conversion; Altura used Starbucks gift cards to lure members; MaPS donated checking interest to community.

September 5

Hurricane Katrina pummeled credit unions in the Gulf Coast; NCUA dropped its objections to both CCU's and OmniAmerican CU's conversions.

September 12

Gulf Coast Credit Unions and their staff continued to assess damage to everything from electronic payments networks to paper documents to their own homes.

September 19

Katrina-related issues, including lack of insurance, cash-flow problems and the potential that members may never return to their homes made headlines.

September 26

Still battered by Katrina, Gulf Coast CUs prepared for Rita; congressman proposed limits on NCUA's powers related to charter conversions.

October 3

The wrath of Rita and Katrina continued to make waves; new ABA Chair Harris Simmons said CU tax exemption is in his sights; Debbie Matz exited NCUA board.

October 10

CUNA Mutual Group sold CUNA Mutual Mortgage; analysts urged CUs to monitor economic warning signs; storm-whipped CUs reopened, Congress considered relief.

October 17

The CU Journal traveled to New Orleans to find the Big Easy still completely storm-torn six weeks after Katrina hit; CUs celebrated CU Week.

October 24

CU-owned credit card bank is delayed; Congress eyed a bailout for Gulf Coast lenders, and CUs explored "Podcasts" as new means of reaching members.

October 31

Congress announced hearings on CU tax exemption; 2 NCUA board nominees had hearing; CUNA unveiled $1-billion low-cost mortgage program.

November 7

Congress questioned NCUA in a hearing about the CU tax exemption; CUNA detailed its new HLPR mortgage initiative; banks sued over low-income FOMs.

November 14

Congress sought evidence CUs are earning tax exemption; subprime indirect lender struggles following NCUA letter; problems with back-up tapes identified.

November 21

The reg relief bill made it past one committee, while Congress considered flood insurance relief and questions over how to document "CU Difference" were debated.

November 28

Using credit to promote savings slow to catch on at CUs; in survey, most consumers "skeptical" of banking "relationship," CUs slowly started to offer HSAs.

December 5

CUNA execs make move to NCUA; NCUA released budget for 2006; raises at small CUs rose for first time since 2001 but are expected to dip in 2006.

December 12

MBTA ECU board members resigned over travel reimbursement audit; New NCUA Board Members Hyland and Hood shared their plans for their terms.

December 19

Congressman asked GAO to study if NCUA is impeding credit union-to-bank conversions; analysts debate effect of CU lag on savings rates.

December 26

NCUA pledged to work with CUs recovering from Katrina, Banks claimed staffing crisis at NCUA, Cheney was named to succeed Chatfield in California.

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