Occupy Vermont Gets Rep

Elected To VFCU Board

BURLINGTON, Vt.-The Occupy movement in Vermont has succeeded in getting one of its representatives elected to the board of the $346-million Vermont FCU. A second Occupy rep also running for a board seat was not elected. Occupy told Vermont Public Radio its goal in working to get Eric Davis elected to a two-year term on the board is to boost attendance at VFCU's annual meeting (which it said is poorly attended and should allow online voting), to give members more of a voice in VFCU's charitable giving, and to make loan policies more supportive of other community cooperatives.

But VFCU CEO Bernie Isabelle was quoted by Vermont Public Radio as saying low member turnout at the annual meeting is indicative of generally satisfied members. Isabelle also dismissed a "Vermont FCU Members Assembly" that Occupy Vermont has formed, telling VPR, "The group has a membership of 25 to 30 individuals. They had a meeting a week or two ago and were represented by a whopping six people. We have over 34,000 members. So I guess the question is, is this group representative of the membership? Probably not."

Three other board members were re-elected, along with Davis, who has participated in one VFCU board meeting.

Court Dismisses Suit Over

Repo's Against 3 Mo. CUs

ST. LOUIS-A federal appeals court last week dismissed three class action suits brought against three Missouri credit unions over their repossession of vehicles sold under the Centrix Financial subprime auto loan program, saying the three-year statute of limitations on the claims had expired by the time the suits were filed, almost six years after the fact.

The three CUs are Missouri Central CU, United Consumers CU and Central Communications CU.

In its ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit said the claims against the now defunct Centrix, which filed for bankruptcy in 2007, were time-barred because of the statute of limitations on the state's version of the Uniform Commercial Code and the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, under which the claims were made.

Sallie Mae Financials Improve

NEWARK, Del.-Student loan giant Sallie Mae reported Q2 net income of $292 million, compared with a $6-million loss in Q2 2011, amid wild swings in the value of its financial derivatives. The company, the biggest securitizer of student loans, reported an $82-million gain in the second quarter on its derivatives, compared to a $414-million loss for the second quarter last year.

Private student loan originations were up 22% in the second quarter, to $321 million. Net income for the first six months of the fiscal year was $403 million, more than double last year's $169 million.

PCUA Selected By GAO

HARRISBURG, Penn.--The Pennsylvania CU Association said recently selected by the GAO to gather information and insight about the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act (DFA). "The GAO's objective is to examine any potential benefits or challenges the DFA could have on these institutions, particularly the ability to lend to small businesses," the PCUA said, adding it was selected because the state has numerous CUs below $100 million in assets.

Clarification

A story in the July 16 issue should have more clearly reported which statements NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz made in remarks to the Illinois League meeting in 2009, and which statements attributed to her in litigation related to WesCorp that the agency said Matz did not make. NCUA said Matz did comment related to the corporate crisis that, "Much of the blame falls outside the credit union industry."

NCUA stated, however, that the following statements attributed to Matz by attorneys for former WesCorp CEO Bob Siravo were not made by Matz: that RMBS "have traditionally been relatively safe investments" that did not experience significant losses; how credit enhancements like the ones used by WesCorp reduce the risk of investments in RMBS and that all RMBS purchased by the corporate were permissible and met the agency requirements; ;that RMBS "fit well into the corporate credit unions' business functions," and that "based upon historical performance" there was "very little risk" to corporates "with private label mortgage backed securities" like the ones that sunk WesCorp.

Sherrodd To Succeed Speed At Texas Dow Employees

LAKE JACKSON, Texas-Texas Dow Employees CU said last week that Ed Speed, who built the credit union into one of the healthiest big credit unions in the country, is retiring Oct. 1. Speed will be succeeded by Stephanie Sherrodd, the $2-billion CU's EVP-COO.

Teller Arrested For Alleged Theft of $73,000

LOPATCONG TOWNSHIP, Penn.-A teller at Baker FCU was arrested for allegedly stealing more than $73,000 from the accounts of several elderly customers over the last five years. Lisa Frace, 32, was charged with seven counts of theft, 35 counts of forgery and 35 counts uttering a forged document. She was released to await court action in Warren County.

Frace's teller drawer turned out to be about $74,000 short, and she made about 75 withdrawals from the credit union, often forging members' names on withdrawal slips, police said. Frace signed up several of her members for online banking, cutting them off from mailed account information to hide the scheme, police said.

In A Tough Sand State, One Nevada In The Black

LAS VEGAS-One Nevada CU reported $590,000 in net income for the first six months of 2012, and a net worth ratio of 9.25%, as the state's economy continues to improve slowly. The $693-million CU said its mid-year income from operations was more than $7.6 million, with $6.5 million set aside for potential future loan losses and $540,000 set aside for federal deposit insurance. In 2010 it lost $4.2 million, including more than $1.6 million in assessments. CEO Bradley Beal told Credit Union Journal management "Certainly is pleased that we are back in the black, even though it is only marginally."

Bethpage To Move 91 Backoffice Jobs

BETHPAGE, N.Y.-The $4.8-billion Bethpage FCU announced last week it is moving 91 backoffice jobs to Baltimore as part of a shared service center operation it is developing with State Employees CU of Maryland and Colorado's Bellco CU.

Bethpage expects to save between $6 million and $8 million annually as it teams with the two other credit unions on a CUSO called S3 to create a shared back-office operation in Baltimore. Bethpage officials said Maryland offers savings over its Long Island home market, including 22% lower salaries, lower leasing costs and other benefits that led to its choice for the shared-service center. BFCU announced the reorganization, affecting 19% of its 500-person Long Island workforce over the next two years, at a quarterly employee meeting.

Back-office jobs in collections, call center, lending, deposits and mortgages are being moved, although all decisions regarding lending will continue at its HQ. Bethpage plans to transition the affected jobs during the first quarter of 2013 to be completed by the first quarter of 2014.

The three credit unions teamed previously on a Denver CUSO called Open Technology Solutions, which provides technological support for the three.

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