Magistrate Rules Matz, Hyland Don't Have To Testify

WASHINGTON-A federal magistrate ruled that NCUA Board members Debbie Matz and Gigi Hyland need not testify in the suit against top WesCorp FCU executives, but approved a bid by the WesCorp figures to depose the one-time chief corporate examiner and the agency's two on-site examiners.

Judge Margaret Nagle agreed with NCUA lawyers that Matz, along with Hyland, who left the NCUA Board last week, did not have direct knowledge of the examinations process at WesCorp before its 2009 conservatorship, so need not be deposed by former Wescorp CEO Bob Siravo and former CFO Todd Lane. Judge Nagle indicated it is still a possibility that Matz and Hyland will be deposed at a later date.

Judge Nagle did authorize Siravo to depose Kent Buckham, who headed NCUA's oversight of WesCorp as director of its Office of Corporate CUs, and who is now director of the agency's Office of Consumer Affairs; and the agency's two on-site WesCorp examiners, Lance McCallister and Joe Shoshoo.

Siravo also plans to depose other former Wescorp executives and directors.

Walmart, AmEx Team On Prepaid 'Bluebird' Card

BENTONVILLE, Ark.-WalMart announced last week it it is teaming with American Express to offer a prepaid card at WalMart stores. The Bluebird card will have no monthly, annual, activation or overdraft fees and will not require a minimum balance. The companies said Bluebird has the same fraud protections as other traditional card products. Money can be placed onto the card at no charge with cash at any WalMart register, through direct deposit, by remote check capture with a mobile application or by linking to a bank account. Cash withdrawals can be made at no charge from any MoneyPass ATM machines if the cardholder is part of a direct deposit program. If not, withdrawals are $2. Withdrawals at out-of-network ATMs are also $2. It would cost cardholders $2 to add money from a debit card.

Jack Houseknecht Dies At 56

ENDICOTT, N.Y.-Jack Houseknecht, the well-known COO at Visions FCU, has died of a heart attack he suffered in the CU's parking lot. Mr. Houseknecht was 56. Employees were unsuccessful in attempting to revive Mr. Houseknecht, who was preparing for an operation to clear a blockage in his arteries. Mr. Houseknecht, a regular figure at CU conferences, worked at Visions the past seven years and prior to that was CEO at Baltimore's SSA FCU and a senior loan officer at Andrews FCU. Houseknecht was the 2002 Maryland League Professional of the Year and a candidate for the NCUA Board.

Report On Non-Interest Income

MADISON, Wis.-A new report from the Filene Research Institute addresses a growing CU issue resulting from mounting ROA pressures: how to charge fees that don't alienate members but drive the bottom line. Titled "In Search of Member-Friendly Noninterest Income," the report focuses on four case study CUs that illustrate how they built non-interest income, including credit and insurance products. The focus, Filene reports, is to balance two important credit union imperatives: the need for non-interest income that supports the operating costs of the credit union, and the imperative that credit union leaders feel to charge fees that are fair and that support services that add value to members. The report intentionally left interchange and overdraft income out of responses. "We wanted to get below those two elephants to uncover emerging or creative NII sources," Filene reported. For info: www.filene.org.

Long-time CEO, Eaton, Dies

TULSA, Okla.-Steven Eaton, president of Riverwest FCU the past 36 years, has died of multiple myeloma. Mr. Eaton was 60. His illness had prompted the merger of his $9-million credit union into the $465-million Oklahoma Central CU.

Armored Car Driver Stole Cash

HONOLULU-A 68-year-old employee of an armored car company has agreed to plead guilty to stealing as much as $164,000 from four Hickam FCU ATMs he was supposed to be filling with cash. Under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Stevan Dagli admitted he skimmed cash in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 from ATMs serviced by his employer, Security Armored Car Service of Hawaii.

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