500 Biz Owners, CU Reps

Press Congress On MBL Bill

WASHINGTON--More than 500 owners of small businesses and credit union representatives pressed Congress last week to pass legislation to raise the cap on member business loans (MBLs) from its current 12.25% of assets. The effort to lobby for the long-time priority of credit unions was organized by CUNA as a National Hike the Hill event. Many of the small business owners shared stories of being turned down by other lenders before a credit union made them a loan to grow their businesses. A bill in the Senate (S.2231) and House (H.R. 1418) would raise the cap to 27.5% of assets. Credit unions are hopeful the legislation will either pass on its own or be attached to other legislation during the current lame duck session.

Hensarling To Take Over Committee

WASHINGTON-Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), who has referred to the CFPB and the Dodd-Frank Act as "legislative drive-by shootings," was on track last week to take over as chair of the House Financial Services Committee, replacing Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL). Hensarling is known to be a strong advocate of regulatory relief.

Retailers Appeal Card Settlement

NEW YORK-A group of retailers and trade groups filed notice in federal court last week stating they are appealing a key component of last month's preliminary approval of the landmark antitrust settlement with Visa and MasterCard which would bar merchants from bringing subsequent legal claims in the case even if they object to the settlement. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York granted preliminary approval to the deal on Nov. 10, saying that there are issues that still "require significant scrutiny."

$230K Raised For Sandy Relief

WASHINGTON-The National Credit Union Foundation reported last week that it has raised $230,000 to date to help credit union people affected by Hurricane Sandy. It is now working with the New Jersey CU League and the CU Association of New York to distribute funds.

CU Set To Open On Reservation

PINE RIDGE RESERVATION, S.D.-Lakota FCU here is preparing to open its doors this month, in the process becoming the only financial institution serving the two-million-acre reservation that is one of the largest and poorest Native American reservations in the U.S. It is home to nearly 40,000 people, 35% of whom are under 18. LFCU has been designated as a low-income CU.

ACIPCO To Pay $1.7M Bonus

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-ACIPCO FCU last week announced a $1.7-million interest rebate/dividend, equating to 35%, to be paid Dec. 14. ACIPCO is reporting an annualized return-on-assets in 2012 of 2%. ACIPCO has paid members a rebate since 1993, a total of $25 million, but this year's is its biggest ever.

Bellco Buys Theater Naming Rights

DENVER-Bellco CU's name has replaced that of Wells Fargo atop the Colorado Convention Center's theater under a five-year sponsorship deal. The theater will now be known as the Bellco Theater.

As part of the $1.25-million deal, Bellco will have its name on all the signage, as well as its identity attached to promotional or advertising materials. "An Evening with Bill Clinton" was the theater's first official event under the Bellco name.

Visit www.cujournal.com for news updates.

In Other News

Davidson To Wright-Patt CU

FAIRBORN, Ohio-Matthew Davidson, well known to many for his efforts to lead the recapitalization of the former WesCorp, has returned to his home state to take over as CFO at Wright-Patt Credit Union. Davidson had been EVP with Kern Schools FCU in Bakersfield, Calif. Prior to relocating to California, he served as Superintendent of Credit Unions with the Ohio Department of Commerce. He has also held positions with NCUA and the California Department of Financial Institutions. While at Kern Schools, Davidson led what was ultimately an unsuccessful effort to recapitalize and recharter the remnants of Western Corporate FCU, which was eventually acquired by Catalyst Corporate.

Self-Help Buying Failed Bank

DURHAM, N.C.-Self-Help FCU, which agreed earlier this month to buy 1,100 mortgages originated by the Second Federal S&L, said last week it is also buying the deposits and operations of Second Federal from Wintrust Financial Corp, effectively completely a deal for all of the operations of the failed bank. As a result, Self-Help FCU will be operating the three legacy Second Federal branches in Little Village, Cicero and Brighton Park. It is the fourth troubled bank to be acquired by a credit union over the past 18 months.

CUMIS Files Suit Over $182K

FRESNO, Calif.-CUMIS Insurance Society has filed suit in federal court here to recover $182,800 it claims a branch manager at Educational Employees CU stole through 56 unsecured loans she approved to family and friends, though she appears to have siphoned most of the proceeds for herself. The civil suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, claims Elizabeth Gonzalez, who managed the CU's Merced branch from 2005 to 2010, disregarded credit risks and failed to document the loans or verify borrowers' income in violation of the credit union's procedures. On at least six occasions, Gonzalez forged a member's signature on loan documents and share withdrawals, according to the suit.

CU Bowl Opponents Are Set

SAN DIEGO-The Brigham Young University Cougars will play the San Diego State University Aztecs in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 20 here. SDCCU has been the title sponsor of the game since 2005.

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