News Now Archive
Published on December 27, 2012.
- More named to House Financial Services positions
- CFPB sets up two field hearings on mortgage policy
- NMLS announces extended call center hours
- Inside Washington
- CUs made sure kids had good holiday
- St. Paul Croatian FCU defendant enters not guilty plea
- WOCCU taps nine International Exec Volunteer Corps leaders
- Guthrie FCU is newest member of FHLBank Pittsburgh
- Several states report CU mergers
- HarborOne sets March meeting on converting to bank
- CU flashlight guides family in Italian earthquake
- CNBS to provide Malawian student internship
- CU System briefs
- Market News
- News of the Competition
- Fees coming to a checkout near you
- Survive holidays on budget with H&FF Radio
- Xtend wraps up big year, announces dividend
More named to House Financial Services positions
WASHINGTON (12/27/12)--House Financial Service Committee Chairman-elect Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) has announced the names of those who will comprise the Republican leadership team for his panel and its subcommittees. Meanwhile, the House Democratic Caucus named the six new Democratic members it will send to the Financial Services Committee next year.
Hensarling also announced plans to combine two existing subcommittees--the Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommittee and the International Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee.
The parent financial services committee's leadership team for the 113th Congress, in addition to Henarling, is:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the House Democratic Caucus' choice of the following new House Financial Services Committee Democrats:
- Rep.-elect Bill Foster of Illinois;
- Rep.-elect Dan Kildee of Michigan;
- Rep.-elect Patrick Murphy of Florida;
- Rep.-elect John Delaney of Maryland;
- Rep.-elect Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona; and,
- Rep.-elect Joyce Beatty of Ohio.
CFPB sets up two field hearings on mortgage policy
WASHINGTON (12/27/12)--Remarks by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray will kick off two upcoming field hearings on mortgage policy early in the new year.
The CFPB has posted a "save the date" notice on its website inviting stakeholders to a Thursday, Jan. 10 field hearing in Baltimore, Md., or a Thursday, Jan. 17 field hearing in Atlanta.
After Cordray's remarks, field hearing attendees will hear testimony of consumer groups, mortgage industry representatives, and members of the public.
The bureau promises more information as the field hearing dates get closer.
To attend, one must email firstname.lastname@example.org with full name and organizational affiliation (if any applies).
NMLS announces extended call center hours
WASHINGTON (12/27/12)--The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) has extended its call center hours through the end of the year due to the approaching deadline for individual mortgage loan originators (MLOs) annual renewals.
If a renewal is not completed by Dec. 31 an additional processing fee of $30 will be imposed. The extended hours are (ET):
- Today, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.;
- Friday, Dec. 28, 9 a.m.-8p.m.; and,
- Monday, Dec. 31, 9 a.m.-8 p.m..
Use the top resource link below to access steps both institutions and MLOs should follow to successfully renew or reactivate a registration. The NMLS recommends that an institution contact its primary federal regulator with questions regarding who is required to renew. The call center numbers are 240-386-4444 TTY/TDD and 800-877-8339.
For the first time, MLOs will receive a notification in 2013 from NMLS confirming that the renewal or reactivation process is complete.
- WASHINGTON (12/27/12)--Karen Solomon will begin a three-month term as acting chief counsel of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency starting Jan. 1 while the agency continues its search for a successor to Julie Williams, who left the chief counsel position on Sept. 30. When Williams stepped down, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry asked the agency's two deputy chief counsels, Dan Stipano and Solomon, to take turns serving in an acting capacity until a successor to Williams could be named …
CUs made sure kids had good holiday
Bethpage (N.Y) FCU, with $4.85 billion in assets, pledged its support to several children's non-profit organizations, providing toys and support to underprivileged Long Island families. For the fourth year in a row, through its "Heart of Bethpage" community outreach program, Bethpage volunteered to support Operation Jocelyn Spirit, a nonprofit organization that answers children's letters to Santa. More than 80 Bethpage employees "adopted" a local child, answered his or her letter, and fulfilled the child's holiday wish list by purchasing presents.
Bethpage also participated in the 13th annual Education & Assistance Corp. Holiday Shopping Spree, sponsored by the Marie & Micheal Gubitosi Foundation and hosted this year by Walmart's Farmingdale location. More than 200 Long Island foster children each received a $100 gift card to purchase items on their holiday list and shopped with Bethpage volunteers, who helped them make their choices of toys, clothing and electronics.
Bethpage supported two additional efforts including the John Theissen Foundation Toy Drive by placing toy collection bins in every branch. This is the 10th year Bethpage has worked with the foundation. Also, as part of the Newsday Holiday Lights Festival, sponsored by Bethpage, children and families from across Long Island created holiday cards for children admitted to Cohen's Children's Medical Center, located in New Hyde Park.
Other examples of credit unions with the holiday spirit:
- Members and staff of Highmark FCU in Rapid City, S.D., and "Secret Santas" from the Black Hills community were busy bringing in gifts for each child at the Black Hills Children's Home campus in Rockerville, south of Rapid City. All gifts from the children's wish list were returned to the $86.2 million asset Highmark FCU's main office, by Dec. 17-- in time to be wrapped and labeled for the Black Hill's Children's Home Christmas Eve celebration. Several donations delivered to Highmark covered extra holiday expenses at the Children's Home. One anonymous donor, who was physically unable to shop for gifts, sent in $400. The staff at Highmark FCU also pitched in to build on that donation. The extra funds covered any last minute gift and additional holiday needs at the home.
- For more than 20 years, employees of Aberdeen Proving Ground FCU (APGFCU) in Edgewood, Md., have partnered with The Salvation Army and its Angel Tree program each December to provide assistance to local families during the holiday season. Staff at the $932 million asset APGFCU collected hundreds of new toys, bikes and clothing for children in Harford County. Through the Angel Tree program, local families in need registered their children for Christmas gifts through The Salvation Army. Gift-givers could choose to donate all of the items on a child's wish list or additional gifts. Once donations were collected, The Salvation Army sorted and distributed the gifts to the families before Christmas Eve.
The staff at Highmark FCU in Rapid City, S.D., presented a check for $500 to Theresa Schreiner, volunteer program and development coordinator, Black Hills Children's Home, to help cover holiday expenses. (Photo provided by Highmark FCU)
St. Paul Croatian FCU defendant enters not guilty plea
CLEVELAND (12/27/12)--Another figure arrested in the loan fraud scheme that contributed to the collapse in 2010 of Eastlake, Ohio-based St. Paul Croatian FCU has entered a not guilty plea for his alleged role in the case.
Svetislav Vujovic, 40, of Brunswick, Ohio, pleaded not guilty Friday in a federal court in Cleveland to one count of financial institution fraud, one count of bribery in connection with the business dealings of a financial institution, and two counts of money laundering.
The indictment filed against him earlier this month alleged that from January 2004 to January 2008, he fraudulently obtained loans totaling about $2.2 billion, which were not repaid (Medina County Gazette Dec. 8).
Vujovic is one of nearly 20 people who have been arrested for the fraud scheme.
The scheme involved $1 million in kickbacks, bribes and gifts paid to the defunct credit union's CEO, Anthony Raguz, in return for issuing more than 1,000 fraudulent loans to more than 300 account holders at the credit union. The loans were worth a total $70 million and were allegedly made from 2000 to April 2010, when the credit union was placed into conservatorship, then liquidated by the National Credit Union Administration.
Raguz was sentenced last month to 14 years in prison (News Now Nov. 27). The alleged ringleader. Koljo Nikolovski, 49, of Eastlake and Skopje, Macedonia, was sentenced to 18 years in prison (News Now May 14).
The closure of the credit union, which cost the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund more than $170 million, was one of the costliest credit union failures in history
WOCCU taps nine International Exec Volunteer Corps leaders
MADISON, Wis. (12/27/12)--World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) has inducted nine credit union professionals into its International Executive Volunteer Corps (IEVC).
The IEVC recognizes industry leaders for their dedication to international credit union development and volunteer service with WOCCU.
"World Council volunteers are vital to international credit union development and to building a global community," said Brian Branch, WOCCU president/CEO. "Partner credit union movements receive tailored, one-on-one training in critical areas. At the same time, seasoned professionals who lend their expertise bring a unique international perspective back to their credit unions."
The new IEVC members are:
- Joe Bergeron, president/CEO, Association of Vermont Credit Unions, partnership with Federacion Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Credito del Peru;
- Alan Cameron, president/ CEO, Idaho Credit Union League and Affiliates, former partnership with Solomon Islands Credit Union League;
- Mark Cummins, president/CEO, Minnesota Credit Union Network, partnership with Central de Cooperativas del Area Nacional (Paraguay);
- Rob Kimmett, vice president-public relations, Massachusetts Credit Union League, partnership with Bahamas Co-operative League;
- Tom Liebe, vice president–governmental affairs, Wisconsin Credit Union League, partnership with Asociacion de Instituciones Rurales de Ahorro y Credito (Dominican Republic);
- Dick Nesvold, president/CEO, SouthPoint FCU, Sleepy Eye, Minn., in conjunction with Minnesota Credit Union Network partnership with Central de Cooperativas del Area Nacional (Paraguay);
- David Southall, president/CEO, Innovations FCU, Panama City, Fla.; in conjunction with League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates partnership with Federacion de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Credito de Costa Rica;
- Brett Thompson, president/CEO, Wisconsin Credit Union League, partnership with Asociación de Instituciones Rurales de Ahorro y Crédito (Dominican Republic); and
- Kristina Wright, vice president–association services, Minnesota Credit Union Network, partnership with Central de Cooperativas del Area Nacional (Paraguay).
Inductees have demonstrated at least a three-year commitment to furthering WOCCU's international credit union development efforts. Each has engaged in two or more volunteer assignments abroad. IEVC members must have hosted at least four international credit union professionals at their individual credit unions within the previous two years. The achievements of this year's inductees span six countries.
For more information about WOCCU's International Partnerships Program, and to view a complete list of IEVC members, use the links.
Guthrie FCU is newest member of FHLBank Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH (12/27/12)--Guthrie FCU in Sayre, Pa., is the newest member of the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) of Pittsburgh, the FHLBank announced Monday.
The FHLB is a three-state financial institution cooperative of commercial banks, thrifts, credit unions and insurance companies in Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
The $62 million asset Guthrie FCU has membership spanning more than 60 common bonds of community activity, including families, businesses and nonprofits. Guthrie FCU is the 28th credit union member to join FHLBank Pittsburgh (Business Wire Dec. 26).
Earlier this month, AmeriChoice FCU in Mechanicsburg, Pa., with $165.8 million in assets, also joined the FHLB-Pittsburgh.
Membership in FHLBank Pittsburgh supports Guthrie FCU's liquidity by providing access to FHLBank's product line of financial services, including low-cost loans (advances), which can be used for community lending, general asset/liability management and financing.
Several states report CU mergers
MADISON, Wis. (12/27/12)--Credit unions in several states reported mergers or proposed mergers with other credit unions before the holidays. Here is the latest merger list.
In Texas, Two San Antonio credit unions--Air Force FCU and Peoples Choice of San Antonio FCU (PSCA FCU)--announced they have merged, as of Dec. 15, with Air Force FCU remaining as the primary credit union. PSCA's field of membership will be incorporated into the Air Force FCU charter.
Air Force FCU President/CEO Robert "Bob" Glenn will continue to head the surviving credit union. The merger will create a stronger financial cooperative and provide expanded services to members in San Antonio and around the world, the credit unions said in a press release. The merger will provide access to eight branches in San Antonio and brings Air Force FCU to more than $350 million assets and nearly 37,000 members.
In Springfied, Mo., CU Community CU (CUCCU), announced the completion of its merger with Springfield-based Southwest Missouri CU, effective immediately. CUCCU is the remaining credit union. The combined credit union has more than 10,000 members and $90 million in assets. Southwest Missouri CU had more than 3,500 members living and working in Greene and Christian Counties, said CUCCU President/CEO Judy Hadsall. "The merger is complete, and Southwest Missouri CU members are already taking advantage of enhanced products and services offered by CU Community," Hadsall said.
Two credit unions in Niagara Falls, N.Y., have merged, effective Dec. 1. They are the $78 million asset Niagara's Choice FCU and the $46 million asset Niagara County's FCU. The combined credit union will be known as Niagara's Choice FCU, and have 23,000 members and $122 million in assets. It now operates five full-service branches--two in Niagara Falls and one each in Lockport, North Tonawanda and Wheatfield (Business First of Buffalo Online Dec. 13). The combined credit union will retain Niagara's Choice CEO Alfred Frosolone. Nancy Kasprzak-Whitmore, former CE) of Niagara County's FCU, will be executive vice president of the combined credit union. No staff have lost their jobs in the merger, which makes Niagara's Choice the second largest credit union in the county and the fifth largest in the region.
In Minnesota, Baxter-based Mid-Minnesota FCU, a $237 million asset credit union with 36,109 members, announced that on Dec. 1, Ashby FCU, a $1.2 million asset credit union serving 500 members in Ashby, had merged into Mid-Minnesota.
HarborOne sets March meeting on converting to bank
BROCKTON, Mass. (12/27/12)--HarborOne CU has scheduled a special meeting of its members to vote on the Brockton, Mass.-based credit union's proposal to convert to a mutual cooperative bank charter.
The meeting is set for 5 p.m. E.T. on March 11 at The Shaw's Center in Brockton (Enterprise News.com Dec. 25). If approved, the conversion would go into effect by the end of 2013.
The credit union has said that converting to a bank charter would enable it to expand into Boston, make more commercial loans and raise more capital. It also has said it cannot open a branch in Boston because it is restricted to serving four counties in Southeastern Massachusetts.
The National Credit Union Administration has pointed out that the credit union could petition the state to expand its geographic boundaries. The agency also has said HarborOne is not near its member business lending cap and it could sell stock to raise capital (News Now May 8).
Members who have had an account at the credit union for at least three months as of this coming Feb. 15, and who are at least 18 years old, will be eligible to cast their ballot on the proposed change. A conversion would require a simple majority of the members who vote. Members will be sent ballots before the meeting, and they can choose to vote either by mail, by taking their ballot to their branch, or in person at the meeting in March.
The $1.9 billion asset credit union has more than 150,000 members.
CU flashlight guides family in Italian earthquake
HARRISBURG, Pa. (12/27/12)--A flashlight from a Pennsylvania-based credit union, a gift to a 6-year-old, saved the day for a family stationed in Italy during an earthquake earlier this year.
The Mercer County Community FCU (MCCFCU), a $65.6 million asset credit union based in Hermitage, Pa., learned of the incident from a member, Connie George, whose family is stationed in Italy, said the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (Life is a Highway Dec. 18).
Richard and Kelly George Blagg and their family were awakened early one morning when their house in Ferrara, Italy, began shaking, said PCUA. Outside it sounded like bombs going off and glass breaking. The area was experiencing an earthquake.
The power was out, and the family had difficulty finding their way through the house. However, 6-year-old Titus reached under his pillow for his MCCFCU flashlight he had received as a gift.
The flashlight helped guide them through the house as they found their passports and important items before going outside to safety.
When the quake subsided, their house was still standing, but in need of some cleaning, said PCUA.
CNBS to provide Malawian student internship
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (12/27/12)--CNBS, a securities brokerage and investment advisory firm serving the credit union community, announced it will provide a 12-month internship to a Malawian student, Christopher Hamera, in 2013.
Hamera, 25, is a student at Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe, and is majoring in economics. His home is in Blantyre, Malawi.
Malawi, a land-locked country in sub-Saharan Africa, is the fifth-poorest nation in the world. Roughly 85% of the 14 million Malawians residing in the country are subsistence farmers. However, since the 1970s, Malawi has had a credit union system, which is improving access to financial services and contributing to members' financial stability.
There are about 30 credit institutions in Malawi--called Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs). The SACCOs have their own trade association, the Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives organized in 1980. Sylvester Kadzola, president/CEO of MUSCCO, is on the board of directors of the World Council of Credit Unions, and is supportive of CNBS' internship program.
"Christopher's internship will focus on credit unions and other financial institutions, the securities markets, and central banking," said Brian Hague, CNBS president. "His long-term career objective is to lead the Reserve Bank of Malawi (Malawi's central bank), and he hopes his internship will lead to career opportunities within the country's SACCO system."
CU System briefs
- FORT WAYNE, Ind. (12/27/12)--Fort Wayne, Ind., police say they are concerned that serial robbers may be behind a surge in credit union and bank robberies in the area (Associated Press via The Republic.com Dec. 16). Fort Wayne reported 15 financial institution robberies during 2012, some of which involved the institutions' employees being bound or injured. The total is more than the past four years combined, said police. On Nov. 30, an employee of ProFed FCU was ambushed and held at gunpoint, then she and two co-workers were bound at the hands and ankles while three men collected cash and fired shots in the building before fleeing. That robbery was one of the most violent of this year's robberies, police said. The area also experienced a high number of robberies in the late 1990s before the creation of a special robbery task force in Northeast Indiana. Police said that most times a rash of robberies may occur when someone is released from prison or moves into the area, or from gang activities as individuals move on to other crimes. Six of the 2012 robberies occurred at Chase Bank locations. So far, three men have been arrested, with two convicted and a third to stand trial in January …
- MARLBOROUGH, Mass. (12/27/12)--A Marlborough, Mass., man was charged Thursday with two counts of uttering a false check and two counts of larceny by check over $250 after he allegedly stole more than $5,000 in checks from his girlfriend's parents (The MetroWest Daily News Dec. 21). Jason A. Pagan, 32, allegedly tried to cash one of the checks at St. Mary's CU. The branch manager contacted the victims and told them Pagan had tried to cash the check but couldn't because of insufficient funds. Police said Pagan allegedly had drained their account by writing himself 12 checks totaling $5,551 …
- HARRISBURG, Pa. (12/27/12)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) Monday announced that Abby Kiebach, CEO of Lancaster (Pa.) Red Rose CU, has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 Paul E. Kanjorski Advocacy Scholarship (Life is a Highway Dec. 26). The award entitles Kiebach to attend the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C., in February. Kiebach has developed working relationships with local, state and federal officials. Through her experience at the CUNA GAC, she hopes to enhance her political knowledge for continued service on the association's Governmental Affairs Committee, and make a difference for the credit union movement, said PCUA ...
- SAN ANTONIO (12/27/12)--Security Service FCU (SSFCU) is officially a Juntos Avanzamos credit union. Texas Credit Union League (TCUL) President/CEO Dick Ensweiler last week presented the credit union with a proclamation and a flag, which represents the credit union's participation in the TCUL initiative (LoneStar Leaguer Dec. 17). The Juntos Avanzamos--or Together We Advance--designation is earned through a rigorous application and review process, in which a credit union must demonstrate it has the capacity, commitment and compassion to serve the Hispanic market's financial needs, said the league ...
MADISON, Wis. (12/27/12)
- U.S. home prices increased more than expected in October, signaling that a bounce-back in the housing market will, for the first time in seven years, strengthen the economy, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case Schiller Home Price Indexes (Bloomberg.com, The Wall Street Journal and Moody's Economy.com Dec. 26). The index of property values in 20 cities rose 4.3% from October 2011--the largest 12-month gain since May 2010. Economists had forecast a 4% advance, according to a Bloomberg survey. An improving economy, record-low mortgage rates and a growing population will boost demand for housing, which likely will keep property values rising, Bloomberg said …
- Although mortgages in the U.S. showed better performance in the third quarter than in third quarter 2011, their quality has eroded since the second quarter, according to a report issued Friday by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) (American Banker Dec. 21). Of the more than $5 trillion in mortgages outstanding at the biggest banks, 88.6% in the third quarter were current and performing, as indicated in the OCC Mortgage Metrics Report. That constitutes an increase from 88% one year ago, but is a one-basis-point decline from the second quarter--brought on by an uptick in early-stage delinquencies. The percentage of mortgages that are 30 days to 59 days delinquent surged more than 10% from the second quarter and 3.6% from a year earlier …
- U.S. holiday sales for the eight weeks from Oct. 28 through Dec. 24 increased 0.7%--down from a 2% pace in the same period a year ago, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse unit (The Wall Street Journal Dec. 25 and Bloomberg.com Dec. 26). SpendingPulse monitors total U.S. sales at stores and online through all payment forms. Hurricane Sandy and the impending fiscal cliff of spending cuts and higher taxes were the two main detractors, Bloomberg said. Sandy disrupted shopping after it struck the East Coast, and media coverage of the fiscal cliff created a downturn in consumer confidence and spending, Michael McNamara, a SpendingPulse vice president, told Bloomberg. In a related matter, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Chain Store Sales Index increased 0.7% in the week ended Dec. 22, following a 4.3% gain the prior week (Moody's Economy.com Dec. 26) …
News of the Competition
MADISON, Wis. (12/27/12)
- Wells Fargo--the fourth-biggest U.S. bank by assets--said it will pay attorneys' fees of up to $2.5 million to settle two lawsuits arising from its purchase in 2008 of Wachovia (American Banker Dec. 21). In a Friday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Wells Fargo said it would enhance some of its governing practices as a component of the proposed agreement. Those improvements would resolve shareholders' claims that Wachovia purchased Golden West Financial in 2006 without properly reviewing the mortgage lender's portfolio, the Banker said. U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, Calif., is expected to review the proposed settlement by March 5. That settlement would not involve any payment by former officers or directors of Golden West or Wachovia to Wells Fargo or the shareholders who filed the lawsuit, the Banker said …
- In a key step in its conversion to a public company from a mutual, Lawrence, Ind.-based United Community Bancorp, parent of United Community Bank, Friday announced that members of the mutual holding company that owns 60% of United Bancorp's stock--along with shareholders of the remaining 40%--approved a plan to reorganize in a completely public form. The conversion is contingent on regulatory approval and the sale of about three million shares in the new company, the Banker said …
- Toyota Motor Corp. forecast that its worldwide sales will increase 2% to a record level in 2013--an indication that the company likely has fully rebounded from the nosedive in business in the aftermath of last year's earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and a lack of interest from consumers in China (The Wall Street Journal Dec. 26). The Japanese automaker also estimated Wednesday that it would sell a record 9.7 million vehicles in 2012--vaulting it back into the No.1 global sales position ahead of General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG …
Fees coming to a checkout near you
SAN FRANCISCO (12/26/12)--Consumers could soon see checkout fees for using credit cards at brick-and-mortar businesses and online merchants alike. A July settlement among nine major banks, Visa, and MasterCard gives merchants the right to pass the costs of processing credit card transactions on to consumers through checkout fees (Consumer Action Dec. 13).
Here are steps you can take to avoid checkout fees:
- Shop around. Merchants are allowed to charge a fee equivalent to what they'll pay to accept your card, typically between 1.5% and 3% of the total purchase. Some merchants won't charge fees for using a credit or charge card. Before you get to the cash register, look for in-store signage or ask a sales person if you'll be charged a fee. If you will, consider shopping elsewhere.
- Know your rights. By law, merchants can't surprise you with fees at the last minute, try to hide fees, or overcharge you. Retailers must provide clear disclosure of fees with signs at the store entrance, at the point of sale, and on the customer's receipt. Receipts must list the amount of the fee, a statement saying the merchant is imposing a fee, and reassurance that the fee isn't more than what it will cost the merchant to accept the card. Online merchants must disclose fees on their homepages. Checkout fees remain illegal in 10 states; see the resource links.
- Request a discount. Don't hesitate to ask merchants that charge a fee for a discount.
For related information, listen to the Home & Family Finance Radio segment "Credit and Debit Cards: A Way of Life" in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.
Survive holidays on budget with H&FF Radio
WASHINGTON (12/26/12)--Last Sunday's H&FF Radio prepared listeners for the holidays with party, charitable giving, and shopping tips.
The show, which you also can hear later via the Internet, features Paul Berry, Washington, D.C., journalist and broadcaster, discussed these topics with special guests:
- "Holiday Party Survival Guide." Andrea Woroch, consumer expert, Kinoli Inc., Fort Collins, Colo., advised party hosts and guests about gift-giving and more.
- "Seasonal Giving." Mark Bergel, founder and executive director of A Wider Circle, Silver Spring, Md., suggested end-of-year charitable giving strategies.
- "10 Reasons to Give Cards." Kendal Perez, marketing coordinator, Kinoli Inc., Fort Collins, Colo., and a self-confessed shopaholic and bargain hunter, weighed in on the pros and cons of giving gift cards.
Home & Family Finance airs Sundays at 3 p.m. ET on the Radio America Network. The show also is carried on American Forces Radio Network. The one-hour program devoted to consumer finance issues is brought to you by America's credit unions and their 90 million members, and is presented by CO-OP Network.
CUNA and Radio America are podcasting Home & Family Finance through iTunes, Podcast Alley, Odeo, and other popular podcast library sites, as well as on Radio America and CUNA's websites.
For related information, read "Holiday alert: Steer clear of CyberScrooge" and "Create a Spending Plan for a Special Holiday" in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.
Xtend wraps up big year, announces dividend
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (12/27/12)--Xtend Inc., a credit union service organization (CUSO) in Michigan, says it had the largest sales year in its 10-year history, with revenue for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 totaling $1.68 million.
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based CUSO said the figure eclipses its previous high of $1.52 million after its 2011 campaign.
Xtend President Scott Collins noted the milestone, which is a 10.2% year-on-year revenue growth. "We experienced a sales increase in every one of our business units during the year, with most reaching double-digit growth numbers," Collins said. That and managing its expenses allowed the company to "finish the year right on budget from a net-income standpoint."
Because of the successful 2012 fiscal campaign, Xtend's Board of Directors has declared a 4% stock dividend to its owners. Collins said the dividend is the CUSO's third consecutive dividend and its largest.
Xtend, which is 100% owned by 69 credit unions, serves more than 150 credit unions. It provides managerial, operational, marketing, technical planning and consulting services for credit unions of all sizes.