Tag Archives: arizona state credit union

financial

Credit unions grow membership, revenue

Like many other industries, credit unions in Arizona are bouncing back from the economic downturn.

Credit unions, which are similar to banks in the products and services that they offer except at a slightly lower cost, are taking advantage of consumer disenchantment with big banks to attract new members. According to a recent National Credit Union Administration report, through the first quarter of 2012, credit unions around the country combined for a record 92.5 million members.

“As local, member-owned financial institutions, credit unions are simply doing what they have always been good at,” said Scott Earl, CEO of Mountain West Credit Union Association, a trade organization of credit unions across Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming. “They have a long history and reputation for providing excellent member service, financial education and a wide variety of financial services to fit their members needs. The recent increased recognition of these qualities and the progress credit unions have made is establishing their success as an industry.”

Nationally, credit unions generated $2.1 billion in profits and added 667,000 new members in the first quarter of 2012, a 25 percent spike in profits compared with a year earlier. Most large Arizona credit unions — including Desert Schools, TruWest, Arizona State, Credit Union West and Arizona Federal — saw profits roughly double in the first quarter of 2012, compared with earnings from a year earlier.

“The word ‘profit’ is a bit of a misnomer,” said Paul Stull, senior vice president of strategy and brand for Arizona State Credit Union. “Credit unions do have net income. However, all credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives. The net income or funds available after expenses are paid become part of a credit union’s capital or are used to build new branches, purchase new technology or offer additional services.”

Something that Arizona State Credit Union added recently were construction loans to its home loan portfolio in anticipation of an improving economy, as evidenced by the 27 percent growth of new home sales in the first quarter, compared to the prior year.

The construction loan program allows members the opportunity to lock in their mortgage rate early and avoid the possibility of fluctuating rates during the construction phase. Additional perks to this all-in-one loan include needing to only qualify once, signing one set of loan documents and paying one set of loan fees for both the construction-phase financing and permanent mortgage.

“As a local financial cooperative, the Credit Union is proud to offer low rates and flexible terms on a product that few financial institutions are offering,” said David E. Doss, president and CEO of Arizona State Credit Union. “We are excited to add construction loans to our home loan options as it is one more way we can assist members residing in the Arizona communities we serve.”

A J.D. Power and Associates study this year showed that consumer backlash against fees and the perception of poor customer service from some of the bigger banks have caused some consumers to switch to credit unions, whichunlike banks, which are run as private businesses seeking profits, operate as nonprofit entities and are technically owned by their members.

“Generally credit unions offer lower fees and better interest rates than banks,” Stull said. “This is one reason consumers may come to a credit union. We also see many people that switch because they want to do business with a local financial institution that is based in Arizona. Our deposits are returned to the community in the form of loans than in turn grow jobs and economic development in the communities we serve. Many consumers have made a choice to support local businesses, and credit unions are a great example of that.”

While credit unions never issue subprime mortgages, which many experts blame for helping lead the nation into the recession, credit unions did get hit with the impact of the failing economy. One lesson Earl said they learned: Innovation.

“Learning to manage resources while providing increased quality of services through the recession has challenged the way credit unions approach problems,” he said. “Increased creativity and credit union technology are some of more positive lessons for the long term.”
In addition to lower fees and increasing efficiency that is resulting from lessons learned in the wake of the recession, Stull said credit unions offer free financial counseling, will help members create a budget to manage their funds, and Arizona State Credit Union’s Home Affordable Refinance Program has allowed homeowners who owe more than the house is worth to refinance and reduce their payments.

“Choosing a credit union is a win-win situation for consumers,” Stull said. “They can get a better rate or lower fees to help them stretch their budgets, and they can benefit their community by doing business with a local financial cooperative that helps create jobs and grow the local economy. You get a good deal and you can feel good about helping your community, too.”

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Arizona State Credit Union recycles 23 tons of documents

Arizona State Credit Union’s eight shred events resulted in recycling 47,884 pounds of paper, which is 15,000 pounds more than 2011’s Shred-A-Thon. This sizeable contribution equates to saving 239 trees.

Members of northern Arizona communities were encouraged to participate in the free events by bringing up to five boxes of their sensitive documents to the credit union’s branches to be shredded right on location.

In support of community outreach programs, the credit union sponsored these events to help raise awareness about the importance of shredding personal documents and protecting against identity theft.

“It is great to see community members responding to our sustainable model with attendance and the amount of documents increasing each of the three years that we’ve sponsored the Shred-A-Thon,” said David E. Doss, President/CEO of Arizona State Credit Union. “As a 100% local financial cooperative, it is our responsibility to fill this community need and we are glad to do it.”

The Shred-A-Thon kicked off in March at the credit union’s Prescott Valley branch and concluded in October at its Cottonwood branch.

For more information about the credit union’s support of local Arizona communities, or for information on products and services, visit www.azstcu.org.

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Arizona State Credit Union earns honor

Arizona State Credit Union’s unwavering commitment to associates’ long-term financial well-being has earned the local financial cooperative national acclaim.

An independent judging panel of employee benefits experts named Arizona State Credit Union one of the 2012 winners of The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security.

Judges selected the credit union because of their commitment to associates as demonstrated by their focus on employee benefits, including wellness and retirement programs, which are designed to improve both physical health and financial security.

“Arizona State Credit Union and other Principal 10 Best winners continue to set the standard for improving employee financial security; they realize the investment in their employees constitutes an investment in their own future well-being,” said Luke Vandermillen, vice president at the Principal Financial Group®. “Winning companies offer a number of ways to impact the long-term physical and financial health of their employees and understand the direct connection between well-rounded benefits, a healthier workplace and a better bottom line.”

The Principal Financial Group sponsors the 11-year-old national program, which honors growing companies (five to 1,000 employees) for their commitment to their employees’ financial security.

“We are proud to be recognized among the other Principal 10 Best Companies winners for our efforts in providing associates with fair benefits,” said David E. Doss, President/CEO of Arizona State Credit Union. “By ensuring associates’ satisfaction while at work, they, in turn, provide outstanding member service to those in the Arizona communities the cooperative serves.”

The Principal Group awards each winning company with a donation to a charity of their choice. On behalf of Arizona State Credit Union, the Principal Group will donate $2,500 to the Arizona State Employees Charitable Campaign, a state-run organization that supports state employees and more than 600 charities.

For a complete list of locations, products and services, please visit azstcu.org.

Mobile Banking - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Mobile Banking Causes Security Concerns

Use of phone apps skyrockets 45 percent in six-month span, but how safe are they?

The smart phone is becoming to banking what the knife has become to bread: It’s changing the way we consume.

Mobile Banking - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

“Mobile banking has had the biggest impact on financial institutions since the introduction of ATMs,” says Paul Stull, senior vice president of strategy and brand at Arizona State Credit Union, the first credit union to introduce mobile banking in Arizona.”The convenience of being able to use a mobile device to manage funds, track balances and pay bills is a huge advancement in convenience and time savings for consumers.”

According to comScore, a leader in measuring the impact of the digital world, the number of people using mobile banking applications on their smart phones jumped an astounding 45 percent from December 2010 to June 2011. Nearly 14 percent of the total U.S. mobile audience accessed mobile banking services in June 2011, an increase of 21 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010.

Mobile Banking - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

“New functionality, such as person-to-person payments and mobile check deposits, continue to gain traction, accelerating user adoption,” says Dan Stewart, president for Mutual of Omaha Bank in Arizona. “Banks that ignore the trend will find themselves missing what is fast becoming a standard bank offering.”

Not many banks are ignoring the trend. In a recent survey of the top 25 financial institutions in the United States, Javelin Strategy & Research found that 23 of those 25 institutions offer some sort of mobile-banking service SMS/text, downloadable applications, WAP/browser, or a combination of all three, known as a “triple play”. Thats an improvement from 2009, says Mary Monahan, research director at Javelin, when less than 50 percent of the same banking institutions played active roles in mobile space.

“Mobile banking is a must-have now,” says Monahan.

Wells Fargo is one of the institutions that blazed the mobile-banking trail and offers the triple play.

Mobile Banking - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012“Wells Fargo launched its mobile channel in 2007 by listening to our customers,” says Brian Pearce, senior vice president and head of the Retail Mobile Channel at Wells Fargo’s Internet Services Group. “They told us that they wanted easy and convenient access to their balances, transfer capabilities and the ability to pay a bill while on the go. They also told us that they wanted to be able to access their information regardless of their phone model and carrier plan. To meet these needs, we offer a triple play mobile web, Apps for Android, iPhone, Blackberry and Palm, and text banking.”

And Wells Fargo continues to improve the ease of use and is adding new bells and whistles to make banking easier.

“We’ve just recently enhanced the design of our mobile experience with a simplified navigation and streamlined screen designs,” Pearce says. “We also added a GPS feature for our wf.com ATM locator and new commands and enrollment options for our text banking application.”

Banks are finding that mobile banking is good for the bottom line.

Mobile Banking - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012“Mobile banking adds to customer acquisition and retention, reduces call volume to the call center, and takes the convenience of Web banking one step further,” says Craig Doyle, Arizona market president of Comerica Bank, which has launched mobile banking apps for the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android. “This technology also forces the industry to focus more on the customer and carefully evaluate what products and services we can offer to better serve them.”

While smart phone users are the biggest users of mobile banking, the exploding popularity of mobile tablets like the iPad is expected to alter the mobile banking landscape even further, experts say.

“The tablet is going to be a game changer,” Monahan says. “Banks have to be ready.”

Apps for tablets will require some thought, since consumers spend more time browsing on mobile tablets than they do on mobile phones, Monahan says. “Banks will have to have deeper dives, and its going to be key for banks to have a tablet-specific app.”

Even as the use of mobile banking skyrockets, there is one issue that is keeping it from reaching a fever pitch.

“The main reason consumers dont move to mobile banking is because of security concerns,” Monahan says. “Consumers want to know that their mobile interactions and transactions are encrypted, and they want some assurance that they will be reimbursed for losses associated with a mobile-banking breach. Banks need to educate consumers about what they offer and how they are protecting the mobile channel.”

Educating consumers is something that Comerica said is vital to growing its mobile banking channel.

“Comerica always has security in mind and is constantly evaluating better ways to protect our customers,” Doyle says. “We encourage our customers to take the proper precautions to protect themselves. We feature information about good security practices on our Comerica.com website and our mobile banking microsite so our customers can be properly educated and protect themselves.”

To help ease its customers security concerns, Monahan says banks should at least do these three things:

Post mobile banking security guarantees on their websites. Guarantees should be prominent, on the homepage, so consumers can quickly find them.

Banking institutions offering mobile banking through downloadable apps should have the ability to remotely deactivate apps that could be infected or contain malicious code.

Every institution should spearhead a strong consumer education campaign that educates consumers about safe mobile-banking practices, while also informing them about mobile offers and services provided by their banks or credit unions.

Arizonas banking leaders say those security concerns are not going unnoticed.

“All mobile technology used by Arizona State Credit Union complies with federal financial institution regulations requiring the use of multi-factor authentication technology,” Stull says. “In addition, the Credit Union will be adding new security improvements during 2012 that will use virtual intelligence to learn user behavior and detect variances in usage that may indicate unauthorized activity.”

Bankers point out that mobile banking can actually be a great tool to use to keep your money secure because you have 24-hour access to your financial information.

“We feel that the ‘anytime, anywhere’ nature of mobile banking gives customers a great tool to monitor their accounts and stay in control of their money,” Pearce says.

5 Ways To Protect Yourself

1. Set the phone to require a password to power on the handset or awake it from sleep mode.

2. Whether you’re using the mobile Web or a mobile client, don’t let it automatically log you in to your bank account. Otherwise, if your phone is lost or stolen, someone will have free access to your money.

3. Avoid sharing your password, account number, PIN, answers to secret questions or other such information. Don’t save this information anywhere on your handset.

4. Immediately tell your bank or mobile operator if you lose your phone.

5. Review account statements. If you do notice any unusual transactions, call your bank immediately and dispute the transactions.

For more information on mobile banking and ways to protect yourself visit the Wells Fargo website at wellsfargo.com.

AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Credit Unions Big Boose to Small Business - AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

Credit Unions Could Be A Big Boost To Small Business

Every week while driving to work I notice an increasing number of empty store fronts. A local restaurant, boutique or consulting firm that was there last week, is no longer there today. It makes me wonder how many of those local small businesses could have survived had they applied and been approved for a small business loan at credit unions.

According to the Arizona Small Business Association, there were just about 381,000 small businesses in Arizona in 2008. Think about how many more small businesses there could be if Arizona’s 49 credit unions had the ability to increase their business lending and offer new business loans.

Think about how many jobs that could create. Now think about the potential positive impact that could have on our economy.

Eighteen Arizona credit unions, about a third in the state, provide member business loans.

However, the current statutory cap is set at 12.25 percent of assets.

Many credit unions have refrained from entering the business lending arena because the 12.25 percent cap prevents them from earning sufficient income to cover the cost of starting up and maintaining a business lending portfolio.

Legislation in the Senate, S 509, has been introduced by Sens. Mark Udall  (D-Colo.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.);  and on the House side, HR 1418 introduced by Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.). If passed, both bills would increase the business lending cap to 27.5 percent of current assets.

If enacted, legislation raising the current statutory cap of credit union small business lending (from the current 12.25 percent of assets to 27.5 percent of assets) could result in $13 billion in new lending and 140,000 new jobs in just the first year nationwide and $144 million in new lending and 1,600 new jobs in Arizona, according to Credit Union National Association estimates.

“We hear from business owners all the time that have solid plans and want to grow, but the big banks won’t even talk to them,” says Paul B. Stull, senior vice president Strategy & Brand for Arizona State Credit Union. “Increasing credit unions ability to lend to these businesses is needed now more than ever. We can get the economy moving again, but the current economic gridlock is holding us back.

“Local financial institutions, like credit unions, know our markets very well. We understand Arizona and we know how to make Arizona loans for Arizona people.”

The unique benefit to this legislation is no U.S. taxpayer dollars would be needed; nor would any new government programs need to be created.

When other lenders pulled back during the financial crisis, credit unions stepped up to the plate and continued to lend. And even though credit unions are the only financial institution imposed with a statutory cap, member business loans have grown 3 percent in Arizona over the past year, compared with other financial institutions which have decreased an average of 7 percent. Many credit unions, however, may soon be approaching the statutory cap of 12.25 percent of current assets.

The average credit union small business loan in Arizona is $220,000; these are indeed loans to small businesses. With so many local small businesses struggling, these loans are increasingly necessary to support our local economy so it can once again thrive.

With less than 2 percent of the market, it’s important to note that credit unions pose no threat to commercial banks. Small businesses are often turned away from commercial banks because they are too small. This is where credit unions have the ability to fill in the gap.

Credit unions have a long history and good track record with their members of making small business loans, and making them prudently.

Since 1997 the net charge off rate for credit union small business loans in Arizona has been roughly one-fourth the average of other financial institutions (0.23 percent vs. 0.93 percent), and in 2011 averaged 70 percent of other financial institutions (0.91 percent vs. 1.29 percent).

Treasury, Obama Administration and our federal regulator, the National Credit Union Administration, are all in favor of this legislation.  Those standing in the way are only impeding a path to sustain the growth of local economies by supporting small businesses and the jobs that they bring to our communities.

“Arizona needs jobs, businesses need loans to grow and now is the time for Congress to increase credit unions ability to meet those needs,” Stull says. “This is a quick fix to create jobs at no cost to the taxpayer. We are asking Congress to prove their commitment to growing jobs and this is one piece of legislation that does just that.”

For more information about credit unions, visit www.azstcu.org.

 

Arizona Business Magazine September/October 2011

Arizona State Credit Union Awards Scholarships

Arizona State Credit Union Awards $34,000 To College Students, Graduates

Arizona State Credit Union awarded $34,000 in scholarships to 18 individuals – a combination of both college students and recent college graduates of Arizona schools.

The scholarships were awarded through Arizona State Credit Union’s Community Leaders Scholarship and Loan Reduction program.

The Community Leaders Scholarship provides help for students to pay for tuition, books and other academic expenses, whereas the Load Reduction Grant helps graduates pay for student loans. The graduates were awarded for their academic achievements and commitment to the community.

Recipients of the scholarships are from various Arizona schools, including Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, University of Phoenix, Gila Community College, Mesa Community College and Paradise Valley Community College.

“I commend each of these students for the commitment they have made to their education,” said David E. Doss, President/CEO of Arizona State Credit Union.

These scholarships are only one part of the scholarships and grants that Arizona State Credit Union supports. The Credit Union is a supporter of sustainability and providing assistance to the Arizonans and local communities that it serves.

Arizona State Credit Union is a non-profit, statewide financial cooperative. The company has 21 branches across Arizona that provides financial products and services.

The 18 award recipients are Casey Lee Green, Brigitte Steinken, Eric Lehnhardt, Mathew Wadsworth, Maria Pina, Sawsan Hamad and Kevin Denhardt, all of Arizona State University.

Camille Adkins-Rieck, Daniel Cheek, Noam Dorr and Alegra Savage are the recipients from the University of Arizona.

Timothy O’Donnel and Chelsea Wilson are of Mesa Community College, James Burgos and Angela Towner are of the University of Phoenix, Jacquelina Blanch of Gila Community College and Joseph Cook of Paradise Valley Community College are also recipients.

“It is a privilege to be associated with some of the state’s brightest and most deserving individuals,” Doss said. “I am certain their dedication will enhance not only their futures but the future of Arizona as well.”

For more information about Arizona State Credit Union or its Community Leaders Scholarship and Loan Reduction program, please visit www.azstcu.org.

 

2010 Best of the Best Awards

2011 Best of the Best Winners

On March 31st, the 2011 Best of the Best Awards reception and dinner was held at Camelback Inn where Ranking Arizona recognized the companies that Arizona’s public ranked as their favorites to do business with.

During this special night of networking and celebrations, Ranking Arizona presented awards to its 2010 B.O.B. winners, 2010 and 2011 Platinum Hall of Fame honorees and the 2011 B.O.B. winners.

View photos of the event on Flickr.


Video by Nick Cervi

Congratulations to the 2011 Best of the Best Winners!

Advertising, Marketing & Media

Winner
KPNX-TV Channel 12

Finalists
News Talk 92.3 KTAR

The Lavidge Company

Business Services

Winner
Wist Office Products

Finalists
O’Neil Printing
Jani-King Southwest

Entertainment

Winner
Donovan’s Steak & Chop House

Finalists
T. Cook’s at Royal Palms
Vincent’s on Camelback

Finance & Professional

Winner
National Bank of Arizona

Finalists
Arizona State Credit Union

Farmers Insurance Co.

Health Care

Winner
St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center

Finalists
Chandler Regional Medical Center
Delta Dental of Arizona

Manufacturing & Technology

Winner
The Go Daddy Group Inc.

Finalists
Ping
The Boeing Company

Real Estate Commercial

Winner
CB Richard Ellis

Finalists
Ryan Companies US Inc.
Adolfson & Peterson Construction

Real Estate Residential

Winner
Rossmar & Graham

Finalists
Fireside at Norterra by Del Webb
Legacy Design Build Remodeling

Retail

Winner
Scottsdale Fashion Square

Finalists
Molina Fine Jewelers
Camelback VOLKSWAGEN Subaru Mazda

Tourism

Winner
Phoenix Convention Center

Finalists
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

2009 Best of the Best Winners


Best of the Best Awards 2011, AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011

Best of the Best Awards 2011: Finance & Professional

Winner: National Bank of Arizona

National Bank of Arizona, AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011 Opening its doors on Nov. 26, 1984, National Bank of Arizona was founded on a mission of building local relationships and providing exceptional customer service. More than 25 years later, its approach hasn’t changed. NB|AZ still prides itself on local expertise and delivering award-winning service. It’s grown from a single branch in Tucson to more than 76 branches in 56 communities throughout the state. Part of the Zions Bancorporation family, NB|AZ provides a suite of products and services tailored for its clients’ personal lives, businesses, specialty markets and wealth management. This comprehensive approach to banking enables National Bank of Arizona to be the only bank you need. Member FDIC.
Year Est: 1984
Principal(s): John J. Gisi, Keith D. Maio
Assets: $4.8B
National Bank of Arizona Logo, AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011 6001 N. 24th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85016
602-235-6000 www.nbarizona.com



Finalist: Arizona State Credit Union

Arizona State Credit Union, AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011 Since 1951, Arizona State Credit Union has provided financial services and support to communities across Arizona. The $1.3 billion not-for-profit financial cooperative provides a full range of services to more than 130,000 current members online and through 21 branches statewide. Arizona State Credit Union offers competitive auto and home loan rates, high-yield savings accounts, affordable checking accounts, convenient online access and more. Local businesses have a wide variety of loan opportunities, working capital lines of credit and premium business checking accounts without premium fees. Arizona State Credit Union is headquartered in Phoenix.
Year Est: 1951
Principal(s): David E. Doss
Assets: $1.3B
Arizona State Credit Union Logo, AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011, Finance & Professional 2355 W. Pinnacle Peak Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85027
800-671-1098
www.azstcu.org



Finalist: Farmers Insurance Co.

Farmers Insurance, AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011 Farmers Insurance attributes its success to its outstanding agency force and top-notch claims team. With more than 700 agents and 600 employees in the state, Farmers is an organization that believes in the future of Arizona. Farmers agents are available to provide sound personal advice to meet the individual client’s needs for auto, homeowners, life, financial services and business insurance. Farmers agents are leaders in their communities, investing in program development for local teachers and supporting family friendly initiatives. Farmers is the second-largest insurance provider in Arizona, protecting the autos, homes, businesses and lives of over 500,000 Arizona customers.
Year Est: 1928
AZ Agents: 700
Principal(s): Frank Soldano
Farmers Insurance Logo, AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011 18444 N. 25th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85023
602-588-3443
www.farmersinsurance.com


Arizona Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011