Nebraska Story Archive

Nebraska Judge Affirms Regulator’s Decision Denying a CU-Bank Acquisition

Courtesy of Peter Strozniak, Credit Union Times

Ruling says the proposed transaction is not authorized under the so-called wildcard statute.

August 3, 2022 — A Nebraska judge affirmed a decision of the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance to deny an application for the $369 million Premier Bank in Omaha to be acquired by the $7.9 billion GreenState Credit Union in North Liberty, Iowa.

Premier Bank appealed the NDBF’s decision before Lancaster County District Court Judge Ryan S. Post, who ruled last week that the proposed transaction is not authorized under the wildcard statute that allows for state banks to have the same powers as national banks.

Premier Bank argued that one of the powers of federally chartered banks doing business in Nebraska is the authority to sell substantially all of its assets and liabilities to a credit union. Premier, a state-chartered bank, claimed that if a national bank has this power, so too does a state bank.

But Judge Post sided with the NDBF’s argument that while the wildcard rule allows a bank’s board of directors or officers to exercise all of the incidental powers necessary to conduct the business of banking, there is no specific power under the wildcard law to sell or buy bank assets.

“This Court agrees with the (NDBF) hearing officer that there is difficulty in finding in the statutes the authority of a bank to sell substantially all of its assets as being an incidental power to the carrying on of the business of banking, since Premier is not going to be carrying on the business of banking, but rather terminating it,” Judge Post wrote. “In the absence of authority under federal law empowering a national bank, on these facts, to sell substantially all of its assets and transfer substantially all of its liabilities, to a credit union, this Court cannot conclude that the wildcard statute grants Premier Bank any such power.”

Last year, the Nebraska Bankers Association (NBA) opposed Premier Bank’s proposed sale to Iowa’s largest credit union. Lawyers for the bank and the NBA made their arguments before the NDBF’s hearing officer Jim Titus. In January, he denied the application of the bank to be purchased by GreenState.

Premier Bank CEO and Board Chair Chris Maher and GreenState President/CEO Jeff Disterhoft declined to comment when reached on Wednesday, but they indicated they may issue a comment later this week.

On its website, the NBA speculated that Premier Bank may appeal the court’s decision and added, “Your NBA team will continue to aggressively work to level the playing field between tax-subsidized credit unions and Nebraska banks.”


Metro CU Intro’s ‘Universal Program Model’ That Features Minimum $50K Salaries for Front-Line Reps

Courtesy of CUToday.info

June 8, 2022 — Metro Credit Union said it has “reinvented its retail and contact center employment and compensation structure” as part of a Universal Program Model so that all income branch retail and Member Service Center reps are paid at least $50,000 annually.

Metro

The credit union said the new initiative also seeks to provide additional career opportunities and to upskill its employees, who will also have the opportunity for additional compensation through Metro’s competitive bonus programs.

Existing employees are also eligible for the new program, the credit union said.

In a statement announcing the changes,  the $2.6-billion Metro Credit Union said it continues to experience rapid growth and has increased its branch footprint by 25% since the end of 2021. It said it now offers  one of the highest starting payrates for entry-level employees in the industry.

“As the cost-of-living surges across the state and country, and the threat of an economic downturn looms in the horizon, it is crucial that we provide additional earning opportunities to our employee base,” said Robert Cashman, president, and CEO. “By offering resources and training employees to master new skills, we not only uplevel our entire organization, but also impact the career trajectory of qualified individuals across the Credit Union.”

Newly Defined Roles

As of July 1, 2022, Metro CU said it will place all incoming non-management branch and contact center employees into newly defined roles. That includes:

  • Sales and service representatives in branches and the Member Service Center, who will earn annualized compensation of $50,000
  • Sales and service supervisors, who will earn annualized compensation of $52,000.

“Under the new Universal Program Model, employees in these positions are required to learn at least one additional skill outside of their primary job responsibilities – assisting Metro’s Lending Division, queuing calls and/or emails, operating an Interactive Teller Machine, or engaging with members digitally through video banking and/or chat,” the credit union said.

For each new skill, employees are eligible to receive a fixed bonus figure each quarter, increasing their total annual compensation.

Compensating ‘Float’ Employees

In addition, Universal Service Specialists, or “float” employees designated to assist in various areas of the credit union as needed, will need to master multiple skills as part of their primary job function. These employees will earn annualized compensation of at least $55,000 and can earn additional compensation through existing bonus programs at Metro, the credit union explained.

Current Metro employees are eligible for any newly created position under the Universal Program Model. Metro said it will also continue to hire new management employees (assistant managers and managers) within current base salary ranges and provide opportunity for them to benefit from Metro’s bonus programs.


Ralston Arena renamed Liberty First Credit Union Arena

December 08, 2021 / RALSTON, Neb. (KMTV) — Leaders from the City of Ralston and arena management group, Spectra, announced Wednesday that Ralston Arena will be renamed Liberty First Credit Union Arena.

Frank Wilber, president and CEO of Liberty First Credit Union (LFCU), said the company decided to be Ralston Arena’s naming rights partner because of the sense of community at the facility.

“It’s more than just an arena,” said Wilber. “It’s a community hub that brings people together. I am an avid recreational hockey player, and the arena hosts several hockey leagues and a variety of other accessible, local events. It makes the Metro a better place. As a company that believes in ‘People Helping People,’ we view this opportunity as a natural fit.”

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Investment Fund Expense Ratios Advisory

NDBF SHEDS LIGHT ON INVESTMENT FUND EXPENSE RATIOS

August 16, 2021 — As part of its ongoing effort to raise investor awareness, the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) today issued an advisory discussing the importance of paying attention to expense ratios when comparing mutual funds and exchange traded funds.

The advisory explains what expense ratios are; how they are calculated; how they are affected by a fund’s management style, investment strategy and portfolio size; and important considerations for investors.

“Expense ratios are an important element for investors to consider, along with a fund’s risk/return profile, when comparing funds,” NDBF Deputy Director Claire McHenry said.

The full advisory is available on the agency’s website here ndbf.nebraska.gov.
Before making any financial decisions, ask questions, do your homework, and contact the NDBF at 402-471-2171 for more information.

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Understanding Financial Services

Mar 4, 2021 First 2021 my moNEy video meets the commitment to assist in understanding financial services

The Department of Banking and Finance and Department of Insurance presents videos on a variety of financial topics through the my moNEy series. The latest video provides information on Compound Interest. Use Compound Interest to your advantage by avoiding the pitfalls and investing in your future.

Videoclip:


RISKS OF STOCK PRICE VOLATILITY

NDBF REMINDS REGULATED FIRMS OF CUSTOMER OBLIGATIONS AND INVESTORS ABOUT RISKS OF STOCK PRICE VOLATILITY

February 1, 2021 — The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) today called on firms and other regulated entities to ensure that investor protection obligations are being met during recent price volatility in shares of certain publicly traded companies.

“Regulated entities have an obligation to their customers. NDBF will work with fellow regulators to ensure that investor protection, fairness and transparency are upheld in the public securities markets,” said Deputy Director Claire McHenry. “We are closely monitoring this developing situation and will examine actions by online brokerages and others to ensure that they are in compliance with their client obligations.”

Deputy Director McHenry also cautioned investors about the risks associated with investing in publicly traded companies that are experiencing volatility. “Investing in companies experiencing price volatility can be risky and investors should understand their risk tolerance when considering such investments,” Deputy Director McHenry said.

More information about the laws governing the securities industry in Nebraska can be found on NDBF’s website at www.ndbf.nebraska.gov. If you have questions about any investment matter, call Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance at 402-471-2171.


Veridian Picks Site for Council Bluffs Credit Union
May 5, 2015 – Council Bluffs, Neb.  Veridian Credit Union said Monday it has decided on a location for a new branch in Council Bluffs.

Quandahl Chosen to Lead Nebraska Banking Department
February 19, 2015 – Lincoln, Neb.  Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has chosen attorney Mark Quandahl to head the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance. He replaces Acting Banking Director Ray Pont.


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