New Mexico Story Archive

New Mexico Credit Union to Buy Western Heritage Bank

June 9, 2023 

  • Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Nusenda Credit Union will acquire Las Cruces-based Western Heritage Bank for an undisclosed sum in a deal set to close next year, the credit union said Tuesday.
  • The transaction will give $4 billion-asset Nusenda six added branches and a presence in Texas, as four of Western Heritage’s locations are in El Paso.
  • The Nusenda deal marks the fourth instance this year of a credit union buying a bank — a prospect that irks trade groups like Independent Community Bankers of America, which argues that credit unions’ tax exemption allows them to offer a higher buying price and helps them grow more freely than banks. Read more

New Mexico’s Nusenda Credit Union returns Over $7.8M to Members

Jan. 27, 2023  —  Nusenda Credit Union announced the distribution of more than $7.7 million in Earn Your Return bonus dividends and Community Rewards to qualifying members. In addition, qualifying business members received over $192,000 in Business Debit Card rewards. Member returns were automatically deposited in primary savings and checking accounts this month. Since 2009, more than $65.4 million has been returned via dividends to Nusenda’s membership. Read more

Credit Union Association of New Mexico Adds New Staff

Nov. 4, 2022  —  CUANM is excited to welcome three new members to the team: Rebecca Issacs, Kim Stark, & Nanci Wilson to the team.

  • Rebecca Issacs, Sr, Director Of Partnerships & Youth Empowerment
  • Kim Stark,Director of Foundation & Development
  • Nanci Wilson, Director of Marketing & Communications

“The Credit Union Association of New Mexico is embarking on a bold new direction to deliver an indispensable value to our members and help them thrive. I am so excited we have assembled a grade A team to deliver on this promise and help us successfully execute on this vision. New Mexico credit unions punch above their weight, we are now building an Association to live up to our members’ excellence,” said Juan E. Fernández Ceballos, CUANM President/CEO.


US Eagle Foundation to Award $10,000 in Classroom Grants

Aug. 23, 2022 — Applications for the 2022 enrichEd® Classroom grant program will be accepted from August 22 through September 16.

US Eagle Foundation’s enrichEd® program is in its fourth year. It is designed to support New Mexico public and charter school teachers by providing educators with $1,000 each for educational resources and classroom activities. The program addresses challenges New Mexico currently faces in terms of funding, resources, and innovation. Through this initiative, local schools are able to implement projects that excite curiosity and motivate children to learn.

New Mexico ranks next to last in public education nearly every year. “Teachers spend their own money in the classroom, trying to prevent students from falling behind. As leaders in our community, we feel compelled to step up and support them,” said US Eagle Federal Credit Union President/CEO Marsha Majors.

The enrichEd® Classroom Grant can be used for books, technology, equipment, school supplies, and other items to enrich the classroom experience. “We don’t want to limit their creativity; we want to encourage new ways of learning.”

“We have received incredibly creative submissions in the past few years and are excited to learn about all the innovative projects they come up with this year,” said US Eagle Foundation’s Executive Director Nadine Buerger.

Visit our blog to read about the 2021 awardees and their projects.

New Mexico Credit Union Association Partners with Defense Credit Union Council

The Credit Union Association of New Mexico (CUANM) is proud to announce a partnership with the Defense Credit Union Council (DCUC) to help credit unions support their veteran and first responder members and staff. The two organizations will collaborate and create CUheroes, an employee resource group dedicated to serving the veterans and first responders of NM’s credit union industry.

“New Mexico is lucky to count with a high percentage of current and former military population. The Credit Union Association of New Mexico is committed to helping credit unions meet the needs of the heroes they serve,” said Juan E. Fernández Ceballos, President & CEO of CUANM. “CUheros will launch in the fall of 2022 and is one of CUANM’s association-supported, employee-led employee resource groups. Our employee resource groups help credit union professionals engage, network, and learn from each other.”

“DCUC is proud to partner with the Credit Union Association of New Mexico to bring more resources to the military and veteran community,” said Anthony Hernandez, DCUC’s President & CEO. “It is by working together that we can have the largest impact on the credit union industry, which is essential to the financial health and well-being of the men and women that have served our country.”

New Mexico Credit Unions Help Countless Families Impacted by Wildfires

As fires continue to rage across the Land of Enchantment, NM credit unions are building a support network for their members, teams, and communities through food and supply drives, loan extensions, and evacuation assistance. The following credit unions have shared their efforts:

  • Del Norte Credit Union is providing financial assistance and relief through emergency loans, payment extensions, fee waivers, and a supply drive.
  • Guadalupe Credit Union helped another area CU evacuate and is offering members emergency relief loans, the option to skip payments for existing loans, and free financial coaching sessions. They are also collecting supplies (nonperishable food items, hygiene items, and paper goods) and monetary donations for evacuation sites.
  • Kirtland Federal Credit Union has partnered with the New Mexico Veterans Memorial Foundation to distribute monetary donations directly into the hands of veterans displaced by the ongoing wildfires in Northern New Mexico.
  • Nusenda Credit Union made a $25,000 donation to the NM Fire Relief Emergency Response Fund. The CU and its employees contributed $10,000 to help with the recovery efforts of April’s “Big Hole” fire. Nusenda teams are collecting relief supplies at their Taos and Santa Fe branches for Food Depot and continue to offer assistance via skip -payments, payment extensions, fee waivers, and loan relief.
  • Rio Grande Credit Union donated $15,000 to the Emergency Action Fund for NM Fire Relief. During the CU’s Montgomery branch opening in early May, Rio Grande raised an additional $2,400 for fire relief efforts. These funds will be used to provide meals, clothing, and other items to people who have short- and long-term recovery needs.
  • Sandia Area Credit Union is collecting and matching donations (up to $15,000) on behalf of the All Together New Mexico Fund. The grants will be used to provide emergency shelter, food and water distributions, and access to medical support.
    • Sandia Area also donated $5,000 directly to World Central Kitchen, an organization partnering with local restaurants in affected communities to serve fresh meals to evacuees and first responders battling the blazes . Sandia Area CU’s Santa Fe branch is accepting donations of non -perishable food items and hygiene products. Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union donated to the New Mexico Fire Relief Emergency Response Fund, which provides meals, clothing, and other necessities to those affected.
  • State Employees Credit Union of New Mexico is offering emergency loans and extensions to those impacted by the fires. They are also accepting monetary donations for the “Northern NM Fires” fund and collecting non – perishable food items, bottled water, new and unused blankets, clothing, and hygiene products.

Sandia Area Federal Credit Union Donates Money to Help Residents Impacted by Wildfires
Courtesy of Matt Hollinshead, RioRancho Observer

Sandia Area Federal Credit Union donated $5,000 toward wildfire relief efforts and pledged to matching fundraising campaign donations of up to $15,000 to support people impacted by wildfires across New Mexico.

The $5,000 donation went to World Central Kitchen, an organization partnering with local restaurants in affected communities to serve fresh meals to evacuees and first responders battling the fires.

“Many of our members live and work in these devastated communities,” Paula Peknik, president and CEO of Sandia Area Federal Credit Union, said in a press release. “This immediate donation is already helping mitigate the impacts on these communities, and we have more efforts underway to continue that support.”

Those extra efforts include collecting and matching donations on behalf of the All Together New Mexico Fund, which uses grants to help pay for food, water, emergency shelter and medical support.

Sandia Area will match up to $15,000 in donations made with the credit union.

To help the cause, you can donate to any Sandia Area Federal Credit Union location or call 505-292-6343.

New Mexico Credit Union Receives the Nation’s First Financial Institution Certification for Cannabis and Hemp Banking Protocols

December 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announces that New Mexico-based US Eagle Federal Credit Union is the first financial institution to become certified in the country for outstanding U.S. monetary banking protocols in banking cannabis and hemp operations.

This honor is part of a financial services certification program overseen by the Policy Center for Public Health & Safety (PH&S) in collaboration with state attorneys general. It is also part of a broader certification effort being implemented by ASTM international and PH&S.

“The marijuana industry will soon be exploding in New Mexico, and it is important to have banking safeguards to mitigate illicit and criminal conduct. This is an important first step in partnering with legally compliant businesses in the marketplace,” said New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas.

The certification brings banking and financial transparency to ensure the safety of the monetary system for institutions banking hemp and cannabis.

“Credit unions were chartered to serve the unbanked and underserved population. The cannabis industry has been unbanked and underserved for years, often resulting in adverse impacts on public safety in communities where cannabis is legal,” said Marsha Majors, President / CEO of US Eagle Federal Credit Union.


Credit Unions Support State Small Business Lending Proposal

June 17, 2020 – New Mexico’s credit unions are ready to help if the legislature passes a new low-interest loan program during its special session.

The Credit Union Association of New Mexico supports Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s effort to ask the New Mexico Legislature to approve a proposal to direct the State Investment Officer to invest a portion of the state’s multibillion-dollar Severance Tax Permanent Fund to support loans to small business and municipalities during the 2020 Special Session, which is set to begin at noon on Thursday, June 18. The proposal calls for low-interest long-term loans to help municipalities meet budget shortfalls and help small businesses with post-COVID-19 expenses.

“Now is the time for New Mexico to bring all necessary resources to bear to get struggling businesses back on their feet. These small businesses, hit hard by the pandemic, need help,” said Paul B. Stull, President, and CEO of CUANM. “The special legislative session will address this need with a program to invest in small businesses, designed specifically to create and preserve jobs, which will keep our economy growing at a very difficult time.”


CUANM Supporting Anti-Predatory Lending Bill
March 25, 2021

Dear Governor Lujan Grisham,

In January you established a list of priorities for the 2021 legislative session. Credit unions and many others were very hopeful when you set capping rates on predatory loans as one of your key efforts. Unfortunately that bill, and many of our legislators, were mislead by the predatory lending industry and the stain of 175% or even 99% interest rates on small-dollar loans continues in New Mexico.

Today you are considering the list for action during a special legislative session. It would be a great service to add your priority legislation to that session and give legislators another chance to end the suffocating debt trap caused by predatory lenders.


Securities Division Reminds Firms to Contact Regulators with Issues Related to Solarwinds Breach

January 8, 2021 —SANTA FE – The Securities Division of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department is reminding financial service registrants, particularly state-registered investment advisers and intrastate broker-dealers, to report any known issues or concerns related to the recent SolarWinds cybersecurity incident to their primary securities regulator.

“By utilizing trusted software updates, the bad actors took advantage of the normal and recommended best practice of keeping software up to date. Thousands of companies may have been exposed simply for doing the right thing” said Linda Trujillo, Deputy Superintendent.

In December 2020, the federal government has reported that SolarWinds, a vendor that provides updating and monitoring software to numerous government agencies and private companies, was the victim of a breach that caused SolarWinds Orion Network Management Products to transmit malware to many of its clients, including federal, state, and local governments, as well as other private sector entities.


Regulator retires; deputy named acting director
Sept. 6, 2016 — Change has come to New Mexico financial institution supervision with the retirement last week of the state’s principal top financial institution regulator– and the appointment of an acting director. Cynthia Richards retired officially Aug. 31, having served just more than five years (since July, 2011) as director of the financial institutions division of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department. Taking her place (as acting director) is Deputy Director Christopher Moya. “It has been an honor to serve the people of the State of New Mexico and to work alongside such capable and dedicated professionals both in our government service and in the New Mexico financial industry,” Richards said in a statement. “My goals have always been to protect the people of our state, to insure the soundness of our financial industries and to promote the professionalism of the Financial Institutions Division.”

Press release/Richards retires, Moya named acting director

First Financial Credit Union Joins the Apple Pay Party
May 11, 2015 – Less than three months after it announced a merger with Chino Federal Credit Union in Silver City, First Financial Credit Union launched Apple Pay to its entire member base May 4. It joins Nusenda Credit Union in being one of only two credit unions in the state to offer Apple Pay.

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