South Carolina Story Archive

Two South Carolina Credit Unions Announce Completion of Merger

Courtesy of CUToday.info

Caro FCU

Sept. 5, 2022 —The $11-million St. Francis FCU has merged into the $112.2-million Caro FCU in Columbia, S.C.

As CUToday.info reported here, St. Francis reported $43,562 in net income in the first quarter with net worth of 21.12% (a portion of which it distributed to members). It told members when it was seeking the merger that the combination would be “mutually beneficial and that Caro would be able to provide a “more robust product set.”

St. Francis FCU had served Bon Secours St. Francis Health System since 1966, the and in announcing completion of the merger it said it will be a “ key growth driver to maximize efficiencies and enhance products and delivery channels for members – all while retaining its entire team, programs and services, and existing location.”

Two ‘Great Institutions’

“The merger brings together two great institutions, and we are delighted to join the Caro family,” said former St. Francis CEO Katia Marini-Nunez. “Our plan is to leverage our combined resources—to truly be financial experts for members in the greater Greenville area.”

Located across the street from St. Francis Downtown at 121 Sumner St., the new Greenville branch of Columbia-based Caro is less than five minutes away from the high growth areas of Greenville’s West End Historic District and the Village of West Greenville, the credit union said.

Caro FCU added it also has two locations in Columbia and boasts a straightforward vision of “real solutions for real people.”

Foundation of Integrity

“Both Katia and I have built our credit unions on the foundation of integrity, and that remains a cornerstone,” said Caro CEO Anne Shivers. “This merger is about finding pathways toward helping people in the Upstate with their everyday financial needs and long-range goals.”

Following the merger, Caro has $123 million in total assets and more than 7,800 members.


South Carolina Bill Seeks to Tow Away Some Bad Practice

Courtesy of CUToday.info

July 25, 2022 — A bill that seeks to address bad actors in the towing industry and that would affect credit unions as lienholders has been signed into law in South Carolina.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster put his signature on H. 3279, which seeks to address towing companies that do not send proper notice to all interested parties of a vehicle in their possession, running up excessive storage fees.

For credit unions, this bill defines and limits the number of days a storage company may charge before certified notification is sent to the lienholder, according to the Carolinas Credit Union League.

“No matter how much a bill can appear to be just common sense, the S.C. General Assembly never makes things easy,” said CCUL Vice President of Governmental Affairs Billy Boylston. “I’ve seen good bills die and bad bills pass—but they got it right this time. This bill is the culmination of a lot of hard work from credit unions, lawmakers, and the advocacy team here at the League. I am thankful to Governor McMaster for signing the bill, and seeing this become law.”

This issue has impacted federal and state credit unions and the consumers to which these costs are passed, CUNA added.


State Treasurer Curtis Loftis Announces the Selection of Kathy L. Bickham as New Commissioner of Banking

Courtesy of MidlandsBiz/WHO’S ON THE MOVE

March 9, 2022 —South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis, Chairman of the State Board of Financial Institutions, announced that Kathy L. Bickham has been selected to serve as the next Commissioner of Banking for the state. She is the first woman to serve in this capacity at the agency.

Bickham began her career with the State Board of Financial Institutions, the agency charged with chartering, examining and regulating South Carolina state-chartered banks and credit unions, as an entry level Bank Examiner in 1991. Over the next 14 years, she steadily progressed throughout the ranks and in 2005, she was named Deputy Commissioner of Banking. She was named Interim Banking Commissioner in January 2022, when Rick Green stepped down from that position.

Bickham played an integral part in securing South Carolina’s participation in a national bank examiner pilot program and has worked with the National Credit Union Association to explore supervisory efficiencies and reduce the regulatory burden on credit unions. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Bickham has a Bachelor of Administration in Accounting and a master’s degree in business education.

“I am honored and excited to serve as Commissioner of Banking. I would like to thank Chairman Loftis and the Board for their confidence in me and the support they have given me,” Bickham said. “I look forward to working with the Board and our excellent staff as we move forward.”

Read more about this announcement here.


Five CUs in the Carolinas among Top 200 Healthiest CUs in America

November 17, 2021 — DepositAccounts.com, a subsidiary of Lending Tree, released its 2021 list of the Top 200 Healthiest Credit Unions in America, which includes five credit unions in the Carolinas:

  • MTC Federal Credit Union | Greenville, SC
  • AllSouth Federal Credit Union | Columbia, SC
  • Summit Credit Union | Greensboro, NC
  • Greenville Heritage Federal Credit Union | Greenville, SC
  • State Credit Union | Columbia, SC

North Carolina and South Carolina were also listed respectively as the 18th and 17th healthiest states for banking in the U.S. per Texas Ratio figures. Click here to view the interactive list of the raw Texas Ratio figures for the healthiest credit unions in each state.

DepositAccounts.com evaluates the financial health of federally-insured credit unions in the U.S. once per quarter and has been tracking healthy institutions since 2010. To determine ranking and recognition, DepositAccounts.com grades each institution on a number of factors, including capitalization, deposit growth, and loan-to-reserve ratios.

These rankings are intended to give consumers a way to evaluate their institution’s financial health and to help them make informed decisions when selecting a financial institution.

For a complete listing of the 2021 Top 200 Healthiest Credit Unions in America, visit depositaccounts.com/banks/health.aspx.


State of Small CUs: White paper focuses on need to “catalyze a culture shift” at the board level

JUNE 29, 2021 — In this limited article series, the Carolinas Credit Union League highlights the six challenges identified in the CUNA Small Credit Union Committee’s “State of Small Credit Unions Today” white paper, sharing the committee’s recommended solutions and where the League, Carolinas Foundation, and others are working to bring those solutions to fruition.

In our first installment, we took a closer look at small credit unions’ challenge in keeping up with technology demands and where the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation’s new grant program is aiding in this need. Now, we take a look at Challenge 2: Board Leadership and Engagement.

READ MORE


League Works to Update NC, SC State Credit Union Acts

April 8, 2021 — In January, the Carolinas Credit Union League helped introduce updates to both the North and South Carolina state credit union acts to improve and modernize the statutes in each state.

In South Carolina, following the successful passage of S. 337 in 2018—which was opposed by the SC banking associations—the League worked with Senate Banking Chairman Ronnie Cromer, House LCI Chairman Bill Sandifer, the SC Board of Financial Institutions, SC Banking Commissioner Rick Green, SC State Treasurer Curtis Loftis, and banking associations to make additional changes to the state charter to improve the business climate for credit unions.

Through many discussions, all stakeholders crafted and agreed to non-controversial items. These efforts have led to Sen. Cromer introducing S. 0467 and Rep. Sandifer introducing its House companion bill, H. 3583.

These new bills would update the credit union statute relative to:

  • Simplifying approval/denial of credit union membership;
  • Changing the minimum required frequency of board meetings from monthly to quarterly;
  • Codifying state law to have an official process of a conversion from a federal to state charter; and
  • Changing the required affirmative votes for conversion from 2/3 of membership to a majority.
  • S. 467 has passed the Senate and awaits action in the House. The League will continue to report on this legation as it progresses.

READ MORE


Carolinas League Seeks to Update the South Carolina Credit Union Act

February 26, 2020 — The Carolinas Credit Union League led the effort to introduce S. 1107, which updates both the state’s banking charter and credit union act. The amendments to the Credit Union Act would ease the regulatory burdens of credit unions and permit credit unions to better serve their members.

After a contentious battle over the substantial South Carolina Credit Union Act updates in 2018, the League conferred with lawmakers, regulators and bankers to craft non-controversial items that would benefit credit unions and banks. The updates S. 1107 makes to the credit union statute are as follows.

SECTION 12. Section 34-26-350(2) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

“(2) A credit union may maintain and dispose of other service facilities, including automated terminals, at locations other than its principal office upon approval of the commissioner. The maintenance of such facilities must be reasonably necessary to furnish service to its members or potential members.”

SECTION 13. Section 34-26-530 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

“The board of directors shall act upon applications for membership or appoint one or more membership officers to approve applications for membership under such conditions as the board prescribes. Persons wishing to join a credit union must do so by written application which shall be acted upon in accordance with credit union procedure. A person denied membership by a membership officer may appeal the denial to the credit union board.”

SECTION 14. Section 34-26-640(A) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

“(A) The board of directors shall meet as often as necessary and at least monthly and at other times as is necessary quarterly.”

SECTION 15. Section 34-26-645(13) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

“(13) establish titles for all elected officers and senior management positions; and”

SECTION 16. Section 34-26-1220 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

“(1) A credit union incorporated under the laws of this State may be converted to a credit union organized under the laws of any state or under the laws of the United States, or a credit union organized under the laws of the United States or of any other state may convert to a credit union incorporated under the laws of this State.

(2) To effect such a conversion, a credit union must receive the approval of a two-thirds majority of the members voting in accordance with the credit union’s bylaws on the question of a charter conversion and upon the approval of the credit union’s current and future regulator.

(3) The assets and liabilities of the predecessor credit union will vest in and become the property of the successor credit union subject to all existing liabilities against the predecessor credit union. Members of the predecessor credit union may become members of the successor credit union pursuant to this chapter.”

New Commissioner of Banking named
Feb. 11, 2019 — Richards H. Green has been promoted to serve as the next Commissioner of Banking for the state, South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis, Chairman of the State Board of Financial Institutions, announced today.

Green has spent his entire career with the State Board of Financial Institutions, the agency charged with chartering, examining and regulating South Carolina state-chartered banks and credit unions. From an entry level Bank Examiner position in 1999 to his latest role as Chief Examiner, Green’s career as a regulator steadily progressed throughout the ranks as he took on more responsibility, oversaw more complex financial institutions and managed other examiners during his 20 years with the agency.

State CU League focusing on updating, modernizing charter
Jan. 12, 2018 — The Carolinas Credit Union League is focusing in South Carolina on passing Senate bill 337, which updates and modernizes the South Carolina state credit union charter. A hearing on the bill is set for Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, and the state association is urging credit unions to take action supporting the bill.


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