3rd Quarter 2018 Message

October 1, 2018
Dear Members:
The U.S. economy continues to boom; the unemployment rate currently stands at 3.9 percent, near a 50-year low, and core inflation is right around 2 percent. These two numbers are part of a very good economy that boasts a remarkably positive outlook from financial forecasters.
In order to keep inflation under control, the Fed has said they will continue to raise the Prime rate but in the gradual manner that has accompanied the current cycle that began in December 2015. The central bank approved a quarter-point hike in the funds rate last week that brought the target range to 2 percent to 2.25 percent. Federal Reserve policy makers indicated another hike before the end of the year, three more in 2019 and likely one more in 2020 before pausing. That means we will see similar gradual rate increases in the interest rates of our Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) loans and the Kwik Cash loans, as both are indexed to the Prime rate. However, financing vehicles, boats and other things with a collateral loan will lock in some very low interest rates for the life of the loan.
As I reported last quarter, the Board’s decision to discontinue sponsorship of our credit card program and transfer direct control to our current provider institution is progressing well.  The transfer of our credit card balances to LSC occurred on September 5, 2018.  I want to reaffirm that all UCU card holders will continue to receive the good service and reasonable rates with the new cards that we’ve been accustomed to in the past.  Existing cardholders should also watch for a rewards program with their credit card that will begin to be offered by LSC in early 2019.
On behalf of the entire Board of Directors and UCU staff, I’d like to congratulate David Amans on his retirement from Xcel Energy on October 1st.  However, it is with some sadness that I report Dave has tendered his resignation from UCU as its President and Treasurer. Dave and his wife, Pam, will be relocating out of state upon retiring. Dave has been involved with the credit union for over 28 years, the last 9 of them leading the credit union as President and Board Treasurer. Fortunately, our Operations Manager, Heidi Schultz, has accepted the Boards offer to replace Dave as President and Board Treasurer. With over 16 years experience in various positions within UCU, Heidi is well suited to manage our credit union.
Finally, October 18th is International Credit Union Day. All Xcel employees are invited to stop by our table located outside the Employee break room at Sky Park between 10 AM and 2 PM for treats, drawings and credit union information.  Bring a co-worker and introduce them to UCU!
John R. Ness
Chairman, Board of Directors

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