December 12, 2013
Thursday Edition
​Financial regulators issue final guidance on social media

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), on behalf of its members, released final guidance on the applicability of consumer protection and compliance laws, regulations, and policies to activities conducted via social media by banks, savings associations, and credit unions, as well as nonbank entities supervised by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The guidance is effective immediately.

The guidance does not impose any new requirements on financial institutions. Rather, it is intended to help financial institutions understand potential consumer compliance and legal risks, as well as related risks such as reputation and operational risks, associated with the use of social media, along with expectations for managing those risks. The guidance provides considerations that financial institutions may find useful in conducting risk assessments and crafting and evaluating policies and procedures regarding social media.

The FFIEC published the guidance in proposed form in January 2013 and invited public comments through March 25, 2013. The agencies received 81 comments through that process and took those comments into account in making certain revisions to the guidance.

Click here to view Social Media: Consumer Compliance Risk Management Guidance.

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Gardiner to take over as Senate president in 2014

A central Florida state senator is being chosen as the Republican designate for Senate President.

Senate Republicans officially voted Tuesday to select Sen. Andy Gardiner, a Republican from Orlando, to succeed current Senate President Don Gaetz. Gardiner will become president in November 2014 if the GOP keeps control of the state Senate. Republicans currently hold a 26-14 margin.

Gardiner was first elected to the Florida House in 2000 and moved over to the state Senate in 2008. He has been majority leader in both chambers. Over the years, Gardiner has been a friend for credit unions while in the House and Senate.

The 44-year-old Gardiner currently works as vice president of external affairs and community relations for Orlando Health. He was born in Orlando and graduated from Stetson University with degrees in political science and psychology.

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A fourth of Florida banks still saddled with "troubled" rating

Tampa Bay Times reports that Florida's banks are improving overall but a quarter of them are still pegged as problem institutions. Florida ranks third-worst behind only Georgia and South Carolina, according to a new analysis.

The latest report from Coral Gables financial rating agency Bauer Financial shows 24.9 percent of Florida banks fall in the "troubled and problematic" category, three times worse than the national average of 7.6 percent. To be considered "troubled and problematic," a bank has to receive two stars or fewer on Bauer's five-star rating system.

Only 45 percent of banks statewide scored well enough in the third quarter to be recommended by Bauer, far shy of the 72 percent recommended rate for all banks nationwide.

Florida only has 15 zero-star banks left, down from 27 last year. However, that is largely because many of the worst banks fall off the list after they fail and their assets are sold to another institution.

The latest report told a completely different tale for Florida's credit unions. About 84 percent of all credit unions statewide are recommended and a mere one percent are considered troubled and problematic.

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Fin Ed Album for Kids

With the tongue-in-cheek title, "The Secret to Being Rich," the Disclosures album includes ten original songs that incorporate core financial literacy concepts including saving, responsible spending, the importance of charity, dangers of "too good to be true" advertising, and even the basics of how loans work.

"We've found that music and humor can be very effective ways of reinforcing learning," said band member Christopher Morris, who also serves as director of communications with the National Credit Union Foundation.

Morris's fellow band member, Chad Helminak, is web and member development strategist for the Wisconsin Credit Union League.

For their second album, Morris and Helminak enlisted additional credit union talent for production and artwork. The album was mixed by Squirrel Trench Audio, owned by Morriss Partee of the marketing firm The album's artwork was created by Sissybird Design, owned by Lesley Clark of Tinker FCU, Oklahoma City, Okla.

"The Secret to Being Rich" album is available for download on all major digital music stores such as iTunes, Amazon and others. Physical CDs also can be purchased at, and The Disclosures will also process bulk orders of CDs at discount for purchase by financial institutions, schools or youth organizations.

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In This Issue
Thursday Edition
​Financial regulators issue final guidance on social media
Gardiner to take over as Senate president in 2014
A fourth of Florida banks still saddled with "troubled" rating
Fin Ed Album for Kids
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