March 31, 2014
Monday Edition
'Patent trolls' in the crosshairs at state, federal levels

Patent trolls, those who manipulate the patent system for their own gain, continue to be in the legislative crosshairs on both the state and federal levels, as CUNA and state leagues work to protect credit unions from their menacing practices.

On Thursday, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee, confirmed at a Senate Executive Business Meeting that patent reform remains on his very near-term agenda. CUNA expects the committee to vote on the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013 (S. 1720) before Congress breaks for a Spring District Work session on April 11.

In a statement, Leahy stated that members of his committee have been working on the issue for "the better part of the year," including a December hearing in which John Dwyer, president/CEO of New England FCU testified on CUNA's behalf.

Dwyer described how his credit union became the target of a patent troll demand letter and is in the middle of expensive discovery in a patent infringement case related to 23 ATMs it provides for members.

Most recently on the state level, the Wisconsin State Assembly approved a patent troll bill last week. Like bills in six other states, Wisconsin's SB 498 now awaits the governor's signature to become law.

Click here to read the full article in CUNA news.

For more on patent trolls be sure to check out LSCU's feature on patent trolling in the latest issue of Signal magazine. Look for it on the League's Publications page.

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President's point

It’s safe to say that the NCUA’s risk based capital proposal is the hottest topic among credit unions and the trade associations. Since it was first introduced back in January, credit unions, leagues, and CUNA have had a strong reaction to the plan. The LSCU has the proposed rule as its top priority. We have developed a three-pronged approach to the proposal: 1) education, 2) comment, and 3) grassroots lobbying of Congress.

In the next few days, the League will announce dates and locations for a series of town hall style meetings in Alabama and Florida on the topic. The meetings will give credit unions an opportunity to better understand the proposed rule and to give us feedback on what needs to be changed. We will take this feedback and incorporate it into our comment letter to the NCUA, but also let our federal delegations know how all of you feel about the proposed rule on the possible effects it will have on the industry and access to credit for consumers. The League is working on a resource webpage that will be dedicated to risk based capital. We will house all of the resources from CUNA and the NCUA to keep you from having to search both websites. Plus, CUNA will have an easy way to send a comment and it will also be copied to your federal lawmaker. 

Working with CUNA, we have many resources available to help credit unions understand the proposed rule and to write a comment letter before the May 28 deadline. I can’t over emphasis the importance of credit unions being actively engaged in the process, both by writing a comment letter and by attending one of the NCUA’s town hall meetings. During the meetings we had with NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz and Board Member Richard Metsger at the CUNA GAC last month, they both said they would take stock of what credit unions told them during their series of Listening Sessions this summer. There are three meetings planned: June 26 in Los Angeles, July 10 in Chicago and July 17 in Alexandra. I will be attending the Region III session in Chicago on July 10. I encourage you to attend one as well, if possible.

The interaction with federal lawmakers will be a very important component of our efforts as the process moves forward that is why CUNA and the leagues are developing a grassroots lobbying plan. Stay tuned for more details on this in the coming weeks.

I know all of us are busy and it’s a short time to get a comment letter together. That’s why we are putting the resource page together and holding these town hall style meetings. I can’t stress to you how important it is to take some time to weigh in on this proposed rule because it’s just a proposal right now. Let’s work together to get the necessary changes made to this rule.

Where’s Patrick: This week will be spent in Tallahassee, Orlando, Tampa, and St. Pete. To see my tentative schedule for the next two weeks, click here.

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Free financial literacy webinar April 3

In support of National Financial Literacy Month, NCUA is hosting the webinar "Putting Your Financial Literacy Mission Into Action" on April 3 at 2 p.m. EST.

Join in to hear Gigi Hyland, executive director of the National Credit Union Foundation, and other speakers give tips on how to build a successful financial literacy program in your credit union based on asset size and specialized member demographics. Also, learn how to create key local and national financial literacy partnerships.

The webinar is free and open to all credit unions. Click here to register.

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National Credit Union Foundation seeks nominations for board

The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is currently seeking nominations for up to four board seats after the board of directors recently amended the NCUF bylaws to add these additional seats.  

Nominations for the NCUF board seats can come from individuals meeting one of the following criteria:

  • Credit Union Executive or Director - an executive officer or director of a credit union
  • System Affiliate - a director or executive officer of an organization that is national in scope, that has as its primary purpose support of credit unions or some element of the credit union movement, that has a significant portion of its ownership or membership from the credit union system and that has demonstrated a commitment to the purposes of this corporation
  • At-large - a representative of an organization outside of the credit union system, such as a cooperative, that has demonstrated a commitment to the purposes of this corporation. Note that any At-large seat shall not be eligible to serve on the Executive Committee of the Foundation


Qualified candidates interested in applying for any of these four seats can click here to obtain the NCUF Declaration of Candidacy document.

Applications must be received by April 25, 2014.

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LEVERAGE partner Invest In America releases March newsletter

LEVERAGE strives to bring you partners that help your bottom line and offer additional benefits to your members. Through the partnership that LEVERAGE has with CU Solutions Group, Invest in America offers many member discounts and services.

Click here to view March's Invest in America Newsletter, and feel free to share the newsletter with your entire team.

March's issue includes the following:

•    TurboTax "Triple My Refund" sweepstakes winner
•    Keep your TurboTax and Jackson Hewitt discounts
•    New look for Credit Union Member Discount from GM microsite
•    New ways members can save with Sprint

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In This Issue
Monday Edition
'Patent trolls' in the crosshairs at state, federal levels
President's point
Free financial literacy webinar April 3
National Credit Union Foundation seeks nominations for board
LEVERAGE partner Invest In America releases March newsletter
LSCU & Affiliates Media

President's 1Q Video
LSCU president/CEO gives his first quarter video for 2014. He looks at the CUNA GAC, tax reform, and the new Southeast Credit Union Conference. He also talks about the 2014 Dues Rebate.


Conversation with Florida CFO Jeff Atwater
Florida CFO Jeff Atwater stopped by the LSCU & Affiliates in March to talk about how the state is performing and where credit unions fit in the financial landscape.

 

Upcoming Event Deadlines
April 7 Last Day to Register for Spring Regulatory Compliance Update - Tallahassee, FL
April 8 Last Day for Early Bird Rate for OFAC & Bank Secrecy Act School – Birmingham, AL
April 9 Last Day to Register for Spring Regulatory Compliance Update - Birmingham, AL

Extended to April 22 Last Day for Early Bird Rate – Disaster Recovery Conference – Mobile, AL

Extended to April 24 Last Day for Early Bird Rate – Disaster Recovery Conference – Jacksonville, FL

Upcoming League Events
April 1 Completing Flood Insurance Forms
April 2 ACH Rules Update 2014
April 3 Powers-of-Attorney on Deposit Accts
April 8 Spring Reg. Compliance Update FL
April 9 Compliance, Account Titling & Ownership
April 10 Spring Reg Compliance Update AL
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