LSCU eNews Weekly
February 22, 2010 LSCU eNews Weekly
LSCU eNews Weekly
In This Issue
LSCU Headlines
Follow the LSCU from the CUNA GAC
LSCU CUNA GAC Welcome Reception
LSCU Dues are due March 1
Business lending hearing set in DC
LSCU extends invitation to a "Bank on Birmingham" kick-off meeting
Florida among states to get aid for struggling homeowners
Governmental News
CUNA Legislative Briefing Available
Credit Union Information
Federation, NCUA hosting joint conference call March 4, on new CDFI capital initiative
Credit union business lending conference call March 25
Regulators issue statement on lending to creditworthy small businesses
Compliance Corner
Model policies updated
NCUA extends comment period for FOM proposal
FinCEN regulation improves domestic and international information sharing
NCUA posts three legal opinion letters
Compliance calendar and training schedule
News from You
America's First Credit Union passes $1B in assets
Insight Financial Credit Union makes contributions to Haiti
Calendar
Schedule of Events
In This Issue
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LSCU Headlines

Follow the LSCU from the CUNA GAC

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions will unveil its new video production innovations at the CUNA GAC.  Vice President, Communications Mike Bridges will host and shoot videos that chronicle the LSCU's time in Washington D.C. The multimedia videos will feature convention highlights, the Hill visits and interviews with credit union officials from Alabama and Florida. This will give those credit unions that didn't get a chance to go to the GAC an inside look. You can access the video on the LSCU homepage at www.lscu.coop or the LSCU's YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/LeagueofSECUs.

The League will also be sending back Tweets during the convention. LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine will send back information, including pictures as they happen. You can follow Patrick on Twitter by going to www.twitter.com/patricklapine. The League's Communications Department will also be sending back Tweets on a separate account. You can follow the League by clicking on www.twitter.com/LeagueofSECUs. Twitter is a form of social media that has millions of users nationwide. It's a way for users to share information in a manner similar to texting.  [ Return to Top ]

LSCU CUNA GAC Welcome Reception
About 113 credit union officials from Alabama and Florida are in Washington D.C. for the CUNA GAC. The conference officially kicks off today with the first speakers addressing the crowd in the morning and legislative and political updates in the afternoon.

The LSCU opened the GAC with a Welcome Reception Sunday night in the Penn Quarter Room of the Grand Hyatt, the LSCU host hotel. Guests were treated to drinks, a homemade guacamole and salsa bar along with other hors d’oeuvres. The LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine addressed the group preparing them for the week. CUNA GAC packets with Hill visit schedules were also handed out. The Hill visits for the LSCU contingent get underway Tuesday afternoon.

To see a video from the LSCU on the first day of the GAC, click here

Ola Anise, Azalea City CU; Art Wood III, Railroad and Industrial FCU; Mary Wood, Tropicana FCU; and Dola Anise at Welcome Reception.

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LSCU Dues are due March 1

The deadline is quickly approaching for credit unions to have their dues to the LSCU. The League is excited about the year ahead and services it can provide for member credit unions. However, to provide the services the LSCU needs strong membership. The first two months of 2010 has seen the League focused on providing its members best-in-class services, more educational opportunities, and more member-related initiatives. Examples include:

  • Debut of a new Web site with audio podcasts and videos from the CUNA GAC
  • Meetings with Alabama and Florida lawmakers about the first legislative sessions of 2010
  • Convenient, affordable, and relevant education sessions (49 are planned for the year)
  • Ten stories printed by the CU Journal, CU Times, and CUNA NewsNow.
  • Two major stories in Alabama papers and WFLA-TV in Florida

The new LSCU Web site, www.lscu.coop, houses many resources to keep credit unions up to date on the legislatures in Florida and Alabama and gives you the ability to track the status of the bills and the lobbying focus of the LSCU on them.

The education department has held four education sessions in Jan. and Feb. with 45 more planned for the year. The first LSCU Annual Convention & Exposition (AC&E) is coming up in June in Orlando with political commentators Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson as the keynote speakers. You can see more about the AC&E by clicking here.  

We hope that you are seeing - in the first two months of 2010 - that the LSCU is working harder than ever for member credit unions. We appreciate all of the credit unions that have re-affiliated with the LSCU. Dues should asrrive at the LSCU by March 1. If you have any questions about affiliation, contact LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine at Patrick.lapine@lscu.coop or 850.212.3160, 800.342.1266 ext.1002. [ Return to Top ]

Business lending hearing set in DC

The House Financial Services Committee has reset the business lending hearing for Friday Feb. 26. The hearing will most likely get underway in the morning at 9:30 or 10 a.m. The hearing is also expected to have members of the House Small Business Committee in attendance. There is one credit union representative on the agenda - Ron Covey, president/CEO of St. Mary's Bank Credit Union of Manchester, NH.  

The business lending hearing is the hearing that the LSCU requested member credit unions to share member business lending letters with the House Financial Services Committee. If you have any letters to share, please send them to Liz Furey at CUNA. The LSCU asks that you also send a copy to either Vice President, Legislative Affairs/Staff Counsel Will McCarty or Vice President, Legislative Affairs Mark Landreth.    

The committee also announced it would be looking at financial services compensation again. That hearing will be Feb. 25. [ Return to Top ]

LSCU extends invitation to a "Bank on Birmingham" kick-off meeting

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) would like to extend an invitation to join us, along with representatives from the Birmingham Business Alliance, the Federal Reserve and other area financial institutions, for an introductory meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 2 at 9:00 a.m. to discuss the “Bank on Birmingham” initiative. The meeting will be held at the Federal Reserve Bank Building, 542 Liberty Parkway, Birmingham, Alabama 35242 and should last about an hour.

It is estimated that 48,800 of metro Birmingham’s households lack basic savings and checking accounts. Bank on Birmingham is a joint project between Project Corporate Leadership, the City of Birmingham, the City of Hoover, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and the Alabama Asset Building Coalition. Its aim is to bring un- and under-banked Birmingham-area families into the financial mainstream by tailoring credit union and bank products to increase accessibility and relevancy. "Bank on Birmingham" will also seek to raise awareness among un- and under-banked consumers about the benefits of transactional account ownership, as well as provide accessible quality financial education in order to make account ownership the first step to financial security and asset building.

Credit unions are going to be a key component to the success of this program and across the country have consistently showcased their strength and depth of community penetration in other Bank on Cities programs. The cooperation of a wide variety of financial institutions will be critical to making "Bank on Birmingham" a successful project and I hope you will take the time to come to the initial meeting.  

You may bring additional staff members to the meeting if you like, however, please RSVP to LSCU Director, Credit Union Relations Adena Whitman at 205. 437-2134 by February 28.  Adena can also answer any questions. [ Return to Top ]

Florida among states to get aid for struggling homeowners

Florida, along with four other states, are schedule to receive money under a $1.5-billion program announced Friday to help strug­gling homeowners. While the program was unveiled, it’s unclear how many people will be helped or how the program would be implemented or how much money each state would receive.

Funds will be tar­geted to states that have seen the worst drop in home values - Florida, Michigan, Arizo­na, California and Nevada.

President Obama is quoted as saying the new program will “help out-of-work homeown­ers avoid preventable foreclo­sures” as well as let homeown­ers who are upside-down in their mortgages — owing more than their homes are worth — “find a way to pay their mort­gages that works for both the borrowers and the lenders alike.”

States - working with local housing agencies - will draw up plans to help homeown­ers, with the U.S. Treasury De­partment signing off on the ar­rangements.

The announcement comes as the Obama administration’s nearly year-old effort to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosures is be­ginning to show re­sults: A report this week showed that through January about 116,000 home­owners nationwide had received perma­nent mortgage modi­fications and anoth­er 830,000 were un­der trial modifica­tions.
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Governmental News
CUNA Legislative Briefing Available

CUNA's latest legislative briefing update is available on the LSCU Homepage. When Congress heads into recess, CUNA sends out a briefing paper breaking down the issues and providing additional resources for those interested in a greater understanding of each proposed piece of legislation. Eight issues are covered in the briefing material:

  • Member business lending
  • Interchange fees
  • Overdraft protection
  • Community Reinvestment Act
  • Regulatory Restructuring
  • Internet Gambling
  • Appropriations issues
  • Student lending

The additional resources generally contain open letters from CUNA to the various committees and testimony transcripts. The 23-page document can be found along with the CUNA GAC materials that went to Washington D.C. with the LSCU delegation. Click here to go to the 2010 CUNA GAC Resources page. It is password protected.  If you don't have a password, sign up and receive access today.  [ Return to Top ]

Credit Union Information
Federation, NCUA hosting joint conference call March 4, on new CDFI capital initiative

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Chairman Debbie Matz and National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation) President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal announced a joint audio conference, to be held March 4. The call is designed to provide low-income credit unions with specifics about the U.S. Treasury Department's new Community Development Capital Initiative (CDCI).

Housed under the Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) fund, the program seeks to promote increased lending, particularly to small businesses in low-income communities. Under the new program, the Treasury will invest low-cost capital in certain financial institutions, including low-income credit unions (LICUs) that are certified as CDFIs. Those credit unions may apply for up to 3.5 percent of total assets at a dividend rate of 2 percent.
 
"This audio conference will be an excellent 'how-to' introduction for credit unions interested in this promising new initiative," noted NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz. "I strongly encourage credit unions to take this opportunity to learn more about how this capital could help them better serve their members and reach out to more consumers."
 
"The Community Development Capital Initiative has great potential to strengthen low-income, CDFI-certified credit unions and help them expand their lending and services in America's hardest-hit communities," Rosenthal commented. "The Federation encourages all low-income credit unions to seriously consider applying for this one-time program. I hope that all eligible credit unions participate in what I am certain will be an informative, interesting session on March 4."
 
The audio conference is scheduled for March 4, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. EST, and is open to any low-income designated credit unions interested in applying for secondary capital from the Treasury Department's Community Development Capital Initiative, whether they be CDFI-certified or not.
 
There is no pre-registration required for this call. Interested credit unions should simply call the toll-free number to access the 60-minute audio conference.
 
What: Community Development Capital Initiative Information for CUs
When: March 4, 2010, 2:00p.m. EST
Call-in number: 877.293-6129
Conference ID: 58577856

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Credit union business lending conference call March 25

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will provide credit unions with up-to-date information on how to make Small Business Administration (SBA) loans or expand their current SBA lending program during a March 25 audio conference call.

The call, which will feature the insight of NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz and SBA Administrator Karen Mills, will give credit unions the opportunity to discuss working within the SBA loans programs directly with these high-ranking staff members.

CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica and Senior Vice President/Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn will also lead discussion and participate in the call.

To register for the audio conference call, which will take place at 2 p.m. EST, use the resource link http://training.cuna.org/audio/T032510_fct.html Tuition is $49 for the live audio conference and includes six months access to the archive.

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Regulators issue statement on lending to creditworthy small businesses

The federal financial regulatory agencies and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (the regulators) issued a statement on prudent lending to creditworthy small business borrowers. The regulators recognize that small businesses play an important role in the economy and know that some are experiencing difficulty in obtaining or renewing credit. The statement emphasizes that financial institutions engaging in prudent small business lending after performing a comprehensive review of a borrower's financial condition will not be subject to supervisory criticism for small business loans made on that basis.

The regulators are working with the industry and supervisory staff to ensure that supervisory policies and actions do not inadvertently curtail the availability of credit to sound small business borrowers. The statement builds upon principles in existing guidance, including the Interagency Statement on Meeting the Needs of Creditworthy Borrowers issued in November 2008 and the Policy Statement on Prudent Commercial Real Estate Loan Workouts issued in October 2009.

Click here
for the Interagency Statement on Meeting the Credit Needs of Creditworthy Small Business Borrowers.

Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Office of Thrift Supervision, Conference of State Bank Supervisors. [ Return to Top ]

Compliance Corner
Model policies updated

The Model Policy updates for January 2010 have been completed. Click here for a completed list of the updates. For those credit unions that use the League InfoSight newsletter and Web site, there are 48 model policies available. However, these model policies were not designed as ready-to-use policies to be adopted without first performing research and due diligence. Credit union operations can and do vary widely between institutions. So carefully research and develop each policy to ensure that all aspects of a credit union’s operations are consulted and included before it is adopted.

League Infosight is a password protected newsletter. If you do not have a password, you can request one on the LSCU homepage. For more information on League Infosight, contact LSCU Vice President, Regulatory Affairs Bill Berg at 850-576-8171, ext. 1028. [ Return to Top ]

NCUA extends comment period for FOM proposal

On February 4, 2010, the NCUA announced that it has extended the comment period for its recently proposed changes to its chartering and field-of-membership rules until April 15. The comment period for the chartering and field of membership changes, that would speed up, simplify, and enhance the objectivity of the community CU charter application and review process, was originally slated to end on March 1.

If approved, the new rule would set objective and quantifiable criteria to determine the existence of a well-defined local community (WDLC) for areas that encompass multiple group areas. Single political jurisdictions, such as a county, could continue to be the basis for a community charter or addition without having to meet further statistical standards. A new, objective definition for rural districts is also proposed.

The NCUA further clarified its position on the U.S. Treasury's decision to expand financial institution lending in low-income areas by allowing community development financial institutions, including credit unions, to access funds from its Troubled Assets Relief Program, announcing that the NCUA would "consider an interim final rule" that would "set forth guidelines for participation" at this month's board meeting, which took place on February 18.

Source: CUNA News Now [ Return to Top ]

FinCEN regulation improves domestic and international information sharing

On February 5, 2010, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced a final rule to conform its successful "314(a) program" with agreements with certain foreign jurisdictions, specifically the agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance between the United States and the European Union (US-EU MLAT). The regulation allows law enforcement agencies of such jurisdictions to submit information requests concerning significant money laundering or terrorist finance investigations to U.S. financial institutions through FinCEN. Expanding the program greatly benefits the United States by granting U.S. Federal law enforcement agencies reciprocal rights to obtain information about suspect accounts in EU member states.


The regulation also permits U.S. State and local law enforcement agencies to have the same access to the program that previously has only been available to Federal law enforcement agencies. 314(a) information requests enable agencies to discover whether a financial institution has established an account or conducted a transaction with a person reasonably suspected, based on credible evidence, of engaging in terrorist activity or significant money laundering. Armed with that limited but important information, agencies could then follow up with much more targeted subpoenas, interviews, or other law enforcement tools to advance the investigation. Additional provisions of the rule allow program access to FinCEN and certain other components within the Department of the Treasury.

As is always the case, prior to initiating a 314(a) query, a requesting law enforcement agency will have to certify that the matter  is significant, and that the requesting agency has been unable to locate the information sought through traditional methods of  investigation and analysis.

Source: FinCEN [ Return to Top ]

NCUA posts three legal opinion letters

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has posted three legal opinion letters.  These letters give more perspective on the issues. Click below to access:

Source: CUNA [ Return to Top ]

Compliance calendar and training schedule

Regulatory changes

February 27
Regulation CC - All Deposited Checks become Local (New Appendix A to Reg CC)

March 19
ACH Authorizations and Returns Rule - Effective Date

ACH Stop Payments and Regulation E Rule - Effective Date

April 1
Regulation Z - Escrow Requirement for "Higher Priced" Mortgages - Effective Date

Compliance Training

March 2–23
CUNA Compliance Fundamentals eSchool

April 24–25
CUNA Compliance Fundamentals Seminar - Conference

April 25–30
CUNA Regulatory Compliance School: Introduction - Conference

April 25–29
CUNA Regulatory Compliance School: Update - Conference

  [ Return to Top ]

News from You
America's First Credit Union passes $1B in assets

America’s First Federal Credit Union President and CEO David Adcock announced today that the Credit Union has surpassed $1 billion in assets. It is the third credit union based in Alabama to boast assets of $1 billion or more.

“This is a milestone 74 years in the making,” says Adcock. “Since our founding in 1936, we have strived for steady growth while remaining committed to the safety and soundness of the credit union. We could not have done this without the support of our employees and members. I hope they are as proud of this achievement as I am.”

To commemorate the milestone, America’s First is having a month-long celebration. The credit union will select one member every business day during the month of March to win a $250 share deposit. Other festivities include member appreciation days at their branch offices throughout the month. For more details, visit www.amfirst.org. [ Return to Top ]

Insight Financial Credit Union makes contributions to Haiti

Insight Financial Credit Union recently held a grass-roots effort to send much needed aid to the island of Haiti.  The credit union’s donation included over 2,600 new and gently used corporate shirts, 100 fleece blankets and over 500 individual first aid kits.

“In preparation for our name change, we planned to collect staff members’ gently used corporate shirts as part of a shirt trade-in program,” said Richard H. Simonton, Sr., President/CEO of Insight Financial Credit Union.  “And when the opportunity presented itself to help those in need, the entire staff embraced the idea of collecting the shirts slightly earlier than expected,” continued Simonton.  “Credit unions were founded on the philosophy of ‘people helping people’ and for 75 years, we have held true to our commitment of serving those in need.”

The credit union reached out to the Harris Rosen Foundation who agreed to transport the donated items on their private plane as part of several planned trips to the devastated island. [ Return to Top ]

Calendar
Schedule of Events
 
March 4, 1pm - 2:30pm (webinar)
 

March 16, 8:30am - 4pm (workshop)

Organic Growth: Frontline

March 16, 1pm - 2:30pm, (webinar)

March 17, 8:30am - 4pm

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