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.
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
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
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.firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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 onBirmingham” 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. [ Return to Top ]
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
Community Reinvestment Act
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
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
"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
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
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
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
CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica
and Senior Vice President/Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn will also lead
discussion and participate in the call.
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 ]
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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 ]