The LSCU's new name for its weekly electronic newsletter, eSignal, debuts Monday April 5. It symbolizes what we aim to
achieve at the LSCU: to be the trusted resource for members, providing them with the latest and the best information weekly via eSignal. A compliment to the quarterly magazine Signal, eSignal keeps credit unions up to date on the latest in information and advocacy. Click here for the archive
When there is breaking news, the LSCU will be on-the-spot with eSignal EXTRA. This new addition to the communication services provided by the League will let credit unions know ASAP when financial news breaks. eSignal EXTRA will also direct readers to the breaking news resources on the LSCU homepage.
The LSCU new quarterly magazine, Signal, debuts today online. Signal is online for your convenience as well as in its
usual print format. Its new layout and content will introduce readers to the services that can be expected from the LSCU in the areas of Governmental
Affairs, Education, Communications, and Cooperative Initiatives. LEVERAGE, the new identity of our combined Alabama and Florida Service Corporations,
gives an inside look into its name change and future product and service
offerings. There is also a directory in the back that has all of the LSCU and Leverage contact information. Click here to read the online version of Signal. The print version will be in mailboxes this week.
If you are not signed up for eSignal or to get a print copy of Signal, please sign up online at www.lscu.coop.
viewing Signal or signing up for eSignal, contact LSCU Vice President, Communications Mike Bridges or LSCU Director, Information Services Amy Jowers.
LSCU debuts a new name for its service corporation
The League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) debuts a new
name for its service corporation – LEVERAGE. The new company was born out of the
consolidation of the Alabama
and Florida Credit Union Leagues’ service corporations.
Credit unions across the country now
have access to performance enhancing services and maximum buying power through LEVERAGE.
It equips credit unions with premium services that have delivered cost-effective, performance-enhancing results. The
collaborative buying power of the Business Services Division program with
Office Depot is saving credit unions about 70 percent on office supplies and
credit unions on the Ventelligence program experienced a 25.5-percent savings
on commodity purchases. LEVERAGE also provides innovation with its expanded
sales and product development teams that will ensure service that is
second-to-none in the financial sector. The
relationship with Sprint Mobile Services generated $300,000 in non-interest
income to credit unions in 2009.
name LEVERAGE is a natural fit for the LSCU Service Corporation,” said LSCU
President/CEO Patrick La Pine. “Everything we do for our credit unions and our
business partners is to create an edge for them. The LEVERAGE brand will be a
powerful resource for credit unions to maximize their future growth.”
LEVERAGE has a full suite of services
available to credit unions including audit and compliance solutions, HR,
lending, operations and executive search solutions, in addition to the Sprint
Mobile phone services and Office Depot solutions. One of the more innovative programs is the turn-key and
remarketing auctions for automobiles. This also includes vehicle valuations and
To see a complete
list of services provided by LEVERAGE, check out the Web site under the Business Solutions tab, or go to www.myleverage.com.
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Bellco CU wins major victory in UBIT lawsuit
Bellco Credit Union, based in Greenwood, CO, won a substantial victory against the
Internal Revenue Service over revenues from products and services that should be
exempt from unrelated business income tax (UBIT). U.S District Court for the District of Colorado ruled April 2 that income
derived from credit life and disability insurance sold directly or indirectly as
well as income from royalties from accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D)
insurance should not be subject to UBIT.
Judge Christine M. Arguello ruled
credit insurance is directly related to the credit union’s tax-exempt purpose
because it promotes thrift.
“In the banking and credit context, the concept of
thrift is tied to sound financial management,” she wrote. “Credit insurance does
just that. It permits a borrower to guard against certain difficult
circumstances and to know that, if the unfortunate event of death or a serious
disability occurs, the borrower’s family and/or assets would be protected. For
a relatively marginal payment, the borrower buys peace of mind.”
Judge Arguello also agreed with
Bellco that its AD&D income, from a third-party vendor's sale of AD&D insurance to
constituted royalties that are exempt from UBIT. While Bellco did
perform some work in connection with the AD&D program, the court disagreed
with IRS’s claim that the revenue should be taxed and determined the work was
sufficiently insubstantial for the income to appropriately be deemed as
The court's decision supplements its ruling last November in the Bellco case that its commissions from vendor
sales of financial products and services such as stocks and annuities to its
members was “substantially related” to its tax-exempt purpose and so therefore
subject to UBIT.
The government may
appeal the decision. They have 60 days to decide. But, as CUNA’s General
Counsel Eric Richard notes, this is the second time in a row the courts have
rejected the IRS’s analysis of how UBIT should apply to credit unions, and the
combined actions in the Bellco case extended that tax-exempt determination
beyond credit life disability and GAP to also include financial products and
services and royalty payments on AD&D insurance activities. At some point
the IRS is going to have to recognize the inevitable and will have to change its
policy based on the court rulings that have now been established. That is an
issue the UBIT Steering Committee will be discussing
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April is declared National Financial Literacy Month
President Barack Obama
The President of the United States, in declaring April 2010 to be National Financial Literacy Month, wrote, "... we recommit to teaching ourselves and our children about the basics of financial education."
The proclamation lays out some of the causes of the economic crisis, the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency, and the importance of personal financial literacy.
To learn more about financial literacy for your credit union, click here. The LSCU has many resources available on the Financial Education page, including a Facebook page and the proclamation from the White House.
Any credit union that would like to learn more about implementing a financial literacy program, contact LSCU Member Relations Specialist Amber Tynan.
Entry/nomination deadline for LSCU awards is coming up, May 7
It's time for credit unions in Alabama and Florida to begin the
nomination/submission process for League awards. The LSCU is proud to
recognize credit unions, professionals, and volunteers who have
made outstanding contributions to the development and growth of the
union movement in both states through the
the Year – Recognizes a credit union professional from Alabama
that deserves recognition for their contributions to advance the credit
movement in either state as well as on the national level.
Volunteer of the
Year – Recognizes a credit union volunteer from Alabama
who has selflessly contributed time, effort, and talent to the
the credit union movement in either state as well as on the national
Credit Union of
the Year – Recognizes a natural person credit union for its
achievements in eight different categories including financial strength
performance, new and improved member services, financial literacy and
Service Award – Recognizes lifelong service to the Alabama
credit union movement reaching beyond the natural person credit union. A
nominee’s service record must reflect having produced a positive impact
their credit union. Achievement requires contribution(s) which has
– Recognizes efforts by Alabama or Florida credit unions in
assisting developing credit unions through various means such as
support, providing training, donating equipment and other services.
Awards – League and CUNA awards that honor the work of credit
unions in the
Awards – League and CUNA awards that recognize the practical
credit union philosophy in daily internal operations.
Awards – League and CUNA awards that recognize leadership
within the credit
union movement on behalf of youth financial literacy.
The awards will be presented at the LSCU Annual
Convention & Exposition in June in Orlando.
More information about each award, submission information and the
awards brochure is located here.
Deadline for entries is May 7,
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Report on the credit union industry by Callahan & Associates to be given to White House
A report on the credit union's industry’s performance in 2009 will be sent to the Obama
administration by the consulting company Callahan & Associates. Its goal is to raise the visibility of credit
unions’ accomplishments in serving their members in particular and the
economy in general.
The report will include state-by-state and
consolidated financial information on industry performance in 2009. It will focus on facts such as that in 2009
credit unions posted their highest loan origination volume ever, $271.9
billion, a seven-percent increase over 2008. The industry made 38,000 loan
modifications last year.
“Credit unions continued to lend throughout the
financial crisis. With all the negative news about the financial
industry, we believe it’s time Washington learns about credit unions’
excellent – incredible really – results,” said Callahan President/CEO Chip
firm is seeking the signatures of credit union leaders to include on the
letter accompanying the report. For more information or to sign on to the letter,
go to www.CreditUnions.com/letter.
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NCUA activates disaster assistance to aid credit unions affected by storms and flooding
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has activated its disaster
relief policy to assist credit unions and their members affected by the
storms and flooding in the nation’s northeast where a state of emergency
exists in Delaware, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and West
The NCUA offers assistance to federally insured credit unions that suffer from a weather-related disaster. The NCUA works with state leagues to make credit unions
aware of their available disaster relief assistance.
Florida CFO Alex Sink, a leading Florida Gubernatorial candidate,
recently sent a letter to the NCUA placing her support behind increasing
small business lending for credit unions.Sink wrote Chairman Debbie
Matz personally telling her about Florida small businesses she hears
from on a regular basis that can’t get credit.
The letter urges Chairman
Matz to continue to push for increasing member business lending (MBL)
legislation pointing out that 90 percent of all commercial activity in
the state comes from small businesses. Sink writes that “Credit unions
are an important partner in giving small businesses the tools they need
to grow jobs and grow our economy.”
LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine
sees support from Sink as timely for Florida credit unions.
the past month, six members of Florida’s Congressional delegation have
shown their support for MBL legislation by agreeing to co-sponsor HR 3380,” said La Pine. “To have CFO Sink write a
letter to the NCUA voicing the support of the state’s elected Chief
Financial Officer shows our credit unions that state leaders understand
that credit unions are doing their part to lend money, help their
members and that they can do more. I urge our Alabama and Florida credit
unions to continue to reach out to their federal legislators and tell
Sink’s letter wraps up by putting her support
behind the NCUA and its “continued emphasis on responsible, fiscally
prudent lending practices.” Click here to read Sink’s letter. This is a password
protected area. There is an action alert call right now for credit
unions to send letters to members of the Florida delegation. All of the
necessary information can be found on the LSCU Web site by clicking here.
Tallahassee Democrat's "My View" Column: Free up Credit Unions
Florida Commerce CU CEO Cecilia Homison
Florida Commerce Credit Union CEO Cecilia Homison was featured in Friday's
Tallahassee Democrat. Homison wrote a "My View" column about the
benefits of increased credit union member business lending. The column
points out a new program President Obama is looking to add by giving $30
billion of repaid TARP funds to community banks so they will lend to
small businesses. Homison counters that Congress can add $10 billion by
simply adjusting the credit union member business lending cap from 12.25
percent to 25 percent. She writes that it would not cost taxpayers a
dime and also add 108,000 jobs.
The most telling part of the
column is this point Homison made; she writes that if the cap were
lifted, "...banks would still control 90 percent of the commercial loan
Florida legislators took time last week to spend time with their constituents and also celebrate the Easter holiday with their families.
The House and Senate return this week to consider
multiple issues of magnitude and to begin budget negotiations between the
chambers. The Senate’s budget is packed with nearly $3 billion in additional
spending over what the House proposes. The main differences being the Senate’s
inclusion of funds from the Seminole gaming compact and additional Medicaid
funds the federal government is sending down. The House leadership, being more
conservative, has chosen not to include the funds because they don’t believe the
total dollars to be received will match assessments made by the budget
While the budget process will take the bulk of the time this week, the Legislature will also deal with
bills that remove teacher protections, provide merit pay for teachers, bans on
texting while driving, and elimination of a provision that prevents state funds
from being given to religious institutions. Also on tap is a sales tax holiday
that retailers have clamored for every year.
If you have any questions about the Florida Legislature or any credit-union specific bills, contact LSCU Vice President, Legislative Affairs Mark Landreth at 800.342.1266 ext. 1012.
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Alabama Legislature update: twists and turns
This past week the Alabama Legislature was full of twists and turns as the Senate
the Bingo bill and did manage to pass it by a vote of 21-13. This news
quickly overshadowed by the announcement of a public corruption probe
the bill, with a number of members of the Legislature and some lobbyists
questioned by the FBI. Democrats are claiming its a politically
motivated investigation, intended to chill consideration of the bill by
House, while Republicans counter that its a
a state, led investigation. Emotions are running high in Montgomery and
this does to the rest of the session, which has six legislative days left,
to be seen.
the $5.49 billion Education Fund budget passed the House and the $1.6 billion General Fund budget is expected to be considered
tomorrow. In the Senate, their version of the General Fund budget has
been approved as
submitted by committee, with the understanding that there would be
modifications to it on the Senate floor.
of Monday, neither the House nor the Senate Banking Committees are
meet, and the only significant measure now scheduled for committee
action is the
Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee’s consideration of the
House-passed Education Budget.
Democratic and Republican parties closed their qualifying for the 2010
cycle at 5 p.m. Friday. The League has been meeting with candidates for
time and is reviewing the list of all races as it plans further involvement. A few races of note that contained some surprises were the
the Alabama Republican Executive Committee to deny State Senator Harri
Smith the ability to run as a Republican. Senator Smith, a banker from
made waves last year when she endorsed Democrat Bobby Bright for
she was defeated in the primary by State Representative
Jay Love. Also, Senator Jim Preuitt, a long serving Senate Democrat, switched
parties to run as a Republican. He had served as the powerful Chairman
Senate Rules Committee in the previous quadrennium,
but became part of a group of
conservative Democrats who caucused with the Democrats. There are going
to be some of tough races, and the League will be involved in a number
For more information on the Alabama Legislature, contact LSCU Vice President, Legislative Affairs/Staff Counsel Will McCarty at 205.991.9710 ext. 2137.
League Infosight features EITC, Reg Z Escrow, and the new $100 note
The April 2 edition of the League InfoSight newsletter has quite a bit of information including provisions of Reg Z, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and the new $100 note. The U.S. Treasury will unveil the new look of the $100 bill April 21, during a ceremony in Treasury's Cash Room. It is
the first step in a global multi-government agency public education
program implemented by the Department of the Treasury, the Federal
Reserve Board, and the U.S. Secret Service, to educate those who use the
$100 note about its changes before it begins circulating.
League InfoSight also features two articles on provisions of Reg Z. The first looks at ARM plans and when credit unions can change the terms. The second covers Reg Z escrow provisions. Each article answers pertinent questions on these topics.
View the entire newsletter by
clicking here. It is a password protected area. Member credit
that do not have a
password, click here to sign
up for one. An active email
account and a password
are required. To login to InfoSight, enter your email and
password in the InfoSight login block (see graphic below) located in the
upper right of any of the LSCU web pages.
InfoSight login block
For questions or more information on League InfoSight, contact LSCU
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs Bill
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Compliance calendar and training schedule
NCUA Operating Fee/ NCUSIF Capitalization Deposit Update Due
Call Report Due to NCUA
IRS Form 941 - Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return - Deposit Due to
Forms 990 & 990-T (state-chartered credit unions) Due
AJC statewide meeting & workshops to be held on Friday, April 9
With the changing dynamics of the economy,
students need to learn valuable financial literacy skills to help them succeed,
not only today, but throughout their lifetime.
To assist the LSCU member credit unions and
partners in meeting this challenge, the Alabama Jump$tart Coalition will hold the 2010 statewide members meeting Friday,
April 9th from 9 am - 2:30 pm at the Federal Reserve Bank in Birmingham,
This FREEevent will bring together
Alabama Jump$tart members, partners, and friends who share a vision to increase
financial literacy for students in kindergarten through college across Alabama.
To register for the statewide event, please click the link below: http://www.frbatlanta.org/forms/register_100409_brm.cfm.
is taking place now through the entire month of April. It is held in conjunction
with National Credit Union Youth Week, sponsored by the Credit Union National
Association. Sign up now to join hundreds of other credit unions who teach youth
the benefits of saving. Last year nearly 140,000 young members deposited $26.5
million into their saving accounts during this national event—with 10,006 of
these new accounts.
**April is National Youth
Savings Month; National Youth
Savings Week is April 18-24, 2010**
The National Youth
Saving Challenge™ is a great opportunity to get youth to open new accounts
and deposit their money at your credit union. Encourage them to sign up and help
us beat last year's goal of 139,000 youth depositing more than $26 million. Sign your credit union up for the Saving Challenge
Participation in the free Saving
Challenge is your opportunity to build a strong relationship with young
in your community—and their families—by reinforcing the benefits of
membership. Help youth start a savings habit while creating member
You'll also get the chance to win $100 for one of your young members.
Click here to order promotional materials
for this event. For more information about signing your credit union up or
information about this event, contact LSCU Member Relations Specialist Amber Tynan.
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Sign up for BSA Training near you
The LSCU Education Department has a number of excellent opportunities
for credit unions to learn more about the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and
the skills needed to stay in compliance. What's unique about this
training is that it's geared toward frontline staff, as well as managers
and compliance officers.
There is still time to register for the April 6 session in Mobile. Click here to register. The Mobile session will be held at the Blue Flame Auditorium.
The courses are half day with the BSA Essentials class in the morning and the
BSA Advanced class in the afternoon. Each course will run just about two
hours. Ashley Mobley, assistant vice president, CU-ACE with the LSCU,
will provide the training for both courses. Ashley has worked with the
League for five years and regularly trains credit union staff on BSA.
She is a tremendous resource for credit unions.
The courses will be held over the next seven months. Here are the dates:
Mobile, AL April 6, 2010
Birmingham, AL May 18, 2010
Tuscaloosa, AL July 20, 2010
Muscle Shoals, AL October
The BSA Essentials class will cover topics such as the BSA Program Oversight, Creation and Maintenance, Risk Assessment,
Review of Currency Transaction Reports, and Currency Transaction Report Exemptions.
The BSA Advanced class will also incorporate a Suspicious Activity Report workshop along with topics such as the Bank Secrecy Act Program Oversight, Creation and
Maintenance, Risk Assessment, Review of Currency Transaction Reports (Common
Error Review), Currency Transaction Report Exemptions, Filing Requirements, Technology, and the Bank
Community Credit Union in Rockledge, FL raises money for Haitian disaster releif
Community Credit Union in Rockledge, FL donated $1033.77 to WOCCU's Worldwide Foundation for Credit
Unions through the League of Southeastern Credit Unions. The funds, raised through candy sales, will be used for Haitian disaster relief.
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As banking's image sours, Alabama Credit Union grabs attention
In a strong bid for new members, Alabama Credit Union has
just launched an ad campaign with the theme, “You Are Alabama. We Are Your Credit Union.” The idea is to get
the message out that Alabamians don’t have to stay with banks because
they have an excellent alternative.
Credit unions offer the same consumer financial products as banks, but profits are returned back to members in the form of lower loan rates and higher savings yields. Members save significant money because credit union's non-profit status
enables them to deliver lower loan rates. Credit unions also excel in personal service, and score higher than banks in customer satisfaction. And members get all sorts of perks, starting with free
checking, extended hours, and online banking.
“Credit unions have been standing quietly in the shadows of the
banks for decades,” says Alabama Credit Union president Steve Swofford. “Many people don’t understand
what a credit union is. And most don’t know how easy it is to join one. But as banks continue to
lose the peoples’ trust, credit unions have a golden opportunity to make ourselves known.”
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Credit Union Job Postings
Credit union employment opportunities posted online
Credit union employment opportunities posted online.Click
here to view credit union-specific job opportunities in Alabama and
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