LSCU eSignal Weekly
LSCU eNews Weekly June 28, 2010
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LSCU eNews Weekly
In This Issue
LSCU Headlines
The LSCU and CUNA oppose regulatory reform bill
Senator Byrd's death may be a setback for reg reform
CUNA urges Legislators to vote no on Congressional regulatory reform package
The LSCU Member Survey is online
SCAM ALERT: Texts from "accountalert@lscu.coop"
Members of LSCU staff promoted, Lucas retires
Bank On Florida taking shape
LSCU publications earn honorable mention from CUNA
PSCU CEO Serlo passes away
NCUA videos explain Corporate Crisis in "plain English"
Governmental Affairs News
The LSCU and CUNA worked hard on interchange language
LSCU GA staff make visits on the Hill last week
Cooperative Initiatives News
NEFE training events to take place in July and August
State Farm Southern Zone Youth Advisory Board requests proposals and membership applications
Compliance Corner
League InfoSight features field of membership proposals
Compliance calendar and training schedule
LEVERAGE News
Customer service at Sprint "most improved" LEVERAGE reports
News from You
Redstone FCU receives superior safety rating from BauerFinancial
Insight Credit Union's Facebook Fan Contest winner
Wiregrass Chapter fundraising activities
Employment
Credit union employment opportunities posted online
Calendar
Schedule of upcoming educational events
In This Issue
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LSCU Headlines

The LSCU and CUNA oppose regulatory reform bill
While the House and Senate Conference Committee is basically finished and a final Wall Street Reform bill just about done, it looks like the final bill will include interchange language that is harmful to credit unions and their members. The interchange provision was added during Senate debate on the bill, and for the last month, the LSCU and credit unions have been working to remove the provision from the Conference Committee deliberations. Grassroots activity has been historic, with over 600,000 contacts being made by credit unions across the country including thousands from Alabama and Florida. It was a tremendous response given the relatively quick timing.

While some changes were made to the interchange language in the bill, it did not go nearly far enough. Therefore, the LSCU and CUNA, along with other leagues, made the decision to oppose the entire bill as long as the interchange language is part of it. The League is working on a number of avenues in the short period of time before the final bill goes to the House and Senate for one last vote. Florida credit unions are asked to call Sen. Bill Nelson's office at 202.224.5274. They are asked to thank Sen. Nelson for voting against the Senate regulatory reform bill (S. 3217) and ask him to reach out to Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and ask him to remove the Senate’s bad interchange language from the final conference committee report. Alabama credit unions in the districts for Reps. Bobby Bright (D-2nd) and Artur Davis (D-7th) are asked to contact their offices and express opposition to the bill.

Read more about the LSCU's and CUNA's efforts to defeat this amendment in Governmental Affairs News. [ Return to Top ]

Senator Byrd's death may be a setback for reg reform

Sen. Robert Byrd

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) passed away early today and the direct impact of his death may push regulatory reform back at least a week. Reuters is reporting that Sen. Byrd, the longest serving Senator, passed away after having been admitted to the hospital suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion. If Senate Republicans remain opposed to the bill, Democrats may not have enough votes to pass the bill. Reuters report has 59 Democrats and independents who caucus with the Democrats in the Senate. Two Democrats, Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Russell Feingold (D-WI), voted against the overhaul bill when it was on the Senate floor in May, and they aren’t expected to change their votes.

That means Democrats would only have 56 of the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture on the bill. Four Republicans, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Susan Collins of Maine, and Charles Grassley of Iowa, voted for the bill in May, and Democrats would need the four to back it, in order to get exactly 60 votes. Brown on Friday said he was concerned about a bank assessment Democrats added to the bill last week, and his vote is now considered more uncertain.

The House and Senate conference committee hoped to have it voted by the entire House and Senate this week and on President Obama's desk by July 4. That's not certain at this point.  [ Return to Top ]

CUNA urges Legislators to vote no on Congressional regulatory reform package

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica urged legislators to vote no on the current financial regulatory reform package, saying that debit interchange provisions "would not only adversely affect how credit unions provide access to members' accounts," but would also "increase costs to credit union members."

CUNA's executive committee on Wednesday also agreed that CUNA and credit unions should oppose the regulatory legislation, H.R. 4173,  as long as the interchange language was included. The interchange changes, that were agreed to by both branches of the legislature last Tuesday, would allow the federal government to impose controls on the fees paid to use electronic payment networks.

Click here to read Mica's letter to Congress. [ Return to Top ]

The LSCU Member Survey is online

The LSCU has accomplished quite a bit this past year with the consolidation of Florida and Alabama credit union leagues and the repositioning of resources to have a greater impact on credit unions. However, the League knows there is more work to do. The LSCU would like credit unions to take a short LSCU Member Survey. It’s all online and shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. The survey is designed to gauge where the LSCU is at as it relates to meeting the needs of member credit unions. The results from the survey will be used in the management and board planning process for 2011. High participation will ensure the LSCU has a good picture of how credit unions feel about the job being done and what changes still need to be made. The survey is open now. Click here to begin. You may also cut and paste this web address, http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22AREUDBTAX, in your browser and begin the survey that way. The survey will be open until July 14.

Thank you for taking time to fill out the survey. Your participation will greatly benefit the LSCU and the products and services offered in 2011 and beyond. If you have any trouble with the survey, contact LSCU Vice President, Communications Mike Bridges at 866.231.0545 ext. 1022. [ Return to Top ]

SCAM ALERT: Texts from "accountalert@lscu.coop"

A scam in the form of a text from LSCU.coop, indicating the recipient should call 866.510.8703 is being sent around Florida. The text states: "accountalert@lscu.coop (SCU) Southeastern Credit Unions Security Notice. For more details, please contact our secure phone line at 866.510.8703. Thank you." The LSCU and its servers are NOT sending out these messages. A third party is attempting to collect account info by people calling this number.

Credit unions may want to notify their members about this scam, informing them not to key in any information when they receive this text and to report the text messages to the cell phone carrier so that the carrier can take action against persons sending the messages. Also, remind members to always use a known published number when contacting their credit union (or other financial institution) rather than a number proved in email or text message. [ Return to Top ]

Members of LSCU staff promoted, Lucas retires

The LSCU has promoted three staff members which will also allow a fourth to focus more on product development. The Chief Financial Officer at the LSCU, Carol Lucas, will be retiring at the end of the year after 22 years with the Alabama Credit Union League and the LSCU.

"Carol has played an important role in our consolidation efforts and her dedication to the organization will be missed," said LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine.

With Lucas’ retirement, Scott Morgan is being promoted to Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration. Morgan, based in Tallahassee, will oversee all Accounting, Human Resources, Information Technology, and Facility issues for the LSCU and Affiliates. Morgan's promotion means the CFO position will be eliminated from the LSCU in 2011. Morgan, a vice president previously, will report directly to La Pine.

Will McCarty has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs; based in Birmingham. "In addition to being an excellent attorney, Will has been with the ACUL and LSCU for ten years and has experience in both the legislative and regulatory arenas," said La PIne. McCarty, the LSCU's vice president, Legislative Affairs/Staff Counsel previously, will report to the CEO. Mark Landreth, Bill Berg, and Robbie Gordon will report to McCarty with the remainder of the department’s reporting structure to remain the same. A Director of Legislative Affairs, based in Birmingham, will be created to assist with the LSCU lobbying efforts at the state level, filling the void left by McCarty’s promotion.

Beginning July 1, Anita Stoumbelis will be transitioning full time to LEVERAGE as Vice President of Product Development. Stoumbelis, in addition to her product development duties, has been helping with the Human Resources transition during the consolidation. Stoumbelis works out of the Tallahassee office.

Liz Aperauch has been promoted to Director of Human Resources and will report to Lucas for the remainder of the year. Aperauch, will handle all Human Resources issues from the Tallahassee office. [ Return to Top ]

Bank On Florida taking shape

Amber Tynan, LSCU Member Relations
Specialist, Cassandra Grayson,
Association Services Chief of Staff, Janet Hamer, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and George Owen, Regions Bank meet about Bank on Florida.

Bank on San Francisco began as a way to reach the segment of the population that has not traditionally had a financial institution or used check cashing services. It became an instant success with more than 25,000 accounts opened. The 'bank on" movement has been spreading across the country. There are an estimated 20 million people in the United States that do not use a financial institution or do their "banking" at a check cashing service. 

Florida has a number of cities and counties putting a "bank on" model together. Jacksonville will unveil its model in October. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is looking to bring all of the Florida models under one umbrella calling it "Bank on Florida." The LSCU met last week with Janet Hamer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and George Owen of Regions. Hamer talked about how the "bank on" model fits perfectly with credit unions. She said that most of the people reached in other "bank on" cities is through word of mouth and personal service. She also said studies show that the unbanked are loyal and most institutions retain their business after the initial start-up period. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta also recognizes the role Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites play in the "bank on" movement. Many of the unbanked get their taxes prepared at a VITA site and then open an account. "Bank on Florida" offers an opportunity for credit unions to reach a segment of the population that is looking for personalized service.  

Birmingham has been exploring the idea and looks to have something in place in early 2011. Any credit union in Alabama or Florida that is interested in joining the "bank on" movement, contact LSCU Vice President, Cooperative Initiatives Laura Vann. [ Return to Top ]

LSCU publications earn honorable mention from CUNA

Two publications from the LSCU received national recognition in the CUNA 2010 Pro & Blockbuster Awards. The LSCU's The Value of Membership brochure sent out with the 2010 LSCU membership dues earned an honorable mention in the "Best Print Materials" category of the Blockbuster section of the awards program.

In the Pro awards section, the Florida Credit Union League's 2008 FCUL Annual Report received an honorable mention as "Best League Annual Report or Yearbook (print)."

The CUNA Blockbuster awards recognize two segments: advertising and marketing efforts for state level organizations, and advertising and marketing for credit unions. CUNA Pro awards recognize the best public relations, publications, and online communication efforts. [ Return to Top ]

PSCU CEO Serlo passes away

David Serlo

David J. Serlo, president and CEO of PSCU Financial Services, based in Tampa, died Friday, June 25, from complications caused by cancer. He was 63. Serlo had been on medical leave since the fall of 2009 but continued to be accessible to company executives.

After almost 40 years in the credit union industry, Serlo held a number of positions including that as an NCUA examiner before starting with PSCU in 1983. He started when the company was called Payment Systems for Credit Unions before becoming PSCU. It is now the largest CUSO in America providing services to more than 1,500 financial institutions and has more than 1,700 employees.

Serlo is survived by his wife, Tina, and his children, Adam, Mark, and Katie. [ Return to Top ]

NCUA videos explain Corporate Crisis in "plain English"

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) today posted online the second of three explanatory tracks to help credit unions better understand the history and prevailing situation involving the nation’s corporate credit union system. The first video was posted earlier in the month.

Both are available on NCUA’s website. Click here to access the first two videos. The third video will be available in the coming weeks.

All three tracks will be posted online as soon as they are finalized. When complete, a free DVD will be sent to all federally insured credit unions. The complexities of distressed assets and market dislocations leading up to the corporate crisis are difficult to grasp, even by those familiar with the credit union system.

This series of presentations is being produced to provide a broad overview, in simple terms, of various aspects of the corporate credit union crisis.

Track 1 covers the history and services of corporate credit unions;

Track 2 describes types of corporate credit union investments; how these investments were affected by financial market declines; and how problems with the investments affected corporates and threatened the entire credit union system.

Track 3 focuses on NCUA efforts to stabilize the credit union system, ensure access to adequate liquidity and uninterrupted lending and payment processing, and achieve the least costly outcome for federally insured credit unions.

“The corporate credit union crisis has posed challenges for all facets of the credit union system. It is my strong belief that more information about the history, structure and function of the corporates will assist credit unions in making sound decisions about the future,” noted Chairman Debbie Matz. “I am confident that this series will benefit credit union professionals and volunteers, and foster a greater understanding of the critical issues at hand.” [ Return to Top ]

Governmental Affairs News
The LSCU and CUNA worked hard on interchange language

After more than 20 hours of continuous debate Thursday and into Friday morning, the Conference Committee on the Financial Regulatory Restructuring bill wrapped up its deliberations around 5:45 Friday morning,  making no additional changes to the interchange provisions. 

LSCU President/CEO, Patrick La Pine, sent the LSCU's Congressional delegation a letter detailing the League's dissatisfaction with the result.

Thursday morning, Congressional negotiators offered to index the $10 billion carve-out and add a Federal Reserve Study of the interchange provision's impact on small issuers in exchange for CUNA dropping its opposition to the regulatory restructuring bill. CUNA rejected that offer because it did not address the root of credit unions'  concerns with this provision.  

In the late afternoon, CUNA transmitted language to the Department of Treasury and a handful of key Senators in a last ditch effort to secure changes that would permit CUNA to move from opposition to neutral on the bill. These changes would have been:

  • Expand the cost factors that the Federal Reserve could take into consideration when setting the debit interchange rate by removing the word "incremental costs" and replacing it with "reasonable costs"
  • Direct the Federal Reserve to take into consideration other cost factors, including the costs incurred by small issuers, but excluding rewards program costs
  • Clarified the fraud cost provisions
  • Carve small issuers out of the exclusivity (routing) section of the provision
  • Direct the Fed to write a rule on "Honor All Cards" so that it would be enforceable on merchants 

Multiple Senators approached Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) to present this language on credit unions' behalf. Additionally, Treasury officials were in the conference committee deliberations seeking these and other changes to the interchange provision. In the end, Sen. Durbin held fast.

The outcome is disappointing and the interchange provision will have an adverse impact on credit unions and their members. Nevertheless, the efforts over the last several weeks have not been for naught. Credit unions were able to expand the cost considerations of the interchange provision in a manner that may not be insignificant and credit unions also elevated the concerns that State Treasurers expressed which resulted in a carve-out for them. Several members of Congress, who believe that the carve-out will be effective, have approached credit unions offering assistance in the event that the carve-out proves ineffective. 

With enactment of this provision all but inevitable, the LSCU and CUNA are now focused on trying to make it work going forward. The fraud prevention language that was added is something CUNA will use in trying to persuade the Federal Reserve to set the fairest debit interchange rate possible and to implement all of the interchange provisions in a balanced manner. CUNA has already reached out to the Fed on this. At the same time, CUNA is in the process of reviewing the interchange provision to assess any potential legal challenges.   

Congressional staff has been working to put together the final legislation, based on the result of the Conference Committee activity.  Until that document is released, it will be impossible to know the outcome of other issues with 100% certainly.  However, when that document becomes available, the LSCU and CUNA will get information out as soon as possible.

The LSCU thanks credit unions for everything they have done on this issue and for their members. If you have any questions regarding the financial regulatory restructuring bill or the interchange provision, contact LSCU SVP, Governmental Affairs Will McCarty or LSCU Vice President, Legislative Affairs Mark Landreth. [ Return to Top ]

LSCU GA staff make visits on the Hill last week

In town for the CUNA GAPs/Communicators Conference last week, LSCU GA staff spent a day visiting Alabama and Florida Federal lawmakers and talked to their staff about interchange as an ongoing effort for their support of the amendment's opposition by credit unions.

LSCU Grassroots Coordinators Robbie Gordon and Justin Thames speak with Cong. Alcee Hastings' Chief of Staff Lale Mamaux (r). Cong. Hastings signed onto Congr. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz's conferee letter.

  [ Return to Top ]

Cooperative Initiatives News
NEFE training events to take place in July and August

Join the LSCU as it conducts Train-the-Trainer sessions for financial education through the NEFE Program throughout Alabama and Florida in July and August. 

In the current economic environment, it is a constant challenge to provide instruction on a topic that traditionally has not been included in the nation’s high school curricula. Finding, obtaining, and integrating free, noncommercial, and high-quality classroom materials about personal finance can be difficult and time-consuming. Through our partnership with NEFE, we will be able to offer credit unions and teachers a program correlated to all state standards and all relevant national standards. Combined with a step-by-step teaching plan and detailed materials list, the LSCU's NEFE Train-the-Trainer sessions will give credit unions and teachers the infrastructure they need to conduct financial education in the classroom.

The dates can be found on our Financial Education Events Calendar, as well as, the LSCU Cooperative Initiatives Facebook page. [ Return to Top ]

State Farm Southern Zone Youth Advisory Board requests proposals and membership applications

State Farm and State Farm FCU's community-based program, the State Farm Southern Zone Youth Advisory Board (SZYAB) has begun its 2010-2011 funding cycle. Credit unions, schools, or non-profit organizations can apply for a service-learning grant that focus on financial education, environmental responsibility, driver safety, or access to higher education through a Request for Proposal (RFP). 

The State Farm Southern Zone Youth Advisory Board (SZYAB) is a group of diverse students, ages 17-20, from across the Southern Zone, which includes Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina. They were selected to design and implement signature service-learning initiatives. 

The SZYAB grant is perfect for credit union events with financial literacy, the mission to improve the lives of youth and impact communities through the support of youth lead service learning projects.

RFPs are due by August 1, 2010.

The SZYAB consists of six high-performing students ages 17-20 but would like to add more students.  Members must be between 17-20 years old and live in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi or South Carolina.  Members of the board play an important leadership role in creating and overseeing signature service-learning initiatives which address pressing issues of importance to State Farm and communities across the State Farm Southern Zone. 

The board membership is open to credit union membership (students in Alabama that may want to serve on the Youth Advisory Board) and continues to bring the focus back to credit unions 

Board Membership Applications are due by June 30, 2010. 

The RFP and Membership Application can be found at www.southernzoneyab.com

Contact LSCU Member Relations Specialist Amber Tynan for more information or questions. 866.231.0545, ext. 1154. [ Return to Top ]

Compliance Corner
League InfoSight features field of membership proposals

The newest League InfoSight newsletter features a comprehensive look at the approved policy changes on credit union chartering and field of membership.  Under the final rule, single political jurisdictions, such as a county, may continue to be the basis for a new or expanded community charter without having to meet further statistical standards. While portions of the original proposal were retained that eliminated the so-called "narrative approach" from the application, that specified how underserved areas and single political jurisdictions may be addressed, and that grandfathered previously approved well-defined local communities into the new regulations, the NCUA did make some changes in the final rule.

The newsletter also has an article that looks at discussion topics for the Federal Reserve Board public hearings on potential revisions to Regulation C, which implements the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). Members of the board's Consumer Advisory Council (CAC), who represent consumer and community organizations, the financial services industry, academic institutions, and state agencies, will join board officials in presiding at the hearings. HMDA requires lenders to provide detailed annual reports of their mortgage lending to regulators and the public. The hearings will help the board gather information about whether its current regulations are working as intended and what changes might be needed.

View the League InfoSight newsletter by clicking here. It is a password-protected area. Member credit unions that do not have a password, may click here to sign up for one. An active email account and a password are required. To log in 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.


 

 

 

 

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Compliance calendar and training schedule
Calendar

June 30
PCI DSS - All WEP Implementations discontinued

July 1
NCUA Regulation Part 706 - Unfair or Deceptive Credit Card Practices - Effective Date

Regulation Z - Open-End Credit Rule - Effective Date

Regulation E - Overdraft Protection Rule - Effective Date

FACTA Section 312 (Accuracy and Integrity) Effective Date

Training

July 7 & 14
General Operations Regulations – Webinar
2:00–4:00 p.m. CT

July 13 & 20
Bank Secrecy Act 101 – Webinar
2:00–3:30 p.m. CT

July 27
Identifying BSA Red Flags & Completing SARs
– Webinar
2:00–3:30 p.m. CT [ Return to Top ]

LEVERAGE News
Customer service at Sprint "most improved" LEVERAGE reports

Sprint, a LEVERAGE product, is the most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all industries, over the past two years, according to results from the 2010 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

“We have seen our customers’ satisfaction with Sprint grow at a rate faster than the overall industry,” said , Vice President-Customer Experience Jerry Adriano.  Now, in addition to ACSI, other third-party surveys are validating the improvements Sprint has seen internally for some time.  

    In support of these achievements, Sprint is adding the “most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all industries, over the last two years” messaging to its current and ongoing advertising and marketing campaigns,  beginning this month in USA Today. [ Return to Top ]

    News from You
    Redstone FCU receives superior safety rating from BauerFinancial

    Redstone Federal Credit Union has earned a 5-star superior rating from BauerFinancial, Inc., the nation’s leading independent credit union rating and research firm.

    “With all the uncertainty in the financial world and the economic challenges we all face, I am proud to announce that Redstone Federal Credit Union has once again received the BauerFinancial 5-star rating,” said Joseph H. Newberry, president/CEO of Redstone. “This distinction indicates that Redstone is one of the strongest financial institutions in the nation. We have never lost sight of the true needs of our members – to be a safe, sound, secure, and stable financial institution. By earning and retaining this high rating, Redstone continues to prove to our members that we are committed to their financial needs, while proving we do not have to sacrifice service for safety.”

    Bauer’s 5-star rating marks the 58th consecutive quarter that Redstone Federal Credit Union has earned this distinction



    [ Return to Top ]

    Insight Credit Union's Facebook Fan Contest winner

    Jordan Dickens, Insight CU's Facebook Fan Contest winner

    Insight Credit Union recently awarded Jordan Dickens of Longwood, FL with a 13” MacBook Pro. Dickens has been a member of the credit union since 1998 and currently attends the University of North Florida in Gainesville.

    On March 1, 2010, Insight Credit Union launched a contest inviting members to become a fan on Facebook to be automatically entered to win a new 13” MacBook Pro. By becoming a fan of Insight on Facebook, members are instantly connected to the credit union’s latest news, products and special offers. The contest ran through May 31, 2010, and drew more than 700 fans to Insight’s Facebook page.  [ Return to Top ]

    Wiregrass Chapter fundraising activities

    The Wiregrass Chapter held its first PAC fundraiser at its June meeting, raising $100. The winner of the birdhouse drawing was Bill Williams’ (Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union) and his wife Frances. The Chapter also agreed to hold a cooperative two-week CU4KIDS/Children’s Miracle Network balloon fundraiser during July, with a goal of $2,500.

    Bill Williams of Army Aviation Center FCU and Frances Williams, winners of the birdhouse drawing.

      [ Return to Top ]

    Employment
    Credit union employment opportunities posted online

    Click here to view credit union-specific job opportunities in Florida and Alabama. [ Return to Top ]

    Calendar
    Schedule of upcoming educational events
    [ Return to Top ]

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