LSCU eSignal Weekly
LSCU eNews Weekly December 13, 2010
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LSCU eNews Weekly
In This Issue
LSCU Headlines
NCUA's Matz testifies in front of the Senate Banking Committee
Alabama Rep. Bachus to lead House Financial Services Committee
Shelby, other key Senators support credit union position on Interchange regulations
Comment period for corporate rule amendments extended to January
Ten days remain to submit a comment letter on new Reg Z proposals
LSCU board meets; 2011 strategic plan and budget approved
Southeast Corporate announces new business and capitalization plan
LSCU speaking to Wiregrass and Broward Chapters this week about CU Image Campaign
Alabama CUSC board approves $25,000 for LSCU Image campaign
Governmental Affairs News
This may be the last week for Congress this year
Florida Roundup: State budget shortfall to be announced
Northeast Chapter presents annual golf tournament fundraiser PAC contribution
Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: ADA requirements for ATMs
NCUA offering a webinar on troubled debt restructuring
Compliance Calendar and Training Schedule
Cooperative Initiatives News
AABC giving away laptop and printer in each of its regions
REAL Solutions offering VITA site Implementation Guide
Education News
Important information for 2011 webinar training
Prepare now for IRA training in 2011
Check out the 2011 Education Calendar for learning opportunities for YOUR credit union
Education Calendar
LEVERAGE News
More than $442,000 additional revenue for CUs in Sprint Program; revenue checks presented
LEVERAGE and Transworld Systems partner to offer CUs increased profit recovery
Rebranded TitleAuctions website delivers more to users
News from You
Pinellas FCU presents Celebration of Joy nights
CU staff earn CCUE designation
Employment
View available credit union jobs
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LSCU Headlines

NCUA's Matz testifies in front of the Senate Banking Committee

NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. The meeting was called so Senators could be given the "state of the credit union industry." Matz told Senators that the NCUA has reformed and strengthened the corporate credit union system and enabled credit unions to continue serving consumers despite difficult economic times.

“NCUA’s increased supervision has contributed significantly to the credit union system’s ability to withstand the extraordinary economic shocks over the past two years,” stated Chairman Matz. “Our experience demonstrates the value of rigorous regulation, diligent oversight, and a healthy insurance fund. Equity in the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund is now up to 1.29 percent, near the high end of its normal operating range.”

Matz also talked about how the downturn in the housing market seriously affected corporate credit union investments, destabilized the corporate credit union sector and threatened the financial stability of the entire credit union system.

“From the onset of this crisis, NCUA took decisive action to stabilize, resolve, and reform the corporate system.”

Matz specifically identified the 2009 creation of the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund as instrumental in allowing the credit union industry to pay for corporate credit union losses in a manageable fashion over a 10-year period.

“Let me emphasize this point: These losses are being paid for entirely by credit unions,” noted Matz.

The NCUA's actions during the fall of 2010 were also a focal point of the testimony. Matz outlined NCUA’s conservatorship and resolution of five failing corporate credit unions, the subsequent securitization of impaired securities held by those corporates, and the creation of “bridge” corporates that ensured uninterrupted service to the industry. Matz gave details of the corporate reforms approved by NCUA in September that will ensure a stronger and more durable system. Citing a need for enhancements to the Federal Credit Union Act that will improve the operations of the NCUSIF, Matz asked the Senate to quickly approve a package of technical amendments currently pending.

“With this legislation, America’s credit unions would be even better positioned to help consumers take advantage of opportunities that a recovering economy will offer.”

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) asked Matz about member business lending and if she was aware there was legislation to raise the cap. Matz said she supports the legislation. When asked again about member business lending by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE), Matz said that if credit unions manage their lending well and the NCUA provides oversight, that credit union business lending is a valuable service to small businesses. Sen. Johanns said he meets with small businesses all the time and they say they cannot get credit and that it's needed to help the recovery.

Read Chairman Matz’s testimony online at the NCUA's website. You can also watch her testimony on C-Span by clicking here. [ Return to Top ]

Alabama Rep. Bachus to lead House Financial Services Committee

Credit unions scored an expected victory this week when Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) was chosen by his Republican colleagues to chair the House Financial Services Committee in the next Congress. Bachus won a tenth term in November and he easily beat back a challenge from California’s Ed Royce, another strong credit union supporter. The LSCU has had a good working relationship with Rep. Bachus. He has met with Alabama credit unions a number of times, including spending an hour this year with Alabama credit unions at the CUNA GAC.

"We're looking forward to working with Rep. Bachus this coming year. He has become a strong credit union supporter over the years," said LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine. "Rep. Bachus has a good understanding of the struggles credit unions and community banks are having with increased regulation."  

The ascension of Bachus to chairman of the committee is a major change in direction for the committee for credit unions from the activism of Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) who championed credit card, overdraft, and financial services reform. Bachus is a strong ally of credit unions supporting efforts for regulatory relief and an increase in member business lending.

"We will reinvigorate the Committee's oversight role, holding the President and his economic team accountable for their policies and demanding greater efficiency and savings in government programs that fall within our jurisdiction," said Bachus.

He served as chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions until the Democrats won control of the House in 2006. Bachus has indicated his agenda will include efforts to roll back several provisions of the recently passed Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act and to end the federal conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Rep. Bachus will also speak at the CUNA GAC in Washington D.C. coming up Feb. 27-Mar. 3, 2011. [ Return to Top ]

Shelby, other key Senators support credit union position on Interchange regulations

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)

This past Thursday, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Ranking Minority Member on the Senate Banking Committee, along with 12 other Senators from both sides of the aisle including seven members of the Senate Banking Committee, sent a letter to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernake regarding implementation of the recently passed changes to debit interchange pricing. In the letter, the Senators express concern over the implementation of the debit interchange fee provisions in the recently passed Wall Street Reform Act. The Senators state that they want to ensure all costs to the issuers and economic value to the merchants are considered in the proposed rule. The point to their concern is that having the government fix prices in any venue is a bad idea, “There are any number of products that American merchants might prefer in the short term to have their suppliers prohibited from charging more than cost.”

They express concern that during the limited debate in the Senate, the amendment was presented as a pro-consumer provision, but that since passage analyst reports make no mention of benefits to consumers. Finally, they express concern that the provision will make credit union and small bank debit cards more expensive for merchants and would put smaller issuers at a disadvantage. The letter also encourages the Federal Reserve to consider all implications of any proposed rule and exercise the discretion given to the Fed by the amendment.

As the Federal Reserve moves forward with drafting proposed rules to implement the interchange amendment, the League, CUNA, and other representatives of card issuers will be working hard to ensure any regulation accounts for all costs borne by issuers. The League and CUNA will be focusing heavily on ensuring that the intended exemption of issuers under $10 billion in assets will be effective to actually protect smaller issuers and not put credit unions at a competitive disadvantage. This letter from Sen. Shelby and other members of the Senate is very helpful in what the credit union industry will be trying to accomplish through the rule-making process. To read the letter, click here. [ Return to Top ]

Comment period for corporate rule amendments extended to January

Last week, the NCUA board extended the period for credit unions to comment on the proposed corporate rule amendments from Dec. 20 to Jan. 28, 2011. The NCUA board issued the rule amendments at its Nov. 18 NCUA meeting.

“We believe a 60-day comment period will balance the need for stakeholders to provide thoughtful feedback on the complex issues raised in our newly proposed corporate rule, while ensuring that the final provisions from both corporate rulemakings will take effect over a closely coordinated time frame,” said NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz. “The end result will be a corporate system that is better positioned to manage risks and safely serve member credit unions.”

The proposed amendments would require corporates to establish new internal control reporting requirements, form an enterprise-wide risk management committee staffed with an independent risk management expert, conduct all board of director votes as recorded votes, and disclose CUSO compensation received by certain employees who are dual employees of corporates and corporate CUSOs. The proposed amendments also provide for the equitable sharing of Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund expenses among all members of a corporate and permit a corporate to charge reasonable one-time or periodic membership fees. In addition, the proposal would amend 12 C.F.R. Parts 701 and 741 to limit natural-person credit unions to membership in one corporate at a time, beyond certain transition periods.

To learn more about submitting a comment letter on the corporate proposals, visit the LSCU Regulatory Action Calls and Comment Letters section of the website. Contact LSCU VP, Regulatory Affairs Bill Berg at 866.231.0545 ext. 1028 or Director, Compliance Scott Morris at ext. 2165 with questions or to submit a letter. [ Return to Top ]

Ten days remain to submit a comment letter on new Reg Z proposals

The Federal Reserve Board (Fed) issued a proposal that would require additional consumer protections and disclosures for mortgage loans. This is the second phase of the Fed’s review of the mortgage lending rules under Regulation Z, the Truth in Lending Act (TILA).

The parts of the proposed Regulation Z changes that have caused the greatest concern in the credit union industry are the new disclosure rules for credit insurance and debt cancellation (stated below). With some of the constraints that have been placed on credit union operations this year such as the opt-in requirements for overdraft programs and the ongoing NCUA assessments, the changes on credit life and debt cancellation will have a negative impact on fee income which has caused concern by many credit unions.

Revising the disclosure rules for credit insurance and debt cancellation and suspension products. This would require the disclosure of the maximum premium or charge per period; the maximum benefit amount, along with a statement that the borrower will be responsible for the balance above the maximum benefit amount; that the cost depends on the balance or interest rate, if applicable; and information about the Fed’s website that provides information about these products. The proposal also includes changes with regard to the disclosure of eligibility requirements that were proposed last year and the disclosure to the borrower that the product may not be necessary and that the borrower may not receive benefits even if you buy this product. For the eligibility requirements, this would include additional statements as to the time period and age limit for coverage and this would allow lenders to make the eligibility determinations prior to the time of enrollment. These disclosures must be in at least 10-point type size and consistent with the model forms and sample language provided in the proposal. Also, if these disclosures are provided early, the lender must then redisclose the maximum premium or charge per period if this is different at the time of the loan closing

The LSCU would like credit unions to submit comments on the new proposals. The comments are due by December 23, 2010. If commenting directly to the Fed, you must refer to Docket No. R-1390 and use the information below:

Ms. Jennifer J. Johnson
Secretary,
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20551
regs.comments@federalreserve.gov

There are a number of ways to get your comments to the LSCU: fax your responses to 850.558.1029; e-mail or call LSCU VP, Regulatory Affairs Bill Berg at 866.231.0545 ext. 1028 or Director, Compliance Scott Morris at ext. 2165. The LSCU also has a Comment Call section of the website with all of the resources for each comment call. [ Return to Top ]

LSCU board meets; 2011 strategic plan and budget approved

The LSCU and League Service Corp (LSC) boards met Wednesday Dec. 8 in Birmingham. Each board approved the strategic plan and budget for 2011. An elections committee was formed to assist in the first round of board elections in the spring of 2011. This will be the first elections since the consolidation and two seats will be up for election. The LSCU board was also given a presentation on the recent trip to Costa Rica by the League and member credit unions. 

The Governance Task Force met and approved new standard chapter bylaws. These bylaws will now be distributed to chapters in both states. The Task Force feels the new bylaws will bring the chapters closer to the priorities of the League. 

The Foundations board met, approving a new strategic plan for 2011, which includes rolling the three LSCU Foundations into one League Foundation. A new executive director of the Foundations will also be hired. 

The next LSCU and LSC board meeting will be March 29, 2011 in Birmingham. [ Return to Top ]

Southeast Corporate announces new business and capitalization plan

The board of directors of Southeast Corporate Federal Credit Union has approved a new business plan for serving its membership of approximately 400 credit unions, which includes a recapitalization effort focused on continuity of services, preservation and protection of member capital, long-term sustainable value to members, and compliance with the new NCUA Part 704 requirements for corporates as they take effect over the next few years.

“We have begun holding webinars with our members this month and will schedule town hall meetings in early 2011,” said Brad Miller, president/CEO of Southeast Corporate. “These discussions will provide an opportunity to lay out plans and obtain members’ input for Southeast’s next steps.” 

Miller says the plan calls for continuing to work with other corporates and industry partners to consolidate back-office operations and processes to lower costs, increase efficiencies, and  provide best of breed products and services. The plan also includes moving from a current 64 percent operating coverage ratio (non-interest income as a percent of operating costs) to 90 percent within three years. “This greatly reduces our reliance on investment income and means less risk to member capital,” he said.

“We’re confident this plan will allow Southeast Corporate to continue providing member-owners with the high quality and competitively priced products and services they have relied on from us for over the past three decades,” said Miller. “We’re eager to hear from members. One thing is clear: our strength and future ability to meet their needs depends on their support.”

For more information about the new plan visit www.secorp.org. [ Return to Top ]

LSCU speaking to Wiregrass and Broward Chapters this week about CU Image Campaign

Credit unions in the Dothan, AL and Miami areas will have the opportunity to learn about the direction of the 2011 LSCU Statewide Image Campaign. The presentation will include an early look at the creative direction, the fundraising formula, and market research. Credit unions are strongly urged to attend the meetings. This will give every credit union an opportunity to ask questions about the direction of the campaign, which is slated for a spring 2011 media buy. 

The Wiregrass presentation will be part of the Wiregrass Chapter meeting Tuesday Dec. 14 at 6:30 pm in Daleville, AL at McLin's Seafood Restaurant. The Miami area meeting is Thursday Dec. 16 at 10 am at Tropical Financial Credit Union. Credit unions from Broward and Southernmost are urged to come. If you would like to attend the presentation, contact LSCU VP, Communications Mike Bridges at 866.231.0545 ext. 1022. 

The LSCU is using a new credit union logo with the tagline, "Credit Unions: we're giving banking a better name" for the campaign.

 

The creative will include TV, radio, billboard, online ads, and public relations. Market research shows that the LSCU will need to raise $2.1 million to make an impact with potential members. To reach the goal in each media market, the LSCU is asking credit unions for a "fair share" contribution of $42 per million in assets. This will be a voluntary "fair share" line item in the 2011 LSCU dues packet. The fundraising formula will be explained in greater detail in the market meetings.

If you have any questions about the 2011 Statewide Image Campaign, email or call Bridges. [ Return to Top ]

Alabama CUSC board approves $25,000 for LSCU Image campaign

Last week the Alabama Credit Union Service Centers (CUSC) board approved a $25,000 contribution to the LSCU Statewide Image Campaign. This contribution will go toward the spring 2011 campaign. The CUSC board approved the money as a way to show its partnership with Alabama credit unions. 

For more information on the LSCU Statewide Image Campaign, contact LSCU VP, Communications Mike Bridges at 866.231.0545 ext. 1022.  [ Return to Top ]

Governmental Affairs News
This may be the last week for Congress this year

This could very well be the last week of the 111th Congress. As Congress approaches sine die adjournment, the end game remains relatively murky. 

It appears that both the Senate and the House will have the votes necessary to move the tax cut compromise, which extends the Bush-era tax cuts for two years, provides for a two-percent payroll tax holiday and extends unemployment benefits for 13 months. The Senate votes on a motion to invoke cloture on this measure later Monday, and that motion is expected to pass. Final passage of the tax bill in the Senate will take place Tuesday. The House could consider the legislation later this week. While there are still calls by some liberal members to add provisions to the legislation, most have conceded that the legislation, in some form, will pass the House as well. If the House makes changes to the legislation that the Senate passes, the bill would have to go back to the Senate for further consideration, prolonging the Senate’s session.

Assuming that the tax bill passes, the last major legislation that needs to be considered is funding government operations. This outcome is less certain. Last week, the House of Representatives passed a one-year continuing resolution, funding the government at essentially current levels through September 30, 2011. Senate Democrats and some Republican appropriators would like to enact an omnibus appropriations bill; however, it appears they are short at least a couple of the 60 votes necessary to win a cloture vote on an omnibus. If they are unable to get the 60 votes necessary to pass an omnibus, there are other options including passing the House passed continuing resolution (more likely) or sending back to the House a shorter term continuing resolution, funding the government through February (less likely). The omnibus is an attractive path for a number of reasons: it gives appropriators the ability to adjust funding levels for federal agencies, include targeted funding directives, and possibly attach other legislative initiatives – and this is where we have most recently applied the most pressure for the MBL legislation. While it remains a long shot to get the MBL provision included, CUNA and the League continue to have discussions with a number of Senate offices.

Congress is expected to adjourn toward the end of the week, it remains possible that the adjournment date could slip into next week. Senate leaders are also trying to put together the votes to ratify the START Treaty while discussions continue on the possibility of bringing up the defense authorization bill before the end of the year. The two things that Congress needs to get done before leaving town are the tax bill and the funding vehicle, and once those are done, they are expected to leave town quickly. Whenever Congress leaves town, the break promises to be brief. The 112th Congress will convene at noon on Jan. 5, 2011.  

If you have any questions, contact LSCU SVP, Governmental Affairs Will McCarty at 866.231.0545 ext. 2137. [ Return to Top ]

Florida Roundup: State budget shortfall to be announced

Legislators continue to hold delegation meetings across the state this week, but the big news will be in Tallahassee and Pensacola. State economists will help determine the size of next year’s budget shortfall when they draw up new tax collection estimates on Tuesday, while the state’s legal showdown over federal health care reform goes before a federal judge on Thursday. Friday the latest jobless numbers will be released.

FLORIDA EXPECTING A DISMAL BUDGET FORECAST

The size of Florida's budget shortfall heading into 2011 won't be officially known until this week, but it now appears the overall shortfall for next year could top $3 billion. State economists announced this past week that Medicaid expenses are continuing to grow and that sales tax collections have been weak the last three months. This comes on top of recent forecasts that showed everything from slot machine revenue to school property tax values declining.

Sen. J.D. Alexander (R-17), the Senate budget chairman, said that it was all adding to another "challenging" budget year for lawmakers. Alexander also suggested that the combination could make it difficult for legislators to embrace some of the tax cuts ideas that Governor-elect Rick Scott embraced on the campaign trail this fall.

Still the dismal numbers could also be the prelude to a whole lot of cutting across state government - including cutting some of the benefits for state workers. Legislative leaders say they are ready to make serious changes to Florida's mammoth pension plan.

HEALTH CARE LAWSUIT

The main hearing and oral arguments on the state of Florida’s lawsuit challenging the federal health care overhaul will be held Thursday at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Pensacola. Twenty states are part of the lawsuit asserting that the federal health care is unconstitutional. Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson refused to dismiss the lawsuit, which maintains that Congress cannot require individuals to purchase health insurance.

UNEMPLOYMENT

The Agency for Workforce Innovation will release the latest unemployment figures for Florida on Friday. Florida’s unemployment rate was 11.9 percent in October and 1.09 million Floridians were out of work. Recently state economists have projected the jobless rate will remain around its current rate until later in 2011

ADDITIONAL FEDERAL MONEY COULD BOLSTER HIGH SPEED RAIL

Florida's bid to build a high-speed rail line connecting Orlando and Tampa was bolstered this past week by the announcement by the U.S. Department of Transportation that the state will receive an additional $342 million for the project.

The additional funding is on top of the more than $2 billion already given by the federal government over the past year and covers the remaining costs to fund a high-speed rail line along the Interstate 4 corridor.

The key question that remains is whether Governor-elect Scott will block the project from going ahead. Scott, during the campaign, said he did not want to use state money for the project and said he wanted to see a feasibility study before commencing it. [ Return to Top ]

Northeast Chapter presents annual golf tournament fundraiser PAC contribution

Hogan presents Thames with the PAC contribution

The LSCU Northeast Chapter of Credit Unions presented a $15,000 donation to Florida CUPAC at its recent chapter meeting.

The chapter held its annual golf tournament to benefit the PAC on October 14 at St. John Country Club in St. Augustine, FL. More than 100 golfers participated in the event.

Northeast Chapter Golf Tournament Organizer Jay Hogan presented the LSCU’s Justin Thames with the check on behalf of the chapter. Hogan has organized the event for 15 years and has been instrumental in its continued success as a PAC fundraiser. [ Return to Top ]

Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: ADA requirements for ATMs

A revised regulations update by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards governing the construction and alteration of facilities covered by the ADA has been issued. This includes places of public accommodation such as private businesses and commercial facilities (covered by Title III of the ADA), and state and local government facilities (covered by Title II). These regulations include specifications for access to Automated Teller Machines (ATM).

The ATM standards set out detailed requirements, including communication-related requirements for individuals who are blind or have low vision (so-called “talking” ATMs). They also address physical access issues such as height and reach ranges for individuals with mobility challenges. The standards take effect March 2011 and become enforceable at that time.

The ATM: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Requirements: Summary topic on the ACH/Electronic Payments channel of InfoSight contains details about the revised ATM accessibility standards and explains what features—including function keys, operable parts, and speech output—are required by law. The specific compliance dates are also noted. 

For more helpful reminders and tips, 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.


  [ Return to Top ]

NCUA offering a webinar on troubled debt restructuring

NCUA board member Gigi Hyland will host a Jan. 6 webinar on troubled debt restructured (TDR) loans. The webinar, which will take place at 2 p.m. EST, will be moderated by Hyland and will feature input from auditing firm Crowe Horwath LLP. The webinar will answer questions from a U.S. GAAP perspective.

The NCUA webinar will discuss the definition of TDR loans, and will attempt to answer what constitutes financial difficulty and how impairment measurement works when dealing with TDRs. The webinar will also flesh out the definition of concessions when dealing with TDRs. TDR loans, which have very specific accounting and reporting requirements, sometimes occur as a result of loan modifications. The financial statement notes and call report data associated with TDRs are also unique.

Visit the NCUA Event Registration page to register for this free webinar.

[ Return to Top ]

Compliance Calendar and Training Schedule

Compliance Calendar

December 25
Christmas Day - Federal Holiday

December 31
NCUA Regulation Part 716 - Model Privacy Notices - Effective Date

January 1
New Year's Day - Federal Holiday

FACT Act: Risk Based Pricing Rule Effective Date

HOEPA Disclosure Trigger Amount changes to $592.00

Truth in Lending, Mortgage Loan Rules - Sale/Transfer of Mortgage

FACT Act Risk-based pricing notices (Regulation V) Effective Date

Regulation Z (TILA) Final rule for disclosures under Helping Families Save Their Homes Act Effective

Compliance Training

December 9
SAFE Act - Get Ready to Comply With the Registration Requirements – Webinar
2:00–3:30 p.m. CT

February 16
Pressing Credit Union Compliance Issues – Audio Conference
1:00–2:30 p.m. CT

 

  [ Return to Top ]

Cooperative Initiatives News
AABC giving away laptop and printer in each of its regions
The Alabama Asset Building Coalition (AABC) is giving away five new computer laptops with printers to VITA/TCE sites. One will be given to an organization doing work in each of AABC’s five regions.

Successful applicants will be selected based on need and will be required to submit an application to AABC.  Click here to download the application.

Deadline for applications is December 24, 2010. Awardees will be announced the first week of January 2011. For additional questions contact Michael Milner, executive director, Alabama Asset Building Coalition at 205.833.7270 (office), 205.602.9805 (cell), or 205.836.2942 (fax).


[ Return to Top ]

REAL Solutions offering VITA site Implementation Guide

As the holidays approach, the tax season is not far behind. For many low-income working families, tax time is actually a good time. For many, tax returns and EITC credits provide families with resources not available at other times of the year. Yet finding the right tax preparer is not always easy.

Credit unions can help. Credit unions across the country are assisting low-wage families prepare tax returns through on-line tax preparation programs and by offering or supporting Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites. VITA programs, offered in collaboration with the IRS, prepare tax returns at no cost for families of modest income. This saves taxpayers thousands of dollars in tax prep fees. Additionally, VITA sites discourage tax payers from taking expensive refund anticipation loans. There are many ways that credit unions can assist members in preparing their annual income tax returns and participate in VITA sites.

Credit unions can visit the REAL Solutions website to download the REAL Solutions Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Sites Implementation Guide.

For credit unions that have questions about VITA sites, contact LSCU Director, Credit Union Relations Adena Whitman at 866.231.0545 ext. 2134. [ Return to Top ]

Education News
Important information for 2011 webinar training

Webinars have become a popular, efficient, and cost-effective means of bringing training directly to your credit union. The LSCU has partnered with Financial Education and Development, Inc. to offer this training to LSCU members. Click here to view the 2011 lineup of dynamic webinar topics designed for every staff member in your credit union or visit www.lscu.coop and click on the education calendar.

In order to ensure that you receive timely information on all upcoming webinars, we’d like to offer a few suggestions:

1.  Be sure your credit union email system accepts (and does not reject) mail from the following email addresses:

LSCU@cuwebtraining.com
LSCUtraining@cuwebtraining.com
jan@cuwebtraining.com

A simple way to do this is to add each of these e-mail addresses to your ‘safe senders’ list as well as your contacts folder. Forward this information to your IT department, too, so that the webinar information and instructions are not blocked by your firewall.

2.  When you register for a “live” webinar, your instructions will be emailed approximately one week in advance.

3. The “archived” version is an on-demand web link of the live event and contains audio/visual recording of the live broadcast of the webinar, including question and answer periods. It contains a PDF file of the handouts and the speaker’s email address for any follow-up questions. The web link can be viewed anytime 24/7 beginning six business days following the live webinar. It expires six months after the live program. In addition, you receive a FREE CD ROM that contains the same information as the link!

4. Invoices are not provided; your registration form will serve as your receipt. In addition, you will not receive an immediate confirmation of your registration, but you will receive the instructions and/or on-demand link one week before the webinar.

5. For those who prefer to pay by credit card, your statement will show Financial Education & Development, Inc. as the merchant name or transaction description.

If you have any questions concerning any of the above, contact LSCU@cuwebtraining.com.

Watch your email for detailed information on upcoming webinars and special offers!
[ Return to Top ]

Prepare now for IRA training in 2011

Mark your calendars for IRA training in March, 2011. The LSCU is offering two courses, IRA Essentials on Mar. 15 and IRA Advanced Training on Mar. 16. Each course will be held at the Birmingham Marriott and run from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The IRA Essentials Workshop gives attendees a solid foundation of IRA knowledge. Exercises are included throughout the day to help participants apply information to job-related situations. Attendees will leave this session able to work with IRA owners and process basic IRA transactions with confidence. This is a beginner's session; no previous IRA knowledge is assumed.

The IRA Advanced Workshop builds on the learners’ knowledge of IRA basics to help them address some of the more complex IRA issues they handle at the credit union. This is an advanced session; previous IRA knowledge is assumed.

In both sessions, the trainer will utilize real-world exercises to help participants apply information to job-related situations and those attending should bring a hand-held calculator. 

Each course is taught by Paul Kern who is a training consultant for Ascensus, Inc., a division of Crump Group, Inc. Kern is responsible for conducting IRA training programs to meet the needs of credit unions and leagues nation-wide.

The cost for each course is $229 per person. For more information, visit the LSCU Education Calendar.


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Check out the 2011 Education Calendar for learning opportunities for YOUR credit union

The 2011 LSCU Education Calendar at-a-glance is now available. The calendar is highlighted by the League's premier events:

  • CUNA GAC - Feb. 27 - Mar. 3
  • AL State GAC - Mar. 30 - 31
  • FL State GAC - Apr. 13 - 14
  • LSCU AC&E - June  16 - 19 
  • LSCU Supervisory Committee Conference - Jul. 31 - Aug. 3
  • LSCU Development Conference - Nov. 1 - 4

The Alabama and Florida State GACs are new for 2011. Also new to 2011, are two SAS credit union workshops, one in Florida on March 22 and one in Alabama on March 24. The calendar also has more than 80 webinars with many of them being on-demand, meaning credit unions can access them when it's convenient for them. The calendar also reflects the prices of each event so credit unions can more easily budget for them.

Click here to view and print a PDF version of the calendar. [ Return to Top ]

Education Calendar

2011

Wednesday, January 5
Form 1099 Reporting
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST - webinar

Thursday, January 6
Business Continuity Planning for CUs
3:00
p.m. - 4:30 p.m.EST - webinar

Tuesday, January 11 2011
Fundamentals of SBA Lending
3:00
p.m. - 4:30 p.m.EST - webinar

Wednesday, January 12
IRA & HSA Annual Review & Update
3:00
p.m. - 4:30 p.m.EST - webinar

Tuesday, January 18
Special Edition: FinCEN - Chapter X BSA

3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.EST - webinar

Wednesday, January 19
12 Rules for Effective Social Media

3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.EST - webinar

Tuesday, January 25
Asset Liability Management

3:00
p.m. - 4:30 p.m.EST - webinar 

Wednesday, January 26
Mandatory Compliance Training Series

3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.EST - webinar

  [ Return to Top ]

LEVERAGE News
More than $442,000 additional revenue for CUs in Sprint Program; revenue checks presented

In 2010, the Sprint Member Discount program generated more than $442,000 in non-interest income for the 56 participating credit unions from Alabama and Florida.

Leslie Norush, National Business Consultant with CU Solutions Group who manages the Sprint program, along with LEVERAGE's Keith Hopkins and Scott Rosenthal recently presented Grow Financial CU and CFE FCU revenue checks generated through the Sprint program.

Since the program's inception, there have been more than one million new Sprint activations from credit union members while they have saved more than $74 million.

"The Sprint Program is a great tool to help us grow and retain membership. The savings that our members can enjoy through this program adds additional value to their credit union membership," said Allen Milliron, AVP, Business Development for Grow Financial FCU.

The Sprint Member Discount program offers tremendous benefits to members and credit unions. The program is easy to set up and saves Sprint customers 10 percent on their monthly recurring cell phone charges as well as provides special equipment discounts and waved activations.

It is not too late to sign-up for 2011. Contact a business development consultant at consult@myleverage.com.

Grow Financial is presented its revenue check. (l to r): Allen Milliron, Brian Calloway, Wes Strickland, Leslie Norush, Keith Hopkins, & Scott Rosenthal

CFE is presented its revenue check. (l to r): Scott Rosenthal, Laura L. Richard, Keith Hopkins, Leslie Norush, Joseph A. Melbourne, Angela Garabo, Nancy L. Whitecavage, Suzanne W. Dusch, & Kevin J. Dougherty



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LEVERAGE and Transworld Systems partner to offer CUs increased profit recovery

LEVERAGE has joined with Transworld Systems, the nation’s leader in profit recovery, and formed a new strategic partnership. Transworld was chosen for its ability to provide proven, across-the-board collections solutions with an emphasis on collecting negative share draft accounts.

The services they provide will help credit unions increase recovery rates on negative accounts by 500 – 700 percent, reduce collection costs by 65 – 95 percent, all while charging off fewer members to salvage their accounts for the future.

Transworld Systems is celebrating its 40-year anniversary of providing industry-leading collection services to credit unions. For more information contact a Business Development Consultant at consult@myleverage.com. [ Return to Top ]

Rebranded TitleAuctions website delivers more to users

LEVERAGE’s online remarketing program, powered by TitleAuctions, Inc., has revamped its website to reinforce the benefits of quickly moving repossessed vehicles. TitleAuctions delivers retail, wholesale and member vehicle remarketing tools, as well as training and support through comprehensive web-based software.

The new site features free demo requests, remarketing results from credit unions, and much more. Visit the new site at www.titleauctions.com and contact LEVERAGE VP, Product Support Keith Hopkins at 866.231.0545 ext. 1170 for more information.   [ Return to Top ]

News from You
Pinellas FCU presents Celebration of Joy nights

Pinellas FCU's Celebration of Joy is a series of member appreciation events held throughout the month of December. The events feature a Wonderland Walk, complete with holiday lights and decorations, trains, and villages, animation and music, as well as refreshments such as cookies, treats, and beverages. Children can also have their pictures taken with Santa and write their names on their very own keepsake ornaments.

“Our mission and the credit union industry motto is all about ‘People Helping People.’ This is our opportunity to show our appreciation for our members and give back to them during a holiday season that has been made especially difficult for many of them due to the current economy,” says Pinellas FCU President/CEO Linda Reynolds. [ Return to Top ]

CU staff earn CCUE designation

Congratulations to the following for earning the Certified Credit Union Executive designation (CCUE):

  • Urban Areingdale, CCUE - Suncoast Schools, FCU, Tampa, FL
  • Kathryn Bonaventura, CCUE - VyStar CU, Jacksonville, FL
  • Nancy Perry, CCUE - CFE FCU, Lake Mary, FL
  • Donna Pruneau, CCUE - Suncoast Schools FCU, Tampa, FL

The program is designed for managers and those aspiring to credit union leadership, and teaches advanced credit union management and operations techniques. This program began in 1999 as a designation targeted specifically at educating credit union professionals specializing in financial services.

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Employment
View available credit union jobs

Visit the LSCU CU Job Center to view the available jobs. If you would like to submit a job, visit the job listing section of the Job Center. [ Return to Top ]

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