LSCU eSignal Weekly
LSCU eNews Weekly December 20, 2010
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LSCU eNews Weekly
In This Issue
LSCU Headlines
Federal Reserve releases interchange proposals
Senate briefly considers member business lending
NCUA comment period for corporate rule amendments extended to January
NCUA passes financial literacy requirements for credit union directors
Comment letters due this week on Reg Z proposals
LSCU Statewide Image Campaign "voluntary fair share" line on dues invoice
This is the final eSignal of 2010
LSCU offices closed for Christmas and New Years
Governmental Affairs News
LSCU Governmental Affairs Committee Trustees approve PAC goals and legislative agenda
Alabama credit unions meet with Congressman-elect Mo Brooks
Florida Roundup: Gov.-elect Scott touring the state right after Christmas
Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: Report finds that interchange regulation will affect credit unions
Senate passes bill that gives NCUA tools for corporate situation
NCUA webinar on troubled debt restructuring coming up Jan. 6
Compliance Calendar and Training Schedule
Cooperative Initiatives News
AABC laptop and printer giveaway deadline is this week
Children's Miracle Network changes name and updates logo
Education News
Many more webinars on the LSCU Education calendar in 2011
LSCU IRA training will be available in March, 2011
Education Calendar
LEVERAGE News
Rebranded TitleAuctions website delivers more
Workers seek reassurance about retirement plans; CMG can help
OFAC Match website updated for most current information
News from You
Pen Air FCU contributes $2,500 to local Toys for Tots Foundation
Longtime credit union executive David White passes away
Young and Free Alabama raises $200,000 for local schools
Employment
View available credit union jobs
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LSCU Headlines

Federal Reserve releases interchange proposals

Since the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act passed earlier this year, the LSCU and CUNA have worked on the regulatory process stemming from the interchange language that was added to the Act. This past Thursday, the Federal Reserve issued its proposed regulations enforcing the interchange provisions. The League will be sending a summary of the proposal, and information on how credit unions can comment to the Federal Reserve as they draft the final regulations. As you know, this is a very important regulation with significant impact on credit unions, and the League will be seeking every opportunity to mitigate its impact.

CUNA has put together a quick summary and the initial reactions of CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney to the proposal issued regarding the regulation of debit interchange fee income. While the Fed has made efforts to address some of credit unions' concerns, the new proposal raises many issues CUNA and the League will be working on to improve and resolve.

To access the quick CUNA summary, visit the LSCU MBL and Interchange Resource area. 

Following the release of the proposals, CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney sent a letter to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke expressing his concern over the lack of any enforcement mechanism for the exemption for small issuers from the rate setting provisions that apply to large issuers, the low level cap – no more than 12 cents per transaction (7 cents under the safe harbor) – that would apply to debit interchange fees for large issuers and the multiple options merchants might have for routing transactions.

Outgoing House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) also sent a letter to Bernanke expressing his concern over implementation of the interchange amendment. Frank writes that he's concerned the implementation might have unintended consequences on community banks and credit unions while Congress is trying to reduce their regulatory burden.

You can read both letters in the MBL and Interchange Resource area. This is a password protected area of the LSCU website.  [ Return to Top ]

Senate briefly considers member business lending

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)

Raising the member business lending (MBL) cap for credit unions was briefly discussed in the Senate over the weekend. Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) requested unanimous consent on the Senate floor for his bill, the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act. That bill would increase the member business lending cap to 27.5 percent of a credit union's assets, up from the current 12.25 percent.

Under the unanimous consent procedure, it takes just one Senator's objection—even if just objecting to the procedure itself--to derail the legislation's immediate progress. And that objection came from Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL). It appears that Sen. Shelby may have made the objection more from a procedural standpoint than an objection to raising the cap. 

"We're disappointed that Sen. Shelby chose to object to Sen. Udall's bill," said LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine. "This underscores how we, as an industry, have to continually build relationships with our lawmakers and get them to understand our position on key issues like MBL."

The League has been in contact with Sen. Shelby's office to understand the objection. It looks like the bill was objected to because it is a major piece of legislation that did not go through the full legislative process.  Republicans feel the Democrats are pushing too many major issues to the floor before recess without going through the normal process, and they are responding to the rush here in the closing days by objecting to more bills being brought to the floor by Democrats without going through the normal order.

In the past, the League and CUNA have met with Sen. Shelby and his staff about MBL. At no point has Sen. Shelby ever shown a strong opinion against raising the cap. Also, earlier this year Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had MBL legislation on his "hotline" and no Republican had an objection including Sen. Shelby. 

CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney was also disappointed with the objection, but he says "when the 112th Congress convenes in January, capital reform will be CUNA's top priority while also continuing to work on MBL with key supporters." [ Return to Top ]

NCUA comment period for corporate rule amendments extended to January

Earlier this month, 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 meeting.

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 ]

NCUA passes financial literacy requirements for credit union directors

The NCUA has issued new financial literacy requirements for credit union directors. The move comes amid growing credit union losses and increasing sophistication of credit union finances. The required level of financial literacy will depend on the complexity of the credit union.

Directors will be given six months to receive training in financial literacy with the NCUA providing both Internet-based and as many as 50 regional training sessions in the coming months.

"I think we can all agree that volunteers are the heart and soul of the credit union community," said NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz, who emphasized that directors should have a minimum of competence in basic finance and an ability to read and understand their credit union's balance sheet. She said NCUA is not planning hardcore efforts to police the new requirements, at first. "It's not going to be a game of gotcha; examiners are not going to go around quizzing volunteers," she added.

The new rules also include additional provisions on a director's fiduciary responsibility to their credit union and prohibits a credit union from indemnifying a director in cases of gross negligence. A credit union may, however, provide legal assistance to a director being sued if the credit union officers believe the director acted in good faith. These new provisions were prompted by several recent conversions to mutual savings banks when members sought to sue their directors over the squandering of credit union resources during expensive conversion fights.

The new rules also includes new requirements for voting on credit union conversions to banks, stepping up requirements for independent third-party oversight of conversion votes; barring credit union employees from helping members fill out secret ballots; and preventing officers from seeing and using incomplete vote counts, something that occurred during several controversial conversion to bank ballots.

The new rule will also require, in case of conversions to banks, that credit unions provide members with an option of paying out a credit union's capital in a liquidating dividend; that it obtain and present to members a pre-conversion valuation by an independent third party; and that final member votes to convert to banks receive the affirmative vote of at least 20 percent of all members. It also requires that credit unions disclose during the conversion process what role, if any, current officers and directors will play once the conversion to bank is completed, and any compensation they may earn as a result.

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Comment letters due this week on 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 comment period ends Wed. Dec. 23. Credit unions are asked to submit a comment letter, if possible, before Christmas.

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 Statewide Image Campaign "voluntary fair share" line on dues invoice

Credit unions will notice a line item on their recently received League dues invoice that is labeled "voluntary fair share" contribution. This line item is for the 2011 LSCU Statewide Image Campaign. The League has been presenting the campaign across both states throughout the fall. The next Image Campaign meeting is coming up Jan. 13 at the Central Florida Chapter. 

For those credit unions that are not familiar with the campaign, 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 or the "voluntary fair share" line item, contact LSCU VP, Communications Mike Bridges at 866.231.0545 ext.1022. [ Return to Top ]

This is the final eSignal of 2010

As credit unions observe the holidays over the next two weeks, eSignal will take the week of Dec. 27 off and return Jan. 3, 2011.

eSignal has proven to be a valuable resource for credit unions every Monday. Readership has doubled since eSignal debuted Jan. 4, 2010. More credit unions are reading about the industry, LSCU advocacy, LEVERAGE products and the great "News from You" section.

If there is breaking credit union news, the League will send out an eSignal extra. Make sure you go to the LSCU homepage every day to see the latest credit union news. It will continue to be updated over the holidays. 

The LSCU extends a big thank you to all the credit unions that make eSignal a regular Monday "must read." Remember, if you have a story to submit to eSignal, send it to submissions@lscu.coop.    [ Return to Top ]

LSCU offices closed for Christmas and New Years

As we prepare for 2011, the LSCU offices will be closed three days over the Christmas and New Year's holiday. The LSCU offices in Birmingham and Tallahassee will be closed Dec. 23 and 24 in observance of the Christmas Holiday. The offices will re-open on Dec. 27. 

The Birmingham and Tallahassee offices will also observe the New Year's Day holiday by closing on Friday Dec. 31. Both offices will re-open on Monday Jan. 3, 2011.

The LSCU would like to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season. [ Return to Top ]

Governmental Affairs News
LSCU Governmental Affairs Committee Trustees approve PAC goals and legislative agenda

The LSCU Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC)Trustees met Monday morning to discuss and approve goals for the League’s three Political Action Committees, as well as give final approval to the 2011 LSCU Legislative and Regulatory Issues agenda. 

The trustees set aggressive, yet achievable goals for the PACs:

  • Florida CUPAC (Florida’s State PAC) $250,000
  • ACULAC (Alabama’s State PAC) $30,000
  • LSCU Fed PAC (the League’s Federal PAC) from Florida $125,000
  • LSCU Fed PAC from Alabama $50,000

The goals were set based on projections of need for the three PACs through the next election cycles, as well as the League’s commitment to the national system through CUNA’s Federal PAC.  Once met, these goals will put our PACs in a strong position during the next elections.

Legislative Agenda set

The Trustees also approved the LSCU Legislative and Regulatory Agenda for 2011 which outlines all foreseen legislative and regulatory initiatives, both defensive and proactive, that the League will be working on at the state and federal level. Federal issues include defense against taxation, alternative capital and PCA reform, preventing application of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to credit unions, and preventing restrictions of overdraft protection programs to credit unions, among other issues. 

On the state side, the agenda includes seeking the authority of credit unions to take public deposits, defense against taxation and preventing increased regulatory burden and additional civil liability for credit unions. The regulatory agenda includes ensuring that the regulations stemming from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act do not negatively impact credit unions, foreclosure prevention that protects the credit union interest, and building sound relationships with regulators to increase the effectiveness of the League’s regulatory advocacy efforts.  The agenda is a blueprint for increased advocacy by the League on behalf of credit unions.


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Alabama credit unions meet with Congressman-elect Mo Brooks

This past Tuesday, North Alabama credit unions met with Congressman-elect Mo Brooks (R-5th). During the hour long meeting at Alabama Credit Union’s Huntsville branch, the group discussed a number of issues facing credit unions in Washington. Rep. Brooks outlined his views on numerous issues, with an emphasis on taxation and the burden of an excessive regulatory burden. Credit union officials explained the basis for the credit union exemption from corporate income tax, outlining the structural differences between credit unions and for-profit financial institutions. Rep. Brooks explained his belief that all corporate income tax is ultimately paid by the consumer, equating it to a tax on credit union members and noting how it would lead to diminished value to the member. He stated that he would not support a tax on credit unions, and that he opposes all corporate income tax. 

On the role of the federal government in regulating businesses such as credit unions, Rep. Brooks was adamant in his view that the government has far exceeded a reasonable role, and that the excessive management through regulation is significantly hampering the ability of small businesses, including credit unions, to be successful. He noted that money spent on unnecessary, excessive, or duplicate regulations are a financial strain on businesses that are also ultimately paid by the members. He stated his dedication, and that of many new members of Congress, to rein in the current state of excessive regulatory requirements from Washington. Rep. Brooks is a long-time member of a credit union.

(l to r): Debra McCaghren, Family Security CU; Joe Newberry, Redstone CU; Greg Olmsted, North Alabama Educators CU; Congressman-elect Mo Brooks; Steve Swofford, Alabama CU; Brad Green, Listerhill CU; June Landrum, Alabama CU.

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Florida Roundup: Gov.-elect Scott touring the state right after Christmas

The final two weeks of the year do not include many events for State Government, although the transition teams of Governor-elect Rick Scott are still working. Scott has scheduled grassroots events around the state as part of his “Forging a Path to Prosperity Appreciation Tour” to lead up to his inauguration on Jan. 4. The seven regional events are aimed at bringing the Inauguration celebration to those supporters who can not make the trip to Tallahassee.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hometown Appreciation Breakfast
8 - 10 a.m.
Food & Thought Organic Market & Restaurant
2132 Tamiami Trail North
Naples, Florida 34102

Orlando Appreciation Event
12:00 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Grand Harbor Ball Room
1700 Epcot Resorts Blvd
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Clewiston Appreciation BBQ
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Hilliard Farm
5500 Flaghold Road
Clewiston, Florida 33440

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ft. Walton Appreciation Breakfast
8:30 – 9:30 a.m. CST
Location TBD
Ft. Walton

Panama City Appreciation Lunch
11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. CST
Shrimp Boat Restaurant
1201 Beck Avenue
Panama City, Florida 32401

Jacksonville Appreciation Event
4 – 5 p.m.
The Jacksonville Landing
2 Independent Drive
Jacksonville, Florida 32202

Miami Appreciation Event
7 - 8:30 p.m.
Little Havana Domino Park
Miami, Florida 33135

Census results to be announced on Tuesday

The biggest event of the calendar year may be this Tuesday when state officials and members of Congress get the first official results from the U.S. Census. The results will spell out if the size of Florida’s Congressional delegation will increase. Florida could gain two additional Congressional seats which would bring the state's total number in the U.S. House of Representatives to 27. It would also boost Florida's Electoral College votes to 29

Florida’s unemployment rate reaches 12 percent

Florida’s unemployment rate rose again in November, hitting 12 percent for the month of November. That marked a .1 percent increase from the past two months and brought the total number of jobless people up to 1.11 million.

On Friday, Governor Crist issued an executive order that will allow the state to start offering extended benefits that were reauthorized this week by Congress. "It is important that we act immediately to ensure out-of-work Floridians are able to take advantage of the additional federal dollars available to our state and our people," Crist said in a statement. "Especially during the holiday season, when we are keenly aware of the needs of those less fortunate, it is my constitutional duty to sign this executive order that will allow Florida to provide these funds to our citizens.” President Barack Obama signed into law an $858 billion bill that extended jobless benefits along with a two-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts on Friday. The extended benefits will now last until January 2012.

The Agency for Workforce Innovation estimated that the move will benefit approximately 250,000 Floridians. Rebecca Rust, AWI’s chief economist, stated weak consumer demand and employer uncertainty over the economy as reasons for the increasing rate. But Rust said that the recent extension of benefits by Congress “hopefully will assist with business uncertainty.”

Florida currently holds the fourth largest unemployment rate in the country;  only Nevada (14.3 percent) and California and Michigan (12.4 percent each) have higher rates.

  [ Return to Top ]

Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: Report finds that interchange regulation will affect credit unions

The League InfoSight newsletter details a recent Filene Research Institute study that looks at how federal regulation of interchange fees on debit card transactions will affect credit unions.

"Interchange Regulation: Implications for Credit Unions," written by Adam Levitin, associate professor at Georgetown University Law Center, examines how the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act that Congress passed this summer will lessen the roughly $17 billion in debit interchange paid to issuing financial institutions every year.

What are the implications for credit unions? Any regulatory movements will affect profitability, especially in a core product like debit cards, Levitin said. The Durbin Amendment is particularly noteworthy for its likely middle- and long-term implications, he added. They are:

  • Competition for small issuers: It is likely that competitive pressures will encourage networks to adopt separate interchange schedules for smaller institutions, which could leave small issuers' debit interchange revenue largely untouched by the Durbin Amendment. If a two-tiered interchange structure emerges, it will help make credit unions more competitive in the card issuance market, according to Levitin.
  • Mobile advances: Regulatory reform will likely encourage payment card networks to push aggressively into new—and less regulated—markets, particularly mobile commerce.
  • Threats to fees abound: The Durbin Amendment highlights the difficulties that credit unions face from an increasing reliance on fee-based revenue. Credit unions may find it necessary to adjust the bundle of services they offer with deposit accounts, possibly re-emphasizing credit cards that maintain attractive interchange rates.

You can read more and access the report in the latest edition of the League InfoSight newsletter. 

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.


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Senate passes bill that gives NCUA tools for corporate situation

This past Thursday evening, the Senate passed a bill (S. 4036) which makes several changes to the Federal Credit Union Act to give NCUA additional tools to deal with the corporate credit union situation and troubled credit unions. The agency has been discussing this legislation with Congress and with CUNA for several months. 

One of the provisions of this legislation would allow section 208 assistance provided to a credit union from the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund to be included in the credit union’s net worth for the purposes of prompt corrective action. This is an important provision that CUNA strongly supports – in fact, it has been encouraging the NCUA to seek this authority for some time. It should be viewed as an important step toward achieving capital reform for credit unions.

Another provision is designed to avoid interest costs that would have to be paid to the Treasury by allowing the NCUA to assess credit unions for Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund costs without first having to borrow from Treasury. This amendment will not change other aspects of the Stabilization Fund, including the ability to spread out costs to federally insured credit unions over 11 years. A third provision clarifies that the equity ratio of the NCUSIF is based solely on the unconsolidated financial statements of the NCUSIF and does not include corporate or natural person credit unions that have been conserved.  The legislation also directs the GAO to report to Congress and the Financial Stability Oversight Council on NCUA’s handling of the corporate credit union situation within one year of the enactment of this legislation. The House of Representatives will also consider this legislation soon. [ Return to Top ]

NCUA webinar on troubled debt restructuring coming up Jan. 6

NCUA board member Gigi Hyland will host a Jan. 6, 2011 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.

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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

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

 

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Cooperative Initiatives News
AABC laptop and printer giveaway deadline is this week
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. 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).


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Children's Miracle Network changes name and updates logo

Credit unions working with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals through the Credit Unions for Kids program should update their logo materials at the first of the year.

The Children's Miracle Network has added Hospitals onto its logo to become the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals). Credit Unions for Kids' (CU4Kids) promotional materials incorporate the CMN Hospitals logo, so those materials also will need changed.

The new logos are similar to the current logos, but the new balloon is more sleek and modern looking. Credit unions that send out promotional material for CMN Hospitals should update the logo after Jan. 1. 

CMN Hospitals have made available a branding guidelines for the credit unions' use of the new logos and names. The guidelines tell credit unions how to use signature color variations for approved logo usage, the correct ways to refer to the organizations as proper nouns and the correct abbreviated references. You can access the guidelines by clicking here.

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals raise funds for more than 170 children's hospitals throughout the U.S. Credit unions are the CMN Hospitals' third largest corporate sponsor (WalMart and Costco are in the Nos. 1 and 2 spots). Credit unions have raised more than $80 million through the Credit Unions for Kids program since the program began in 1996. (See related story in News Now's System section on "Cause marketing and CUs: A perfect fit.)

For more information on CMN Hospitals or how your credit union can get involved, contact LSCU Director of Credit Union Relations Adena Whitman at 866.231.0545 ext. 2134. [ Return to Top ]

Education News
Many more webinars on the LSCU Education calendar in 2011

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 five things to remember:

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.


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LSCU IRA training will be available in March, 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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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
Rebranded TitleAuctions website delivers more

LEVERAGE’s online remarketing program, powered by TitleAuctions, 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 a comprehensive web-based software.

The new site features free demonstration requests, remarketing results from credit unions, and much more. Visit the new site at www.titleauctions.com. For more information, contact a LEVERAGE Business Consultant.  




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Workers seek reassurance about retirement plans; CMG can help

A recent Gallup survey indicates that American workers’ confidence in their ability to save enough money for retirement continues to erode. The most revealing results include:

  • More than a third of Americans now believe they will retire after age 65, compared with 12 percent of respondents in 1995
  • The 2010 survey marks the first time that respondents who believed they would retire after age 65 have outnumbered those who believed they’d retire before 65
  • Forty-six percent of workers in 2010 said they believed they would have enough money to live comfortably in retirement, a significant drop from 59 percent in 2002 - 2004

Employers may gain an advantage in recruiting and retaining talent by offering 401(k) programs that can help dispel some of this pessimism. Retirement industry experts Tom Eckert and Scott Knapp of CUNA Mutual Group (CMG) recommend a move away from the emphasis on a “grocery store of investment choices” and toward a more guided approach.

Rather than asking employees to choose from a myriad of funds they know little about and simply hoping for the best, outcome-based plans engage employees from the outset to set specific retirement targets. The targets are based on each employee’s retirement goals.

"Over the years, 401(k) providers have forgotten the reason for offering 401(k) plans—helping their employees retire—focusing instead mostly on the mechanics of their plan, features, and number of fund options," says Eckert, vice president of Retirement Plan Products. An outcome-based approach “turns retirement plans right-side up,” he says.

CMG has a video that explains the outcome-based retirement plans here. If you have questions about this or other employee benefits topics, contact your CMG Sales Executive at 800.356.2644.

(If link above does not work, click or cut and paste into your web browser http://sites.cunamutual.com/cmg/media/00025170.swf) [ Return to Top ]

OFAC Match website updated for most current information

Users will notice that LEVERAGE has recently revamped the OFAC Match website for credit unions. OFAC Match searches the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list in order to help credit unions maintain compliance in accordance with U.S. law.

LEVERAGE would like to thank credit unions for their patience and cooperation through the OFAC Match transition period. Although the speed of the site has been addressed, it is important to note that the site is directly pulling from the SDN list 24/7. By automatically pulling from the SDN list, this ensures accurate information is being communicated.

If you have questions or issues with the OFAC Match website, contact LEVERAGE Director of Marketing April Banta at 866-231-0545 x1162.


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News from You
Pen Air FCU contributes $2,500 to local Toys for Tots Foundation

Master Gunnery Sgt. Roberto Rivera, Toys for Tots Coordinator for Marine Aviation Training Support Group-24, graciously accepted a $500 check and a truckload of toys from Pen Air Federal Credit Union on behalf of the Toys for Tots Foundation.

“We thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” Rivera said. “We couldn’t do it without your support.”

Pen Air FCU President/CEO Ron Fields said he was more than happy to offer all Pen Air FCU offices as drop-off locations.

“Pen Air FCU has supported Toys for Tots for several years now,” Fields said. “I am extremely proud of the continued outpouring of generosity from all of our employees and member-owners to help underprivileged children.”

The Marine Corps spent countless hours setting up drop box locations, conducting fundraisers, and spreading the word about the Toys for Tots Foundation and how the foundation benefits underprivileged children in the community.

Along with a $500 check, an estimated $2,000 in toys was also donated.

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Longtime credit union executive David White passes away

On December 9, the credit union world lost an executive that had an influence on many in the panhandle of Florida. David White died Dec. 9. David began his career in credit unions as a Federal Examiner for the Bureau of Federal Credit Unions for five years. White moved on to the position of General Manager for Eglin Federal Credit Union, based in Shalimar, holding the position for 17 years. He later became the General Manager of the Pensacola Federal Employees Credit Union, retiring on April 7, 1995 after serving 16 years.

White's funeral was held Dec. 17 in Pensacola.  [ Return to Top ]

Young and Free Alabama raises $200,000 for local schools

Throughout the year, Young and Free Alabama, along with Listerhill Credit Union, based in Sheffield, AL, ran a campaign that used "High 5 From the Hill" or "Pick 5" on billboards, TV commercials, and radio ads. Beginning last April, each time a member signed up for the Pick 5 or The Hill account, Listerhill donated $50 to the local school the member chose. The school that raised the most donations was also given thousands of dollars in grants from Listerhill. By the end of the promotion on October 30, Y&F had raised over $200,000 for more than 150 local schools.

Here some reaction from local principals:

"Almost $12,000 from Listerhill was a god-send," said Hamilton High School Principal Ronnie Miller

"It has by far been the best help we've had from any corporate sponsor because the money was not ear-marked for a certain item. We can use it for what we need," said Central High School Principal Keith Morris.

To read more about promotion, check out the Young and Free Alabama blog. 



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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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