LSCU eSignal Weekly
LSCU eNews Weekly February 21, 2011
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LSCU eNews Weekly
In This Issue
LSCU Headlines
President's Point
House subcommittee holds interchange rule hearing, Senate banking committee holds hearing
LSCU submits comment on Federal Reserve Interchange proposal
NCUA board discusses executive compensation
LSCU's CUNA GAC webinar for credit unions this Thursday
Follow the LSCU at the CUNA GAC on Twitter and through video
Register today for one of the LSCU State GACs
Deadline for LSCU dues is approaching
CMG Mortgage Insurance launches “Blaine’s Sound Bytes” to enhance credit union training
New program outreach reduces credit union expenses on office supplies & more
Governmental Affairs News
Credit unions benefit from Project Zip Code
Florida roundup: LSCU legislative update, tensions flare with Governor and both parties
Alabama amusement park consignment tickets coming soon
Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: NCUA issues clarification on third-part investment sales
Compliance calendar and training
Cooperative Initiatives News
Credit unions raise more than $3 million in 2010 for Children’s Miracle Network
SAS credit unions have $400 account with League
Save the date for Small Asset Size Credit Union Workshop
Dine at IHOP Mar. 1 and help Children's Miracle Network Hospitals
Low-income communities and the Great Recession: Mid-2010 trends report
Education News
2011 BSA Training Opportunities
LSCU AC&E will feature Joe Scarborough and NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz
Financial literacy webinar Thursday Mar. 3
Education Calendar
LEVERAGE News
New group buying categories now available for saving money
Discovering an online engine to drive vehicle sales
Impact of Fed plan to purchase Treasury bonds on defined benefit plans
News from You
The Boys and Girls Club design artwork for Tampa Chapter fundraiser
Insight Credit Union supports American Heart Association
New Pen Air FCU credit card gives back to UWF alumni
EMPLOYMENT
View available credit union jobs
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LSCU Headlines

President's Point

The LSCU has a new feature in eSignal: President's Point. Each week the LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine will write about a timely topic. Credit unions are encouraged to give feedback each week. Just click the link at the bottom of this article. 

I'm very much a believer of not dwelling in the past but choose to focus on the future. However, the LSCU & Affiliates recently closed its books on 2010 and I wanted to share with you, our member owners, some highlights of our financial performance during the first year as the new LSCU & Affiliates.

Since my first day on the job, I have been talking to credit unions in Alabama and Florida about how the LSCU will be a good steward of your dues dollars. We will always carefully evaluate all expenses, making wise decision on where we invest our member resources. With this vision, we cut our 2010 operating expenses by $600,000 from the 2009 combined budgets of the Alabama and Florida Leagues and went from 80 full-time employees to 71, the same number of positions we have as we enter 2011.

As we look back on last year’s financial statements, the LSCU and its Service Corporation (LEVERAGE) ended the year with significant positive variances. The League basically budgeted for a break-even budget of approximately $9,000 in net profit. At year end, we booked just under a $300,000 net profit. This was a result of running a more efficient League and keeping a close watch on our operating expenses - just like credit unions are having to do during these tough economic times. LEVERAGE generated a net profit of $700,000, exceeding three times what was budgeted. This $1 million in net profits will allow us to continue building up our cash reserves as well as invest in new product and services to benefit our member credit unions. 

I would like to thank those credit unions that purchased our LEVERAGE products and services. I hope our credit unions see the value of purchasing products through LEVERAGE. The more the League service corporation is successful, the more we can reinvest in new product and services as well as underwrite the good works of the League.  

To read more about how the LSCU is delivering on its promise to run a more efficient League and provide a greater concentration of service to our member credit unions,click here. You can read more about CUNA's accomplishments in 2010 by clicking the link. I welcome your thoughts and feedback.

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House subcommittee holds interchange rule hearing, Senate banking committee holds hearing


Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) leads the subcommittee hearing

House Subcommittee Hearing on Interchange Rules

On Thursday Feb. 17, the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit held a hearing on "Understanding the Federal Reserve’s Proposed Rule on Interchange Fees: Implications and Consequences of the Durbin Amendment." The Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) heard from witnesses from the Federal Reserve, credit unions, card issuing institutions and retailers.

Witnesses included Frank Michael, President and CEO of Allied Credit Union in Stockton, CA was CUNA’s witness, and the only witness at the hearing representing small issuers. Other witnesses included Federal Reserve Board Governor Sarah Raskin (testifying on the first panel), a florist from New York, Commerce Bank of Missouri, Visa, the Merchant’s Payment Coalition, and 7Eleven (testifying with Frank on the second panel).

During her testimony, which lasted more than 90 minutes, Gov. Raskin was asked at length by numerous members of the Committee why the Federal Reserve omitted fraud-related cost adjustments. She stated numerous times that the Fed did not have an adequate understanding of the fraud cost issue, and was seeking comments on the issue. Other members questioned how the Federal Reserve arrived at the 12 cent per transaction limit as a “reasonable and proportional” amount of costs, as required under the law. Several members of the Committee asked if more time in developing the rule would be useful, and other members went a step further and stated as fact that more time should be taken to ensure that the rule was done the right way. The time frame for issuing the final rule is a matter for Congress, as the deadline is part of the statute.

Allied CU President/CEO Frank Michael testifies on behalf of credit unions

On behalf of credit unions, Frank Michael focused his testimony on the lack of meaningful enforcement of the small issuer exemption and the impact the lowered interchange fees would have on consumers. Citing the need to maintain capital, Michael pointed out that credit unions would stand to lose about $1.1 billion in revenue and it would have to be made up in some way, which will mean new or higher fees for members. He also urged Congress to stop final implementation of the rule and for the Fed to start over in drafting the rule, as well as to revisit some of the statutory requirements of the Durbin amendment.

It is clear that numerous members of the subcommittee have significant concerns about the rule and how it will be implemented. Whether these concerns result in a delay and re-write of the draft rule remains to be seen. The League and CUNA will continue to work with members of Congress to press for ways to slow down implementation of the rule and to ensure that the Federal Reserve revisits its draft and responds to the concerns addressed both at today’s hearing and the concerns we have been hearing from credit unions since the proposed rule was first published.

To view an archive of the entire hearing as well as the written testimony click here.

Senate Banking Committee Hearing

While this hearing was going on in the House, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act featuring many of the Federal banking and securities regulators. Several Senators asked Fed Chairman Bernanke, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, and Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh about the Durbin amendment and the proposed Fed Rule.

An archive webcast of the Senate hearing and witness testimony can be found by clicking here

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

LSCU submits comment on Federal Reserve Interchange proposal

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions has submitted its official comment on the Federal Reserve’s proposed Debit Interchange regulation. The regulation is required by the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform law. 

In the comment letter, the League pointed out its concerns that the proposal did not adequately enforce the small issuer exemption (under $10 billion in assets) from the pricing controls. Without adequate enforcement of the exemption, credit unions and other smaller issuers could find themselves either under the cap for larger issuers, or placed at a competitive disadvantage if the two tier system does not adequately prevent non-discrimination by merchants. The letter also questions the Fed’s methodology for determining that 12 cents per transaction is an appropriate cap on interchange fees for issuers not exempt from the rule. The League urged the Federal Reserve to ask Congress for the authority to delay implementation of a final rule for two years so that the impact on credit unions can be adequately considered. 

The League is simultaneously working with members of Congress and their staff to push for a delay in implementation of the final rule. During the Congressional hearing into the Fed’s proposed rule, numerous members of Congress voiced the same concern and discussions of a delay became public. The League will continue to build on that momentum and work toward a goal of stopping the rule as proposed, and revisiting not only the regulatory issues involved at the Fed, but the statutory issues created by the Durbin amendment itself. 

To view a copy of the League’s comment letter, click here. [ Return to Top ]

NCUA board discusses executive compensation

The NCUA board met Thursday to discuss a number of items. One of the most anticipated subjects is executive compensation. Here's a brief summary of the main issues that were addressed:

  • The NCUA board issued a proposed inter-agency rule on certain incentive-based compensation arrangements. This proposal does not cover salaries or compensation that is based on general performance. It addresses bonuses or other incentives that are provided to directors or certain employees in connection with an activity, such as an investment, that subject the credit union to undue risk. The proposal was required by the Dodd-Frank Act, which also requires NCUA to work with the other regulators to develop a rule on guidelines
  • The proposal is concerning because it would apply heightened restrictions on incentive-based compensation to credit unions with more than $10 billion in assets that are the same as those which would apply only to banks with more than $50 billion in assets
  • In addition to the incentive-based compensation proposal, the NCUA board also approved an extension of the federal credit union 18-percent interest-rate ceiling; a proposed rule to replace credit ratings (e.g., “AA”) used in NCUA rules with terms like “very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments;” and a final Interpretive Ruling and Policy Statement (IRPS) on corporate federal credit union chartering

While the $10 billion asset threshold is an improvement over the $1 billion figure for credit unions released earlier by FDIC), CUNA and the League don't believe there is any reason to subject credit unions to standards that only apply to the largest banks. The same threshold level of $50 billion should be applied to all entities, including credit unions.  Click here to read a full CUNA summary of the board meeting.

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LSCU's CUNA GAC webinar for credit unions this Thursday

For Alabama and Florida credit unions that will be attending the CUNA GAC, Feb. 27 - Mar. 3, the LSCU is offering a webinar to help attendees get the most out of their time at the conference. The webinar will be Feb. 24 at 11 AM EST / 10:00 CST. The League will be going over the GAC schedule, LSCU events, and the most recent legislative information to help prepare you for your meetings with your members of Congress

Individual credit union's commitment to advocacy is the source of the movement's grassroots strength, which is needed now more than ever. The CUNA GAC has a great line-up of speakers including House Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz (D-FL). In addition to the speakers, there will be a number of important and informative break-out sessions, networking opportunities, and Hill visits on Wednesday and Thursday.

For credit unions that would like to know more about the CUNA GAC or how they can attend, contact LSCU SVP of Governmental Affairs Will McCarty at 866.231.0545 ext. 2137. You can find more information on the CUNA GAC by visiting the LSCU CUNA GAC resource page.

To participate in the LSCU webinar, click here.

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Follow the LSCU at the CUNA GAC on Twitter and through video

The CUNA GAC, one of the premier credit union events in the country, will take place Feb. 27 - Mar. 3 in Washington D.C. More than 130 credit union executives, board members and staff from Alabama and Florida will attend. The LSCU will send CUNA GAC updates via video and social media to keep credit unions informed of what's happening.

The LSCU will post videos to its website on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, chronicling each day of the CUNA GAC. LSCU VP, Marketing and Communications, Mike Bridges will take credit unions inside the conference to view behind-the-scene activities before House Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) speaks to the convention, inside the lobby sessions with federal lawmakers as well as show what  credit union folks are learning in Washington D.C. This is a rare and unique look at the experiences of credit unions in Alabama and Florida. The LSCU is one of only a handful of leagues that offers a multimedia view of the GAC. 

To keep up with the conference on Twitter, credit unions can follow the League's Twitter account or LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine's account. The League and La Pine will send updates from the conference, lobby sessions, and breakout sessions. Many times the updates will include pictures. This is a fun way to keep up with the flow of information out of Washington D.C.

If you have any questions about the video or social media, contact Bridges at 866.231.0545 ext. 1022.

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Register today for one of the LSCU State GACs

Registration is now open for the LSCU State Government Affairs Conferences (GAC) coming up Mar. 30-31 in Montgomery and Apr. 13-14 in Tallahassee. Credit unions are encouraged to attend in their respective state. The state GACs are built to inform credit unions of the hot legislative and regulatory issues, as well as put them in front of their lawmakers for short lobby sessions.

The State GACs will feature NCUA Region III Director Herb Yolles, CUNA VP, Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan and each state's regulators. These events are great opportunities for credit unions to become involved with the grassroots nature of the credit union movement. A PAC fundraising roundtable, along with PAC Best practices will also be featured. 

  • To learn more about the Alabama State GAC and to register, visit the LSCU Alabama GAC page.
  • To learn more about the Florida State GAC and toregister, visit the LSCU Florida GAC page.

Each state GAC will also feature a pre-conference financial literacy training for credit union directors. This will help credit unions come into compliance with the new NCUA rule.

For more information on the LSCU State GACs, contact LSCU SVP, Governmental Affairs Will McCarty at 866.231.0545 ext. 2137.

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Deadline for LSCU dues is approaching

To continue to provide one unified, powerful voice for credit unions in Alabama and Florida, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions needs a high affiliation rate.

Over the past 18 months, the League has been focused on providing its members best-in-class services and resources, extensive educational opportunities, and more member-related initiatives. Examples include:

  • The LSCU’s interactive website - www.lscu.coop
  • Ongoing meetings with Alabama and Florida lawmakers and NCUA officials concerning the issues impacting credit unions
  • Convenient, affordable and relevant education sessions. Visit the Education calendar for a list of events
  • Directing the LSCU Statewide Image Campaign, which will be implemented across both states for increased credit union visibility
  • Extensive national media coverage through articles in industry and local publications, including CU Journal, CU Times, and CUNA News Now
  • Robust small asset size credit union program targeting credit unions under $35 million in assets. This  includes a $400 initiatives account that can be used for any LSCU, CUNA, or LEVERAGE product or service

Credit unions in Alabama and Florida have many LSCU-initiated legislative and educational opportunities this year.  A few in the next couple of months include the CUNA GAC which is coming up Feb. 27 - Mar. 3. The CUNA GAC allows member credit unions to make lobby visits to all of the federal lawmakers in Alabama and Florida, as well as hear from key lawmakers during the conference. The new LSCU State GACs are coming up Mar. 30-31 in Montgomery and Apr. 13-14 in Tallahassee. The League is also hosting a Small Credit Union Workshop in each state, as well as the LSCU Council Meetings, which target specific credit union disciplines.

The LSCU hopes that your credit union is seeing that the League is working harder than ever for member credit unions. The League appreciates all of the credit unions that have re-affiliated and understand that credit unions can achieve so much more through unity and cooperation. Just a reminder, dues are due to LSCU by Mar. 1. If you have any questions about affiliation, contact LSCU VP, Cooperative Initiatives Laura Vann at 866.231.0545, ext. 2181.

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CMG Mortgage Insurance launches “Blaine’s Sound Bytes” to enhance credit union training

Blaine’s Sound Bytes is a new series of online audio files from CUNA Mutual Group Mortgage Insurance (CMG MI) providing tips and best practices on different mortgage lending topics for credit unions.

Each Sound Byte is developed and recorded by Customer Training Manager Blaine Rada.

“CMG MI takes seriously its responsibility to provide high-quality customer training to credit unions that reflects the current state of the housing market,” Rada said. “The Sound Bytes supplements our regular training offerings with up-to-date tips and guidance on the key topics of concern to residential real estate lenders, presented in an easy-to-use format online.” 

A partial list of topics currently featured in Blaine’s Sound Bytes include Credit Score Factors, MPC Appraisal Approach, Requiring Tax Returns, The Cs – Capacity, Capital, Credit and Collateral, and the Top 3 Risk Factors. 

Blaine’s Sound Bytes are accessible on the CMG MI Website at www.cmgmi.com/soundbytes. As Rada records new Sound Bytes in response to market changes, the files will be posted online and announced via e-mail.

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New program outreach reduces credit union expenses on office supplies & more

In addition to all the existing benefits that the Office Depot Business Solutions program has to offer, LEVERAGE is proud to announce the Printable Store Purchasing Card. This makes shopping at Office Depot even easier.

This is not a credit card and delayed billing is not available with this card, but credit unions will be able to use it as an identification card to receive special League pricing. Credit unions should show their Store Purchasing Program Card when shopping at any of the retail stores. The card will indicate the credit union is a part of the LEVERAGE National Purchasing Group ensuring the lowest pricing available.

Plus, friends of credit uions can save too! Distribute the Store Purchasing Card PDF flyer or print it and make copies, then give it to your colleagues, friends, and family so they can receive the special pricing at an Office Depot retail store.

The more volume the program sees, the more savings credit unions and program users will see. Take a look at the Store Purchasing Card PDF flyer with all the terms and conditions listed. And, don’t forget to print a copy for your credit union and friends so they can use it the next time they shop in an Office Depot retail store.

LEVERAGE thanks all of the credit unions who support the Office Depot BSD program.

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Governmental Affairs News
Credit unions benefit from Project Zip Code

Project Zip Code (PZC) is available to all credit unions and they are urged to run it. PZC, free of charge, is a great way for credit unions to see their membership by zip code, which can be used for internal marketing. The program also provides a view of congressional districts and which districts have the most credit union members. The program is available online and is easy to run; just click on the link, www.pzconline.com/install, and get started. Since the release of PZC 11.0 over 400 credit unions have downloaded it and run the new version matching over 11 million members.

If your credit union would like more information about Project Zip Code, contact Grassroots and Political Action Coordinators Robbie Gordon at 866.231.0545 ext. 2164 or Justin Thames at ext. 1010.

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Florida roundup: LSCU legislative update, tensions flare with Governor and both parties

Tensions flared, not only between the Republicans and Democrats, but even within Republican Party ranks, as the Governor’s spending plan was received with less than open arms.

LSCU Legislation Update

The Office of Financial Regulation’s proposed bill relating to Financial Institution Codes has not yet been officially filed, however,last week, the LSCU Governmental Affairs team was assured that its concerns have been heard and will be reflected in the filed version of the bill. Once the bill is filed, the League will review it to ensure this is the case, and will work toward eliminating any burdensome regulations that remain. 

Runaway Train

On Wednesday, Gov. Rick Scott rejected $2.4 billon the state had received from the federal government to subsidize the proposed 84-mile high speed rail line along the I-4 corridor. The governor listed several non-high speed rail projects that he felt were better suited for federal money assistance and cited three major reasons for rejecting the money. First, he felt that capital cost overruns could put Floridians on the hook for an additional $3 billion. Second, he felt ridership projections were overly optimistic, citing the cost to run Florida’s current Tri-Rail system. And finally, if the high speed rail became too costly and is shut down, Florida would have to return the $2.4 billion to D.C. Opponents of the governor’s decision, including 26 of Florida’s 40 senators, have until next week to attempt to work around him or the money will be sent to other states. That number, 26, is significant because it is a veto proof majority. The lawmakers have the power to override any attempt the governor might make to block the appropriation of rail money. This will certainly be an interesting issue to follow, at least for the next week.

Governor Sells State Planes … Illegally?

In yet another sign that the legislature and governor are having trouble seeing eye to eye, Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander (R-Lake Wales) sent a letter to Gov. Scott arguing that the governor may have broken the law when he sold off the state’s two planes. Alexander contends legislative approval was needed because the state had to utilize proceeds from the sale to pay off over $3 million owed on one of the planes, and also suggested that the move violated an additional law regarding the disposal of surplus property. Citing the legislature’s constitutional duty to appropriate state funds, Alexander said, “I support your goal, but not the method.”

 Oil Spill Claims Administrator Appears Before House Panel

Ken Feinberg, the head of the $20 billion fund set up to help victims of the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill, appeared before the House Economic Affairs Committee last Friday. Committee members chided Feinberg for everything from a lack of support from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility for claimants, to the timeliness of claims being paid and the location of the facility’s headquarters in Dublin, Ohio. The biggest complaint, however, was the lack of transparency in the process, which Feinberg admitted has been his “Achilles heel.” At one point, a group of hotel owners interrupted the meeting and stormed out shouting, “this is not fair!” Despite the continued criticisms against the claims process, Attorney General Pam Bondi does not anticipate any legal action against Feinberg, stating “The last thing we want to do at this point is engage in years and years of litigation with him. There’s a $20 billion fund out there and we want our citizens to be reimbursed.”

If you have any questions on the Florida Legislature, contact LSCU Director, Legislative Affairs Jared Ross at 866.231.0545 ext. 1012.

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Alabama amusement park consignment tickets coming soon

Alabama Adventure and Six Flags consignment ticket sales will be starting again soon. Order forms for tickets will be due to the League by Mar. 31.For questions on consignment ticket sales, contact LSCU Grassroots and Political Action Coordinator Robbie Gordon at 866.231.0545 ext. 2164. 

 

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Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: NCUA issues clarification on third-part investment sales

The League InfoSight newsletter takes a look at third-party investment sales. The NCUA has clarified that its letter to credit unions (10-FCU-03), which advised federal credit unions to carefully review the financial statements and capital adequacy of eligible third-party brokers and perform needed background checks on brokers, does not require credit unions to back specific financial instruments.

The NCUA issued its clarification in the form of a letter to the National Association of Credit Union Service Organization's (NACUSO). NCUA General Counsel Bob Fenner said that letter No. 10-FCU-03 "is not intended to require [federal credit unions] to select, authorize, or restrict each specific investment product that will be offered to its members."

However, Fenner said, a credit union's policies should reflect a prudent analysis of the types of products that brokers may offer to that credit union's members.

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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Compliance calendar and training

Compliance Calendar

February 28
IRS Forms Due to IRS/SSA

For the complete list of calendar dates and compliance trainings, visit the LSCU Compliance Calendar

*Note - Compliance Calendar requires your League InfoSight login.

 
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Cooperative Initiatives News
Credit unions raise more than $3 million in 2010 for Children’s Miracle Network

In 2010, credit unions participating in the CO-OP Miracle Program saw a 20-percent increase in funds raised compared to 2009.

“The credit union spirit of people-helping-people is something that continues to thrive even during tough financial times,” said Stan Hollen, president/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services, and a member of the Children’s Miracle Network’s board of governors. “We are very proud to offer CO-OP Miracle Match on behalf of our member credit union unions and we’re looking forward to working with industry partners to do even more in 2011 to help children.”

Participating credit unions raised more than $2 million for CMN in 2010, with the total exceeding $3 million when combined with CO-OP Miracle Match funds. This represents an increase of $500,000 compared to the previous year. In addition, a total of 26 new events took place in 2010, a 30-percent increase compared to the 20 new events in 2009.

The Austin Chapter of Credit Unions raised the most money during two events it held in support of Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. A golf tournament raised $212,395 and a raffle raised $150,000. St. Louis Community Credit Union raised $131,500 during a dance marathon to support St. Louis Children’s Hospital. All three of these events received $25,000 in CO-OP Miracle Match funds to add to their charitable contributions.

Matching funds through this program are available now to credit unions planning events in 2011. To learn more, go to www.co-opfs.org or e-mail miraclematch@co-opfs.org.

For more information on the CO-OP Miracle Program,contact LSCU Director, Credit Union Relations Adena Whitman at 866.231.0545 ext. 2134.

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SAS credit unions have $400 account with League

The LSCU is working hard to provide small asset sized credit unions with every opportunity to utilze the League, CUNA and LEVERAGE. A $400 voucher available annually for all LSCU member credit unions with fewer than $35 million in assets. It's your gift with membership with the Leaague. This account can be used to purchase ANY LSCU/LEVERAGE product or service. But you have to be a League member in order to take advantage of this valuable benefit of membership.

One credit union CEO in Daytona Beach, FL. says, “We are a small asset size credit union and I feel this league truly cares about the small credit unions, our needs, and our survival. LSCU has led me to many tools, support systems and services that I did not know existed, and are free or affordable. I now feel there is value to our credit union to be affiliated with LSCU.”

If you have questions about the SAS CU Initiatives Account, please contact Laura Vann, VP of Cooperative Initiativesat 866.231.0545, ext. 2181.


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Save the date for Small Asset Size Credit Union Workshop

The LSCU would like Small Asset Size credit unions to save the date for a workshop coming up in March. Join the League and peer credit unions for the 2011 SAS Credit Union Workshop.

The workshops will be held:

March 22, Orlando, FL
9am – 4:30pm EST @ CFE FCU

March 23, Birmingham, AL
9am – 4:30pm CST @ Legacy Community FCU

For just $79, credit unions will receive the tools needed to be successful this year. Find out more about featured topics and registration information by visiting the LSCU Education Calendar at www.lscu.coop.

Don’t forget, SAS credit unions can use their $400 initiative account to cover registration fees for this workshop. To learn more about this initiative, click here.

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Dine at IHOP Mar. 1 and help Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

Join the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) on Tuesday, Mar. 1 for National Pancake Day and receive one complimentary short stack. In return for the free flapjacks, patrons are asked to consider leaving a little something behind for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

Last year, IHOP raised more than $2.1 million. IHOP began its National Pancake Day in 2006 raising more than $5.35 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and other local charities. If you were wondering, more than 10 million buttermilk pancakes were also given away.

For more information, visit www.ihoppancakes.com. [ Return to Top ]

Low-income communities and the Great Recession: Mid-2010 trends report

The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (CDCU) released its semi-annual analysis of trends among credit unions serving predominantly low-income communities. The report, for the period through Jun. 30, 2010, notes three forces shaping the credit union movement in general: unabated recession; redoubled regulatory pressure and regulatory fees charged to credit unions. It is also noted that positive media coverage urging consumers to "move your money" from large banks to community-based institutions has made an impact.

"Resilience amid stress" best captures the condition of community development credit unions (CDCUs), according to Cliff Rosenthal, president/CEO of the Federation and co-author of the study with Cathi Min Kyung Kim, assistant director of Community Development Investments at the Federation.

By several indicators, CDCU growth outpaced that of the credit union industry at large: 

  • CDCU assets increased at an annual growth rate of 6.38-percent, compared to the industry-wide increase of 4.37-percent.
  • The CDCU loan portfolio increased modestly, at an annual rate of 0.92-percent, in contrast to an annualized decline of -2.14-percent for the overall credit union industry portfolio.
  • The collective Return on Assets (ROA) of 41 basis points for CDCUs was virtually the same as that of all federally insured credit unions.   

"The profile of the CDCU movement began to change dramatically in the first half of the year," said Rosenthal.  "The announcement of the Treasury Department's CDCI brought a major influx of credit unions into the Federation's ranks."  Collective assets of Federation member CDCUs more than doubled from $5.25 billion to $11.3 billion, while combined membership increased by 60 percent from $1.072 million to $1.688 million.

To read the complete report, visit the Federation's website by clicking here.

For more information on the Federation's Trends Report, contact LSCU Director, Credit Union Relations Adena Whitman at 866.231.0545 ext. 2134.

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Education News
2011 BSA Training Opportunities

LSCU has three remaining BSA Training Opportunities to date for 2011. At each location, the League will offer two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

The agenda will be as follows:

8:30 a.m.          Registration – Morning Session
9-11:30 a.m.    BSA Training
11:30 a.m.        Boxed Lunch Provided to ALL Participants
12:00 p.m.        Registration – Afternoon Session
12:30 - 3 p.m.  BSA Training

This BSA Training class is appropriate for frontline staff, lenders, officials, managers and compliance officers. The two and one half hour class incorporates a Currency Transaction Report workshop and a Suspicious Activity Report workshop (focusing on narrative preparation) in which attendees study completed forms based on several common scenarios. A few of the topics discussed include: Bank Secrecy Act Program Oversight, Creation and Maintenance, Risk Assessment, Review of Currency Transaction Reports, Currency Transaction Report Exemptions, Filing Requirements, Technology and the Bank Secrecy Act plus many more areas.

Locations:
Apr. 6              Mobile, AL / Blue Flame CU Auditorium
May 18           Birmingham, AL / League of Southeastern CUs Ground Floor Conference Room
Oct. 18           Muscle Shoals, AL / Listerhill CU

Participants in the BSA Training workshop will receive a certification letter upon completion of the session.

The cost for each course is $75 per person. For more information, visit the LSCU Education Calendar.

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LSCU AC&E will feature Joe Scarborough and NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz

In the spirit of unity and cooperation, the LSCU continues to work with member credit unions and industry leaders to help define what our future will be within this uncertain economic atmosphere. It is in this spirit of teamwork that the LSCU invites credit unions to attend the 2nd Annual LSCU Convention & Exposition (AC&E) taking place Jun. 16-19 at the JW Marriott in Orlando.

Register and make travel arrangements early, as the hotel has regularly sold out weeks prior to the event. Here is a glimpse of some of the scheduled events:

  • One Full Day of Pre-Conference Workshops
  • Two Full Days of Concurrent Educational Sessions
  • Offsite Guest Tours & Specialty Classes
  • Annual Golf Tournament (Benefiting Children’s Miracle Network)
  • Silent Auction All-Day Open Bidding
  • Dinner & Entertainment

MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough

This year, the AC&E will feature one of the most respected political commentators on the air today. Every morning Joe Scarborough, a former member of Congress from Florida, shares his trusted insights on today's political and policy headlines as host of MSNBC's Morning Joe. Scarborough will be the keynote speaker at the General Session on Saturday Jun. 18.

The NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz will speak at the League's Annual Business meeting on Friday Jun. 17. Matz's appearance will give credit unions an opportunity to hear directly from her as she speaks on a number of regulatory topics. Also slated to present at the AC&E will be National Credit Union Foundation Director Bucky Sebastian and CUNA Mutual Group Vice President Bob Trunzo.

For more information about the 2011 Annual Convention & Exposition, visit LSCU's website by clicking here.

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Financial literacy webinar Thursday Mar. 3

Federal credit unions that continue to struggle with understanding the new NCUA rules that require directors to have training in financial literacy, can become compliant the first week of March. T

LSCU is offering one more webinar in the next three months that will help credit unions become compliant:

  • Mar. 3 - Required Financial Literacy Training for Directors Under NCUA Guidelines: Ratios, Concentration, Investment Evaluations, and More

LSCU will also offer training sessions at the State GACs in March, April and the Annual Convention and Exposition (AC&E) in June. LSCU V.P., Regulatory Affairs Bill Berg and VP, Cooperative Initiatives Laura Vann will facilitate those sessions, plus one in South Florida. Visit the LSCU Educational Calendar to sign up for one of the webinars. More information will be available soon on the training sessions.

For more information on the training, contact LSCU Association Services Support Specialist Becki Payne at 866.231.0545 ext. 2129.

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Education Calendar

Wednesday, February 23
Advanced Issues in Dormant Accounts & Unclaimed Property
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM EST - webinar

Sunday, February 27 - Thursday, March 3

CUNA GAC
Washington, D.C.   
Click here to view calendar/times of events

Wednesday, March 2 
When a Deposit Member Dies 
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM EST - webinar

Thursday, March 3 
Required Financial Literacy Training  
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM EST - webinar

Tuesday, March 8 
Implementing Mortgage Reform & Anti-Predatory Lending 
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM EST - webinar

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LEVERAGE News
New group buying categories now available for saving money

The Ventelligence ePurchasing platform will be expanding its commodity portfolio to include Check Encoders, as well as, Teller Cash Dispensers and Maintenance Services for our credit unions.The event is tentatively planned for the month of April or May depending on the number of credit unions participating. LEVERAGE recently reached the highest yield savings percentage at the fourth Armored Car Services event in December, which created a collective 58-percent savings on an $80,000 purchase from prior year costs.

Several events are scheduled for the first quarter of 2011, including: Security Services/Alarms (Deadline: Feb. 25), Lawn Maintenance (Deadline Feb. 25), and AC Maintenance (Deadline Mar. 11).

To participate in any of these events or to discuss an event you would like to conduct, contact LEVERAGE Director of ePurchasing Lori Vary at 941.747.9646.

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Discovering an online engine to drive vehicle sales

LEVERAGE Remarketing offers an Internet based auction service, powered by TitleAuctions, that assists credit unions who experience a low-number of remarked vehicles per year with faster, more robust liquidation process. This program has four easy steps to start liquidating in the fast lane: Set up your auction page, post your repossessed collateral for bidding, members place bids using your auction page, and track your success! With a 30-day, risk-free trial, you can experience a faster sales cycle, higher sales prices, and increased loan retention.

For more information, visit www.titleauctions.com or email us at repossessit@myleverage.com.

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Impact of Fed plan to purchase Treasury bonds on defined benefit plans

The plan to buy more Treasury bonds announced by the Federal Reserve on Nov. 3 could increase pressure on credit union’s defined benefits plan in the form of lower funding ratios, larger pension expense, and depending on the funded status of the plan, the possible higher funding requirements.

In an attempt to invigorate the economy, the Fed will purchase $600 billion of long-term U.S. Treasury securities in $75 billion monthly increments until June 2011. Analysts had been expecting the announcement after several weeks of telegraphing signals from the Fed. Only the size of the effort was in question, and it landed slightly lower than expectations.

The Fed’s goal is to drive market interest rates lower, thereby stimulating credit creation and aggregate demand in the economy while fending off a deflationary spiral. The strategy is controversial and loaded with risk, but the Fed clearly believes the risks of doing nothing are greater. One potential byproduct of more quantitative easing is increased pressure on defined benefit plans.  Pension liabilities are calculated as the discounted value of the future benefits owed to employees. The rates used to discount those obligations are based on a corporate bond yield curve. If corporate bond yields drop in response to quantitative easing, which is by no means a certainty in spite of the Fed’s actions, pension liabilities will increase. A 50 basis point drop in discount rates will generally cause pension liabilities to increase by eight to ten percent.

Most credit unions have funded their defined benefit plans well beyond 100-percent of the plan's liabilities. They have a funding cushion that can absorb the increase in liabilities due to discount rate changes and investment fluctuations. Although not required for well-funded plans, credit unions may consider additional funding in 2011 to offset some of the increased pension expense if interest rates drop.Falling interest rates could also lead to increased interest in liability-sensitive investment strategies among plan sponsors. Such strategies are designed to immunize a plan’s funded status to some degree from interest rate changes in either direction. But implementing and executing liability-sensitive strategies can be challenging, especially when interest rates are at extremely low levels and continue to be artificially suppressed by the Fed.

This is the Fed’s second attempt at quantitative easing since the beginning of the financial crisis and subsequent recession. The first attempt was substantially larger and included purchases of U.S. Treasury securities, direct obligations of government-sponsored enterprises – Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks – and mortgage securities backed by the same agencies. The Fed will reinvest an additional $35 billion of monthly proceeds from maturing mortgage-backed securities into more U.S. Treasury securities during this second round.

According to the Fed’s statement, information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in September confirmed that the pace of the economic recovery continues to be slow. Household spending is increasing gradually, but remains constrained by high unemployment, modest income growth, lower housing wealth, and tight credit.

For more information, click here to visit CUNA Mutual's website.

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News from You
The Boys and Girls Club design artwork for Tampa Chapter fundraiser

Pictured from left to right: Lisa Richardson, Sharmon Lenth, Sarome Stabler, Ambrea Burns, Tina Walker and Janette McElwain.

On Thursday, Jan. 27 the Tampa Chapter of Credit Unions recognized Sarome Stabler, Ambrea Burns and Dominique Miller of the Smith Salesian Boys and Girls Club of Tampa Bay for their outstanding drawings.

The winning design will be used for this year’s posters, website, and other marketing materials. The Chapter board was thrilled with the responses and after much deliberation selected one as the official artwork for this year’s event. The winning artwork design was drawn by Sarome Stabler and Ambrea Burns who each won $50. Dominique Miller, as the runner up, won $25. The 7th Annual Cruise for Kids Motorcycle Poker Run will take place on Sunday, May 1. The first poker stop is Tampa Harley with everyone ending at Quaker Steak & Lube for the additional festivities. Come on out and take part.

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Insight Credit Union supports American Heart Association

Insight Credit Union Employees on National Wear Red Day

Heart disease is still the number one killer of women, taking the life of one in three women each year. Insight Credit Union employees wore red shirts and ‘Go Red for Women’ stickers to show their support for the AHA’s Go Red for Women campaign created to raise funds and awareness about heart disease in women.

“National Wear Red Day was just the first of many community service initiatives the credit union will participate in throughout the year,” said George R. Davis, president/CEO of Insight Credit Union.  “We are committed to living the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people’ by supporting the work of our community partners and lending a helping hand whenever we can.” 

Since 2004, the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign has contributed almost $44 million to women-focused research and has provided additional funds for lifesaving educational programs and tools for physicians.

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New Pen Air FCU credit card gives back to UWF alumni

From left to right: Alumni Relations Coordinator Missy Grace, UWF Alumni Association Board Student Representative Dwayne Manuel, Pen Air FCU EVP/CFO David Tuyo, UWF Alumni Association President Caroline Hartnett, Vice President of University Advancement Dr. Kyle Marrero, Pen Air President/CEO Ron Fields, UWF Alumni Association Board Member John Gormley, Pen Air AVP/Electronic Services Manager Michelle James, UWF Alumni Relations Director KC Etheredge, and Pen Air FCU EVP/COO Carroll Scarborough.

Pen Air FCU President/CEO Ron Fields met with UWF Vice President for University Advancement Dr. Kyle Marrero at the Alumni Association building on campus to kick off the Affinity Credit Card program. Fields said he is pleased to be able to provide UWF alumni with their own credit card.

“On behalf of Pen Air Federal Credit Union, I am very proud of our partnership with the UWF Alumni Association and the university,” said Fields. “This is just another way that Pen Air Federal Credit Union gives back to its community.”

Marrero said that he is also excited “and looking forward to this program, as it will help the association and university achieve their goals of providing excellent education and resources for the students and alumni. "


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EMPLOYMENT
View available credit union jobs

To view the available jobs on the LSCU homepage, visit the LSCU CU Jobs Center. [ Return to Top ]

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