LSCU eSignal Weekly
LSCU eNews Weekly March 28, 2011
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LSCU eNews Weekly
In This Issue
LSCU Headlines
President's Point
Ads on interchange fees debut in Alabama and Florida
Bernanke pledges to watch out for the smaller issuer in interchange
Credit unions asked to submit letters to lawmakers on interchange, MBL and public deposits
LSCU State GACs offer free pre-conference financial literacy training
LSCU AC&E registration going strong
LSCU Councils provide opportunity for idea-sharing and learning
New LEVERAGE representation within Central & North Florida market
Signal magazine available online; copies sent to credit unions
Submit an entry/nomination for 2011 LSCU or CUNA Awards
Online auction solution drives vehicle sales for credit unions
Florida credit union CEO named to Atlanta Federal Reserve's advisory council
Governmental Affairs News
Still time to register for Alabama State GAC; Florida coming in two weeks
2011 LSCU Donor Recognition Pins
Florida roundup: Budget talks, Public Deposits legislative update, Title Loan bill update
Alabama roundup: DROP repeal tops agenda, important legislation moves through both chambers
Washington update: Senate and House legislation moving, scheduled committee hearings
Alabama amusement park consignment ticket orders due this week
Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: ATM needs proper Reg E fee disclosures
Fed Board and FTC will implement risk-based pricing provisions
Compliance calendar and training
Cooperative Initiatives News
FREE NCUA Credit Union Roundtable in Birmingham on Apr. 14
LSCU holds SAS Workshops in Birmingham and Orlando
Education News
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough to give the keynote address at the LSCU AC&E
2011 BSA Training Opportunities
Education Calendar
LEVERAGE News
Impact of Fed plan to purchase treasury bonds on Defined Benefit Plans
Spring into savings with Office Depot essentials
News from You
CFE FCU donates $60,000 to support public schools
Tallahassee FCU honors a long time volunteer
Pen Air FCU professional honored for marketing, business development achievements
Legacy Community FCU's 'Do Something Good Today' campaign wins Merit Award
EMPLOYMENT
View available credit union jobs
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LSCU Headlines

President's Point

The date for the final rule on the rate setting of interchange fees by the Federal Reserve Board is coming up Apr. 21. After many successful meetings with our congressional delegations at the CUNA GAC, the League and CUNA continue to lobby Congress on the Federal Reserve’s initial rule. Two weeks ago, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) sponsored a bill asking the Federal Reserve to delay the implementation of the Durbin amendment for two years, study the issue and come up with an interchange fee that is more plausible for card issuers and merchants. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) was one of the original co-sponsors. The LSCU worked with Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL) to become a co-sponsor this past week. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) has sponsored a similar bill in the senate.

As we work to inform our lawmakers, we also need to let our members know that the Durbin amendment could cause the end of free checking for some credit unions, or at the very least, a fee on their debit card programs. The LSCU is partnering with a few other state leagues for a new initiative called “Save my Free Checking.” This grassroots campaign will inform lawmakers and credit union members to the potential consequences associated with the Durbin amendment, send members and consumers to a grassroots website and ask that they get in touch with their member of Congress. The website makes it easy for them to send an email about interchange fees to their lawmaker.

This campaign will coincide with a radio and TV advertising campaign spearheaded by the Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC), for which CUNA is a member.  The ads, produced and paid for by the EPC, began running in Alabama and Florida last week and mention being brought to you by the LSCU and the Alabama/Florida Bankers Association. (You can hear the radio ads and see the TV ads by visiting our Audio Room or Video Center) A major component of the campaign will be a proactive media outreach by the League to the markets where the ads are running. This full assault campaign is expected to reach lawmakers, members and consumers across both states.

Credit unions have gained quite a bit of momentum in the last month on the interchange fees issue. It’s time all of our members reached out as well. We’ve heard that changing the language on this issue will be very tough, but credit unions have sent in over 11,000 letters to lawmakers letting them know about the impact the Durbin amendment will have on the way they serve their members. Let’s keep up the pressure. I ask that your credit union post the radio ads, the TV ads or both to your websites and various social media outlets. We need to reach as many people as possible.

On Friday, I hope that you can join the LSCU for a webinar on the “Save my Free Checking” campaign. We will give you the latest updates on the interchange legislation, walk you through the website, savemyfreechecking.com, so your credit union can access all the tools available and also show you the proactive media outreach plan. The webinar is Friday, Apr. 1 at 11:30 EST/10:30 CDT. We will have plenty of time for questions. I hope you or someone from your credit union can join us. Call-in information will be provided to credit unions on Tuesday. Let’s work together to show Congress that more work needs to be done on the Durbin amendment.

Please send along any feedback you might have on this column. [ Return to Top ]

Ads on interchange fees debut in Alabama and Florida

The Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC), with support from the LSCU, CUNA, America's Credit Unions and state Banker's Associations, are running ads in Alabama and Florida informing consumers that debit card fees may be raised because of the actions of Congress. The ads inform consumers that the Durbin amendment may cause their fees to rise. The EPC produced the radio and TV ads and paid for the media buys.

The Alabama radio spots will run in Birmingham and on the Alabama Radio Network. While the Florida radio ads will run in Tallahassee, Miami and also on the Florida News Network. You can hear the ads by going to the LSCU Audio Room. The TV ads will run in the same markets. You can see them in the LSCU Video Center. If your credit union would like to post either the radio or TV ads on your websites, contact LSCU VP, Marketing and Communications Mike Bridges at 866.231.0545 ext. 1022. The League can send credit unions the file or an embed code for the TV ad.

Credit unions are also asked to take a quick three question survey about free checking. This survey will help the League as it does more proactive media outreach as part of the "Save my Free Checking" political action campaign around the ads (see President's Report).

If you have any questions about the ads or media outreach, contact Bridges.


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Bernanke pledges to watch out for the smaller issuer in interchange

In a speech to the Independent Community Bankers Association annual meeting, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed would do everything it could to ensure the carveout for card issuers under $10 billion in assets would work as planned. 

CUNA said that the interchange legislation delay, as proposed by bills pending in the U.S. House and Senate, is imperative because no one outside of the Fed knows what the agency is considering to make good on the chairman's pledge. As written, the proposed interchange rules would limit the amount of interchange fees charged to 12 cents per card transaction.

Bernanke has said in the past that the Fed may miss the Apr. 21 deadline set by the statute, noting that the agency will have to take as much time as needed to draft the rule appropriately.

Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), who authored the interchange legislation, continues to maintain the exemption will shield small credit unions and banks, saying so again during a Thursday press conference. Durbin also noted that he did not anticipate the political response that his interchange legislation has received.

CUNA estimates that 67 percent of credit unions would lose money on their debit card programs if the interchange revenues were cut by just 40 percent. CUNA and credit unions have been emphasizing to legislators and the Fed that the small institution exemption has inherent flaws and is unlikely to work.

"The likely ineffectiveness of the exemption and the inability to enforce a two-tiered system are concerns voiced by more than 5,000 letters from credit unions in comments to the Federal Reserve Board," CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney reminded Durbin in a letter last week. " Commenters also underscored the fatal flaw of not including all costs in determining the interchange rate."

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Credit unions asked to submit letters to lawmakers on interchange, MBL and public deposits

The League and CUNA continue to ask credit unions to respond to a number of Action Alerts. On the state level public deposits in Florida is gaining traction during this session, while on the national front, member business lending, and interchange fees are heating up. Credit unions are asked to stand united and let their lawmakers know how these issues affect credit unions and their members.

The League and CUNA have issued an Action Alert asking all credit unions to write their U.S. Senators and members of Congress to ask them to co-sponsor their respective bills (H.R. 1081 and S.575) on delaying the Fed proposed rule on interchange. Also, let them know that delaying this legislation is the right thing to do until a thorough study has been done. The Action Alert has a number of talking points to help craft a letter.

A second Action Alert was issued for MBL legislation introduced by Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO). Credit unions need to urge their senators to cosponsor S.509. Florida credit unions are also asked to thank Sen. Bill Nelson for his support. CUNA has resources available at its Grassroots Action Center which make sending a letter to your lawmaker very easy.

Florida credit unions are asked to contact their state lawmakers as public deposits' legislation has been introduced in the House (HB 999) and the Senate (SB 1976). Each has been referred to committee which is a good sign. Credit unions should contact their state lawmaker and let them know that this legislation is important to them.

All of the LSCU's Action Alerts are housed in the LSCU Political Action Alerts webpage. If you have questions about the Action Alerts, contact LSCU SVP, Governmental Affairs Will McCarty at 866.231.0545 ext. 2137.

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LSCU State GACs offer free pre-conference financial literacy training

For federal credit union directors that will be attending either the Alabama (Mar. 30-31) or the Florida (Apr. 13-14) State GACs, the LSCU is offering “free” Director Financial Training. The two-hour training will take place before the conference begins. Each participant will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course. 

The Alabama State GAC offers the free training at the Marriott Renaissance hotel on Wednesday Mar. 30 from 8:30 -10:30 am, prior to the GAC awards luncheon.

The Florida State GAC free financial literacy training will take place at the Southeast Corporate headquarters, 3692 Coolidge Court, Tallahassee,  on Tuesday Apr. 12 from 9:30 - 11:30 am, prior to the Tallahassee Chapter golf outing at Southwood Golf Club. 

This training, its equivalent, or a demonstration of knowledge equivalency is required for all federal credit union directors by Jul. 27, 2011 or within six months after a person becomes a director of a federal credit union.

State chartered credit union board members and supervisory committee members of all credit unions are not required to obtain this training at this time.  However, since it is “free” and quite often the state follows the NCUA’s lead on items like this, it might be a good idea to sign board members up for this training. 

To sign up for one of the State GACs and take part in the free Director Financial Training, click on either Alabama or Florida.  

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LSCU AC&E registration going strong

Registration is off to a strong start for the 2nd LSCU Annual Convention and Exposition (AC&E) Jun. 16-19 at the JW Marriott in Orlando. The AC&E is the League's premiere event. Last year more than 1,100 credit union officials, guests, and vendors attended. This year the theme of the AC&E is "Defining our Future."  

The AC&E will feature a number of dynamic speakers including MSNBC's Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough, NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz, CUNA Mutual Group COO Bob Trunzo, and National Credit Union Foundation Executive Director Wendall "Bucky" Sebastian.

The LSCU AC&E also features a large expo hall. Credit unions from Alabama and Florida will have six hours of expo time to meet with vendors. Plus, there is a golf tournament to benefit the Children's Miracle Network and plenty of networking time.

Visit the LSCU Convention and Exposition website to register. Click on the Credit Union Registration tab and follow the steps. Registration will include separate ticketed excursions for guests like the Dolphin and Manatee Pontoon Boat ride, the Leu Gardens Tour, and an interactive cooking class. Register today and help define the future of credit unions.

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LSCU Councils provide opportunity for idea-sharing and learning

The LSCU Councils met in Birmingham last week providing participants the opportunity to share ideas and hear from industry expert speakers. Former NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar and Southeast Corporate CEO Brad Miller also spoke to the group.


Participants of the Marketing & Business Development Council listen as speaker Mark Arnold discusses business development.

The council meeting included breakout sessions for CFOs, operations, sales, and service, and marketing and business development; lunch with Brad Miller; and an afternoon session with Dennis Dollar.

The CFO Council session, Brad Miller CEO, Southeast Corporate, gave an update on corporate stabilization. The intimate group allowed Brad to address questions concerning the new business model, payment systems, liquidity, NCUA updates, and the most recent news of NCUA threatening to sue investment banks.

Given the current economic and regulatory environment, the Operations, Sales and Service session provided a very timely opportunity for credit unions to discuss streamlining operational models and infrastructure to gain greater efficiencies. With speaker Jason Boles, CEO of Fans Created, the group discussed obstacles to success, organizational cultures, and collaborative approaches to designing new work processes that improve quality and productivity. The participants were also able to share past lessons learned and best practices for creating operational efficiencies.

Mark Arnold, president of On The Mark Strategies, provided the “recipe” for membership growth during an interactive session for the Marketing and Business Development Council. Participants learned business development strategies, tactics, and measurements of success.  Mark led the group in “brainstorming” to help one participant determine an untapped group for potential membership for their credit union.

“The Council meetings were well worth the time and money spent to attend," said Michele Willis, VP, Marketing & Business Development for Legacy Community FCU. "I left better educated and also with new ideas that I’m excited about implementing at Legacy.”

LSCU Board Chairman Joe McGee stopped in to welcome all attendees to lunch and thank them for attending. He also encouraged the group to spread the word of the value of the LSCU Councils.

After lunch, Dennis Dollar, former NCUA chairman and principal partner at Dollar Associates, gave a lively presentation to the combined group on ten strategic moves credit unions must make in 2011 and beyond. His discussion included growth issues, leading merger drivers, importance of no taxation, working with regulators, the need for credit union documentation of good service, and much more.

“Credit unions must size up and seize the advantages the present economic crisis provides,” said Dollar.

The councils provide a professional, yet intimate setting for credit union professionals to share ideas with their peers and gain pertinent knowledge that they can take back and put to use at their credit union. For more information about the LSCU Councils, contact Lisa Hammock at 866.231.0545, ext. 1146.

Visit the LSCU Councils on  .

 

A special thanks to the LSCU Council sponsors:

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New LEVERAGE representation within Central & North Florida market

LEVERAGE welcomes Steve Pullara to the Business Development team. Steve has more than 20 years of experience in client relationship management and business development, particularly within the Human Resources and insurance industries. His successful past, blended with his credit union experience, give him a unique insight into the needs of credit unions and the ability to provide specific recommendations that are competitive in the financial services marketplace.

Steve will be managing LEVERAGE credit union relationships from Central to North Florida. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Mercer University and currently resides in Tampa. To contact Steve about a LEVERAGE product, you can email him at steve.pullara@myleverage.com or call 866.231.0545 ext. 1164.

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Signal magazine available online; copies sent to credit unions

The first quarter edition of Signal magazine looks at the mounting compliance regulations on credit unions and what the League is doing to help ease that burden. The cover story, "Turning the Tide on Compliance Burden," looks at the various ways the League is working on the state and national levels to help alleviate many of the new regulations being proposed. The new Governmental Affairs team is profiled, along with the League's contract lobbyists. The new Florida Office of Financial Regulations Bureau Chief Bruce Ricca provides a Q and A as the new state regulator.

Credit unions will also get a great compliance article on Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act, an update on the Statewide Image Campaign, Financial Education for credit unions and how Ventelligence can make contract management easier for your credit union. 

You can view Signal Magazine online at the LSCU Publications website. Printed copies were mailed to credit unions last week.  [ Return to Top ]

Submit an entry/nomination for 2011 LSCU or CUNA Awards

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions is proud to recognize those professionals, volunteers, and credit unions that have made outstanding contributions to the development and growth of the credit union movement in Alabama and Florida.

Entries/nominations for the following prestigious awards are now being accepted:

  • CEO of the Year

The Credit Union CEO of the Year Award recognizes a credit union professional that deserves recognition for their contributions to advance the credit union movement in their state and the nation.

  • Volunteer of the Year

The Credit Union Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes the credit union volunteer who has selflessly contributed time, effort, and talent to the development of the credit union movement in their state.

  • Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes lifelong service to the credit union movement reaching beyond the natural person credit union.

  • CU of the Year Award

The award recognizes an individual credit union for its outstanding achievements in the various areas of day-to-day operations, financial prowess, and community outreach. This award will be judged based on credit union asset size categories.

  • Brother’s Keeper Award

The Brother's Keeper Award recognizes exceptional efforts by credit unions to provide ongoing assistance to developing credit unions through various means.

Click here to download the LSCU Awards brochure.

In addition, the LSCU and the CUNA sponsor three recognition programs for credit unions:

  • Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award

The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award is designed to recognize and promote credit unions’ social responsibility efforts within their communities. Credit unions enter the program in eight separate asset categories, which allows them to compete fairly against credit unions of equal size and resources, as well as a chapter/credit union group category  

  • Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award

Recognizes credit unions for putting the “people helping people” philosophy of credit unions into action. The program looks at the entrant’s practical application of this philosophy within the organization’s daily operations. The focus is on internal credit union programs and services.

  • Desjardins Youth and Adult Financial Education Awards

Recognize leadership within the credit union movement on behalf of financial literacy. It considers all activities supporting the personal financial education of members and nonmembers. NOTE: The adult financial award option is new for 2011.

Visit the LSCU CU Awards Program website for more Information and entry/nomination forms on all listed awards. Questions? Contact LSCU Director, Information Services Amy Jowers at 866.231.0545 ext. 1020. [ Return to Top ]

Online auction solution drives vehicle sales for credit unions

Tapping into the Internet’s potential to shorten the remarketing cycle for repossessed vehicles is a great way to support existing remarketing efforts.

LEVERAGE Remarketing's Internet-based auction service, powered by TitleAuctions, provides a comprehensive set of web-based software tools that enables credit unions to conduct efficient, profitable, competitive-bid auctions directly linked to their credit union website. Credit unions will benefit from this program with:

  • Faster Sales Cycles
  • Higher Sale Prices
  • Loan Retention
  • Additional Members
  • Increased Staff Productivity

This program has four easy steps to start liquidating your inventory: 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 contact by email at repossessit@myleverage.com.  [ Return to Top ]

Florida credit union CEO named to Atlanta Federal Reserve's advisory council

Credit unions have representation among the 13 members appointed to the newly formed Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC) for the Sixth Federal Reserve District. The credit union representative of note is:

  • James Woodward, CEO, SunState FCU, Gainesville, FL

The board of governors of the Federal Reserve System created a national CDIAC to broaden the scope of input on economic credit conditions. To complement the national effort with regional perspectives, each Federal Reserve Bank is establishing a district council comprising representatives from that district's credit unions, community banks and thrifts.

CDIACs will provide input on the economy, lending conditions, and other issues related to community banking. They are being established at Federal Reserve Banks across the country pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The Sixth District CDIAC will meet twice a year and held its first meeting on Wednesday. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta serves the Sixth Federal Reserve District, which encompasses Alabama, Florida, Georgia and parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

With the Sixth District's announcement, the district councils are completed.


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Governmental Affairs News
Still time to register for Alabama State GAC; Florida coming in two weeks

The LSCU State Governmental Affairs Conferences (GAC) coming up Mar. 30-31 in Montgomery and Apr. 13-14 in Tallahassee are a must for all credit unions. The state GACs are built to inform credit unions of the hot legislative and regulatory issues, including a regulator roundtable with state and NCUA regulators. One afternoon is also dedicated to putting credit unions in front of their lawmakers for short lobby sessions.

The state GACs feature a powerful lineup of speakers that include:

  • NCUA Region III Director Herb Yolles
  • ACUA Administrator Larry Morgan (AL)
  • OFR Bureau Chief Bruce Ricca (FL)
  • OFR Director Linda Charity (FL)
  • CUNA VP, Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan

These events are great opportunities for credit unions to become involved with the grassroots nature of the credit union movement. A PAC fundraising roundtable with PAC Best Practices will be featured along with a state legislative outlook and a legislator reception. 

Each state GAC features a free, pre-conference financial literacy training for credit union directors. This will help credit unions come into compliance with the new NCUA rule. (See LSCU State GACs offer free pre-conference financial literacy training story above)

Scholarships through the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation are also available for attending either state GAC. For those who are interested, contact Amber Tynan, executive director, Southeastern Credit Union Foundation, 866.231.0545 ext. 1154. 

For questions about the LSCU State GACs, contact LSCU SVP, Governmental Affairs Will McCarty at 866.231.0545 ext. 2137.

Governmental Affairs Conference Reception sponsored by:


 

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2011 LSCU Donor Recognition Pins

As credit unions begin working towards meeting their 2011 LSCU PAC goals, the Donor Recognition Pin program can be an effective way to raise individual contributions to reach their Federal goal and support the LSCU FEDPAC. The LSCU Donor Recognition Pin program let’s credit union staff, board members, and volunteers proudly show their support for credit union advocacy and the PAC.  

Chapter events, the State Governmental Affairs Conference, and the LSCU Annual Convention & Exposition are all great opportunities to show support for the PAC by wearing a Donor Recognition Pin. Each year’s pins are distinctively different from the previous year, so make sure you get this year’s pin before the next big credit union function.

The program can easily be implemented in conjunction with other fundraising activities, such as payroll deduction. Contact your state’s political action coordinator today to learn how to increase your fundraising for 2011.

For more information about Donor Recognition Pins, contact LSCU Grassroots and PAC Coordinators Robbie Gordon (AL) at 205.437.2164 or Justin Thames (FL) at 850.576.8171 ext. 1010.

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Florida roundup: Budget talks, Public Deposits legislative update, Title Loan bill update

As expected, Florida is facing a $4 billion-plus budget deficit and members of the Legislature are faced with making difficult funding decisions over the coming weeks. At this time, there has been no discussion of ending tax exemptions for organizations such as credit unions, but the League continues to monitor the budgetary situation.

LSCU LEGISLATION UPDATE

PUBLIC DEPOSITS LEGISLATIVE UPDATE:

The LSCU Governmental Affairs team continues to meet with members of the House and Senate in order to move forward legislation that would allow credit unions to become qualified public depositories. HB 999 by Rep. Clay Ingram (R-Pensacola), currently sits in the House Insurance and Banking subcommittee chaired by Rep. Bryan Nelson (R-Apopka), while SB 1976 by Sen. Oscar Braynon (D-Miami Gardens), remains in the Senate Banking and Insurance committee chaired by Sen. Garrett Richter (R-Naples). Please continue to monitor your emails for Action Alerts regarding this important legislation. The League is hopeful that there will be movement in the very near future on this issue but movement cannot happen without your help. It is critical that the grassroots network help the LSCU by making calls to the members of these committees who are from your area and implore them to hear, and vote for, HB 999 and SB 1976 respectively.

OFR BILL UPDATE:

This week, HB 1121, by Rep. Ingram was heard in the House Insurance and Banking subcommittee. The house bill was amended in the same fashion as SB 1332 was last week, and passed unanimously out of its first House stop. The bill will now move forward to the Government Operations Appropriations subcommittee and is expected to be heard soon. The senate version of the bill now sits in the Senate Budget committee and is also expected to be heard in that committee soon. Should there be any substantive changes to this bill that will affect credit unions, the LSCU Governmental Affairs team will be sure to notify credit unions.

TITLE LOAN BILL UPDATE:

HB 877 by Rep. Joseph Gibbons (D-Pembroke Park), a bill that would have allowed title lenders to charge up to 264-percent interest on title loans, was heard in the House Business & Consumers Affairs Subcommittee this week. After originally being temporarily postponed, Rep. Gibbons returned to the committee meeting to have his bill heard. A coalition, including the League, had been put together to oppose this legislation due to the notorious predatory lending practices of title lenders. After discussion and debate on the bill, a vote was taken and HB 877 failed, almost unanimously. Only one member of the committee voted in favor of the bill, and it died one Yea to 12 Nays. While the issue was likely dead at this point, there was still some concern that the bill could move forward in the Senate and then be used in some manner as an amendment. That concern was alleviated when Sen. Mike Bennett (R-Bradenton) withdrew SB 990 from further consideration. The potential for title lenders to charge these outrageous interest rates is now dead for this legislative session, but we must be vigilant in the coming years that this issue could resurface.

Remember to continue to monitor your email for Action Alerts. 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 roundup: DROP repeal tops agenda, important legislation moves through both chambers

The finalization of the repeal of DROP was number one on the agenda for the Senate on Tuesday and as expected, they wasted no time sending the legislation to Gov. Bentley. While the governor did attach an executive amendment, both chambers quickly concurred and the repeal was signed into law.

On Thursday, the House of Representatives spent the entire day working on a Constitutional Amendment opting Alabama out of the recently passed federal health care law. When the time for a vote came, several Republican lawmakers were not in the chamber and the majority caucus was not able to get the 63 voted required to pass a Constitutional Amendment.  However, Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) said immediately afterward that this piece of legislation will be back, probably as soon as tomorrow (Mar. 29).

In addition to bringing the federal healthcare opt out bill back up on Tuesday, the House of Representatives will address a supplemental appropriation bill, that originated in the Senate, that allocates additional monies to several state agencies. This is important because Gov. Bentley cannot declare proration in the General Fund until this bill is passed.  It is expected that immediately after being signed into law, Gov. Bentley will declare proration in the General Fund cutting state agencies drastically. The only question now is with the federal health care opt-out being primed for a return, will it come before or after the supplemental appropriation. Lastly, rumors are suggesting, at the least, the Education Trust Fund may be taken up in committee this week.  Neither of the education appropriation committees has released an agenda as of now.

Two bills were introduced Thursday that could greatly benefit credit unions across Alabama. Senate Bill 263 by Sen. Slade Blackwell (R-Birmingham) and House Bill 343 by Rep. Steve Clouse (R- Ozark) aim to reduce the period of time to exercise the right of redemption for all property, excluding agriculture or forestry.  Currently the time period is one year and these bills will reduce it to 90 days. This has been a part of the LSCU legislative agenda for a number of years and they will be actively supporting this legislation in any way possible. These bills have been referred to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees and the LSCU will be keeping credit unions updated with regards to legislative movement and their efforts to ensure passage of this legislation.

GAC week is this week in Alabama, and the League looks forward to seeing all of the attendees in Montgomery beginning on Wednesday. If you have not registered, you can do it now by clicking here or at the conference.

If you have any questions on the Alabama Legislature, contact LSCU Director, Legislative Affairs Jason Cochran at 866.231.0545 ext. 2159.

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Washington update: Senate and House legislation moving, scheduled committee hearings

The Senate returns Monday and will resume consideration of S. 493, the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Bill (Small Business Administration programs). On Monday afternoon, the Senate will consider judicial nominations in executive session. Debate on S. 493 is expected to resume on Tuesday. This is the legislation to which Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) attempted to offer his MBL bill when the Senate was last in session. If there are any developments with this effort, the LSCU will convey it as soon as possible. 

The House returns on Tuesday and has a full week of legislative business scheduled. On Tuesday, the House will consider H.R. 1079, the Airport and Airway Extension Act, and H.R. 839, the HAMP Termination Act. On Wednesday, the House will consider H.R. 471, Scholarship for Opportunity and Results Act, and H.R. 872, Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act (Transportation and Agriculture issues). On Thursday and Friday, the House is expected to consider H.R. 658, the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act.

Committee Hearings

The League is following several committee hearings and meetings in both chambers.

On Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing entitled, “Public Proposals for the Future of the Housing Finance System.” 

On Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing entitled, “The Cost of Implementing the Dodd-Frank Act:  Budgetary and Economic.” 

On Thursday, the House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises will hold a hearing entitled, “Immediate Steps to Protect Taxpayers from the Ongoing Bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac." 

On Friday, the House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity will hold a hearing entitled, “Legislative Proposals to Reform the National Flood Insurance Program.”

The League expects additional co-sponsors will be added to the MBL legislation and the interchange bills throughout the week.  If there are significant developments with respect to either effort, watch your email or visit www.lscu.coop for the latest information. 

If you have any questions regarding any legislative issues, contact LSCU SVP, Governmental Affairs Will McCarty at 866.231.0545 ext. 2137.

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Alabama amusement park consignment ticket orders due this week

Alabama Adventure and Six Flags consignment tickets are on sale now! This is a great way for credit unions to meet their state PAC goals and gives their members a way to have family fun over the summer. The tickets are significantly lower than gate prices when purchased through the credit unions. 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: ATM needs proper Reg E fee disclosures

The League InfoSight newsletter this week look at how credit unions must ensure that they are in compliance with Reg E, in particular the ATM fee disclosure portion. The story points out that some attorneys across the country may be looking at financial institutions to see if they are properly displaying fees on ATMs. If it is not, litigation could ensue and a violation of Reg E may result in a fine of up to $500,000 plus costs and attorney fees based on the class action filing, according to the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA).

Reg E requires that if a credit union operates an ATM and charges members or nonmembers a fee for transactions and/or balance inquiries, it must ensure all ATMs comply with the fee disclosure requirements.

When an ATM fee is charged, credit unions should provide the following three disclosures as recently stated in a CUNA Mutual Risk Alert:

  1. Notice at ATM – Post a sign in a prominent and conspicuous location on or at every ATM operated by the credit union stating that a fee will (or may) apply. It is not necessary to state the amount of the fee on the sign
  2. Terminal screen – Display the amount of the fee on the ATM screen. Once notified, ATM users must be able to cancel the transaction to avoid the fee
  3. Receipt – Disclose the fee on the transaction receipt

To ensure compliance, credit unions should follow their written procedures consistently and regularly inspect their ATM signage and functionality. Credit unions must document and retain evidence of Reg E compliance efforts.

The League InfoSight newsletter also has a story on the Federal Reserve issuing clarification on Reg Z provisions that apply to open-end credit plans, such as credit cards. The Credit Card Act requires that, before opening a new credit card account or increasing the credit limit on an existing account, card issuers consider a consumer's ability to make the required payments on the account. The new board rule states that credit card applications generally cannot request a consumer's "household income" because that term is too vague to allow issuers to properly evaluate the consumer's ability to pay. Instead, issuers must consider the consumer's individual income or salary. You can read more in this week's edition of the 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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Fed Board and FTC will implement risk-based pricing provisions

The Fed and FTC proposed rules will require a creditor to provide risk-based pricing notices to consumers when creditors use consumer reports to grant or extend credit to the consumer on terms that are materially less favorable than the most favorable terms available to a substantial number of consumers through that creditor.

The Board and the Commission propose to amend their respective risk-based pricing rules to require disclosure of credit scores and information relating to credit scores in risk-based pricing notices if a credit score is used in setting the terms of credit. These proposals reflect the new requirements found in the FCRA that were added by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010.

To read the Fair Credit Reporting Risk-Based Pricing document, click here.

For more information on risk-based pricing provisions, contact LSCU Director, Compliance Scott Morris at 866.231.0545 ext. 2165.

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Compliance calendar and training

Compliance Calendar

April 1
Preferred Lender Arrangement Report Due - Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA)

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
FREE NCUA Credit Union Roundtable in Birmingham on Apr. 14

The NCUA is offering a free Credit Union Roundtable in Birmingham Thursday Apr. 14. The agenda includes a discussion about the new consumer protection office, duties of FCU board of directors, due dilegence on evaluating payment and examination issues.

The roundtable is from 8:15 am - 3 pm CDT. The event will be held at the Doubletree Hotel, 808 S. 20th St, Birmingham. You can call the hotel at 250.933.9000, if you need a room.

Click here for a complete round table agenda and to register.

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LSCU holds SAS Workshops in Birmingham and Orlando

Attorney Chad Heckman speaks at the Orlando SAS Workshop  about collection

The LSCU Cooperative Initiatives Department hosted Small Assets Size (SAS) Credit Union Workshops in Orlando on Mar. 22 and in Birmingham on Mar. 23. These are new workshops for 2011. 

The workshops are designed to give credit unions under $50 million the tools to be successful. Topics included hot compliance issues, investing, serving the underserved, a panel discussion on lending best practices, new twists on marketing, social media, collections, and the new examination bill of rights and crafting a response to your Document of Resolution. Credit unions left each workshop with a greater knowledge of operating in today's economic environment. 

"It is always a pleasure to network with colleagues, to collaborate and discuss issues important to the credit union movement," said Florida Hospital Credit Union CEO Rob Hatefi. "I am thankful to the League that makes these meetings possible. It is said that in the counsel of many, there is wisdom."

CFE Federal Credit Union, based in Lake Mary, FL and Legacy Community Federal Credit Union, based in Birmingham, hosted the respective workshops.  

The League will have additional learning opportunities from the Cooperative Initiatives Department throughout the year. The next roundtable for SAS Credit Unions will be held at the LSCU AC&E Jun. 16-19 in Orlando. [ Return to Top ]

Education News
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough to give the keynote address at the LSCU AC&E

MSNBC Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarboroug

MSNBC's Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough will highlight the list of speakers for the 2nd LSCU Annual Convention and Exposition (AC&E) this June in Orlando. Every morning Joe Scarborough, a former Florida Congressman, 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 convention's 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 including the latest on the corporate stabilization plan. 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.

Credit unions will have a number of breakout sessions to choose from including a regulator roundtable with state regulators, an economic outlook from CUNA Economist Mike Schenk, the Power of Social Media on Any Budget, PR Opportunities for Credit Unions, and Fiduciary Responsibilities for Credit Union Directors, to name a few. Credit unions may also take part in the LSCU Councils, which will meet on Jun. 16. Credit union directors have the opportunity to become compliant by taking part in an NCUA Financial Literacy breakout session on Saturday Jun. 18.

To learn more about the LSCU's AC&E and to register, which takes place Jun. 16-19 at the JW Marriott in Orlando, visit the LSCU Convention and Exposition page. [ Return to Top ]

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.

This BSA Training class is appropriate for frontline staff, lenders, officials, managers and compliance officers. The two-and-a-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 will 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

(Click session for: morning or afternoon).

May 18    Birmingham, AL / LSCU Ground Floor Conference Room

(Click session for: morning or afternoon)

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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Education Calendar

Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, Apr. 6
BSA Training Workshop 
Mobile, AL  
Morning - 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST & Afternoon - 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Click here to view complete calendar of events.

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LEVERAGE News
Impact of Fed plan to purchase treasury bonds on Defined Benefit Plans

The increased pressure on credit union's defined benefits plan could come 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. The Fed also indicated that it reserves the right to change course if the program produces unintended results.

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 (bp) 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 re-invest 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.

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Spring into savings with Office Depot essentials

Spring is here and it’s time to be out with the old and in with new office essentials. Make Office Depot be your one-stop shop and receive 10 percent off your purchase of $100 or more. To redeem this offer, log in to http://business.officedepot.com and enter coupon code 830755865 at checkout. Click here to view the flyer.


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News from You
CFE FCU donates $60,000 to support public schools

From L to R: Orange County School Board Members: Christine Moore, Dist 7; Nancy Robbinson, Dist 6; Daryl Flynn, Vice  Chair , Dist 2; Nancy Whitecavage, CFE PR Manager; Joseph A. Melbourne, Jr., CFE President & CEO; Orange County School Board  Members: Bill Sublette, Chairman; Joie Cadle, Dist 1; Rick Roach, Dist 3; Vicky Bell, Dist 4; and Kevin Dougherty, CFE SVP.

The CFE donation resulted from the MyCFE4Schools debit card partnership program between CFE and the three school districts.

The program allowed CFE members to select a custom debit card that supported the school district of their choosing. When cardholders used the debit card and signed for their transactions, CFE set aside funds to be donated to the school district or foundation they selected.

Funds accumulated during the year and were held in a separate account.  Based on card usage for 2010, Orange County Public Schools received $35,000, The School District of Osceola received $16,000 and The Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools received $9,000.

Since inception of the program in August 2009, more than 11,000 CFE members have signed up, and nearly 1.2 million signature transactions were processed during 2010.

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Tallahassee FCU honors a long time volunteer

At the 71st Annual Meeting of Tallahassee Federal Credit Union, Fran Fletcher presented to Truman W. Vause an award in recognition of his 57 years of dedicated service to the credit union from 1953-2010


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Pen Air FCU professional honored for marketing, business development achievements

Brynn Ammon, project manager, Pen Air FCU in Pensacola was presented with the Business Development Professional of the Year Award. Ammon has worked in credit unions for 11 years with the past couple being at Pen Air, where she is responsible for business development, community outreach, off-site loan events, business account development, and management of the Mobile Service Center. In 2010, under Ammon’s leadership, Pen Air FCU opened more than 100 new business accounts and 120 new SEGs, surpassing its goals by 375 percent and 220 percent respectively.

In addition to her work at the credit union, Ammon is also very active in her local community as well as being a past executive committee member of the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council.


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Legacy Community FCU's 'Do Something Good Today' campaign wins Merit Award

Legacy Community FCU submitted its “Do Something Good Today” campaign in the category of Community/PR Program and competed with other credit unions across the country for a Diamond award. Legacy was one of three Merit Award winners in that category of credit unions $250-499 million in assets.

Out of this campaign, the Legacy For Good Foundation was created in July 2010 by employees of the credit union and community members. The Legacy For Good Foundation is committed to strengthening the communities it serves, focusing its efforts on education and community development and charitable endeavors. The Foundation fulfills its mission to "Do Something Good Today" by supporting local nonprofits seeking to create solutions to issues facing the Greater Birmingham area.

Legacy’s marketing department worked together with Think Positive creative agency, also based in Birmingham, to produce the campaign.

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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.

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