LSCU eSignal Weekly
LSCU eNews Weekly April 4, 2011
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LSCU eNews Weekly
In This Issue
LSCU Headlines
President's Point
Member business lending bill expected in the House this week
Interchange legislation gaining co-sponsors
Public Deposits bill passes committee, moves to final House committee
Alabama State GAC informs; puts credit unions in front of lawmakers
Mobilize members through Save my Free Checking campaign
Rep. Wasserman-Schultz featured in new LSCU audio podcast
Four director positions open in 2011 for LSCU board
Credit unions need to continue to submit letters to lawmakers on interchange, MBL and public deposits
Obama Administration official meets with local credit unions
Governmental Affairs News
Still time to register for State GAC in Tallahassee
2011 LSCU Donor Recognition Pins
Florida roundup: Major Public Deposits legislative update, OFR bill update
Alabama roundup: Alabama State GAC, this week's legislative outlook
Washington update: Committee meetings on issues relevant to CUs, important legislative hearings
Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: NCUA says some volunteer costs can be reimbursed
LSCU offers FREE financial literacy training
Compliance calendar and training
Cooperative Initiatives News
FREE NCUA Credit Union Roundtable in Birmingham on Apr. 14
LSCU and Florida Prosperity Partnership hosting webinar about Bank On initiatives
Education News
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough highlights LSCU AC&E in June
2011 BSA Training Opportunities
Celebrate 'National Credit Union Youth Week' through the month of April
Education Calendar
LEVERAGE News
CUNA Mutual offering free discovery webinar on Apr. 18
Out with the old in with the new with Office Depot essentials
News from You
Insight Credit Union volunteers participate in Runaway to Hope
Innovations FCU releases Bad Bank Romance video
EMPLOYMENT
View available credit union jobs
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LSCU Headlines

President's Point

This past week we had a successful 1st Annual Alabama State GAC in Montgomery where we heard from NCUA Region III Director Herb Yolles and ACUA Administrator Larry Morgan.  Each talked about exam procedures, regulations and took pointed questions from attendees. CUNA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan gave an in-depth overview of federal legislative issues of importance to credit unions including an up-to-the minute update on delaying the interchange amendment.

Our PAC Fundraising Roundtable provided excellent tools for credit unions to kick off their fundraising efforts. Listerhill Credit Union CEO Brad Green gave an impassioned presentation on the benefits of raising money for the PAC and, now as a CUNA CULAC Trustee, how it ties into the national efforts. Alabama CU CEO Steve Swofford and Family Security CU CEO Shane Nobbley gave examples of how programs like payroll deduction, deduct a buck and staff dress down days are successful ways for credit unions to meet their PAC goals. This is such a critical part of what we do as credit unions. As Brad put it with regards to advocacy, you’re either at the table or on the menu.” 

Rep. Craig Ford talks while Rep. Steve Clouse looks on

The highlight of the conference though is the interaction with Alabama state lawmakers. At the Legislative Outlook, we had a panel of legislative leaders from both chambers. Alabama Director of Legislative Affairs Jason Cochran facilitated a free flowing dialogue on our state legislative priorities. It was nice to hear that they understand why we want public deposits, each was for it, and how foreclosure and title legislation affect members. At our Legislative Reception that night we had 38 state lawmakers on hand. Our credit unions had a chance to casually talk to state representatives and senators from their districts. The next afternoon, we spent a couple more hours at the state Capitol meeting with legislators.

The State GAC in Florida will be held in Tallahassee in two weeks on Apr. 13-14.  It is important to remember that the LSCU is just the “tip of the spear” of our legislative advocacy efforts. Without the active involvement of our member credit unions we cannot have the impact we need to perfect change for our industry in Washington and our state Capitols. I urge every Florida credit union, both state and federal, to have representation at our State GAC in Tallahassee. The conference will once again feature Herb Yolles and Ryan Donovan as well as Linda Charity and Bruce Ricca from the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR).  We’ll have a Legislative Reception the evening of Apr. 13, as well as meetings at the Capitol with policy makers on Apr. 14. We have a real opportunity to advance the public deposits legislation this session and the banks are pushing back hard, trying to bring our tax exemption into play. The question is, "are we going to let the banks define our future?" I hope to see you in Tallahassee Apr. 13-14.  

Please send along any feedback you might have on this column. [ Return to Top ]
Member business lending bill expected in the House this week

A House version of legislation that would lift the credit union member business lending (MBL) cap to 27.5 percent of total assets is expected to be introduced this week, with Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) serving as the leading co-sponsors.

The bill will be known as the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act; which is similar to Senate legislation offered by Sens. Mark Udall (D-CO) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) last month.

As many of you know, CUNA estimates that lifting the MBL cap could provide up to $13 billion to small businesses in the first year alone and create over 140,000 new jobs, at no cost to taxpayers.

The House members, in a statement, said that the MBL cap lift legislation "will be an important step in shifting our current economic path and putting Americans back to work."

Rep. Royce, a friend of credit unions, earlier this year told attendees at the CUNA GAC that increasing the amount of credit available to small businesses is a key way to build communities.

Rep. McCarthy is also a key co-sponsor of a House bill that would delay the implementation of the Federal Reserve's planned interchange cap. She also currently serves as the ranking minority member of the House Financial Services Committee's subcommittee on international monetary policy and trade.

Sen. Udall recently spoke in support of his bill on the Senate floor last week, calling on his fellow senators to help him "get government out of the way" and allow credit unions to increase their lending to small businesses.

The Senate bill had 18 co-sponsors as of late last week, and Senate Banking Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) has said he is interested in examining the MBL legislation in his committee. [ Return to Top ]

Interchange legislation gaining co-sponsors

The interchange delay legislation, which has been bipartisan, is asking Congress to stop and study the impact of regulating debit interchange transactions fees. The House and Senate versions of the bill are gaining co-sponsors daily. 

 In the House, Alabama and Florida legislators have begun signing on to HR 1081. In the past week, Reps. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), David Rivera (R-FL) and Jeff Miller (R-FL) joined Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) and Jo Bonner (R-AL) as co-sponsors. This legislation, which currently has 67 co-sponsors, asks Congress to delay implementation of the Durbin Amendment and for the Fed to study its impact.

In the Senate, S. 575 would require the Fed, along with other parties including the NCUA, to study the impact of regulating debit interchange transaction fees on consumers, debit card issuers, merchants, and the payments networks, and to jointly submit a report to Congress within one year. S. 575 has 16 co-sponsors including Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Jeff Sessons (R-AL).

Last week Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that, because of the complexity of the legislation and the11,000 comment letters, the Fed would not be able to meet the Apr. 21 final rule deadline. Momentum is building in Congress to delay the legislation, but until interchange delay legislation passes Congress, the Fed will submit a final rule by July of this year.

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Public Deposits bill passes committee, moves to final House committee

Wednesday Mar. 30 marked the most significant day of the 2011 session. HB 999, introduced by Rep. Clay Ingram (R-Pensacola), which would give credit unions the ability to become qualified public depositories, had its first bill hearing. The bill was voted favorably out of the House Insurance and Banking subcommittee by a vote of 8-6 after a nearly two-hour discussion. Prior to the final vote, the committee entertained an amendment by Rep. John Wood (R-Haines City) which would have required credit unions that chose to become qualified public depositories to waive their immunity to local and state taxes, and, LSCU believes, could have affected the federal income tax exemption as well. There was strong debate on both sides of the argument, including an argument about its constitutionality. In the end, the amendment, which was adamantly opposed by the League and the bill’s sponsor, was defeated by a 9-5 vote. 

Now that the bill has passed from its first committee, it will move on to its second and last stop in the House of Representatives, the Economic Affairs Committee chaired by Rep. Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange). The progress we have made to this point is a direct result of the grassroots outreach made by credit unions. Thank you to all who have made calls and sent emails to the members of the committee voicing support for this pro-credit union piece of legislation.

For questions or concerns on the bill, please contact LSCU Director, Legislative Affairs Jared Ross at 866.231.0545, ext.1012.

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Alabama State GAC informs; puts credit unions in front of lawmakers

The Alabama State GAC had a little bit of everything for the attendees in Montgomery last week. CUNA VP, Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan, NCUA Region III Director Herb Yolles, ACUA Administrator Larry Morgan and the LSCU's Governmental Affairs staff spoke to credit unions on a variety of state and federal legislative and regulatory topics. Visit the LSCU Video Center for a wrap-up video from the State GAC. 

(L to R) LSCU Dir. of Legislative Affairs Jason Cochran, Rep. Greg Burdine (D-Florence) and Listerhill CEO Brad Green

The highlight of the Alabama State GAC was the interaction for credit unions with their lawmakers. Four state legislators spent time with the group during a Legislative Outlook. All four were credit union friendly and showed support for various credit union issues, including public deposits. They told credit unions that they need to come to Montgomery and provide information for them on legislation. They said many times they can't make informed decisions without knowledge from the groups that the legislation would affect.

Right after the Legislative Outlook, 38 lawmakers attended the Legislative Reception and interacted with credit unions. This was a nice, informal way for credit unions to get to know their state senators and representatives. The next day credit unions visited the state house and spoke to their lawmakers about a variety of topics including public deposits and interchange fees. Even though the interchange fee is a federal issue right now, the merchants have begun reaching out to governors asking them to write their members of Congress. The meetings were especially important with so many new faces in Montgomery.

NCUA Region III Director Herb Yolles talks while ACUA Administrator Larry Morgan looks on

During the hour long regulatory roundtable, credit unions heard frank talk from NCUA Region III Director Herb Yolles and ACUA Administrator Larry Morgan. Being newly appointed to his position, Morgan joked he just got a computer, but it doesn't work. He told the attendees, many of whom he's known from his 37 years in the credit union business, that his plan this year is to meet with all of the state chartered credit unions. He's beginning with the ones he does not already know. He also told the attendees to get in touch with him when they have a problem. He said he's willing to work with credit unions before it's too late or to look at a regulation that might be outdated.

Yolles spoke for more than half an hour. He praised Alabama credit unions for performing better than the national average. He said that interest based risk was an area he feels could be a concern for credit unions. He again emphasized the need for credit unions to communicate with their examiners, something he's pushing to his people, and to question anything they don't understand. He says credit unions have rights and they must feel empowered to exercise them. Yolles also went over the corporate stabilization plan and took a few questions on the subject. This was a very good session for credit unions and a rare chance to interact with their state and federal regulators.

CUNA VP of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan speaks to credit unions

On the federal side, Donovan walked attendees through CUNA's strategy for pushing interchange and MBL legislation. On interchange, Donovan says CUNA uses a five-point plan. The first point is to make sure the problem is solved. He said the legislation in the House and Senate accomplish this. During his presentation, Donovan pointed out that in 2010, bankers spent more than $30 million in lobby efforts, while credit unions spent a little less than $3 million. That's a large mountain to climb. He told the assembled credit unions to take part in the Action Alert and to rally their members. That's one area where bankers can't compete.

Credit unions were given an LSCU Legislative and Regulatory update. LSCU SVP, Governmental Affairs Will McCarty said that only 300 bills have been introduced during the 2011 Alabama Legislative session, well below the norm. Credit unions were given a comprehensive state legislative update. On the Reg side, LSCU Director, Compliance Scott Morris told credit unions they need to keep up with regulation changes. He said if their front line staff doesn’t know of a change, the member will remember it for a long time.

Alabama CU CEO Steve Swofford looks on as Family Security CEO Shane Nobbley talks about PAC Fundraising

During the PAC fundraising roundtable and advocacy best practices session, Listerhill CEO Brad Green told attendees that if they aren't involved in the legislative and fundraising process, they were missing the boat. He told them that if they aren't talking, another group would be in their place. Green, Shane Nobbley from Family Security CU and Alabama CU's Steve Swofford talked about the benefits of PAC fundraising and why it's an important part of their credit union.

At the PAC Fundraising luncheon, Family Security CU was given the President’s Award for most overall money raised for the PAC, while the Cheaha Chapter was honored with the Leadership PAC fundraising award for raising the most money in a chapter.

Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) meets with Legacy CEO Joe McGee, Alabama Telco CEO Linda Cencula and LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine

Rep. Craig Ford, House Minority Leader, talks to credit unions in his district

 

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Mobilize members through Save my Free Checking campaign

Credit unions are urged to utilize resources available from the LSCU and CUNA to let their members know that the Durbin Amendment could cause new fees that may cause free checking to go away.

The LSCU is partnering with other leagues to market the website "Save my Free Checking." This website has tools for credit unions members to send their lawmakers a note letting them know that they don't want their free checking to go away because of the Durbin Amendment. It's easy for them to access and send the email. The website also has credit union resources like a web banner and FAQs on the interchange issue, in case they would like to send a message or get asked what language to use.This website also houses the latest news on the interchange issue.

CUNA has a phone number for members to call to leave a message for their lawmaker about the Durbin Amendment. The phone number, 877.422.3525, directs members to their lawmaker. CUNA's message is to stop the interchange amendment from going into affect, study the impact on credit unions and their members and start over with legislation that takes all factors into account and the real impact it will have on consumers. 

All of these resources are available in the LSCU MBL and Interchange Resource area. The resources include talking points for lawmakers, talking points for tellers a credit union action plan and collateral like posters and cards.  

If you have any questions about the Save my Free Checking website or CUNA Save my Free Checking toll free number, contact LSCU VP, Marketing and Communications Mike Bridges at 866.231.0545 ext. 1022.    [ Return to Top ]

Rep. Wasserman-Schultz featured in new LSCU audio podcast

The LSCU has a new audio podcast featuring Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) talking about the implementation of the Durbin amendment. She says the amendment, while well intentioned, will be harmful to consumers in its current state. She lays out the reasons why the amendment needs a second look and a chance to be debated in Congress. Rep. Wasserman-Schultz is an original co-sponsor of HR 1081 and she explains what the bill is trying to accomplish in the House.

To listen to the interview, visit the LSCU Audio Podcast Center. The interview will stream right from the website on your desk top in MP3 audio format. If you have any trouble hearing the podcast, contact LSCU VP, Marketing and Communications Mike Bridges at 866.231.0545 ext. 1022.  [ Return to Top ]

Four director positions open in 2011 for LSCU board

The LSCU board has four director positions open, two in Alabama and two in Florida. Each of the positions is from a different class. The open Alabama positions are class A and D, while the Florida open positions are class B and C. Credit unions in those class categories were mailed packets last week that detailed the board positions, nomination forms and the breakdown of each class. While only credit unions in each respective class are eligible to nominate a candidate, all credit unions in Alabama will vote for the Alabama nominees and all credit unions in Florida will vote for the Florida nominees. 

For those credit unions that are not familiar with the class categories, they are broken down below:

  • Class A - credit unions with less than 2,000 members
  • Class B - credit unions with between 2,000 and 15,000 members
  • Class C - credit unions with between 15,000 and 40,000 members
  • Class D - credit unions with more than 40,000 members

If your credit union is interested in nominating someone for the board, use the materials that were mailed last week. If you have questions or need the nominating form sent again, contact LSCU Executive Assistant to the President Teresa Gray at 866.231.0545 ext. 2110.  [ Return to Top ]

Credit unions need to continue 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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Obama Administration official meets with local credit unions

In an attempt to acknowledge the possible hardship credit unions face, Elizabeth Warren broke away from meetings last week with community bankers at their national convention, to bring her message to local credit unions seeking a level playing field with big banks.

Warren met with local credit union executives at the main office of the San Diego County Credit Union, a $4.9 billion-asset crown jewel of the state's industry.

At the meeting, among others, were Teresa Halleck, President and CEO of San Diego County Credit Union, the region's biggest credit union with 210,000 members, and John Tippets, President and CEO of North Island Credit Union. Diana Dykstra, President and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, characterized the tone of the meeting with Warren. "This whole meltdown in the financial services industry was caused by garbage sold to consumers. Credit unions are not the cause of the problem.

"Warren reached out to me," continued Dykstra, who viewed the meeting as an opportunity to get to know Warren, an assistant to the president and special adviser to the Treasury secretary. "Basically, she (Warren) said, 'How can honest and small institutions thrive against those that are not honest?'"

Credit union leaders also used the forum to express concern for a provision of the year-old Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law that may force retailers to pay a set price on debit card transactions. The effect of the law -- which is supposed to exempt financial institutions with under $10 billion in assets -- may lead to all banks and credit unions eliminating free checking, or charging more for products and services.

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Governmental Affairs News
Still time to register for State GAC in Tallahassee

The LSCU State Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) is coming up Apr. 13-14 in Tallahassee. It's a must for all credit unions. The state GAC is 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 GAC features a powerful lineup of speakers that include:

  • NCUA Region III Director Herb Yolles
  • 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. 

There is a free, pre-conference financial literacy training for credit union directors to be held at Southeast Corporate on Apr. 12, before the Tallahassee Chapter Golf Outing. This will help credit unions come into compliance with the new NCUA rule.

Scholarships through the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation are also available for attending the 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: Major Public Deposits legislative update, OFR bill update

While the budget was the main focus in Tallahassee, it was not the only piece of legislation being worked on.

LSCU LEGISLATION UPDATE

Public Deposits Legislative Update:

This week marked a milestone in the LSCU’s efforts to pass legislation that would allow credit unions to become qualified public depositories. HB 999 by Rep. Clay Ingram (R-Pensacola) was heard in its first committee of reference, the House Insurance and Banking subcommittee. The LSCU Government Affairs team did an outstanding job working the committee, helping to educate them on the issue, and doing their best to secure votes to pass the bill. Before a vote could be taken on the bill, an amendment was offered that would have required credit unions opting to become qualified public depositories to waive their tax immunities, an amendment that was opposed by the League, as well as the bill’s sponsor.

The amendment was voted down, and after a spirited debate, HB 999 passed by an 8-6 margin. The House bill now moves on to its second committee of reference, the House Economic Affairs committee chaired by Rep. Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange). This is the last committee stop in the House and if passed, the bill would move to the House floor. An Action Alert was sent on Mar. 31 asking that you contact members of the Insurance and Banking subcommittee to thank them for voting for the bill, as well as contacting members of the House Economic Affairs Committee asking them to hear and pass the bill. The LSCU Government Affairs team continues to work the Senate side as well in hopes that the bill can be heard in the Banking and Insurance committee chaired by Sen. Garrett Richter (R-Naples).The League owes the grassroots network a HUGE debt of gratitude for their help in contacting members of the Legislature leading up to Wednesday’s momentous committee vote.

OFR Bill Update:

HB 1121, by Rep. Ingram and SB 1332 by Sen. Richter has both been placed in their second committees of reference. HB 1121 is now in the Government Operations Appropriations subcommittee and SB 1332 is now in the Senate Budget committee. The League expects both bills to be placed on an agenda for a hearing soon and they will continue to keep you informed of their progress. Both bills are now identical and LSCU does not expect any amendments to either bill that will negatively affect credit unions.

Title Loan Bill Update:

As the League informed you last week, 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, died in the House Business & Consumers Affairs subcommittee. The Senate companion, SB 990 by Sen. Mike Bennett (R-Bradenton) is still pending withdrawal from further consideration, however, it is expected that it will be officially withdrawn this week.

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: Alabama State GAC, this week's legislative outlook

Alabama State Governmental Affairs Conference

Last week LSCU hosted its first annual Government Affairs Conference in Montgomery.  An overall success, attendees heard from various speakers and Alabama lawmakers about the future of credit unions and important legislation on the horizon. Four legislative leaders took the stage for a state legislative outlook roundtable discussion. The League would like to thank Sen. Slade Blackwell (R-Birmingham), chairman of the Senate Banking and Insurance committee, Sen. Marc Keahey (D-Grove Hill), Rep. Steve Clouse (R-Ozark), chairman of the House Financial Services committee, and Rep. Craig Ford (D-Gadsden), House Minority Leader for joining LSCU at the GAC and educating all of the attendees on what is happening in Montgomery. In addition to the roundtable, about 38 state legislators from across Alabama joined us for a legislative reception that ended Tuesday’s activities.

Right of Redemption Legislative Update

In the last eSignal update, there was a story about two pieces of legislation introduced that would reduce the right of redemption time period from one year to 90 days on foreclosed property. The House Financial Services committee held a public hearing on HB 343 by Rep. Steve Clouse (R-Ozark) on Wednesday. The only hold up at this point rests with the Homebuilders Association. Their concern is with large developers of neighborhoods and commercial properties, however the League expects this to be addressed and hopefully see the House version passed out of committee this week with overwhelming support.

SB 263 by Sen. Slade Blackwell (R-Birmingham), the Senate companion to HB 343, was scheduled to be in committee last week but was carried over due to the same concerns listed above. As with the House version, the League expects SB 263 to be in committee this week, as well. If all of the concerns with the homebuilders are addressed there may not even be a public hearing. Support for this legislation is at an all-time high and LSCU is working hard to do its part to ensure this important piece of legislation is passed and signed into law.

On Tap for this Week

The Senate has yet to release a Special Order Calendar for this week but rumors remain about budgets being in committee. The shortened legislative session, for now, is still on track and the budgets will need to be moved soon if that is to happen.

The House plans on taking up a series of controversial immigration bills on Tuesday. These will be met with a filibuster by some, but the interesting thing to take note of will be the final vote. While the process will be slowed, as this too is a part of the Republican Handshake, lawmakers will not want to be seen as soft on immigration.

Lastly, Gov. Bentley sent to the Senate last week the confirmation request for Larry Morgan as administrator of ACUA. LSCU has, and will, continue to meet with the Confirmations Committee members to support a quick and seamless confirmation. As of now a Confirmations Committee agenda is not available but it could be heard as early as this week.

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: Committee meetings on issues relevant to CUs, important legislative hearings

This week, the House is expected to consider H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act and H.J.Res. 37, a resolution disapproving of the FCC rules related to net neutrality. The Senate comes back today to consider a judicial nomination. The remainder of the week, the Senate is expected to complete consideration of the small business bill that has been pending for two weeks. As you know, the government is operating under a continuing resolution which expires on Friday (Apr. 8), once again raising the possibility of a government shut-down. Negotiations on a long-term continuing resolution continue and this could be the subject of floor action later in the week.

Committee Meetings This Week Relevant to Credit Unions

There are several committee meetings relevant to credit unions this week.

On Tuesday, the Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee will markup several bills related to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The committee will take up: the "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Accountability and Transparency for Taxpayers Act"(H.R. 31); the "Equity in Government Compensation Act of 2011" (H.R.1221); the "GSE Subsidy Elimination Act of 2011" (H.R.1222); the "GSE Credit Risk Equitable Treatment Act of 2011" (H.R.1223); the "Portfolio Risk Reduction Act of 2011" (H.R. 1224); the "GSE Debt Issuance Approval Act of 2011" (H.R. 1225); the "GSE Mission Improvement Act of 2011" (H.R 1226) ; and the "GSE Risk and Activities Limitation Act of 2011” (H.R. 1227).

On Wednesday, the Securities, Insurance and Investment subcommittee of the Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on the “Role of the Accounting Profession in Preventing Another Financial Crisis.” Witnesses from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, and the Securities and Exchange Commission are among those expected to testify.

Hearing on Improving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Also on Wednesday, the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing entitled, “Legislative Proposals to Improve the Structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).” Rod Staatz, President and CEO of SECU of Maryland, and a member of CUNA’s Board of Directors, will testify on behalf of CUNA. This hearing will focus on two bills recently introduced in the House of Representatives: 

  • H.R. 1121, the Responsible Consumer Financial Protection Regulations Act, which would replace the Director of the CFPB with a five person Consumer Financial Protection Commission
  • H.R. 1351, the Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act, which would modify the voting procedure of the Financial Stability Oversight Council when voting to stay or set aside rules finalized by the CFPB by reducing the threshold for the Council to take action from two-thirds of the Council to a majority of the Council. The legislation would also direct the Council to take action to stay or set aside CFPB rules that are inconsistent with the safe and sound operation of U.S. financial institutions.

It is possible that additional legislation may be added to the scope of this hearing. A copy of CUNA’s written statement will be available on the Legislative Affairs website when it is transmitted to the Committee. Hearings in the House Financial Services committee are webcast on the Committee’s website

Additional Legislation on The Hill

On Wednesday afternoon, the Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee will mark up H.R. 1309, the Flood Insurance Reform Act.

Finally, Wednesday afternoon in the Senate, the Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection subcommittee of the Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on the “State of Community Banking: Opportunities and Challenges.”  Witnesses will include representatives from the Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, OCC, CSBS, ICBA, Ohio Bankers League, and the ABA.

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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Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: NCUA says some volunteer costs can be reimbursed

The League InfoSight newsletter this week looks at the NCUA opinion on credit union volunteer cost reimbursement. The NCUA stated in a recent legal opinion letter that associate directors or other credit union officials that occupy volunteer positions established by credit union directors may be reimbursed for any training expenses or related traveling expenses.

The NCUA opinion noted that the agency has previously stated that volunteer members of non-voting, advisory committees, such as emeritus or associate directors, should not be eligible to receive expense reimbursement or insurance benefits from the credit union they are serving. However, the NCUA reconsidered this position, and decided that these types of volunteers would be eligible for reimbursement for training and training-related expenses, so long as the volunteers are not simply serving in an honorary capacity and are providing services that are established by the credit union's management team.

You can read the full NCUA opinion on volunteer reimbursements by logging onto the newsletter.

The League InfoSight newsletter also outlines the updates made to the board responsibilities channel. Credit unions can find updates to five topics including board of directors liability and director's responsibilities. You can see the updated channel by logging onto League InfoSight from the LSCU website.

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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LSCU offers FREE financial literacy training

The two-hour training will take place the day before the State Governmental Affairs Conference (SGAC) begins. Each participant will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course. 

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 to 11:30 a.m., 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 the “Free Financial Literacy Training” contact LSCU VP, Regulatory Affairs, Bill Berg at  866.231.0545, ext. 1028. To sign up for the SGAC, click on this link Florida SGAC.

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Compliance calendar and training

Compliance Calendar

April 15
NCUA Operating Fee/ NCUSIF Capitalization Deposit Update Due

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 and Florida Prosperity Partnership hosting webinar about Bank On initiatives

Alabama and Florida credit unions will get the opportunity to join in on a webinar that highlights Bank On initiatives. The call will focus on how your credit union can participate, as well as, gain access to an untapped market of new members.  

The Bank On Model is a social marketing partnership of financial institutions, asset-building organizations, local governments, and community-based nonprofits to provide qualified unbanked and underbanked consumers access to mainstream financial services through low-cost savings and checking accounts and free financial education opportunities.

Please join us for the scheduled webinars:

Apr. 25 at 3 p.m. EST or Apr. 28 at 3 p.m. EST

To register for either of these events, please contact Amber R. Tynan, Executive Director, Southeastern Credit Union League at 800.342.1266, ext. 1154.

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Education News
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough highlights LSCU AC&E in June

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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Celebrate 'National Credit Union Youth Week' through the month of April

Credit unions celebrate youth in April. Whether you chose to celebrate all month, or just during Youth Week, there are plenty of resources to show youth they can become saving rock stars by visiting their credit union. You gather the youth members and CUNA will provide ready-to-use items to help you promote your celebration simply and effectively to several age groups.

For more information, click here.

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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
CUNA Mutual offering free discovery webinar on Apr. 18

Changes in compliance, technology, and even member habits are shaping how credit unions manage lending. CUNA Mutual’s next FREE Discovery Webinar will delve into this topic on Monday, Apr. 18, at 12:15 p.m. CT, when CUNA Mutual Vice President of Lending, Dan Kaiser presents The Road Ahead: Making the Most of Every Lending Opportunity.

Dan leads the overall business strategy and product management for CUNA Mutual’s credit insurance, debt protection, mechanical repair coverage and Guaranteed Asset Protection. Along with his current leadership role at CUNA Mutual, Dan holds the titles of Honorary Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin Graduate School Of Business. And as a past credit union director, he understands the issues facing credit union lenders during these economically challenging times.

Register by clicking here.

CUNA Mutual’s Discovery Conference has a long history of bringing learning and networking opportunities to credit unions. Topics are aimed at enhancing credit unions’ ability to compete. Backed by CUNA Mutual’s industry expertise and commitment to credit unions’ success, this Discovery Webinar experience is one you won’t want to miss.

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Out with the old in with the new 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
Insight Credit Union volunteers participate in Runaway to Hope

Insight Credit Union employees donated their time and talents to the Runaway to Hope Spring Fashion Soiree held Sunday, Mar. 20, at The Mall at Millenia to benefit pediatric cancer patients in Central Florida.

Eight Insight Credit Union employees were among the volunteers that came out to support the event and helped register attendees, setup the silent auction and assisted the fashion show models that consisted of 30 courageous children, ages 2-18, that have overcome or are still battling cancer.

The annual event, hosted by Bill and Guiliana Rancic, featured brave children that were escorted down the runway by national and local celebrities. All proceeds from the event will help fund clinical trials, research, technology and family assistance in the war against pediatric cancer.

Runway to Hope's mission is to serve and provide direct support to the children and families in the Central Florida community who have been impacted by pediatric cancer. Assistance includes but is not limited to research, education, technology and family assistance. Runway to Hope aids these children and their families by partnering with Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Florida Hospital for Children, corporations, local businesses and philanthropists to raise funds and awareness so that progress made locally will benefit all children with cancer, nationally and worldwide.

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Innovations FCU releases Bad Bank Romance video

Not another bad bank romance! Watch the Banker try to push his Bad Romance onto a young couple as they say Goodbye to the Banker and Hello to Innovations Federal Credit Union. We invite you to view the video by clicking the link below.

Innovations FCU Bad Bank Romance Video

Innovations FCU has served its members since 1952 by helping them to build a sound financial future. Presently, Innovations consists of 16,986 members and manages assets in excess of $151 million.  Innovations Federal Credit Union serves the financial needs of everyone who lives, works, worships, attends school or volunteers in Bay County.

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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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