LSCU eSignal Weekly
LSCU eNews Weekly August 15, 2011
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LSCU eNews Weekly
In This Issue
LSCU Headlines
President's Point
Deficit reduction committee announced; no AL or FL lawmakers on it
LSCU Image Campaign set to launch Sept. 7
Mastercard offering an Aug. 17 audio conference on two-tiered system
Credit unions aim to raise lending cap, say banks aren't doing enough
Business Journal: Proposed bill may spark rise in credit union business lending
How stock market woes may impact CUs
The LSCU Development Conference to feature Vale, Yolles, McKechnie and Meyer
NCUA suing Goldman Sachs to recover corporate CU losses
LEVERAGE signs marketing agreement with O'Rourke
Go Direct reminds: Direct deposit prevents theft
Governmental Affairs News
This week in Alabama politics: Gambling trial ends with no guilty verdict, special session possible
This week in Florida politics: FL files lawsuit over pension fund, part of controversial election law OK'd
Cutoff date for LSCU Hike the Hill hotel block coming up Aug. 19
Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: Risk-based Pricing Notice
Compliance calendar and training
Cooperative Initiatives News
You can still help support CMN Hospitals with Miracle Jeans Day, CU*SWAG
Entries due Aug. 31 for $10,000 CO-OP THINK Prize 2012
New shared branching outlet in Florida
Education News
Bank Secrecy Act Training Coming in October
LSCU Regulatory Compliance Updates coming soon!
Education Calendar
LEVERAGE News
CUNA Mutual reminds credit unions costly ATM fee lawsuits easily avoided
News from You
FSU CU members save more than $100,000 in three months
Central Florida Chapter supports Tuscaloosa, Alabama tornado relief efforts
EMPLOYMENT
View available credit union jobs
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LSCU Headlines

President's Point

The shared branching network in Alabama is in the process of a makeover. Not the kind that HGTV or ABC would be looking for, but a subtle upgrade over the previous look. As part of the changes made with the consolidation of the Alabama and Florida Credit Union Leagues, the LSCU and CU Service Centers (CUSC) of Alabama updated the League’s management agreement, including drafting a new strategic plan highlighted by an aggressive marketing plan for the network. The hope is that credit union members begin looking for the swirl when they are away from their primary credit union.

The new CUSC website is sleek, modern and rich with content. On the homepage, users are educated on what shared branching is and that it literally means your credit union is all over the country. This is a huge selling point for credit unions and a great way to compete with large national banks. The homepage also shows users the value of the swirl. Credit unions can market it to inform members that they have access to many of their transactional needs anywhere in the country. This idea aligns with the credit union philosophy of “not for profit, not for charity, but for service.” The website offers a link for members to download a shared branching app for their iPhones. A Droid app is coming soon.

Shared branching credit unions across Alabama will be receiving marketing kits over the next couple of weeks. It’s like a marketing plan in a box. The kit includes posters, a locator card that can be passed out to members, web banners, statement stuffers and window clings. The beauty of the kit is that all of the elements are included on a flash drive where credit unions’ marketing departments can co-brand them. This should help more credit unions market shared branching to their members. The League can help with marketing ideas if credit unions begin to utilize the kit and find they need something different.

The Statewide Image Campaign for Alabama and Florida will contain a shared branching message thanks to a donation from CUSC of Alabama and Florida Credit Union Shared Services (FCUSS). The landing website has a page showing consumers the convenience of shared branching. The radio ad has a line letting potential members know about that convenience, while the billboards will have the swirl on them.

So why the big push for shared branching?  First and foremost it’s convenience. Credit union members are no different than anyone else; they want their branch as close to their home or place of business as possible. Shared branching gives them this ease. It gives credit unions a way to retain members who move across town, out of town or travel for a living. The Alabama tornadoes in April also reminded us how shared branching can be a huge part of any credit unions' disaster recovery plan. A major number of members never lost access to their money because of shared branching locations near them. Many credit unions posted on their Facebook and Twitter pages for their membership to utilize shared branching. It just makes sense.

If your credit union doesn’t participate in shared branching, I hope you will consider it. Check out the new CUSC website and click around at some of the new marketing materials. I think you will come away impressed. Florida credit unions are encouraged to check out the Florida CU Shared Services website. If you have any questions, contact CUSC Shared Branching Manager Tameka Dukes at 866.231.0545 ext. 2178 or in Florida, Nancy Dalton at 904.731.8133.  

I welcome your thoughts and feedback.

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Deficit reduction committee announced; no AL or FL lawmakers on it

The full 12-member Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction was completed this past Thursday when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) named Reps. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and James Clyburn (D-SC) as her selections for the panel.

CUNA points out that Rep. Clyburn and his family have been involved in the credit union movement for years, and the congressman publicly appealed for credit unions to be exempted from portions of the Dodd-Frank Act during the 2010 CUNA GAC. Rep. Van Hollen was one of many co-sponsors of the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act and has backed credit unions in other capacities during his time in Congress.

Other members of the committee include:
  • Republican senators Jon Kyl (AZ), Pat Toomey (PA) and Rob Portman (OH    
  • Democratic senators Patty Murray (WA), Max Baucus (MT) and John Kerry (MA)
  • Republican House members Jeb Hensarling (TX), Dave Camp (MI) and Fred Upton (MI)

Sen. Murray and Rep. Hensarling will serve as committee co-chairs.

The committee, which was created as part of the recently approved debt ceiling lift/deficit reduction agreement, has been charged with creating more than $1 trillion in deficit reductions.

Committee recommendations will be subject to votes in the House and Senate. If both congressional bodies fail to approve the cuts, automatic spending cuts will be made.

CUNA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan said CUNA will be following the activity of this joint select committee closely because of the possibility, currently viewed as remote, that the credit union tax status could come under scrutiny. "CUNA will continue to emphasize the positive impact that the credit unions have on the members and communities that they serve," he added

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LSCU Image Campaign set to launch Sept. 7

Television commercials, radio spots, online advertisements, outdoor billboards, and a landing website are set to launch Wednesday, Sept. 7, across Alabama and Florida, utilizing the tagline: Credit Unions - we're giving banking a better name.

 

Each market will have a combination of TV, radio, online, social media, outdoor, and public relations, depending on the amount of money raised in each area.

Participating credit unions will have access to the television commercial to link to their website as well as electronic art files for customizable vinyl banners, lobby signage, cash sleeves as well as the ability to order shirts with the image campaign logo and, if desired, their credit union logo on the sleeve. A more detailed communication will be sent out to those credit unions at the end of this week.

If you would like to learn more about the campaign or view the television commercials, click here

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Mastercard offering an Aug. 17 audio conference on two-tiered system

MasterCard, in conjunction with CUNA, is hosting a free audio conference call Aug. 17 at 2 pm ET for member credit unions to discuss its plans for a two-tiered rate structure regarding debit card interchange income.   Related issues will also be addressed.

While the audio conference is free to member credit unions, registration is required. The registration instructions will be available on the LSCU homepage. Registrations will be accepted until 1 pm ET on Aug. 17.  The call will feature Shawn Miles, MasterCard global head of public policy, Bill Hampel, CUNA chief economist, and Mary Dunn, CUNA senior vice president and deputy general counsel.

The call, which is scheduled for one hour, will review MasterCard's plans, how they will impact credit unions, and the anticipated time table for implementation. There will be time for questions following the presentation. 

A similar call is being planned with Visa. 

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Credit unions aim to raise lending cap, say banks aren't doing enough

Banks have requested less than $12 billion of the $30 billion made available by the by last year's Small Business Jobs Act, the Treasury Department has said. The government program offered low-interest funds to community banks so that they could boost small-business lending.

Lobbying groups for the credit-union industry are now requesting a House hearing on proposed legislation that would increase to 27.5 percent the amount of total assets a credit union can lend to businesses. Current law curtails credit-union lending to 12.25 percent of total assets.

The higher ceiling could result in an additional $13 billion in small-business loans in the first year, estimates the Credit Union National Association, the credit-union industry's largest lobbying group.

The banking industry, long opposed to the raised cap, is fighting the legislation. Community banks, in particular, argue that the move would allow tax-exempt credit unions to swipe market share from them, at a time when the federal government needs more sources of revenue.

But credit unions, which are member-based organizations, point to small-business lending figures as signs that the banks aren't doing enough. "Congress last year gave the banks $30 billion to make small business loans, but the banks' response has been tepid at best," says Bill Cheney, president and chief executive of CUNA. "Credit unions don't need $30 billion in government assistance; we're just trying to raise a lending cap in the law that's arbitrary and outdated."

At banks, small-business lending has fallen to $609 billion, an 8.6% drop from a year ago, according to the most recent data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Some banks attribute the drop to lower loan demand from business owners, while others say federal regulators are holding them back from lending as much as they'd like to.

Community banks, meanwhile, are concerned that the legislation is gaining momentum in Congress. "The pressure has been building," says Paul Merski, senior vice president of the Independent Community Bankers of America...

To read the complete Wall Street Journal story, click here.

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Business Journal: Proposed bill may spark rise in credit union business lending

Credit unions are pushing for legislation that would give them the opportunity to beef up their member business lending.

Patrick La Pine, president and CEO of the League, said in the same way that credit unions help their members buy a home, a car or save for their futures, credit unions also want to serve their small business needs.

“Small business lending is a natural continuation of the personal relationship credit unions have with their members,” he said.

National credit union associations have asked Congress to lift the cap on member business lending. Current law caps it at 12.25 percent of a credit union’s total assets. Legislation pending in Congress would boost that to as high as 27.5 percent.

Doing so would open up more opportunity to offer member business loans, inject $13 billion in loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, according to the Credit Union National Association. For Alabama’s small businesses, according to analysis by the CUNA, this would mean more than $205 million in small business lending, creating an estimated 2,230 new jobs.

To read the complete story, click here. [ Return to Top ]

How stock market woes may impact CUs

In a story published on CUNA News Now, Mike Schenk, CUNA vice president of research and statistics explains the impact of the recent plunge in the stock market will have on credit unions.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell to 1,199.38, down 7.2 percent from last Friday's close, its worst week since November of 2008 (MarketWatch Aug. 5). Many analysts said the dive was due to the failure of policymakers to stabilize financial markets and investors crumpling under the strain of a worldwide economic slowdown (The Wall Street Journal Aug. 5).

What is the consumer-confidence effect of the market plunge on credit union members?

"A little bit more than half of U.S. households have a direct or indirect interest in the stock market," Mike Schenk, vice president of research and statistics for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), told News Now. "The stock market going down affects net worth, consumer sentiment and the willingness and ability to spend money."

Historical data indicate that in situations similar to what happened last week people react with a lag and basically sell on the bottom--precisely when they shouldn't be selling. "Usually the consequence is you see flight-to-safety flows, and that should cause demand for savings balances to go up at credit unions, and also banks," Schenk said.

Will a declining stock market impact credit unions' pricing on loans and deposits?

Deposit pricing keys off the Fed Funds rate, which was near zero on Friday to begin with, Schenk said.

"At least one bank is charging customers for deposits--that basically is a negative interest rate in which customers are paying banks to take their money," he explained. "No credit unions are doing this that we know of."

"However, it is conceivable that credit unions that have seen really fast deposit growth may try to limit deposit growth in the current environment," Schenk added. "Some credit unions that have already experienced fast deposit growth have seen net-worth ratios decline, and they may drop pricing even closer to zero."

Although Schenk doesn't expect drastic changes in loan pricing by credit unions, mortgage loan pricing is determined by the secondary market and is near historic lows. Therefore, credit unions involved in mortgage lending will drop their rates, or ignore rate declines and basically originate mortgages for a short period of time or else significantly curtail mortgages, he said.

Should credit unions do anything right now in response to a large stock market tumble?

"It's unwise to assume that this is the new normal," Schenk said. "There's a lot of uncertainty in the marketplace, but a lot of it has declined recently--more stability in the Middle East, fewer weather-related disasters, and the Japanese manufacturing supply disruptions have worked themselves out.

"Our [CUNA's] baseline view is that this is likely to be an extended soft patch--a slowdown in the middle of a sustainable economic recovery." [ Return to Top ]

The LSCU Development Conference to feature Vale, Yolles, McKechnie and Meyer


Elizabeth Vale, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau assistant director for community banks and credit unions

The LSCU Development Conference, Nov. 1-4 in Point Clear, AL, will feature Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Assistant Director for Community Banks and Credit Unions Elizabeth Vale. She will join NCUA Region III Director Herb Yolles, former NCUA  Director of Public and Congressional Affairs John McKechnie and Filene Research Institute CEO Mark Meyer as speakers at this year's conference.

The LSCU Development Conference is perfect for  CEOs, executive management, and directors who are looking for an opportunity to network and learn. The conference will offer a number of breakout sessions including Strategic Issues related to Growth, Marketing Financial Services, Climbing back from the Financial Crisis and Financial Literacy training. The Volunteer Achievement Program (VAP) will hold three sessions: CEO and Board Succession planning, Understanding Audit Reports and Asset Liability Management for Directors. 

The conference kicks off with a golf outing benefiting the LSCU PAC with a charity match to the Children's Miracle Network. There is also two guest off-site tours - Sunrise Sailboat Cruise and a tour of the Bellingrath Gardens and Home with a luncheon. 

The Development Conference will be held at the beautiful Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Point Clear, AL. An email with registration instructions will be sent to all credit unions this week. If you have questions, contact LSCU Association Services Support Specialist Becki Payne at 866.231.0545 ext. 2129.

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NCUA suing Goldman Sachs to recover corporate CU losses

The recent lawsuit against Goldman Sachs is the fourth suit stemming from the collapse of several corporate credit unions filed by the NCUA. The agency is seeking damages of almost $2 billion according to the Credit Union Times.

The NCUA alleges, in the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, that the misrepresentations caused U.S. Central and WesCorp to believe the risk of loss associated with the investment was minimal.

“NCUA continues to carry out our responsibility to do everything reasonable in our power to seek maximum recoveries,” NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said in a statement. “Those who caused the problems in the wholesale credit unions should pay for the losses now being paid by retail credit unions.”

In July, the NCUA sued RBS Securities for $685 million in Los Angeles alleging that that firm misled WesCorp when it sold it mortgage-backed securities that led to its ultimate collapse.

In June, the NCUA sued RBS Securities for $565 million in damages and a lawsuit filed against J.P. Morgan Securities seeks $278 million in damages. Both those lawsuits were filed on June 20 in Kansas City.

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LEVERAGE signs marketing agreement with O'Rourke

LEVERAGE, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions’ (LSCU) Service Corporation, signed a new marketing agreement with O’Rourke & Associates offering executive recruiting services to credit unions in Florida and Alabama. The new partnership gives LEVERAGE, and LSCU credit unions, a comprehensive perspective necessary for recruiting, management, and development of executive talent.

“This marketing agreement with LEVERAGE will allow O’Rourke to expand its presence in the Southeast, giving credit unions a new option for executive searches from a trusted system partner with a great track record of success,” said LEVERAGE President/CEO Patrick La Pine.

O’Rourke & Associates strength is delivering credit unions premium consulting and recruiting services.  O’Rourke & Associates offers expertise in Executive and Management Recruitment, Senior Leadership, Succession Planning and Leadership Assessment, as well as Compensation and Retention Analysis.

“The O’Rourke team is excited about our newly minted alliance with LEVERAGE, and looks forward to deepening our relationships with the League and their member credit unions,” said O’Rourke & Associates CEO Mike Juratovac. “We respect the robust nature of the markets in which the LSCU and LEVERAGE operate, and the diversity and success of their business models. We see the partnership as a tremendous opportunity to align our brand of ethical, high-quality recruitment services with the League’s commitment to its member credit unions.

For more information about executive recruiting, contact a LEVERAGE Business Development Consultant at 866.231.0545.

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Go Direct reminds: Direct deposit prevents theft

The U.S. Treasury's Go Direct program this week reminded partners that reducing the risk of benefit check theft was one of the reasons behind the switch to all-electronic federal benefit payments, and encouraged benefit recipients to switch to electronic benefit payments well ahead of the March 1, 2013 deadline.

The U.S. Treasury began its Go Direct program, which encourages Americans to switch to direct deposit, in 2004. The Go Direct campaign notes that direct deposit enhances safety and convenience. The Treasury officially ended the use of paper checks for the payment of newly filed Social Security and other federal benefit payments on May 1. All federal benefit payments will be made electronically beginning on March 1, 2013.

"Criminals can steal checks out of mailboxes, leaving people who rely on that money for essentials--such as medicine, rent or groceries--in a difficult situation," the Treasury said. Credit unions and other Go Direct partners can use provided news copy, fliers and posters to promote direct deposit. Go Direct suggested that these educational materials could be used during October's Crime Prevention Month activities.

Go Direct also reminded organizations with employees that are close to retirement that National Save for Retirement Week, which will take place from Oct. 16 until Oct. 22, is the perfect time to inform them of the coming changes in federal benefit payments distribution. Go Direct is providing newsletter copy, social media tips, and a direct deposit checklist to ease the federal benefits enrollment process.

The Credit Union National Association is a Go Direct national partner and supports the check-safety and cost-savings goals for the program.

For more information on Go Direct, visit the LSCU SAS Toolkit page by clicking here. [ Return to Top ]

Governmental Affairs News
This week in Alabama politics: Gambling trial ends with no guilty verdict, special session possible

Gambling Trial Ends Without a Guilty Verdict
Late last Thursday afternoon, jurors, defendants, and attorneys gathered for the conclusion of a nearly two-month trial dealing with the bribery of legislators in order to pass a piece of gambling legislation during the 2010 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature. After hundreds of taped phone conversations and a variety of witnesses were heard by the jury over the length of the trial, all defendants walked out of the courtroom with either not guilty verdicts or a mistrial declared.

Two defendants, lobbyist Bob Geddie and Sen. Quinton Ross (D), were found not guilty on all counts and, for them, this long ordeal is officially over. The other seven defendants were not quite as fortunate. Victoryland owner Milton McGregor, Sen. Harri Anne Smith (I), former Sen.  Jim Pruett,  legislative analyst Ray Crosby, lobbyist Tom Coker, Country Crossing employee Jay Walker, and former Sen. Larry Means all still face the possibility of another trial on the charges in which a verdict was not declared. The attorneys for the remaining defendants saw the recent verdict as a positive and are confident that, if brought to trial again, they will be found not guilty. The new trial could begin later this year.

Former Gov. Bob Riley Registers as a Lobbyist
Former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley registered as a lobbyist, and has set up his own lobbying firm, Bob Riley & Associates. His plans are to influence education policy in the state as well as push for continued economic growth through development. So far, legislative leaders are supportive of Riley predominately citing his achievements in the field of education during his eight years in office.

Riley has listed Austal USA, EADS North America, Gulf Coast Asphalt Co., Brett Robinson Real Estate, Robinson Development Co., and VT Systems Inc. as clients on his lobbyist registration form.

Special Session Still a Possibility
Gov. Robert Bentley still is not ruling out the possibility of a special session this year to deal with Jefferson County finances and coastal homeowners insurance. However, the governor did state that he would not call the legislature back to Montgomery unless an agreement has been reached on the potential issues. 

If you have legislative questions, contact LSCU Director, Legislative Affairs Jason Cochran at 866.231.0545, ext. 2159. [ Return to Top ]

This week in Florida politics: FL files lawsuit over pension fund, part of controversial election law OK'd

LSCU Legislative Issues:

The Interim Committee weeks for the Florida Legislature are quickly approaching and the LSCU Governmental Affairs (GA) Team has been hard at work meeting with members of the Legislature to discuss issues important to the credit union industry. As the 2012 Legislative Session approaches, it is increasingly important that credit unions remain engaged in the process. Hosting chapter legislative nights, visiting members in district, and voicing questions and concerns to the GA team will all help them move our legislative priorities forward. The League will continue to keep you updated on the progress of their priority issues, as well as any other issues that may arise during the course of the committee weeks and session.

Florida Political News:

Florida Says Bank Cheated Pension Fund
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a lawsuit in Leon County Circuit Court against Bank of New York Mellon (BNYM), an out-of-state bank, who is the main custodian of Florida’s pension fund. The lawsuit alleges that BNYM overcharged for transactions, and may have cost the state millions. The lawsuit contends that the bank allowed other clients to receive “special pricing” that was not available to Florida. Bondi, quoted in an article on Lobbytools, said “Overcharging for foreign exchange transactions is essentially stealing, and any company that does so will be held accountable.” Florida first chose BNYM as its “master custodian” in 2005. Florida’s pension fund has gone from a value of $130 billion to $117 billion due to the swings in the market.

Part of Controversial New Election Law is OK’d
While the most controversial parts of a new election law passed last session are still yet to be resolved, the U.S. Department of Justice has approved dozens of changes to the law. Florida is one of a few states that must receive permission from the federal government to make changes to its election laws due to past discrimination. Any law that will affect Collier, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough, and Monroe counties must receive this approval. The changes include a requirement that a third party voter registration organization submit voter registration applications within 48 hours, a reduction in the number of early voting days from 14 to eight, and a requirement that voters must use provisional ballots if they are changing their address from one county to another on election day. One of the more controversial issues still to be decided is reducing the number of years signatures on a citizens initiative petition are still valid from four years to two years.

Florida’s Next Governor … Charlie Crist?
There has been speculation about what is next for former Gov. Charlie Crist, and some are now speculating he may return to the top of the Florida ballot in 2014. Crist, now an independent, chose not to seek reelection as governor in 2010, and instead attempted to secure the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. As it appeared he was losing steam in the primary, Crist switched parties, became an independent, and lost to now Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in the general election. Crist, who is practicing law with the Morgan & Morgan law firm, has shied away from the speculation about what is next in his political career, however this week he will attend a kick-off fundraiser for Leon County Schools Superintendent Jackie Pons. Many are curious whether Crist, who was wildly popular early on in his governorship, will completely jump parties, register as a Democrat and challenge his successor, Gov. Rick Scott.

For questions on any legislative issues, contact LSCU Director, Legislative Affairs Jared Ross at 866.231.0545, ext.1012.

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Cutoff date for LSCU Hike the Hill hotel block coming up Aug. 19

Remember, this year's LSCU Hike the Hill to Washington, D.C. is scheduled for Sept. 19-21.

For credit unions, the chance to meet and talk with legislators face-to-face is essential in reflecting the importance of your membership, and how Congressional legislation could affect the operations of your credit union.

This year, to help coordinate visits with those credit unions that will be attending the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) Congressional Caucus, we have made the decision to hold our fall Hill visits at the same time. This is a departure from previous years when our September Hike the Hill was also in September, but not the same week as NAFCU’s Congressional Caucus. Two separate events so close together created several issues for credit unions:

  • It divides our numbers over two consecutive weeks, lessening our political impact with our federal congressional delegations
  • Since NAFCU does not have a state league network, member credit unions schedule their own Hill visits. This will be in addition to the meetings that will be requested by the League creating some confusion for Congressional offices
  • Credit unions need to speak with one unified voice on federal issues of importance as not to send mixed messages to our delegations

While this is a departure from how the League has done Hike-the-Hills and NAFCU Congressional Caucus lobbying visits in the past, the League believes that this option presents a positive way to avoid holding “competing” Hill visits so close together. It will create the right message for our Congressional Delegations.

The League Hill visits will be for all credit unions who will be going to the Hike the Hill or in town for the NAFCU Congressional Caucus, and regardless of affiliation with the LSCU. The League looks forward to everyone joining us for these important meetings. League staff will arrange meetings with the Congressional delegations of both states for LSCU and NAFCU Congressional Caucus attendees together.

For those attending the NAFCU Conference, this means you will not need to schedule your own individual meetings. A schedule of meetings will be sent to all attendees once they are finalized. To ensure thatmeetings are scheduled for all attendees, and to ensure that everyone receives a copy of the schedule of Congressional meetings, it is important that everyone send the attached registration form to the League, including those who will be there with the NAFCU Congressional Caucus.

Be sure to take a look at the tentative agenda as well as the flight and hotel information. To register click here, and once you complete the registration form, return via email or fax. Please Note - There is no registration fee for Hike the Hill.

In addition to the Hill visits, the League will be holding a legislative briefing at CUNA’s office on Monday afternoon, followed by a reception at Credit Union House. Everyone is invited to attend both of these events, whether you are there for the NAFCU Caucus or the Hike the Hill, and regardless of your credit union’s affiliation with the League. LSCU hopes everyone will join us for both of these events, as well as for the Congressional visits.

Visiting with lawmakers at home is important, but taking time to go to Washington, D.C. is viewed by lawmakers as the ultimate constituent contact.

In keeping with LSCU's commitment to meet with lawmakers more frequently than just CUNA’s GAC, you, and your chair, or any of your board members, are encouraged to join LSCU in promoting credit union grassroots political action. Your visits are crucial in keeping credit unions visible before Congress.

If you have any questions, or need more information, contact LSCU SVP, Governmental Affairs Will McCarty at 866.231.0545, ext. 2137.

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Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: Risk-based Pricing Notice

The current edition of the League InfoSight newsletter has an article about the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) amending the risk-based pricing provisions in section 311 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACT Act), which amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to require disclosure of credit scores and information relating to credit scores in risk-based pricing notices (RBPNs) if a credit score of the consumer is used in setting the material terms of credit. These proposed amendments reflect the new requirements in section 615(h) of the FCRA that were added by section 1100F of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act).

This rule becomes effective on August 15, 2011. For details about the final rule, visit the Risk-based Pricing Notice topic on the Loans and Leasing channel of InfoSight.

For more helpful reminders and tips, view the League InfoSight newsletter by clicking here. It is a password-protected area. Member credit unions that do not have a password, may click here to sign up for one. An active email account and a password are required. To log in to InfoSight, enter your email and password in the InfoSight login block (see graphic below) located in the upper right of any of the LSCU web pages.

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Compliance calendar and training

Compliance Calendar

August 20

September 16

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
You can still help support CMN Hospitals with Miracle Jeans Day, CU*SWAG

The Miracle Jeans Day concept is simple, individuals or groups can participate in the special day by supporting Children's Miracle Network Hospitals with a minimum donation of just $5. In return, participants can choose from memorable Miracle Jeans Day merchandise to wear with their jeans on Sept. 14. All funds raised go directly to the Children's Miracle Network Hospital in your community. Go casual for kids by wearing jeans to support your local Children's Miracle Network Hospital.

Together credit unions can make a difference with the nine combined Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in Alabama and Florida. There may even be someone in your company whose life has been touched by one of these amazing places—and they all need your help. Whether you're already raising funds for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals or this is your first fundraising campaign, Miracle Jeans Day is a terrific way to show your employees and your consumer base that your company supports children's health. 

For more information contact Southeastern Credit Union Foundation Executive Director Amber R. Tynan at 866.231.0545 ext. 1154 or visit the Miracle Jeans website. 

CU*SWAG Slogan Contest

There is also a new, exciting opportunity for credit unions. CU4Kids has teamed up with CU*SWAG to create a contest in which employees enter a slogan to appear on a CU*SWAG t-shirt. The winning slogan will receive a trip to Disneyworld for 2!  Plus, a CU*SWAG shirt with their slogan will be available for sale – with the profits benefiting CU4Kids. For more information about the contest, visit the CU*SWAG website.


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Entries due Aug. 31 for $10,000 CO-OP THINK Prize 2012

“The CO-OP THINK Prize is designed to initiate and reward new thinking on how to propel the credit union movement forward,” said Stan Hollen, president/CEO, CO-OP Financial Services. “We had a great inaugural competition in 2011 and we are looking forward to the 2012 contest once again serving as a conduit for the innovation and creativity of credit union employees.”

Entrants must complete six short-answer questions in Round 1 via the online form. The entries will be judged by representatives of CO-OP and the Filene Research Institute, with judging based on impact, creativity, and share ability.

After the close of the competition’s Round 1 on Aug. 31, a total of 25 semi-finalists will be notified around Sept. 30. These semi-finalists will have until Nov. 30 to complete their Round 2 work. Three finalists will be named around Jan. 5, 2012, and the grand prize winner will be announced at the THINK 12 Conference in Boca Raton, Fla., on April 30, 2012.

In addition to the $10,000 grand prize, the three finalists and one guest each will have round-trip travel and hotel accommodation costs covered for their attendance at THINK 12. The 25 semi-finalists will each receive a $150 gift card

For more information or to fill out an entry form, click here.

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New shared branching outlet in Florida

Shared branching is a unique feature of credit unions allowing members to make transactions from a number of locations nationwide.The new locations bring the Florida total of shared branches to 234.

New shared branching outlets added:

Dade County FCU
1738 W 49 St
Hialeah, FL 33012
Phone: 786-845-3248
Fax: 305-819-9180

For more information on shared branching, contact CUSC Shared Branching Manager, Tameka Dukes at 866.231.0545, ext. 2178. [ Return to Top ]

Education News
Bank Secrecy Act Training Coming in October

This workshop will train staff using completed forms of required BSA reports based on several common scenarios. Attendees will also hear about 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 much more.

This BSA Training class is appropriate for frontline staff, lenders, officials, managers, and compliance officers. The two and one half hour class incorporates a Currency Transaction Report workshop as well as a Suspicious Activity Report workshop in which completed forms are studied based on several common scenarios (focusing on narrative preparation).

October 13         
Tallahassee, FL
League of Southeastern Credit Unions, Annex
3773 Commonwealth Blvd.
Tallahassee, FL 32303

October 18         
Muscle Shoals, AL
Listerhill Credit Union
4790 East Second Street
Muscle Shoals, AL 35661

October 26         
Tuscaloosa, AL
Tuscaloosa VA Credit Union
3701 Loop Road East
Tuscaloosa, AL 35404

The registration fee for BSA is $75 per person, per session.

For more information or to register, visit the LSCU Education Events Calendar. [ Return to Top ]

LSCU Regulatory Compliance Updates coming soon!

LSCU Regulatory Compliance Updates

Date: Tuesday, Sept. 13
Location: LSCU Annex, Tallahassee, FL
Registration: $259/person

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 14
Location: Birmingham Marriott, Birmingham, AL
Registration: $259/person
Room Rate: $139.00 night
Room Rate Cutoff: Tuesday, Aug. 30

Agenda:             
8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.       Registration
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.             Regulatory Compliance Update
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.           Group Lunch

Speaker: Todd Sherpy
R. Todd Sherpy is a founding partner with the law firm of Sherpy & Jones, P.A. The firm is dedicated to serving all legal needs of credit unions; and provides day-to-day compliance, compliance auditing, training, and consulting services to credit unions throughout the country. Todd serves as General Council to the South Carolina League, and consults with several other credit union leagues on a regular basis.

Some comments from last year’s Regulatory Compliance Update attendees:

  • “Todd’s knowledge is vast. Everything he spoke of was relevant to my credit union."
  • “Very well done! Comments were to the point and insight was very useful in the real world. Exceeded my expectations.”
  • “Todd’s presentation is very insightful and he reviews actual hot topics in terms everyone can understand.”

For questions, send an email to education@lscu.coop or call 866.231.0545, ext. 2129.

Cancellation Policy: All cancellations must be in writing and received five business days prior to the event. No refunds will be issued after this date. Substitutions are welcome. [ Return to Top ]

Education Calendar

Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, August 17
Consumer Lending Series: Hot Regulatory Issues in Consumer Lending
3 – 4:30 p.m. EST – webinar

Wednesday, August 19
Your Credit Union's Responsibility as a Withholding Agent: SSNs, EINs, & ITINs
  11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST – webinar

Wednesday, August 23
New Rules for Credit Union Websites: What to Do Now, Soon & Later
3 – 4:30 p.m. EST – webinar

Click here to view complete calendar of events.

[ Return to Top ]

LEVERAGE News
CUNA Mutual reminds credit unions costly ATM fee lawsuits easily avoided

As another rash of lawsuits continue to be filed against financial institutions for failing to properly disclose ATM fees, CUNA Mutual Group reminds credit unions simple preventative steps can help them avoid costly fines and legal fees.

The lawsuits, which began in 2009, allege violation of section 205.16 of Regulation E. This provision applies when a consumer initiates an electronic funds transfer or balance inquiry at an ATM owned or operated by an institution that does not hold the account to or from which the transfer is made, or about which an inquiry is made.

As of June 30, CUNA Mutual had 44 open claims related to class action lawsuits alleging violations of Reg E, said Brad Mundine, CUNA Mutual senior manager of Credit Union Protection Risk Management. The suits span 14 states with litigation and loss exposure expected to exceed $3 million, he said.

When credit unions charge a fee to a consumer using a non-credit union ATM network card or debit card, section 205.16 of the regulation requires:

  • Posting a sign in a prominent and conspicuous location on or at every ATM owned or operated by the credit union stating that a fee will (or may) apply
  • Disclosing the fee on the terminal screen or paper notice before the consumer is committed to paying the fee. It is not necessary to include the amount of the fee on the sign

Additionally, section 205.9 of the regulation requires the amount of the fee to appear on the receipt. Violation of Reg E could result in a fine of up to $500,000, plus costs and attorney fees based on the class action filing.

To read the complete release from CUNA Mutual, click here.

  [ Return to Top ]

News from You
FSU CU members save more than $100,000 in three months

Pictured: Grand Prize winner William Stephenso

FSU Credit Union’s “Best Rate Guarantee” allows consumers to refinance an existing auto loan with another financial institution over to FSU Credit Union and have their rate lowered by two-percent APR, down to 3.25 percent APR. By refinancing and lowering their interest rate, monthly payments are lowered and/or the amount of time it would take to pay off the auto is reduced. Either way, the reduction amounts to savings for the borrower.

As an added incentive to refinance, the Credit Union ran a marketing promotion, “Win! Win! Win! In 2011,” from Feb. 14 - July 3.  When a consumer refinanced their auto, truck, boat, motorcycle or RV loan with FSU Credit Union, they were automatically entered to win weekly, and monthly prizes. One grand prize winner was also selected to receive $4,000 paid toward the principal of their FSU Credit Union auto loan. One person was randomly selected each week for 20 weeks to get a $50 gas card. Five lucky winners, one each month, had the interest rate on their FSU Credit Union eligible loan lowered to 2.011 percent APR for the remainder of the term.

During the promotion, the FSU CU booked over $7 million in new auto loans, a 33-percent increase over the same time frame in 2010. In total, $1,000 worth of free gas cards were given away, five people had their auto loan rate lowered to 2.011 percent APR saving a combined total of $13,405.35 in interest, and one lucky person had $4,000 paid toward the principal on their auto loan. These numbers do not include the $100,000 saved in interest by individuals who refinanced with Florida State University Credit Union.

  [ Return to Top ]

Central Florida Chapter supports Tuscaloosa, Alabama tornado relief efforts

The Central Florida Chapter of Credit Unions thanks the Tuscaloosa Chapter of Credit Unions and Cavalry Baptist Church for all they have done with the Tuscaloosa Tornado Relief efforts. Natural disasters like April's tornadoes show the fragility of life. When the Chapter saw the photos of Tuscaloosa basically in ruins and read the accounts of homes, livelihoods, and lives destroyed, it looked to see what it could do.

The Central Florida Chapter partnered with the Tuscaloosa Chapter and Cavalry Baptist Church to help the low-income families of Rosedale Courts (one of the hardest hit areas in Tuscaloosa) relocate and replenish the necessary items these families are in need of. The Central Florida Chapter was paired with the Harris family and raised $2,100 to assist them in relocating and rebuilding. The donation was able to provide needed house ware items, hygiene items, and furniture as the Harris family begins to rebuild their lives.

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EMPLOYMENT
View available credit union jobs

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

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