LSCU eSignal Weekly
LSCU eNews Weekly November 21, 2011
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LSCU eNews Weekly
In This Issue
President's Point
2012 NCUA budget includes a five percent increase
LSCU Top Headlines
This week's top League headlines
Governmental Affairs News
This week in Alabama politics: GOP releases jobs agenda, Senate rules chairman replaced
This week in Florida politics: Public deposits legislation filed, intersection of jobs, gaming
Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: What should your credit union do?
Compliance calendar and training
Cooperative Initiatives News
LSCU re-affiliation campaign underway
2012 Youth Week theme: Be a Credit Union Super Saver
Education News
Development Conference video available
Education Calendar
LEVERAGE News
Webinar set to showcase how Invest in America can help members
Five elements of good auto-loan refinancing campaign
News from You
CFE announces recent grand opening of student-run branch
Alabama Telco doubles in new checking accounts
Listerhill launches educational website, members promote the credit union
EMPLOYMENT
View available credit union jobs
In This Issue
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President's Point

2012 NCUA budget includes a five percent increase

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and hope you have a safe holiday. This past week our re-affiliation packet was sent to credit unions in Alabama and Florida. The dues invoice includes the 2012 dues, the voluntary “fair share” amount for the Statewide Image Campaign, and a new feature we have which is an automatic dues payment program.

The automatic dues authorization renewal feature streamlines the dues process for both credit unions and the League. If you choose to enroll in this program, your dues will automatically be taken out Jan. 31 of each year, ensuring  that your League membership continues without interruption. It also takes the burden off your credit union to process the payment, cut the check, and send it to the League. Additionally, its saves our field staff from having to follow-up with 300 credit unions throughout the first quarter, allowing them to put their time and energy in better serving you. The automatic renewal program is used by many other leagues across the country.   

As an added bonus, for those credit unions that sign on to the automatic renewal program by Dec. 23, the League will send them a new Kindle Fire, courtesy of LEVERAGE. This next generation of Kindle eReader allows the user to not only read books, but watch movies, listen to music, and surf the web. The Kindle Fire has a seven inch screen and enough memory to house 6,000 books or 10 hours of movies or 800 songs. A great early Christmas gift!

Something else I would like to bring to your attention is the 2012 NCUA budget. The NCUA board approved the budget last week and it was $11.5 million higher than last year; that equates to a 5.1-percent increase. This is significantly lower than the 12-percent increase in the budget from 2010 to 2011. Almost 60 percent of the 2012 increase ($6.1 million) is going toward the new contract for the examiner’s union. Another $2.1 million of the increase is going toward 1,500 new laptop computers for state and federal examiners.

NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz wrote an editorial in the CU Times this week that spelled out the budget in greater details. She writes that credit unions invested in their futures by the $48 million in budget increases over the past two years. Matz states that $1.5 billion in losses to the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund were spared because the NCUA hired more examiners and spent more time inside troubled credit unions. The 2012 budget calls for 33 new hires which include more new examiners and “specialized experts in high-risk areas of lending, capital markets, supervision, and troubled institutions. Acquiring further in-house expertise to deal with increasingly sophisticated activities continues to be a necessary investment.”

State leagues and CUNA would like to see the NCUA continue to streamline its budget. A smaller budget increase is commendable, but many of you are continuing to cut your 2012 budgets. Leagues and CUNA are keenly aware of this and we are in contact with the NCUA with our concerns. To read a full summary of the NCUA board meeting which includes the 2012 budget, visit the LSCU Regulatory Resources website. 
  
I welcome your thoughts and feedback. [ Return to Top ]

LSCU Top Headlines
This week's top League headlines

Public deposits bills filed in Florida House and Senate
Filing of bills paves the way for introduction during the 2012 legislative session. Click here to read more.

Unemployment rate makes drops in Alabama, Florida in 2011
Reports out of both Alabama and Florida economies seem to be trending in the positive direction as of late, with both states reporting a recent drop in the number of unemployed in the two states. Click here to read more.

Two Alabama CUs recognized with CUNA's 2011 Maxwell, Herring awards
CUNA recently announced the national winners of its 2011 Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award and the Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award. Click here to read the full story.

CUNA's Cheney testifies on bank bill during Nov. 16 House Financial Services hearing
CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney testified for credit unions at a hearing on H.R. 1697, a regulatory relief bill for community banks. Cheney asked that a balanced approach be taken that would aid both credit unions and community banks. To read more about the hearing that included an appearance by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus, click here.
[ Return to Top ]

Governmental Affairs News
This week in Alabama politics: GOP releases jobs agenda, Senate rules chairman replaced

GOP Releases Jobs Agenda
House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) released their agenda to create private sector jobs for Alabamians. Some of the measures include allowing the governor more flexibility to offer economic incentives to potential companies locating in the state, creating a fund for businesses to assist with start-up costs, and offering incentives to companies that hire veterans and trying to cut regulations.

Also announced in the press conference is that there are no immediate plans to make changes to Alabama’s controversial immigration law passed earlier this year. However, this press conference was held prior to the arrest of a Mercedes executive from Germany at the end of last week. That arrest has the ability to change the minds of legislators when it comes to making changes.

Senate Rules Chairman Replaced
Senate leadership replaced Sen. Scott Beason (R-Gardendale) with Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) as chairman of the powerful Rules Committee. Sen. Beason is a key witness in the ongoing bingo corruption trial that is set to resume in January. His role as a witness in the trial and comments made in the previous trial are being cited as the reason for the change.

Malone and Graddick Qualify for Chief Justice
Current Chief Justice Charles Malone and Mobile County Circuit Judge Charles Graddick both filed paperwork with the GOP last week seeking the state’s top judicial seat. Malone was appointed Chief Justice by Gov. Robert Bentley, so this will be his first time running for the seat. Before being appointed, Malone spent 20 years as a lawyer, and was presiding judge of Tuscaloosa County. Graddick was elected Alabama attorney general in 1978 and 1982 and won the 1986 Democratic gubernatorial primary runoff, but was later stripped of the nomination. Graddick is currently the presiding judge of Mobile County.

For questions regarding legislative affairs issues in Alabama, contact LSCU Director, Legislative Affairs Jason Cochran at 866.231.0545, ext. 2159. [ Return to Top ]

This week in Florida politics: Public deposits legislation filed, intersection of jobs, gaming

The LSCU Governmental Affairs (GA) team met with Senate and House leaders to discuss legislative priorities. One of those priorities, allowing credit unions to act as qualified public depositories, saw bills filed in the House and Senate last week. SB 936 by Sen. Chris Smith (D-Ft. Lauderdale) was filed on Monday, and HB 669 by Rep. Jason Brodeur (R-Sanford) was filed on Tuesday. The League expects both bills to be referred to committees either this week or early next. Once referred, the LSCU will be calling on grassroots advocates to contact members of the committees in which the bills will be heard. In the interim, the League is asking that credit unions send a thank you to the bill sponsors. If you have not done so yet, please contact them to let them know how much you appreciate their support. The only remaining committee week prior to the regular session will be the week of Dec. 5. The 60-day 2012 Legislative Session begins on Jan. 10 and is scheduled to run through March 9.

Grassroots Activity
As the 2012 Legislative Session gets closer, it remains important for grassroots advocates to do their part in helping the credit union movement go forward. Planning Chapter Legislative Nights, in-district meetings with your legislators, emails, letters, or phone calls all make a difference. The GA team is here to help you plan all grassroots activities.

Also, the GA team has been working hard getting ready to unveil the LSCU’s new online grassroots advocacy tool, VOCUS Action Center. Using this online tool will make it easier for credit union staff and members to contact their elected officials. However, in order to utilize the action center's grassroots functions once it is unveiled, an LSCU website log-in is required. If you do not currently have a log-in for the League website, make sure you register for one by clicking here. As the 2012 Legislative Sessions in both Florida and Alabama move closer, grassroots activity will continue to grow in importance. The League will need the entire network available and ready to contact lawmakers to help advance legislative priorities.

To read this week's complete Florida Politics Week in Review, click here.

If you have any questions on any of the legislative issues mentioned above contact LSCU Director, Legislative Affairs Jared Ross at 866.231.0545, ext.1012. [ Return to Top ]

Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: What should your credit union do?

The current edition of the League InfoSight newsletter covers Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, and the steps your credit union should take when a member gives notice of filing. 

The number of U.S. bankruptcy filings may be down for fiscal year 2011, but people are still filing. What steps must your credit union take if you receive notice of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Take our quiz and find out!

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy True or False

When credit unions receive notice of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, they should:

  1. Freeze all existing deposit and share account balances that are direct or indirect security for outstanding loans. True or false?
  2. Terminate/freeze all lines of credit and credit card accounts. True or false?
  3. Place a notice of bankruptcy status on the Data Processing (DP) system and ensure that all staff members dealing with the membership are aware of the member’s bankruptcy status. True or false?
  4. Determine whether there are sufficient assets to support the member's debt, in part or in whole. True or false?

To read more about what credit unions should do in the event of a Chapter 7 Bankrupcy filing and the answers to these procedure questions, visit the latest edition of League 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.

  [ Return to Top ]

Compliance calendar and training

November 2011

  • November 24: Thanksgiving Day - Federal Holiday

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

      *Note: To view InfoSight content, it is required to log in to www.lscu.coop for access.

      [ Return to Top ]

      Cooperative Initiatives News
      LSCU re-affiliation campaign underway

      The League’s efforts in Montgomery, Tallahassee, and Washington, D.C. continue to grow into one of the strongest in the credit union movement. There are many issues the League and credit unions can work  together on at the state and national level. Strong affiliation and involvement with the League and its chapters are imperative to push the movement and profile of credit unions forward.

      The 2012 LSCU affiliation packet, which includes the dues statement and transfer authorization form, your credit union information sheet, as well as LSCU and CUNA affiliation brochures were mailed last week. The dues statement includes two very important additions: 

      • Your voluntary fair share amount for the next phase of the LSCU Statewide Image Campaign
      • The option to enroll in our automatic dues payment program

      Enrollment in the automatic dues authorization program streamlines the accounting processes for your credit union, and ensures that your LSCU membership continues without interruption. As a token of the League’s appreciation for those credit unions enrolling in the program by Dec. 23, 2011, you will receive a new Kindle Fire courtesy of the LSCU Service Corporation (LEVERAGE).

      For more information about LSCU affiliation, please call LSCU VP, Cooperative Initiatives Laura Vann at 866.231.0545, ext. 2181.

      [ Return to Top ]

      2012 Youth Week theme: Be a Credit Union Super Saver

      Credit union Youth Savings week, April 22-28, 2012, will challenge youth to "Be a Credit Union Super Saver." The logo and promotional materials will carry a comic book look with bright colors. The “Super Saver” theme draws upon the powers of superheroes that also apply to saving at a credit union, such as plotting a savings plan and acting it out, protecting and monitoring money, and drawing upon resources at the credit union in order to be strong savers and smart spenders.

      The theme ranked first in a nationwide poll of credit union staff, and youth backed it by placing it among their favorite themes. Art work and other promotional materials will be available in January. Learn more about Youth Savings week by visiting CUNA's Credit Union Youth Week website. [ Return to Top ]

      Education News
      Development Conference video available

      The LSCU Development Conference earlier this month in Point Clear, AL featured a powerful lineup of speakers. A video is available that covers all of the high points of the conference including interviews with speakers and attendees.

      LSCU VP, Marketing and Communications Mike Bridges talks with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Elizabeth Vale on what role credit unions play with the bureau. Vale says the feedback from credit unions is invaluable. The Children's Miracle Network Chief Concept Officer Craig Sorensen says that credit unions' partnership with CMN fits perfectly together. Caryl Greene, CEO of Members First CU of Florida, talks about how she benefits from attending the conference, while Coosa Pines Director Jimmy Johnson says the speakers hit all the right points for credit unions.

      To view the video, visit the LSCU Video Center website. While there, view more videos on the LSCU Councils and Southeast Corporates proposed merger with Corporate One. If you have trouble viewing the video contact Bridges at 866.231.0545 ext. 1022.

      [ Return to Top ]

      Education Calendar

      Upcoming Events:

      Wednesday, Nov. 30
      Consumer Lending Series: Legal Issues in Collections
      3 to 4:30 p.m. EST - Webinar

      Tuesday, Dec. 6
      Identifying Problem Loans
      3 to 4:30 p.m. EST - Webinar

      Wednesday, Dec. 7
      Auditing for SAFE Act Compliance
      3 to 4:30 p.m. EST - Webinar

      To view the 2012 LSCU Education Calendar of Events, click here.

      [ Return to Top ]

      LEVERAGE News
      Webinar set to showcase how Invest in America can help members

      Invest in America, created by the CU Solutions Group, is helping credit union members save money on new purchases while also helping credit unions with new opportunities. More than 1.9 million credit union members have taken advantage of Invest in America partner discounts since its inception in 2008.

      Through the auto discounts with Invest in America, 468,000 new vehicles have been sold across the country with 30,621 vehicles sold in Florida and Alabama alone. Members can save big when buying a GM vehicle with the Invest in America credit union discount because the savings can be stacked on top of most current incentives – and save even more with your credit union’s low loan rates!

      With the Sprint Credit Union Discount program, credit union members nationwide have saved more than $151 million dollars with more than 1.4 million activations. The Invest in America membership enhancement program enables your credit union to promote its core services in conjunction with program discounts. Through Invest in America’s GM partnership, your credit union can augment its auto loan volume, and member rewards offer many partnerships to help boost your credit and debit card transactions. The main goal is to help your credit union increase membership, retain members, and grow loan volume.

      Join Leverage and the National Business Consultant with CU Solutions Group/Invest in America, Leslie Norush, for a FREE informational webinar on Invest in America’s valuable programs.

      This webinar will benefit CEOs, managers, and credit union staff that are interested in hearing all of the details on the services being offered by Invest in America.

      Log in by clicking here and select join a meeting with meeting code #6226948. Then, call 866.816.1627 and enter Conference ID: 7347933542.

      For more information contact a LEVERAGE Business Development Consultant. [ Return to Top ]

      Five elements of good auto-loan refinancing campaign

      Raising loan-to-share ratios will be difficult, given the continuing poor forecast for loan demand. Even so, this new liquidity—and the priceless boost in the public’s awareness of the credit union movement—create a unique opportunity. Reach out now to members who can save money by refinancing existing loans from other lenders.

      Element #1: Captive financers have left the back door open.

      Auto loans remain the backbone of most credit union lending programs, so that seems a logical focus for a refinance campaign.

      It’s difficult to compete upfront with captive financers that close loans at the point of sale. But plenty of new-car owners drove off the lot with loan terms your credit union can probably beat. The Raddon Financial Group estimates that less than 40 percent of car buyers who intend to use zero percent financing actually get that rate.

      But will these buyers move their loans? Auto Loan Recapture, a pre-screened direct-mail refinancing program offered through a partnership of CUNA Mutual Group and Ser Technologies, averages more than $5 in interest income for every $1 that credit unions spend on the campaigns (as measured one year after the start of each campaign).

      Click here for the complete story.
      [ Return to Top ]

      News from You
      CFE announces recent grand opening of student-run branch

      Front row from left: Dr. Cathy Pope, OCPS area superintendent; Rich Roach, OCPS school board member; Dr. Margaret McMillen, Boone HS principal; Bill Daniel, educator Boone HS & student coordinator for program; Joseph A. Melbourne, Jr., CFE president & CEO; Linh Dang, CFE SVP; Eddie Sanabria; CFE VP, Kevin Dougherty; CFE SVP; John Harbilas, CFE supervisory committee member; Kevin Miller, CFE SVP are surrounded by student tellers and CFE personnel.

      Located in Orange County School District, the Boone High School Branch will present “real life” experience in the financial industry for students enrolled in business classes at the high school. CFE is committed to ensuring success for the students. In fact, the credit union provides a complete training program and gives student tellers the responsibility of operating the branch on their own, with minimal oversight.

      “Opening this branch is a further investment of CFE’s ongoing commitment to ensure quality education and financial literacy in the schools,” said CFE President/CEO Joseph A. Melbourne, Jr. “We want students to know the benefits of credit unions, plus gain a good understanding of finances that will help them become successful.”

      Students will be responsible for providing onsite financial services to more than 3,000 students, faculty, and staff members at Boone High. The branch will also reach out to offer membership to faculty and students from surrounding schools. Checking and savings accounts, plus share certificates, and other services will be offered. “We are very grateful to have this on campus,” said Dr. McMillan. “This branch provides all our students at the high school an opportunity to learn about financial responsibility and awareness.”

      [ Return to Top ]

      Alabama Telco doubles in new checking accounts

      Throughout the past couple of months, Alabama Telco Credit Union has definitely seen an increase in membership, particularly in checking accounts.

      Alabama Telco reported record-breaking numbers for the months of September and October in checking accounts. “We opened more than double what we usually open," states Alabama Telco’s President and CEO Linda Cencula. "While we have a great checking product, most of the growth stems from people’s reactions to the new checking fees being implemented at other financial institutions. Our Choice Checking doesn’t have a monthly fee, which is very attractive in today’s economy. It’s grabbing people’s attention, and we’re seeing a newfound interest in credit unions as a whole.”

      These numbers are the latest in a surge of members credit unions have signed up in recent weeks, as public anger over proposed fees at big banks has boiled over. While many banks have canceled plans to introduce the new debit card fees, financial experts predict more fees and higher existing fees will be popping up soon. “Credit unions have an opportunity to build new relationships. This is our time to create awareness of our products and services,” adds Cencula. [ Return to Top ]

      Listerhill launches educational website, members promote the credit union

      While planning for International Credit Union Day this past October, Listerhill Credit Union in Muscle Shoals, AL came up with a better, more long-term idea: a website to promote the credit union difference. Iheartmycreditunion.org promotes the credit union difference through online videos and testimonials, while also educating potential members on how credit unions and Listerhill stack up with better rates on a variety of loans and services.

      “We thought the best thing we could do is raise awareness of the mission of credit unions and help to explain why they are different from other financial institutions,” said Listerhill Marketing Director Kristen Mashburn. “We wanted to appeal to a modern audience and give it a non-corporate feel, like it was from ‘the people.’”

       The website brings in much of the positive press that is both local and national in scope. Potential members can find out how to join Listerhill or another credit union close to them.   

      “With all the negative financial news in the media, we want to educate people about their alternatives. As a not-for-profit financial institution, financial education is our mission,” said Listerhill CEO Brad Green. “If people join other credit unions because of this website, we have done our job. We hope to foster good will and cooperation among credit unions.” [ Return to Top ]

      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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