LSCU eSignal Weekly
LSCU eNews Weekly February 21, 2012
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LSCU eNews Weekly
In This Issue
President's Point
"Plan to Win" coming soon to credit unions
LSCU Top Headlines
This week's top League headlines
Governmental Affairs News
This week in Alabama politics: Public deposits legislation introduced, HB 213 moves out of committee
This week in Florida politics: Focus on finalizing state budget, public deposits for credit unions
Alabama and Florida CULAC improves in 2011
Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: Seven Topics Added to the Employment Channel
CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report - Week of Feb. 20
NCUA seeks comment on financial derivatives to offset IRR
Compliance calendar and training
Cooperative Initiatives News
New Bank On audio conference aims to combat predatory lending
New video highlights credit union leave behind project in Tampa area
Communications News
NEW: SECUF Community Development & Low-Income Workshop Podcast with Pablo DeFilippi
2012 Cooperative Image Campaign quickly approaching
Education News
LSCU AC&E features 10-year-old pianist Ethan Bortnick
Education Calendar
LEVERAGE News
Stack-up savings with Office Depotís copy, print services
News from You
Florida Commerce CU, FSU offer chance to win behind-the-scenes access to Seminole Baseball
Redstone's Newberry receives unity award
EMPLOYMENT
View available credit union jobs
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President's Point

"Plan to Win" coming soon to credit unions

In the next few days, the League will roll out its “Plan to Win” which lays out a path to more credit union victories in Washington, D.C., Montgomery and Tallahassee. Credit unions are proud of the passage of H.R. 1151, which was very much a landmark piece of legislation. However, that was 14 years ago. That was really the last time credit unions collectively flexed their grassroots muscles. We need to harness that spirit once again.

Since H.R. 1151, banks and their trade associations have fostered a political environment in which credit unions are chronically put on the defensive about their tax-exempt status. Plus, “bankers speak” in Washington, D.C., Montgomery and Tallahassee is creating an environment in which banks are seen more favorably by our policymakers. It’s time we stop talking about this amongst ourselves and do something. That’s where our “Plan to Win” comes in.

The LSCU, CUNA and state leagues came up with the idea to put on paper our organized political and grassroots effort so that everyone knows the parts they need to play, and how the parts work together to take the credit union movement to a higher level of advocacy success. The plan is not meant to push more legislation, but to harness the power credit unions have and to keep it focused.

The plan includes a hierarchy of power. This hierarchy is built in a pyramid leading up to growing our relationships with lawmakers to become a “can’t say no” industry. The plan lays out a roadmap of where the League will be concentrating its efforts, the order of priority for different programs and how credit unions will need to be involved. H.R. 1151 showed our strength and also showed banks their weakness. Since 1998, banks have improved their grassroots involvement while credit unions’ involvement has weakened.

The “Plan to Win” will serve as an opportunity to reset our priorities in three key areas:

  • Grassroots
  • Political Action
  • Communications

It’s imperative that each credit union look at the plan and see where they fit in. We know that you can’t do every part of the plan and we don’t expect you to. However, we can all take a few minutes to run project zip code, respond to an action alert, push our good works to the media or take part in PAC fundraising. The plan includes a form asking that your credit union designate one person as the Grassroots & Political Action Liaison. In order for this plan to be successful, we ask that you return this form as soon as possible.

When we are in Washington, D.C., our federal delegation still sees credit unions as financial institutions that are doing good works and not causing many of the problems in the financial industry, however when push comes to shove, that sentiment doesn’t always get votes on credit union issues. The “Plan to Win” is designed to change that. Let’s recapture the spirit we had around H.R. 1151 and repeat history. 

I welcome your thoughts and feedback.


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LSCU Top Headlines
This week's top League headlines

Public deposits bills introduced in Alabama
Bills allowing credit unions the opportunity to accept public deposits was introduced in the Alabama House and Senate last week. HB 315 has been referred to the House Financial Services Committee, while SB 299 has been referred to the Senate Insurance and Banking Committee. An action alert has been issued for the public deposits legislation. Click here to read more and to respond to the action alert. 

Corporate One and Southeast Corporate merger approved
The NCUA has approved the proposed merger between Corporate One FCU and Southeast Corporate FCU. Approval from the regulator triggers the official capital subscription phase of the merger for Southeast members. This began Feb. 17, 2012. Southeast Corporate members should expect to receive the official capital documents along with a ballot to vote on the merger within the next 7-10 days. Visit Southeast Corporate FCU's website for more details.

NCUA receives clean audit for NCUSIF
On Feb. 16, the NCUA released the 2011 audited financial reports for the agency’s four permanent funds. All four funds received unqualified or “clean” audit opinions, including the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) that protects deposits up to $250,000 for more than 91 million consumers at federally insured credit unions. Visit the NCUA's website to read the news release. 

CFPB offers online comment tool
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau opened up a new comment tool on its website making it easier to gather input on regulations. The online comment form offers a scrollable list of 19 regulations the agency is accepting comment on, and also allows commenters to select individual sections of those regulations. Visit the CFPB website the learn more about the comment tool. 

Report finds that $186 billion to leave big banks in 2012
In a study released in November, 2011, cg24, a Connecticut based consultant, finds that $399 billion in customer deposits are "in play" to move from major banks this year. The study believes that $186 billion will move this year. The study also finds that 71 percent believe the banks merely claim to have customers best interest in mind and 50 percent are uncomfortable with how large some banks have become. Click here to read the full study.
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Governmental Affairs News
This week in Alabama politics: Public deposits legislation introduced, HB 213 moves out of committee

Public Deposits

This past Tuesday, the League introduced two pieces of legislation that will allow credit unions in Alabama to become “qualified public depositories” and better serve the communities in which they serve. SB 299 by Sen. Bill Holtzlaw (R-Madison) and HB 315 by Rep. Mike Ball (R-Huntsville) change the definition of a “qualified public depository” to include financial institutions insured under the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).  SB 299 has been assigned to the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, chaired by Sen. Slade Blackwell (R-Birmingham) and HB 315 has been assigned to the House Financial Services Committee, chaired by Rep. Steve Clouse (R-Ozark).

Initially, SB 299 was assigned to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee at the request of our sponsor in order to remove some of the banking influence, it was reassigned to Senate Banking and Insurance Committee after significant pressure was put on Senate leadership, including Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey, by the banking community.  The League fought this move, but at the end of the day, leadership felt the bill belonged in the new committee and it was difficult to argue otherwise. This move by the banks shows the lengths they will go to see that these bills don’t receive any consideration at the committee level, and shows the credit union community the need for significant grassroots support for this legislation. The Governmental Affairs (GA) team will be working the committee members again this week and will be working to secure a hearing for this legislation in both houses. Since this is the first year of introduction, it is best to take a step-by-step approach, and it begins at the committee level.

Also, last week the first attempt was taken by the Community Bankers Association of Alabama (CBAA) to stop any movement on SB 299. The CBAA sent a communication to the Senate in opposition to the credit union-friendly legislation, you can read a copy of it by clicking here. The League is responding on Tuesday with a hand delivered white page refuting the claims made by the CBAA, which can be found by clicking here. As you can see, credit unions are in for a fight related to this legislation, and your support and activity is critical to seeing these bills move forward. Many of you have already been on the phone and written letters to legislators, and the League appreciates all that you have done. However, more is needed. Please take a moment to contact your legislators and ask them to support SB 299 and HB 315.

Other Bills of Interest
HB 213 by Rep. Dexter Grimsley (D-Newville) – this is identical legislation to what was introduced during the last legislative session regarding credit unions having to obtain a used motor vehicle dealer license. Currently, credit unions are excluded from having to obtain a license due to language in the law, but this legislation further clarifies the law by adding credit union-specific language. HB 213 passed out of the House Financial Services Committee on Feb. 15 without opposition.

Don't forget to follow the GA team updates on Twitter throughout the session by clicking here.

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: Focus on finalizing state budget, public deposits for credit unions

Florida Politics Week in Review:

As the final few weeks of the 2012 Legislative Session moves closer, the major focus will be on passing the Fiscal Year 2012-13 budget. The House already passed its version of the budget, a $69.2 billion spending proposal, by a 79-to-38 party-line vote. The Senate debated its $70.8 billion proposal and passed it through the overall Budget Committee, and it will now move to the Senate floor. The Senate is expected to take a vote on Thursday, Feb. 23. Once that is done, the two chambers will appoint conference committee members for each area of the budget to hammer out differences. A final budget vote will take place the week of March 5, the final week of session.

In redistricting, the biggest update is that Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill that creates the new Congressional districts. The Congressional plan must now be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice to ensure that the districts comply with the Voting Rights Act. The redistricting plan for the state legislature has been sent by Attorney General Pam Bondi to the Florida Supreme Court for their approval. The Court has 30 days from this certification to render a decision. The court has until March 9, the last day of session, to approve the maps or send the plan back to the legislature. Many expect the House plan to be approved and the Senate plan to be kicked back, but no one will know until the Florida Supreme Court issues their final decision. The League will pass along any new happenings with the maps, as well as what the changes mean for the Florida Legislature and Congress.

As it will do all session long and beyond, the Governmental Affairs (GA) team continues to meet with legislative leaders in order to ensure that interest in the public deposits issue does not die. The GA team will continue to educate lawmakers on the benefits of allowing credit unions to act as qualified public depositories, as well as the benefits of the credit union difference. The League is working with legislators to help with the foreclosure crisis in Florida. Last week, measures that would help speed up the process in Florida have finally begun to move through the legislature, though it’s unclear whether they will ever pass through both chambers. While there is no bill that would create a non-judicial foreclosure bill in Florida, HB 213 by Rep. Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) passed its first committee in the House. The bill would require banks to have all of their paperwork in order, including information on the note and assignments of mortgage, before a foreclosure is filed. It also would give banks only two years, instead of the current five, to file for a deficiency judgment against the borrower. The Senate companion, SB 1890 by Sen. Jack Latvala (R-St. Petersburg) passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee today, though changes are likely, and the League will be working with the Senate sponsor to ensure all processes are fair to financial institutions, as well as homeowners.

To read the complete Florida Politics Week in Review including important information on grassroots advocacy, and PAC fundraising, click here.

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

Alabama and Florida CULAC improves in 2011

During this presidential election year, the word fundraising will be front and center in the media and during debates. What it shows is that money talks in the political arena. For credit unions its no different. The Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) is the federal PAC for CUNA. CULAC’s purpose is to "provide the opportunity for individuals interested in the future of the credit union movement to contribute to the support of worthy candidates for federal office who believe, and have demonstrated their belief, in the principles to which the industry is dedicated."

In 2011, Alabama reached 66 percent of its goal by raising $29,255, a major improvement from 2010. In Florida, credit unions reached 76 percent of their goal by raising $89,639. again another significant improvement from the year before.  Each state is assigned a goal to raise for CULAC which in turn contributes to and supports candidates that support the credit union movement. In 2010, CULAC supported nearly 90 percent of candidates or incumbents that were elected.  The 2012 elections will be very important for the credit union movement. 

For more information about CULAC fundraising, contact LSCU Grassroots and Political Action Coordinators Blake Westbrook at 866.231.0545 ext. 2164 or Andy Gonzalez at ext. 1010.

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Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: Seven Topics Added to the Employment Channel

The current edition of the League InfoSight newsletter covers the addition of seven new topics  to the Employment Channel.

The Employment channel was recently reviewed and updated. As part of the update, these new topics were added:
  • Employee Discipline and Documentation – This topic includes information about the conduct that merits discipline; how discipline should be administered; what type of discipline is warranted; and how a warning should be drafted and what it should address.
  • Employee Policies and Statements (Samples) – This topic includes sample policies and statements about issues such as absence, dress code, fraud, jury duty, and travel reimbursement.
  • Federal Employment Recordkeeping Requirements – This topic outlines the recordkeeping requirements as they apply to different federal employment laws and the number of employees.
  • Interviewing Job Applicants – This topic includes an overview of the application and interview process—and also provides a list of questions that a credit union may and may not ask during an interview.

To find out what the other new topics have been added to the Employment Channel, 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 ]

CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report - Week of Feb. 20

This week, the CUNA Regulatory and Advocacy Report covers stories on: NCUA board chair and agency senior staff meet with CUNA on issues facing credit unions, NCUA’s Loan Participation Proposal should be withdrawn, CUNA urges CFPB and NCUA to revisit multi-featured open-end lending, CUNA ABA Routing Number Administrative Board Representative, and more.

Click here to read the complete CUNA Regulatory and Advocacy Report. [ Return to Top ]

NCUA seeks comment on financial derivatives to offset IRR

The NCUA has initiated another round of comments on financial derivatives to offset interest rate risk (IRR). This advanced notice of proposed rulemaking expands an earlier ANPR from June 2011. It seeks to further determine how the agency should modify its regulations to permit a natural person federal credit union (FCU) to engage in derivatives to hedge IRR. This call for comment seeks information on the eligibility of applicant FCUs for independent derivatives authority oversight by a third-party provider and other requirements.

To read the NCUA Comment Call, click here.  [ Return to Top ]

Compliance calendar and training

February 2012

        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
        New Bank On audio conference aims to combat predatory lending

        Municipal leaders know firsthand the devastating toll predatory lending can have on residents, their families and the community as a whole. It strips families of valuable assets, assets that they need to thrive financially and contribute to the local economy. While many un- and underbanked residents need the quick access to credit that these lenders provide, they pay the price in the form of exorbitant fees and can get trapped in a cycle of debt. Payday lenders, for example, may charge up to 400 percent in interest, demand short loan terms, and provide unclear disclosures about their services and fees. Even big banks are entering into this lending space, offering high-cost loans to their customers that are often marketed as “direct deposit advances”.

        In some cases, regulations, like interest rate caps, can be effective in limiting the negative effects of payday loans. Some states and localities provide oversight and regulation for payday lending, but too often, residents do not have the protections and alternatives they need. City leaders can address payday lending from a variety of angles, whether by utilizing local ordinances to stop the proliferation of payday loan storefronts, or by promoting safe alternative products and services that meet residents’ immediate credit needs.

        The Payday Loan Problem: Strategies to Combat Predatory Lending in Your Community
        Thursday, Feb. 23
        2 to 3 p.m. EST

        Speakers include:

        • The Honorable Jerry Allen, councilmember from Dallas, TX will share the story of how Dallas successfully passed one of the nation’s strongest local laws on payday lending.
        • Lauren Saunders, with the National Consumer Law Center, will tackle the issue of big bank payday loans and what to look for in viable alternative small dollar lending products.

        To register for the audio conference, click here.
        [ Return to Top ]

        New video highlights credit union leave behind project in Tampa area

        During each presidential election year, CUNA works with host states of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions on a "leave-behind" service project. This year CUNA, the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation (SECUF) and the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation will work together to build playgrounds in St. Petersburg, site of the Republican National Convention and Charlotte, site of the Democratic Convention. 

        In a new video, children, parents and staff at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg talk about what a new playground would mean to the hospital. To build a handicap-accessible playground, it will take about $300,000 in each location. Credit unions in Alabama and Florida are encouraged to donate to the project. Credit unions can also donate volunteer time around the building of the playground as well.

        The Republican National Convention is in August in Tampa and the hope is to have the playground construction completed by this summer. To donate, volunteer or to learn more about the project, visit the SECUF website.  [ Return to Top ]

        Communications News
        NEW: SECUF Community Development & Low-Income Workshop Podcast with Pablo DeFilippi

        When Southeastern Credit Union Foundation (SECUF) first partnered with the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (NFCDCU) it was obvious that there were numerous credit unions either low-income designated and/or community development financial institution certified or eligible but doing nothing with it. With the assistance of the Federation, the SECUF decided to host regional workshops to showcase the benefits of these programs, but also grant funding and resources available to credit unions for better serving their underserved areas. With the economic constraints placed on America’s families, credit unions are poised to be the better financial solution - it’s the League and SECUF’s obligation to bring forward these opportunities to better equip credit unions with the tools to serve their local communities.

        The League recently interviewed Federation Membership Director Pablo DeFilippi about what it means for credit unions to become low-income designated, how to obtain designations, what credit unions can gain from the workshop, and examples of credit unions with these designations that are helping their local communities.

        To listen to the SECUF Community Development & Low-Income Workshop audio podcast, click here. [ Return to Top ]

        2012 Cooperative Image Campaign quickly approaching

        The 2012 LSCU Cooperative Image Campaign is set to hit the air again this spring. The results from the 2011 LSCU Cooperative Image Campaign show the campaign is breaking through the clutter and is beginning to increase interest in credit unions. When a consumer saw an ad, they had a greater understanding of the credit union difference. The call report data from the third quarter show that Alabama and Florida credit unions added 48,000 new members. The average number of new members in the first two quarters of the year has been 20,000.

        The League and the Cooperative Advertising Task Force are close to finalizing the creative for a second TV commercial. This will allow markets to run two TV commercials during the campaign, along with radio, billboard and online ads. To date, a total of 69 credit unions (34 in AL/35 in FL) have contributed with 17 of those being new credit unions that did not participate last year. If your credit union would like to participate, the League can send a new invoice. The Image Campaign was part of the dues affiliation invoice.

        The League has been conducting webinars and in-person visits with chapters to discuss the results and the direction of the 2012 campaign. If you missed a webinar or meeting, you can access the powerpoint and see the 2011 media buy by visiting the Cooperative Image Campaign website. If you would like to know more about the campaign, contact LSCU VP, Marketing and Communications Mike Bridges at 866.231.0545 ext. 1022 or Director, Information Services Amy Jowers at ext. 1020.  [ Return to Top ]

        Education News
        LSCU AC&E features 10-year-old pianist Ethan Bortnick

        The LSCU 3rd Annual Convention and Exposition, June 13-16 in Orlando, carries the theme - The Power of One: One Vision, One Voice. The cooperative spirit makes credit unions unique. Working together for one overall cause is what pushes the credit union movement forward.  With one vision and one voice, the League, industry partners, and credit unions work hand-in-hand on the issues faced by credit unions in Alabama and Florida, locally and nationally. Collectively, the movement is “The Power of One.”  

        The lineup of speakers for the AC&E is taking shape with Game Change authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann providing the keynote address on Friday afternoon. NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz is also a featured speaker with more speakers to be announced soon. 

        The Dinner, Entertainment and Silent Auction will feature 10-year-old Ethan Bortnick. He is the youngest headliner in Las Vegas and has already helped to raise $30 million dollars for charity. He works closely with the Children's Miracle Network. Ethan has performed with Tony Bennett, Beyonce, Natalie Cole, Barbara Streisand and Celine Dion. Bortnick sings a variety of standards and his own compositions. Credit unions will never forget the performance.

        The AC&E also features 19 educational breakout sessions, the Director's Institute Workshop and the LSCU Councils. To register for the AC&E and to learn more about the schedule, visit the LSCU AC&E website. Early bird pricing is in effect until March 31.

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        Education Calendar

        Upcoming Events:

        Wednesday, February 22
        BSA Training Workshop - Jacksonville
        9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST (Morning)
        1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST (Afternoon)

        Thursday, February 23
        New BSA Officer Training
        3 to 4 p.m. EST - Webinar

        Tuesday, February 28
        Identifying & Preventing Elder Financial Abuse
        3 to 4 p.m. EST - Webinar

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

          [ Return to Top ]

        LEVERAGE News
        Stack-up savings with Office Depotís copy, print services

        Now more than ever, success in business demands powerful marketing and promotional tools to help you stand out from the competition.

        Trust Copy & Print Depot to deliver creative, high-quality solutions that save you time and money. Trust Copy & Print Depot can create top-quality printing solutions, including powerful presentations, customized business cards and stationery, flyers, and signs. Plus, they provide convenient managed print programs, done right. Guaranteed.

        Right now you can save $20 to $50 off your qualifying purchase of copy and print services. Click here to learn more.

        Don't forget to follow LEVERAGE news and updates on:


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        News from You
        Florida Commerce CU, FSU offer chance to win behind-the-scenes access to Seminole Baseball

        Through Florida Commerce Credit Union's (FCCU) Champions for Charity efforts, the credit union will raise funds and increase public awareness in support of creating awareness regarding children and teens in the foster care system that need adoptive homes.

        Partnering with Seminole IMG Sports Marketing, FCCU is offering fans the chance to win rare behind-the-scenes access to Florida State University baseball players and coaches. Fans can register to win one of two passes granting a private facility tour, live practice and film session attendance, photo opportunities, pre-game sideline access, and game tickets.

        Seminole fans can register by visiting the FCCU facebook page for a chance to win now through the end of the baseball season. While at the site, visitors can learn more about Forever Family and donate to the cause.  During this baseball season FCCU will match all donations to the fund up to $2,500.

        “Commitment to community is one of our core values, and this worthy cause called us to action," said Cecilia Homison, CEO of Florida Commerce. "We are reaching out to our community calling on their passion for 'Noles baseball to support Forever Family in this important quest to educate and advocate for foster care adoptions."

        “Forever Family is a truly unique, non-profit organization that utilizes the power of the media, through television segments and on-air promotions, to create awareness regarding children and teens in foster care -- sensitively, said Forever Family  Founder and CEO Gua Tutalo-Mote. "We create public and private partnerships for the important task of finding children in foster care adoptive homes, recruitment of foster parents and volunteers, and help teens ‘aging out’ of the foster care system. Partners like Florida Commerce are essential to our strategic plan.”

        Awareness created through Forever Family has generated thousands of viewer inquiries, resulting in hundreds of adoptions, foster families and community volunteers. In addition, nearly half a million dollars in cash, goods, and services have been given back to the communities they serve. [ Return to Top ]

        Redstone's Newberry receives unity award

         

        Redstone FCU CEO Joe Newberry is awarded the 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Award by  Delta Theta Lambda Education Foundation Chairman Wilbert Brown.

        The foundation chose Newberry because he exemplifies the characteristics of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. such as unity, philanthropy, and leadership. Redstone has an annual community budget of $500,000.


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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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