LSCU eSignal Weekly
LSCU eNews Weekly June 25, 2012
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LSCU eNews Weekly
In This Issue
President's Point
Credit unions benefitting from Bauer first-quarter ratings
LSCU Top Headlines
This week's top League headlines
Governmental Affairs News
This week in Alabama politics: Constitutional amendment battle heats up, agency streamlining
This week in Florida politics: LeMieux drops out of GOP Primary, voter purge fight
News from the Hill: Important legislation on tap for both chambers this week
Ross named LSCU VP of Governmental Affairs
Compliance Corner
CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report - Week of June 25, 2012
League InfoSight highlight: Bank Secrecy Act Channel Updated
Compliance calendar and training
Cooperative Initiatives News
'Leave Behind Project' closing in on goal
Education News
Participate in one of this week’s LSCU Webinar offerings
Education Calendar
LEVERAGE News
Credit unions only scratching surface on members needs
News from You
Tallahassee-Leon FCU announces free financial camp for local teens
Pen Air FCU announces Stewart Ramsey as new CEO
EMPLOYMENT
View available credit union jobs
In This Issue
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President's Point

Credit unions benefitting from Bauer first-quarter ratings

Over the past two weeks, the Bauer Financial ratings for financial institutions have been released. Bauer Financial, based in Coral Gables, FL, has been rating banks and credit unions since 1983. It is considered the industry standard by many media outlets when it comes to financial ratings. However, the ratings don’t come without some degree of controversy. I understand that and we’ll save that argument for another President’s Point.

The fact of the matter is that the media regularly writes about the ratings every time they come out. That’s what I want to focus on. How the media picks up the ratings and how it benefits our credit unions. Three weeks ago the League released the first-quarter credit union data to the media in both states. Credit unions in Alabama and Florida had a record breaking quarter. Our news release was picked up by many outlets including the Tampa Bay Times, Birmingham News, Mobile Register, Anniston Star, South Florida Sun Sentinel and the Birmingham and Jacksonville Business Journals. Great coverage, but it also hit just before the Bauer ratings came out.

Last week the Orlando Business Journal called to talk about the Bauer ratings for the Orlando-area credit unions. Eight of the 14 credit unions in the Orlando area received a five-star rating, the best rating from Bauer. The story highlighted how member business lending had improved, along with auto loans. The Orlando-area credit unions added $500 million in assets while also adding 12,000 members in the first quarter. The Orlando Business Journal story was positive and once again showed consumers that credit unions are strong.

The South Florida Business Journal highlighted the fact that credit unions once again outpace banks, when it comes to the Bauer Financial ratings. Bauer found 30 banks in South Florida as problematic and only one credit union. The Business Journal pointed out how 12 of the 14 largest credit unions in South Florida had a four- or five-star rating. The other two credit unions had a three-star rating. This story, along with first-quarter statistics stories in South Florida, means that consumers saw two major stories in their area about how well credit unions are doing.

The Birmingham News and the Birmingham Business Journal also wrote stories about how credit unions in Birmingham were healthy. While these stories weren’t quite as in-depth, they were published a week after each outlet had printed a positive story about Alabama credit unions great first quarter. Readers in central Alabama saw two weeks’ worth of good credit union coverage. The same happened in Jacksonville after the Jacksonville Business Journal wrote a good story on the first-quarter data and then the positive Bauer ratings.  

Now let’s take this one step further. We got great coverage from our news release on first-quarter data. Credit unions got good coverage following the release of the Bauer Financial ratings. The LSCU Cooperative Image Campaign debuted on June 18 in most media markets across both states. Consumers saw two weeks of positive press on credit unions and then began seeing billboards, online ads, along with TV and radio commercials. See how this all ties in? The positive press and our Cooperative Image Campaign are working together. All of these positive stories have been sent to our state and federal lawmakers and we know they are seeing our Cooperative Image Campaign.

This has been a very good June for credit unions, and we still have a week to go. All of the good work you are doing is being noticed by the press and more importantly, by consumers looking for a new financial institution.

I welcome your thoughts and feedback.

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LSCU Top Headlines
This week's top League headlines

CFPB coming to Tampa for field hearing on reverse mortgages, informal CEO roundtable
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will be in Tampa for a field hearing on reverse mortgages at the Tampa Convention Center Ballroom, Wednesday, June 27, at 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Also, the CFPB will be holding an informal roundtable session for area credit union CEOs at 3 p.m. R.S.V.P.'s are required. Click here for more information.

Rep. Nugent signs on to ATM Disclosure legislation
Last week House bill H.R. 4367, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, added Rep. Richard Nugent as a new co-sponsor. Under H.R. 4367/S. 3204, on-screen fee notice and option to cancel the transaction without cost will remain. This gives the person using the ATM the notice required under the EFTA and Reg. E, and thus fully protects consumer rights as envisioned under the Act and regulations. Only the physical sign requirement is removed from the Act and the regulations. This bill results in the full existing protection for consumers, without subjecting ATM owners and operators, such as credit unions, to these frivolous, costly, and invented lawsuits.

Credit union CEO testifies before House subcommittee
Redwood CU CEO Brett Martinez told a House subcommittee last Thursday that credit unions have increased member business lending (MBL) 89 percent since 2007, but that they could do even more if the arbitrary cap were lifted. Martinez said his Santa Rosa, CA credit union is at 75 percent of its cap and can only make loans for another 18 months under the current cap. You can read the full story by clicking here.

Mayors join broad coalition of MBL support 
This week, the U.S. Conference of Mayors encouraged members of the U.S. Senate to support Member Business Lending legislation. Click here for more.

Custom Performance Reports
Last week, the League received the Custom Performance Reports (CPRs), and they have been emailed to all affiliated credit unions. If you have not received your CPR yet, send an email request to LSCU VP, Compliance Training & Information Bill Berg, put CPR in the subject line, and he will resend it to you.

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Governmental Affairs News
This week in Alabama politics: Constitutional amendment battle heats up, agency streamlining

Alabama Legislative Update

September Constitutional Amendment Battle Heats Up

On Sept. 18, Alabama voters will be going to the polls to either vote up or down on a constitutional amendment that authorizes the transfer of $146 million a year for three years from the Alabama Trust Fund to the state’s struggling General Fund. The Alabama Trust Fund is made up of royalties the state receives from companies that drill natural gas wells in Alabama waters along the coast. Gov. Bentley has been on the road the past few weeks urging support of the amendment, citing potential severe cuts to state agencies such as Medicaid and Corrections if voted down. Bentley has also mentioned a potential Special Legislative Session of the legislature if the amendment does not pass, however a special session is not likely.

Last week, two key Republicans in Alabama voiced their opposition to the constitutional amendment and more are likely to come.  Former Gubernatorial candidates Tim James and Bradley Byrne have both publically stated that “raiding” the Alabama Trust Fund is bad policy. James says that there needs to be a mechanism to require the money be paid back and Byrne has stated that it just shifts the problems of the General Fund down the road for three years. The fight over this vote will continue until Sept. 18.

Streamlining of State Agencies Continues
Both Gov. Robert Bentley and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) have been talking about streamlining state agencies and increasing efficiency in state government. Sen. Marsh released a study that recommended consolidating more than twelve law enforcement and investigative state agencies and he says that seeing those recommendations come to fruition will be a legislative priority in 2013. On Thursday, Gov. Bentley created, by Executive Order, the Integrated State Law Enforcement Task Force. The task force will also be looking at ways to increase efficiencies in state law enforcement agencies.

Travel Ban for Alabama Legislators
Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey and House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) have informed Alabama lawmakers that travel request will not be approved for the rest of 2012 due to Alabama’s budget crisis. Several lawmaking conferences are on the calendars for representatives and senators, so if they choose attend the costs will come out of their own pocket. This may continue for 2013 as well as the annual budget for the Alabama legislature drops from $37.8 million to $33.4 million.

Follow the GA team legislative updates on Twitter by clicking here or Facebook by clicking here.

For questions regarding legislative affairs issues in Alabama, contact Jason Cochran at 866.231.0545, ext. 2159.
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This week in Florida politics: LeMieux drops out of GOP Primary, voter purge fight

Florida Politics Week in Review:

Former Sen. George LeMieux drops out of GOP Primary

Former Sen. George LeMieux dropped out of the Republican primary for Senate on Wednesday, saying that he can't compete against Rep. Connie Mack IV's (R-FL) famous name and the fact that the party establishment has gotten behind the congressman. LeMieux, who was appointed to fill the last 16 months of Sen. Mel Martinez' term, said he didn't have the money for widespread television ads to counter Mack's name recognition, and Mack's refusal to debate won't allow voters statewide to compare the two. He said his decision will give the party a better chance of beating Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in November. "To continue would only hurt our chances in the fall, and that is not something that I will risk. Connie Mack will be our nominee. He has my support," LeMieux said in a video emailed by the campaign to reporters and supporters.

Fight Over Voter Purge Continues
A member of a coalition of voting groups that filed suit last week over Gov. Rick Scott’s non-U.S. citizen voter purge says the state is using faulty data, which is discriminating against non-white citizens, and that state officials know it. Also, Florida again demanded that the federal government let it check the names of registered voters against a federal immigration database. The Florida Department of State (DOS) last month began an effort to remove non-citizens from the voting rolls. County election supervisors have halted the purge because they said the list given to them by DOS contained many legally eligible citizens. Of a list of 2,600 names, local election officials have confirmed 107 non-citizens. On Tuesday, the groups Advancement Project, Fair Elections Legal Network, Latino Justice and Project Vote filed their lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Miami to stop the purge. The lawsuit says the purge violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the National Voter Registration Act, and that the list negatively affects minorities. Florida officials deny that the state is trying to “bleach” its voter rolls. “The only criteria we are concerned about is whether someone is in fact ineligible to vote and if so should not be allowed to cast a ballot,” said Chris Cate, a spokesman for Secretary of State Ken Detzner.

To read the complete Florida Politics Week in Review including important information on state employees' insurance plan, the LSCU Action Center, Project Zip Code, LSCU PLAN to Win, and PAC fundraising, click here.

Don't forget to follow developing news and legislation updates from GA on Twitter and Facebook.

For questions regarding this update or credit union legislation in Florida, contact LSCU Director, Legislative Affairs Jared Ross at 866.231.0545, ext. 1012. [ Return to Top ]

News from the Hill: Important legislation on tap for both chambers this week

News from the Hill Update

The Senate is in session today.  After wrapping up business on the FDA bill, the Senate is expected to consider S. 1940, the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2011. Later in the week, it is likely that the Senate will also consider legislation to address student loan interest rates and the Surface Transportation conference report.

The House comes back tomorrow and will consider bills under suspension of the rules. Tomorrow, the House is also expected to begin consideration of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (H.R. 5972) FY 2013 Appropriations bill.  Later in the week, the House may consider the FY 2013 Appropriations Bills for Agriculture, Rural Development, and FDA (H.R. 5973) as well as a privileged resolution finding Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. in contempt of Congress. Further, it is likely that the House will consider legislation to address student loan interest rates and the Surface Transportation conference report.  

Both the House and the Senate will be out of session next week. The chambers will next be in session on July 9, and are expected to remain in session through Aug. 3.

To read the complete News from the Hill Update including the full committee schedule, click here.

As always, if you have any questions regarding these or any legislative issues, contact LSCU Director, Legislative Affairs – Florida Jared Ross at 866.231.0545, ext. 1012 or Director, Legislative Affairs – Alabama Jason Cochran at ext, 2159.

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Ross named LSCU VP of Governmental Affairs

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions announces the promotion of LSCU Director, Legislative Affairs (FL) Jared Ross to the position of the LSCU Vice President of Governmental Affairs. Ross joined the LSCU in January 2011.

"During the past one-and-a-half years, he has demonstrated keen political skills and knowledge of the governmental affairs arena both on the state and federal levels," said Patrick La Pine, president/CEO of League of Southeastern Credit Unions. "As an attorney, his intellect, coupled with his energy and proactive approach to work, made him the right choice to lead the League’s Governmental Affairs Department into the future."

LSCU Director, Legislative Affairs (AL) Jason Cochran will now serve as LSCU Director of Governmental Affairs (AL) and as well as the director of the Birmingham office in addition to his governmental affairs duties.

With Ross' promotion, the LSCU will begin the search process of hiring a new director of legislative affairs for Florida. [ Return to Top ]

Compliance Corner
CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report - Week of June 25, 2012

This week's edition of the CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report covers issues such as: NCUA’S delay of the CUSO rule, CUNA briefed by CFPB on the Agency's consumer complaint database, Texas bank plans to file lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the CFPB, and more.

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

League InfoSight highlight: Bank Secrecy Act Channel Updated

On Feb. 24, 2012, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a final notice requiring the electronic filing of most FinCEN reports by July 1, 2012. All institutions, including credit unions, are strongly encouraged to begin using the BSA E-Filing System as soon as possible.

To help your credit union comply, the Bank Secrecy Act channel of InfoSight was recently modified to include the following updates from FinCEN:

  • Guidance on Determining Eligibility for Exemption from Currency Transaction Reporting Requirements (06/11/2012)
  • Administrative Ruling: Application of the Prepaid Access Rule to Bank-Controlled Programs – (6/08/2012)
  • Final Rule: Amendment to the Bank Secrecy Act Regulations—Exemption From the Requirement To Report Transactions in Currency – Final Rule – June 07, 2012

To find out more about the FinCEN updates, visit League InfoSight.

The current issues of the InfoSight eNewsletter for Alabama and Florida are now available. Members must login to the League website (www.lscu.coop) with username and password. If you do not have access to the League website, click here to sign up. After you are logged in to www.lscu.coop, click on the InfoSight tab.
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Compliance calendar and training

June 2012

  • June 30 (TBD): Electronic Filing of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Reports Required
  • June 30: Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs) Due
  • June 30: Troubled Debt Restructuring (TDR) - Loan Contract Modification Effective Date

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.

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Cooperative Initiatives News
'Leave Behind Project' closing in on goal

The Leave Behind Project at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg has received some significant donations following a successful Volunteer Day on June 12 and an emphasis on the project during the AC&E. Following the convention, Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union Executive Vice President/CIO Kevin Johnson announced a $10,000 donation from their foundation. Kevin also encouraged his staff to contribute to the project and they have donated $500 to date. Corporate One FCU, which had already made a $10,000 gift, gave an additional $5,000 during a check presentation by CEO Lee Butke during the convention.

Prior to the AC&E, CO-OP Financial Services made a $25,000 pledge, and CUNA Mutual Group made a $10,000 pledge to the project. During a two-week “mini-campaign”, League employees gave more than $2500 through payroll deductions and outright gifts.

The Leave Behind Project’s therapeutic playground at All Children’s Hospital is being constructed in conjunction with the Republican National Convention. The project has raised approximately $157,000 towards its ultimate goal of $300,000, and is on track to meet that goal by the start of the Republican National Convention at the end of August. [ Return to Top ]

Education News
Participate in one of this week’s LSCU Webinar offerings

(All webinars are held at 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET.)

Wednesday, June 27: Frontline Series: How to Talk to Members: Handling Difficult Members & Situations

In this webinar, staff/member interpersonal communications that can result in compliments, conflicts, or account closings will be analyzed. Real-life examples of staff in normal business encounters that exploded into difficult situations will be examined. This webinar will provide staff with skills and techniques to handle even the most difficult situations.

Who Should Attend: Frontline staff, branch managers, call center personnel, security staff, and anyone with daily member contact.

For more details and to register, click here.

Thursday, June 28: Accounting & Audit Reports to the Board

This proactive webinar will teach credit union staff how to better report accounting results to the board and senior management.  It will include key numbers and ratios to monitor, a guide to priority board reports, specialized focus on earnings, pending new lease-accounting changes, and fair-value accounting.

Who Should Attend: All staff that deal with accounting and audits, including board members, senior managers, CFOs, controllers, accounting/audit managers, and branch managers.

For more details and to register, click here.

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Education Calendar

Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, June 27
Frontline Series: How to Talk to Members: Handling Difficult Members & Situations
3 to 4:30 p.m. EST - Webinar

Thursday, June 28
Accounting & Audit Reports to the Board
3 to 4:30 p.m. - Webinar

Tuesday, July 10
Wire Transfer Compliance
3 to 4:30 p.m. - Webinar

To view the complete LSCU Events Calendar, click here.

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LEVERAGE News
Credit unions only scratching surface on members needs

David Polet of CUNA Mutual Group shares research on how to deepen member relationships during a Discovery breakout session at the recent America's Credit Union Conference.

Members’ financial needs generally run deeper than the purchase of a single product, and credit unions need to tap into those opportunities or competitors will, attendees of America’s Credit Union Conference were told Tuesday.

CUNA Mutual Group’s Voice of Customer Program Manager David Polet told a Discovery breakout session that research shows a member’s product purchase can lead to other opportunities that will deepen the relationship and provide an unmet member need.

For instance, Polet said, a member might re-evaluate their auto insurance if they bought a new car. That might lead them to consider bundling that insurance with their homeowners.

“Research shows members are looking for financial reviews and money management tools from their credit unions,” Polet said. “Credit unions can’t be passive about making members aware of what they offer. Given that two out of three dollars members spend on consumer loans are being borrowed elsewhere, it behooves credit unions to aggressively make members aware of what they have to offer.”

To read the complete CUNA Mutual realease, click here.

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News from You
Tallahassee-Leon FCU announces free financial camp for local teens
The financial camp, the "Mini Billionaire's Academy," is the first of its kind in Leon County, is a fun, educational, and free way to teach your kids about money from those who work in the financial industry every day. Organized and conducted by TLFCU President/CEO, Lisa Brown, and Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Michael Akers, the camp will use interactive activities to teach your child how to make good financial decisions. 
 
"Financial literacy for children and young adults is more important than ever," said Akers. "Less than 10 percent of high school graduates receive any financial education in school, and our college students are graduating with thousands in credit card debt. We plan on giving the next generation the tools and information needed to make the right financial decisions."
 
The following topics will be covered: 
  • Basic budgeting 
  • Good debt vs. bad debt 
  • Keeping your money safe and secure 
  • Basic insurance knowledge
  • Career planning
The cost of the camp is free, but lunch will not be provided. The camp will be held at the Southwood Community Center located at 4675 Grovepark Drive, Tallahassee, FL, 32311. Camp participants must be a member of TLFCU, between the ages of 12 -15 and have completed 6th, 7th or 8th grade.
 
The application for this camp can be downloaded by clicking here. If you have any questions or need additional info on the camp or membership at TLFCU, contact Mike Akers at (850) 576-8134 Ext. 107.
 
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Pen Air FCU announces Stewart Ramsey as new CEO

New Pen Air FCU CEO
Stewart Ramsey
.

After an extensive national search conducted by O’Rourke & Associates, the Pen Air Federal Credit Union Board of Directors is pleased to announce Stewart Ramsey as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

“On behalf of the Pen Air Board of Directors, we want to extend our sincere gratitude to the team that’s built the organization to what it is today and to extend a heartfelt welcome to Stu and his family,” stated Pen Air FCU Board of Directors Chairman Maurice Johnson. “ We are looking forward to his leadership as we look to the future”.

Ramsey brings 30 years of diverse professional experience that includes Big 4 public accounting, financial management positions and, most recently, seven years of credit union CEO experience.  Ramsey will join Pen Air FCU as CEO after serving for the past five years as CEO of Fort Campbell FCU in Clarksville, TN.  Since joining Fort Campbell in 2007, with the help of the executive team and staff, the credit union has grown from $250 million to $450 million in assets, increased membership from 32,000 to more than 45,000, and has been rated in the top 100 credit unions in the country in providing value to its members. [ 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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