LSCU eSignal Weekly
LSCU eNews Weekly August 6, 2012
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LSCU eNews Weekly
In This Issue
President's Point
Leagues, CUNA discussing future of credit union movement
LSCU Top Headlines
This week's top League headlines
Governmental Affairs News
This week in Alabama politics: Hubbard named SLC chairman, former governor sentenced
This week in Florida politics: Early voting open, possible Sunshine Law outdate
News from the Hill: MBL, Supplemental Capital updates, taxation
LSCU helps to sponsor Democratic golf outing
Remember to register for 'Hike the Hill'
Compliance Corner
CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report - Week of Aug. 6, 2012
League InfoSight highlight: Advertising Overdraft Programs
Compliance calendar and training
Cooperative Initiatives News
Northeast Alabama Chapter donates to 'Leave Behind Project'
Education News
SCUMA Annual Conference two weeks away
Education Calendar
LEVERAGE News
LEVERAGE, CUSG to hold free webinar Aug. 14
Ventelligence assists CU with NCUA examination
News from You
North Central chapter hosts legislative breakfast
Secure First opens new branch in Gardendale
EMPLOYMENT
View available credit union jobs
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President's Point

Leagues, CUNA discussing future of credit union movement

Last week marked the completion of my third year as president/CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates. With the support and direction of our boards, staff and member credit unions, the transformation of the Alabama and Florida Leagues into the LSCU & LEVERAGE is nothing short of dramatic. Two weeks ago I attended the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) summer meeting in Chicago.  The event brings together league presidents, association services and service corporation executives as well as other system partners, such as CUNA Mutual and CO-OP Financial Services for in-depth discussions on national issues of importance to the movement.  This year’s meeting brought forth crucial conversations about the future of the credit union movement.

CUNA has been leading an effort to develop a common set of values for the credit union movement that will ultimately form the basis for our federal advocacy efforts going forward. More information on this subject from Bill Cheney will be forthcoming in a few months. Stay tuned. The other major discussion item in Chicago was system structure evolution. The league presidents talked at length about redundancies and deficiencies in our current CUNA/league system and how we need to work better together to be more efficient and effective on behalf of our member credit unions. I think this is imperative for our future growth and success. From the league level down to the credit union level, the more we can share products, services and programs, the more we can ensure that the credit union movement is moving forward and meeting the needs of all its members, regardless of asset size or geographical location. This is something Alabama and Florida credit unions have already recognized when it voted overwhelming three-and-a-half years ago to consolidate their leagues to form the LSCU & Affiliates.

Part of this discussion topic included system accountabilities. This is an interesting topic. We know that our advocacy results have not been as many as we would like. However, I hope you know that CUNA and the LSCU are being much more proactive on the legislative and regulatory fronts now that it probably ever has been. League presidents talked about developing a system of accountabilities for both leagues and CUNA to ensure all leagues and CUNA are held accountable to do what is expected of them and how to better communicate results to credit unions.

Conversations turned to the need for greater active involvement by credit unions. Credit unions are unique because of that cooperative spirit. Federal lawmakers used to praise us during Hill meetings dating back to H.R. 1151 at how credit unions are willing to work together on advocacy. No other financial institutions have the cooperative spirit that credit unions do. What happens if we lose this cooperative nature? We begin to look like other for-profit financial institutions. It is going to take the active engagement of the entire movement if we want to pass proactive legislation and keep paralyzing new regulation at bay.

The next AACUL meeting will be in November.  At that time we hope to be further along on a system-wide strategic vision and final details on system evolution. As your League president, I want you to know that I am actively engaged in both conversations. I think it’s important to be transparent and to also solicit ideas from all of you. I will bring those ideas to our next meeting. Drop me an email, call me or stop me at a chapter meeting and let me know what you think.

I applaud CUNA and AACUL for soliciting these crucial conversations. This is the type of dialogue we need. We can’t be afraid to speak our mind because we are all passionate for our credit union model. Let’s continue to move forward with a sharp eye. It takes all of us contributing to the conversation.

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LSCU Top Headlines
This week's top League headlines

CUNA's Cheney tells House Ways & Means Committee CU tax status about structure
In a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the oversight sub-panel of the House Ways and Means Committee, CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney said the bank lobby “absolutely refuses” to accept the fact that credit union tax status has always been a function of the ownership structure of credit unions. To read the story, click here.

NCUA to hold free liquidity webinar
The NCUA is offering a free webinar on liquidity issues on Aug. 14. The webinar, "CLF and your Credit Union's Contingent Liquidity," will look at coming changes in ownership of the Central Liquidity Fund (CLF) and the CLF's role in meeting credit unions contingent liquidity needs. CLF President Owen Cole will host the webinar. For more information and to register, visit the NCUA's homepage.    

Credit unions discussed on Bloomberg radio
Bloomberg radio recently had CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney on as a guest. Cheney discussed the financial state of the credit union system, and the push for job-creating member business lending (MBL)  legislation on  "Taking Stock with Pimm Fox." Cheney pointed out that credit unions are thriving, lending portfolios are improving and that charge offs and delinquencies are down. He also said by raising the member business lending cap, credit unions could create more jobs and help small businesses. Listen to Cheney's appearance by clicking here.

Republican National Convention Committee CEO mentions CUs
The Republican National Convention Committee CEO William Harris submitted an Op-ed to the Tampa Bay Times pointing out all of the improvements the city will see following the convention. Harris specifically mentions the credit union "leave behind" project at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. The ribbon cutting for the project will be in three weeks. To read the full story, visit the LSCU Press Room. To learn more about the "leave behind" project, visit the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation website.

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Governmental Affairs News
This week in Alabama politics: Hubbard named SLC chairman, former governor sentenced

Hubbard Named SLC Chairman
House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) was elected chairman of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) last week. Hubbard has been a long-time supporter of the SLC and will serve as the host for next year’s SLC meeting in Mobile. SLC is the largest of the four regional legislative groups under the Council of State Governments covering 15 states.

Former Governor Siegelman Sentenced to 78 Months
Since his indictment in 2005 and conviction in 2006, former Gov. Don Siegelman has been proclaiming his innocence to bribery and conspiracy charges stemming from donations to his failed lottery campaign and appointment of Richard Scrushy to the state’s Certificate of Need board. Siegelman’s attorneys appealed the convictions all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which rejected the appeal in June.

U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller sentenced Siegelman to 78 months in prison and fined him $50,000. He will also be on supervised release for three years after completion of the prison sentence.

Follow the GA team legislative updates on Twitter and Facebook.

For questions regarding legislative affairs issues in Alabama, contact LSCU Director, Governmental Affairs - Alabama Jason Cochran at 866.231.0545, ext. 2159.

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This week in Florida politics: Early voting open, possible Sunshine Law outdate

Early Voting Open Across the State
Early voting began last Monday in five counties (Collier, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough, and Monroe) still covered by the Voting Rights Act. For the rest of the state, voters were able to go to the polls beginning on Saturday. Early voting will be open for eight days, a change from previous years when it was 11. For many, this provides a convenient opportunity to cast a ballot without having to wait in the sometimes long lines of Election Day. For more information on early voting, absentee voting, and any other election related information, visit the Department of State’s election page here.

Sunshine Law Outdated?
Integrity Florida, a non-partisan research institute whose mission is to promote integrity in government and expose public corruption, released a report last week calling for stricter disclosure laws for Florida’s elected officials. The report states that many of Florida’s lawmakers do not properly disclose conflicts when voting on issues. While many specific issues were pointed out, such as legislators who work for law firms that employ lobbyists, the biggest issue was incomplete financial disclosure forms or the nearly 4,000 forms that just have not been turned in.

Dan Krassner, executive director of Integrity Florida, made five general recommendations to help update the Sunshine Law. The recommendations are: shortening the “grace period” for late reporting to 30 days; implementing random audits of disclosure forms; requiring voting conflicts to be reported before a bill is considered rather than after; putting all disclosure forms online; and requiring more details in gift, income, and employer disclosure. Incoming Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) has made ethics reform a high priority for the 2013-14 sessions, and told The Florida Current that he agrees with Krassner’s idea of putting financial disclosure forms online for statewide access.

To read the complete Florida Politics Week in Review including important information on the LSCU Action Center, election activity, 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 VP, Governmental Affairs Jared Ross at 866.231.0545, ext. 1012. [ Return to Top ]

News from the Hill: MBL, Supplemental Capital updates, taxation

Member Business Lending
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised a vote on MBL legislation before the end of the year, and CUNA and the League continue to prepare for that vote.  Hundreds of meetings have been held by CUNA staff, leagues and credit unions since the CUNA GAC and, every day, there is more confidence in the collective ability to win an up-or-down vote on the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Act.  The League is working with CUNA to explore every opportunity to advance this legislation before the election; both CUNA and the League understand the banks have priorities that they would like to see addressed in the short-term as well. 

The overwhelming message received from senators is that they would like to see a legislative package that includes provisions for credit unions and banks which could benefit small businesses. Combining the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Act and the banks’ extension of the Transaction Account Guarantee Program (TAG) could produce exactly that type of package.  Along with CUNA, the League has been working closely with key leaders in Congress to ensure that TAG does not move without MBLs.

Supplemental Capital
The League continues its efforts to educate members of Congress regarding the importance of capital reform for credit unions. The number of members sponsoring the Supplemental Capital Legislation has increased steadily, as this continues to be an issue CUNA staff and “Hike the Hill” participants raise in their meetings with lawmakers.

Taxation
While the League sees no immediate threat to the credit union tax status, it is mindful that Congress is likely to engage in comprehensive tax reform next year.  While the League has always felt prepared for a tax battle, it is taking steps now to be even more sure. CUNA has developed a plan, and is evaluating resources in the event that the tax status comes on direct threat later this year or in the next Congress.

To read the complete News from the Hill update including: Congressional briefing material, legislative outlook, regulatory burden update, click here.

If you have any questions regarding the News from the Hill Update, contact LSCU VP, Governmental Affairs Jared Ross at 866.231.0545, ext. 1012 or LSCU Director, Governmental Affairs Jason Cochran at ext. 2159. [ Return to Top ]

LSCU helps to sponsor Democratic golf outing

(Pictured l to r) Chelby Afrifa, Eastside branch manager at Insight CU, and Michael Molaka, AVP branch manager for CFE and Central Florida Chapter President pose with the LSCU hole sponsorship sign at the Senate Democrats Golf Outing in Orlando. 

The LSCU sponsored a hole, as well as a team. Molaka and A.C. Cowans, CEO at McCoy FCU, participated with Cowans' team taking first place.


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Remember to register for 'Hike the Hill'

The League's annual "Hike the Hill" to Washington, D.C. is coming up on Sept. 12-13, 2012. Like last 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 during 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.

View the memo which contains information regarding flight and hotel information, as well as the registration form for the event here. The agenda for Hike the Hill can be found by clicking here. Review the agenda carefully and notice there is a 1 p.m. meeting on Sept. 12 with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). If you would like to attend this meeting, make sure your flight arrives the night before or early enough to be in attendance.

There is also a Southeastern Credit Union Foundation (SECUF) Scholarship Application for those who would like to attend but need some assistance. As is customary, THERE IS NO REGISTRATION FEE FOR THIS EVENT.

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 our commitment to meet with lawmakers more frequently than just during the CUNA GAC, We encourage you and your chair, or any of your board members to join the League in promoting credit union grassroots political action. Your visits are crucial in keeping credit unions visible before Congress, and these face-to-face meetings give you an opportunity to talk directly with your member of Congress about what you do for your members, and how Congress affects what your credit union does.

The cut-off date for the room block is Aug. 12, so make your reservations early, and let GA know whether you plan to attend as soon as possible so all arrangements can be made.

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Compliance Corner
CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report - Week of Aug. 6, 2012

This week's edition of the CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report covers issues such as: CFPB issues: CUNA’s CHART and advocacy, NCUA letter to FCUs in the works on low-income designation, NCUA holds final "Listening Session," and more.

To read the full CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report, click here.

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League InfoSight highlight: Advertising Overdraft Programs

The NCUA amended Part 707 to expand the overdraft program disclosure requirements regardless of whether a credit union promotes the payment of overdrafts.

The credit union must separately disclose on each periodic statement:

  • The total dollar amount for all fees or charges imposed on the account for paying checks or other items when there are insufficient funds and the account becomes overdrawn; and
  • The total dollar amount for all fees imposed on the account for returning items unpaid.

To find out more about advertising overdraft programs, visit League InfoSight.

The current issues of the InfoSight eNewsletter for Alabama and Florida are now available on the InfoSight homepage in the left-hand column. Members must login to the League website with username and password in order to access InfoSight. 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. [ Return to Top ]

Compliance calendar and training

August 2012

    • August 13: BSA/AML requirements for non-bank residential mortgage lenders (CUSOs)

    September 2012

    • September 3: Labor Day - Federal Holiday
    • September 30: Interest Rate Risk Policy and Program Requirement Effective Date

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

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

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    Cooperative Initiatives News
    Northeast Alabama Chapter donates to 'Leave Behind Project'

    (Pictured from L to R) Greg Olmsted, North Alabama Educators Credit Union; Laura Vann, LSCU; June Landrum, Alabama Credit Union; and Marquetta Cantrell, Rocket City Federal Credit Union.

    The Northeast (Alabama) Chapter of Credit Unions, at its July chapter meeting, presented a check for $1,000 to LSCU VP, Cooperative Initiatives Laura Vann for the leave-behind project at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. The League has spearheaded fundraising for the therapeutic playground and has already raised $200,000 of the $300,000 pledged.

    The playground will be dedicated during the Republican National Convention (RNC) in a few weeks in Tampa. If you, your credit union, or chapter would like to make a contribution to the project, contact Southeastern Credit Union Foundation (SECUF) Executive Director Leonard Parkhurst. To watch a video or find more about the project, visit the SECUF website.

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    Education News
    SCUMA Annual Conference two weeks away

    The 2012 SCUMA Annual Conference held on Aug. 22-24,  is designed to allow attendees to network in an informal setting with peers and management team members while attending sessions with up-to-date topics currently happening in our environment, find out what other credit unions are providing that might be a fit in your credit union.

    Visit the SCUMA Annual Meeting event page for more details. Questions? Contact LSCU Director, Events Teresa Gray at 866.231.0545, ext. 2110 or SCUMA President Mark Johnson at 205.654.2370. [ Return to Top ]

    Education Calendar

    Upcoming Events:

    Tuesday, August 7
    Writing Effective HR & E-Policies to Manage Behavior, Maximize Compliance & Mitigate Risks
    3 to 4:30 p.m. EST - Webinar

    Wednesday, August 8
    Supervisory Committee Audits: Best Practices
    3 to p.m. EST - Webinar

    Tuesday, August 14
    You Received a BSA Exam Request Memo, Now What?
    3 to 4:30 p.m. EST - Webinar

    To view the complete LSCU Events Calendar, click here.

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    LEVERAGE News
    LEVERAGE, CUSG to hold free webinar Aug. 14

    What has your website done for you lately?
    Marketers are more frequently being asked to report on how their marketing tactics are working to hit marketing objectives, making how to measure the success of the website a pressing concern. Let CU Solutions Group (CUSG; formerly CU Village) show you where to start and how to track return on investment (ROI) so you can impress your management team with your comprehensive reporting!

    Join CUSG for this 45-minute webinar where you will walk away with the steps necessary to measure your website’s ROI, including:

    • How to analyze the behavior of your website visitors
    • How to convert them into a higher quality of visitor
    • How to quantify how visitor’s actions are meeting your marketing goals
    • How to attract new members and borrowers through search engine optimization
    • How to execute website usability testing to confirm your site is meeting your visitor’s needs

    Date & Time:
    Tuesday, Aug. 14
    3:00 p.m. EST

    Cost:
    FREE

    To enroll, contact CUSG's Leslie Norush at 800.262.6285, ext. 542 or email your contact information and she will get back to you with your login credentials before the webinar. [ Return to Top ]

    Ventelligence assists CU with NCUA examination

    Recently, Rocket City FCU, based in Huntsville, purchased the Ventelligence Full Service solution to assist with a rapidly approaching NCUA examination. To prepare for the exam, the LEVERAGE team has been in the process of entering all pertinent contract information, automating the process with triggered email alerts, and collecting the required due diligence information from their third party vendors. Due to these contract management activities, Rocket City FCU has already begun to receive email notifications alerting them about critical dates within their contracts.

    One of the first notifications received by Rocket City informed them that one of their contracts would automatically renew for a two-year period unless the credit union provided written notification within the following 60 days. The LEVERAGE team immediately contacted Marquetta Cantrell, Rocket City president/manager, and provided her with the following recommendations for negotiations:

    • Terms - Length of the contract and/or renewal term
    • Clauses - i.e. an opt-out clause with cause, which will allow them to exit the contract should any issue arise with the vendor
    • Pricing - This is an opportunity to negotiate reduced pricing, prior to allowing the contract to automatically renew with the same pricing, or increased pricing

    This is just one example of how Ventelligence Full Service solution can work for credit unions. To find out more about Ventelligence, contact a LEVERAGE Business Consultant.

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    News from You
    North Central chapter hosts legislative breakfast

    The North Central Chapter of Credit Unions hosted a legislative breakfast on Aug. 2. Rep. Keith Perry (R-Gainesville) was the guest.

    Credit unions had the opportunity to interact with Rep. Perry, ask questions, and begin building a relationship with him. 

    To see the schedule of legislative meet and greets, visit the LSCU Action Center.

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    Secure First opens new branch in Gardendale

     

    Secure First Credit Union, based in Birmingham, celebrated the opening of its new branch in Gardendale on Aug. 1. Five new employees were hired, including two from Gardendale.

    Secure First President, Jordan Sullivan, noted, “We are grateful to the Gardendale Chamber of Commerce for partnering with us to make our Gardendale branch grand opening a truly special event."

    More than 50 employees and members attended the ribbon cutting.

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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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