LSCU eSignal Weekly
LSCU eNews Weekly December 10, 2012
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LSCU eNews Weekly
In This Issue
President's Point
MBL legislation may not get a vote this year
LSCU Top Headlines
This week's top League headlines
Governmental Affairs News
This week in Alabama politics: Special elections set for House races
This week in Florida politics: Charlie Crist officially becomes a Democrat
CUNA GAC to feature protecting credit union tax status
News from the Hill: TAG could come to a vote; Dodd-Frank provisions being discussed
Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: Remittance Transfers
Credit unions should take advantage of PolicyPro
CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report - Week of Dec. 10
Compliance calendar and training
Education News
Regulatory Compliance Update coming to Mobile, AL in January
Save the date for IRA Training in 2013
Education Calendar
Cooperative Initiatives News
YPG to tour Central Florida Children's Miracle Network Hospital
NCUA to hold webinar on mergers
LSCU quarterly webinar is Dec. 18
LEVERAGE News
Member discount program checks delivered
News from You
NAECU hosts 'Picture with Santa' event for Red Cross
Redstone FCU launches online document storage system
EMPLOYMENT
View available credit union jobs
In This Issue
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President's Point

MBL legislation may not get a vote this year

As you know, Member Business Lending is one of the credit union industry’s top legislative priorities in Washington, D.C. Since the “lame duck” session convened following the November elections, CUNA, state leagues and credit unions have been pushing our federal delegations hard to get MBL legislation passed before the end of the year. Unfortunately, it looks increasingly like the chances of that happening before year’s end is slim. It has become apparent that at this time we don’t have the necessary 60 votes in the Senate to get the legislation to the floor as a standalone bill. It is the fear of some that if we brought it to a vote and failed to reach 60 votes it essentially dies for this and future Congressional sessions. By not moving forward as a standalone bill, there is still a chance to add it as an amendment to another financial services bill.

The LSCU and individual credit union officials have talked a number of times with our four senators from Alabama and Florida about MBLs. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) is a strong credit union supporter, and he was a yes vote going all the way back to when Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) introduced the bill. Through every conversation we had with Sen. Nelson, he has been a yes vote and said he would do what he could to get his colleagues to vote for the bill.

Now the other three senators from our states have been much harder to nail down on how they would vote. It took some time to educate Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) staff about MBLs and how raising the cap would help small businesses. Our Governmental Affairs staff has been in contact with Sen. Rubio’s office many times through emails, phone calls, and office visits. While Sen. Rubio has not told us definitively he would vote yes, his staff continues to signal that the senator understands the importance of raising the cap. I would put him in the "leaning yes" column.

In Alabama, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has played it close to the vest on MBLs, much like he does on most issues. He has not come right out and said he would vote yes or no. Our indications from communications with him and his staff is that he preferred MBL to be paired with a larger financial services package so both sides receive something they want and need. If MBL came up as a standalone bill, Sen. Shelby might possibly vote no. His staff has also indicated to us he would vote no on standalone TAG legislation.

The toughest senator for us to get a feel for is Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL). Our meetings with him and his staff have been informative. Each time his office asks questions about the impact of MBL and really listens to our credit unions as they tell their MBL stories. However, the senator and his staff never gave an indication either way on how they would vote. They have questioned the fiscal impact of the bill, saying it would cause a loss of revenue to the federal government because credit unions do not pay corporate income taxes. Based on the questions they asked, its clear the bankers had met with them a number of times. It should be noted that Sen. Sessions is the ranking Republican member on the Senate Finance Committee, which is the tax writing committee in the Senate. He will be a central player moving forward on any rewrite of the tax code.

With just our four senators, you can see the varied reactions and the difficulty in discerning at least three of their votes. While it appears tough to get MBL passed this year, it looks like TAG legislation will come up for a vote in the Senate. CUNA put out an Action Alert last week to get credit unions to ask their senators to oppose TAG. CUNA has also produced radio, print, and social media ads (see Top Stories) to help sway senators. 

As we get closer to 2013, I challenge you to become more engaged. Our lawmakers always appreciate visits from credit unions and the interaction on issues. Identify someone at your credit union that can be your point person for grassroots advocacy. I hope you consider attending the CUNA GAC in February or Hike the Hill later in the year. The League will work to set up in-district meetings throughout the year, and interaction there is just as important. We’ve made great strides on our state and federal advocacy efforts, but we need to do even more.  [ Return to Top ]

LSCU Top Headlines
This week's top League headlines

CUNA places TAG opposition ads
CUNA has produced a radio and print ad, as well as a social media video to oppose bankers' TAG legislation. All signs are pointing to a possible vote on TAG during the "lame duck" session. While banks have been aggressively opposing MBL legislation, credit unions are striking back with a grassroots opposition to TAG. An Action Alert has been posted for credit unions to let their senators know that TAG is another handout to banks. Read more and use the ads on your own social media channels by visiting the LSCU Top Stories

Waters now ranking member on Financial Services Committee
About a week after Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) succeeded Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) as the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, the Democrats elected Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) to be the ranking member on the committee. Rep. Waters has served in the House for 21 years. She takes over for Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) who is retiring at the end of the year.

NCUA board summary
The NCUA board met on Dec. 6. The biggest news from the meeting was final approval for alternatives to the credit rating systems. The rule removes references to credit ratings in NCUA regulations or replaces such references with other standards of creditworthiness as required by the Dodd-Frank Act. The Board replaced the various Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (NRSRO)-based security creditworthiness standards in NCUA regulations with two standards: “investment grade” and “minimal amount of credit risk.” Read more in CUNA's NCUA board summary report

CUNA Exam Survey 
Late last week, CUNA sent all credit unions an exam survey. The purpose of the survey is to give CUNA and state leagues feedback on recent state and federal exams. The survey is anonymous with CUNA and state leagues only having access to summary results. CUNA will use the results for a national perspective, while state leagues will use the state results on a local level. The purpose of the survey is to help capture national data and to help improve the exam process. 

Leadership video now available on LSCU website homepage
The Leadership Development Conference wrap-up video has been posted. The video looks at how the Leadership Development Conference placed a greater emphasis on leadership. Two attendees talk about how the networking time was invaluable to them. Demographer Ken Gronbach gives credit unions a look at some of the opportunities they have. To view the video, visit the LSCU Video Room. 

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Governmental Affairs News
This week in Alabama politics: Special elections set for House races

Special Elections Update
Special elections will be held Tuesday for two Alabama House seats that were vacated by appointments made by Gov. Robert Bentley earlier this year.  House District 30, parts of Etowah and St. Clair Counties, will see Republican Mack Butler facing Democrat Beth McGlaughn. House District 30 is heavily Republican and Butler is expected to win without much of a challenge. House District 34, primarily Blount County and parts of Jefferson County, will have the winner of the Republican Party primary runoff as its next representative. Neither Chris Latta nor David Standridge was able to garner over 50 percent in the primary. There is no Democratic opposition, so Tuesday’s winner will be in Montgomery in February.

Dates have been set for two other special elections that will happen in 2013. House District 11, formerly held by Rep. Jeremy Oden, will see its primary held on Feb. 12, primary runoff in March 26, and general election on May 7. Senate District 35, formerly held by Sen. Ben Brooks, will have its primary on Jan. 29, runoff on March 12, and general election on April 23. While the dates will not change, depending on who and how many individuals qualify, the elections could be moved a little.

State Rep. Kennedy Passes Away
Longtime State Representative Yvonne Kennedy from Mobile passed away late last week after battling a brief illness. Kennedy had served in the legislature since 1979. Cause of death was not given.

Armistead to Face Challenger for GOP Chairmanship
As reported earlier, there has been a rift in the Alabama Republican Party since the election of Chairman Bill Armistead two years ago. Matt Fridy, a Montevallo lawyer and former Shelby County Republican Party Chairman, announced plans to run against Armistead in the upcoming election. After his announcement, Fridy picked up endorsements from Gov. Bentley and House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn). Lt. Governor Kay Ivey has also said she plans on supporting Fridy. The election will take place at the party’s winter meeting in February by the members of the executive committee.

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: Charlie Crist officially becomes a Democrat

2013 Legislative Issues
Last week, newly-elected state lawmakers met in Tallahassee for the only committee week of December. LSCU Governmental Affairs staff met with Senate and House leadership to discuss the League’s priority issues for the upcoming Legislative Session. Staff also met with the chairman of the Senate Banking and Insurance committee, Sen. David Simmons, to discuss issues that are important to credit unions. The legislature will return in early 2013 and committee weeks are scheduled for the weeks of Jan. 14, Jan. 21, Feb. 4, Feb. 11, and Feb. 18. Session will begin March 5 and is scheduled to run through May 10.

Charlie Crist is now a Democrat
After months of speculation, former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist signed up Friday to become a Democrat. Crist, who left the GOP to run as an independent for the U.S. Senate in 2010, signed a registration form during a reception at the White House. He sent a Twitter message that read, "Proud and honored to join the Democratic Party in the home of President @barackobama!" Also, Crist posted a photo that showed him holding up the signed registration form, while his wife, Carole, smiled. The Tampa Bay Times reported that Obama celebrated the change with a fist bump. But the Republican Party of Florida, which has long criticized Crist as a turncoat and an opportunist, quickly bashed the former governor Saturday morning. You can read more here.

Reminder: CUPAC and Fed PAC Deadline Quickly Approaching
As 2012 is quickly coming to a close, the League is reminding credit unions that all contributions are due to the LSCU by Dec. 15 in order to count towards this year’s goals. Contribution forms and a link to donate can be found at the LSCU Action Center. If you have any questions or need more information contact LSCU Grassroots and Political Action Coordinator Andy Gonzalez .

Should you have any questions on any of the legislative issues mentioned above, contact LSCU VP, Governmental Affairs Jared Ross, 866.231.0545 ext.1012, or LSCU Director, Governmental Affairs Jennifer Martin, 866.231.0545 ext. 1150.

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

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CUNA GAC to feature protecting credit union tax status

Tax reform will be high on the agenda of the new Congress in 2013. The CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), Feb. 24-28, 2013, is an opportunity early in the new year to ensure Congress understands the public policy benefits behind credit unions’ federal tax exemption. Make plans now to attend.

In addition to Hill visits, the GAC features a powerful lineup of speakers including author and distinguished NBC News Journalist Tom Brokaw, award-winning journalist and financial editor for NBC’s Today Show, Jean Chatzky, and a political debate between Haley Barbour and Terry McAuliffe, the former chairmen of the Republican and Democratic National Committees.

For more information about the credit union system’s premier political conference, visit the LSCU CUNA GAC Resources page. You will find speaker highlights and hotel information. If you have any questions, contact LSCU VP of Governmental Affairs Jared Ross at 866.231.0545 ext. 1012.

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News from the Hill: TAG could come to a vote; Dodd-Frank provisions being discussed

The House and Senate are in session as part of the post-election lame-duck session. On Tuesday, the House will meet to debate the motion to go to conference on the Defense Authorization bill.

On Wednesday, the House is expected to consider a number of bills under suspension of the rules, including a modified version of H.R. 5817, the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act. During the debate on this legislation last week, some members objected to language in the bill that was not in the version that the House passed in the 112th Congress; this language was unrelated to credit unions.
 
Senate Schedule
Last Thursday a motion to invoke cloture (a procedure to quickly end debate on an issue) was filed on the motion to proceed to S.3637, a bill to extend the transaction account guarantee program (TAG) for two years. During the Dodd-Frank Act, Congress temporarily authorized the FDIC to continue this coverage, and expanded the program to include credit unions as well through the NCUSIF. It expires Dec. 31, if not reauthorized.

It looks like right now that the Senate will convene on Tuesday to consider the motion to proceed to S. 3637. It appears that on Tuesday there may also be a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.3637. This motion is subject to a 60 vote threshold.
 
In the event that the motion for S. 3367 is successful, debate on the bill would begin immediately. The League expects that the Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) would be recognized first and that he will offer a series of first and second degree amendments that will “fill the amendment tree” and block other Senators from offering amendments. If the Senate proceeds to consider S. 3637, CUNA and state leagues will strongly urge consideration of the Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) amendment related to member business lending.
 
Committee Meetings
Also this week, a number of Dodd-Frank provisions will be heard including  the House Financial Services Committee (Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) on section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (PL 111-203), known as the Volcker rule, which requires that banks separate activities such as investment banking, private equity and proprietary trading from their consumer services such as installment loans, residential mortgages, equity credit loans, and deposit services.

Click here to read a more in-depth look at the federal issues for this week. 

For 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 ]

Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: Remittance Transfers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued rules to protect consumers who send money electronically to foreign countries. These transactions are called remittance transfers and the rules were to take effect on Feb. 13, 2013. Recently, the CFPB announced its intentions to make "certain limited adjustments" to its recent final rule on remittances and said that it expects to extend the effective date of the remittance rule until 90 days after the adjustments are made final. The new implementation date is expected to be during spring 2013.

To help your credit union remain in compliance, the Remittance Transfers topic was recently added to the ACH/Electronic Payments channel of InfoSight. In addition to the definitions of “remittance transfer” and "remittance transfer provider,” you will find answers to the following questions:

  • What disclosures are required?
  • What about a transaction conducted entirely by telephone?
  • Can there be estimates on disclosures?
  • Are there error resolution provisions?
  • Can a sender cancel a remittance transfer?
  • What are the rules for transfers scheduled in advance?

To find out more about remittance transfers, 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. After you are logged in to www.lscu.coop, click on the InfoSight tab. If you do not have access to the League website, click here to sign up.

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Credit unions should take advantage of PolicyPro

PolicyPro was rolled out Oct. 1, 2012, and in the first two months, more than 50 credit unions have completed the registration process. Don’t be the last credit union to take advantage of PolicyPro which is “dues-supported, free” service for all affiliates.

Registration is easy and normally takes about 24 hours to complete. First you must login to the LSCU website in order to access PolicyPro. Go to www.lscu.coop and login to the LSCU website using the Site Login (gray button in upper right of LSCU homepage). Under the Governmental Affairs tab, click on Regulatory Advocacy and then InfoSight/RateMap/PolicyPro. Scroll down to the PolicyPro section, and click on the PolicyPro (Alabama or Florida) link. Fill out a few brief questions and submit. You can also reach it on the LSCU homepage by scrolling down to the RateMap/PolicyPro box. Just be sure to login to the LSCU website first.

For PolicyPro questions, contact LSCU VP, Compliance Training & Information Bill Berg at 866.231.0545 ext. 1028.

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CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report - Week of Dec. 10

This week's edition of the CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report covers issues such as: a CUNA exam survey being sent to credit unions, the CFPB provides an update on fair lending and the NCUA's look at state-by-state third-quarter stats show loan growth.  

To read the most recent CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report, click here. [ Return to Top ]

Compliance calendar and training

December 2012

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. [ Return to Top ]

Education News
Regulatory Compliance Update coming to Mobile, AL in January

Join the LSCU at the upcoming Regulatory Compliance Update, Jan. 16, 2013, in Mobile, as speaker Robert Rutkowski brings you the latest on what you need to know across a wide spectrum of compliance issues for 2013.

The CFPB now has the mandate it needs to dramatically change consumer lending. Much of a typical credit union’s lending forms will need to be changed. Find out which ones and learn about what is happening to Regulation Z. Mr. Rutkowski will also discuss how open-end lending has changed as well as how to avoid discrimination cases as the justice department seeks to sue more financial institutions for fair lending violations. Finally, learn about the in’s and out’s of commercial lending and what may happen to the existing rules on Member Business Loans in the future. Topics to be covered include:

  • The CFPB: what it is, what it’s doing and 2013 deadlines
  • Truth in Lending update
  • Multi-featured open-end lending
  • Fair Lending under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act
  • Member Business Loans

Click here for more information and to register or visit the LSCU Events Calendar and click on the event. [ Return to Top ]

Save the date for IRA Training in 2013

Save the date for these upcoming IRA Essentials & Beyond Essentials Trainings in 2013:

Instructing both training sessions is Paul Kern, IRA training consultant for Ascensus, Inc. Paul is the project manager for eLearning and IRA University, including the development, design, and implementation of both products. He has worked with the LSCU to provide top-of-the-line IRA training to our affiliated credit union’s for several years and has received rave reviews every session.

Some of the 2012 comments from attendees were:

  • Paul is a great teacher.  I learn something new each time I attend this conference. He makes IRAs fun.
  • Paul is very respectful when answering questions. Very knowledgeable.
  • Paul is so interesting. IRAs can be very boring. He keeps your attention and I learn something each year. Great teacher. Training was great and it seemed to be even more informative this year.

Click on the links above for more information and to register or visit the LSCU Events Calendar and click on the event.

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Education Calendar

Upcoming Events:

Tuesday, Dec. 11
Unfair, Deceptive and Abusive Practices
3 to 4:30 p.m. EST - Webinar

Wednesday, Dec. 12
Deposit Operations: 2012 Review
3 to 4:30 p.m. EST - Webinar

Tuesday, Dec. 18
New Reg. E Requirements for Foreign Remittance Transfers
3 to 4:30 p.m. EST - Webinar

To view the complete LSCU Events Calendar, click here. To view LSCU's 2013 Education Calendar at-a-glance, click here.

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Cooperative Initiatives News
YPG to tour Central Florida Children's Miracle Network Hospital

On Dec. 18, from 4 to 6 p.m., the LSCU Young Professional Group will tour All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg.

According to Rob Lefkowitz, the group’s organizer, “We’ve been given the opportunity to tour the hospital and see the results from the fundraising efforts of our local credit unions. After the tour, the group will have access to a conference room to talk about the group’s next steps and plan upcoming events. We’ve also committed to contribute to the All Children’s Wonderland Toy Donation at our event where we’ll ask each attendee (and YPG members not attending if possible) to provide a gift. We would love to see everyone there who would like to attend.”

The Young Professionals Group is an educational and networking group for credit union professionals and was created to encourage career development and networking.

If you are interested in participating in this event or other YPG events, contact Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union Service Center Manager Robert Lefkowicz at 800.999.5887 ext. 52100.

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NCUA to hold webinar on mergers
The NCUA's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives (OSCUI) will host a free webinar “Mergers: The Facts and Realities” on Friday, Dec. 14, beginning at 2 p.m. EST.

OSCUI staff and industry experts from the Filene Research Institute and CUNA will present an in-depth discussion of the ways to avoid mergers, the reasons for credit union mergers and the responsibilities of managers and boards of directors during the merger process.

The webinar will answer questions like:
  • Why do mergers happen?
  • Should merger scenarios be a part of strategic planning?
  • Who is responsible for protecting the interests of members during a merger?
  • How to maintain viability and avoid administrative mergers?
  • How to find the ideal merger partner?
  • What is the merger process?

Participants can submit questions in advance at WebinarQuestions@ncua.gov. The subject line of the email should read “OSCUI Merger Webinar. Registration is open. Visit the NCUA's website for more information. [ Return to Top ]

LSCU quarterly webinar is Dec. 18

Each quarter the LSCU updates credit unions with a webinar on the activities it has been working on for member credit unions. The updates last about an hour and cover topics such as advocacy, education, communications, and LEVERAGE. The next quarterly webinar update is Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. EST/2 p.m. CDT.

The quarterly webinars are a good way for credit  unions to stay connected to the League. It's also a great opportunity to ask questions of the League, as well as pass along feedback. There is time built in throughout the webinar for interaction.

Webinar login instructions will be sent to credit unions a week before the webinar. For questions or to RSVP, contact LSCU VP, Cooperative Initiatives Laura Vann at 866.231.0545 ext. 2181. 
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LEVERAGE News
Member discount program checks delivered

(l to r) CU Solutions Group Business Consultant Leslie Norush, Famly Security VP Zac Howell and LEVERAGE Business Development Consultant Mike Baswell.

For some LEVERAGE programs, it pays to be a member. Credit unions began receiving their annual marketing reimbursement checks this past week. LEVERAGE business development consultants were on the road in Alabama meeting with credit unions and presenting the member discount program checks from Sprint. More checks will be distributed to Alabama and Florida credit unions over the next two weeks. 

Credit unions are able to generate additional income by marketing the Sprint Member Discount Plan to members and employees. The members and employees benefit by receiving 10 percent off of their monthly cell phone charges.

For more information on how your credit union can add this member benefit, contact a LEVERAGE Business Development Consultant. Check out the Sprint Member Discount page to see which credit unions are on the program.


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News from You
NAECU hosts 'Picture with Santa' event for Red Cross

North Alabama Educators Credit Union, based in Huntsville hosted its fourth “Picture with Santa” event on Saturday, Dec. 1. The event raised $584 for the American Red Cross Fund, which the credit union chose in the wake of the 2011 tornadoes. Pictured is the credit union  staff who manned the holiday-themed fundraiser.

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Redstone FCU launches online document storage system

The new Redstone FCU online banking service, My Virtual StrongBox, allows members to load electronic files such as wills, insurance documents, and other important documents or images into RFCU’s online banking protected document library. The system uses the same safe and secure document technology that delivers online statements, notices, and tax documents. All members with online banking will receive enough storage, FREE of charge, to store up to:

  • 250 text documents or
  • 500 PDF’s or
  • 3,000 emails or 
  • A variety of photos, music, and other file types

Members will be able to purchase additional space, if needed.

My Virtual StrongBox is similar to a physical safe deposit box but with safe and secure online capabilities that include easy and accessible permission-based retrieval. Users can customize folders to aggregate documents and share them as necessary. For example, an individual can retrieve a copy of a will via a Smartphone while sitting in an attorney's office or access a mortgage document on an tablet while visiting the credit union.

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EMPLOYMENT
View available credit union jobs

To view available jobs posted by credit unions on the LSCU website, visit the LSCU CU Jobs Center. Click the link at the top of the page to view jobs at the LSCU. [ Return to Top ]

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