LSCU eSignal Weekly
LSCU eNews Weekly January 7, 2013
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LSCU eNews Weekly
In This Issue
President's Point
Looking back on 2012 is reminiscent to a Clint Eastwood movie
LSCU Top Headlines
This week's top League headlines
Governmental Affairs News
This week in Alabama politics: Senate District 35 run off heating up
This week in Florida politics: How the fiscal cliff affects Florida
Lawmakers added to CUNA GAC lineup
Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: FinCEN extends FBAR filing deadline for certain financial pros
HMDA Exemption Threshold Increased by CFPB
CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report - Week of Jan. 7, 2013
Compliance calendar and training
Education News
Register for the Regulatory Compliance Update next week in Mobile, AL
Education Calendar
Cooperative Initiatives News
Filene Institute brings experiential learning program to CUs
LEVERAGE News
Duval FCU saves 15 percent through LEVERAGE contract negotiations
News from You
CFE brightens holidays for foster children
Five Star opens branch in Bainbridge
Redstone gives away Prius in Go Green promotion
EMPLOYMENT
View available credit union jobs
In This Issue
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President's Point

Looking back on 2012 is reminiscent to a Clint Eastwood movie

Happy New Year. I hope you were able to take some time off for the holidays. As I reflect back on 2012, I keep thinking about the old Clint Eastwood movie “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” The credit union industry had some clearly good things happen during the year, but we also had some that were bad and some that were plain ugly. As we begin a new year, let’s look back on the past 12 months.

The good from last year includes introducing public deposits in Alabama, defeating the bankers TAG legislation, and passing ATM fee disclosure legislation. The legislature in Alabama had to be educated on the intricacies of the public deposits issue and the benefits of allowing credit unions to serve as public depositories. It was clearly a successful first step because the issue was given a hearing and the bill will be reintroduced in Alabama for the 2013 session. The defeat of the bankers TAG legislation was a good way to end the year. This sent a message to the bankers that credit unions are no longer going to sit idly by and have them oppose all our legislation without significant push back. The Hill publication in Washington, D.C. named the defeat of TAG as one of the "Top 10 Lobbying Victories of 2012." By passing the ATM fee disclosure legislation, redundancies and frivolous lawsuits will be eased up for credit unions. This was a good victory for us.   

The bad from 2012 has to start with not being able to get a vote on Member Business Lending (MBL). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said in the spring that he would bring the MBL bill to a vote; however, without knowing whether we had the votes necessary to pass the bill, this never came to fruition. We didn't get much help from Rep. Spencer Bachus or Sen. Richard Shelby. Loan growth is showing slim signs of improving, but overall loan growth remains stagnated. This is directly tied to an economy that remains sluggish. Many credit union members are either still hurting or have low consumer confidence which is keeping them from taking out new loans. The public deposits issue in Florida was also in the bad category after failing to advance out of committee. The vote was close, but didn’t go our way. This was a step back from the previous year, but we learned some valuable lessons moving forward.  

Now for the ugly. The defeat of the TAG legislation sets up 2013 as a contentious year with the banks. The hope is that the defeat of TAG would give us some leverage to work together with banks on some issues, but that probably won’t happen in the short run until local bankers start getting upset with their trade associations for not being able to advance their agenda. The banks continue to say that elimination of the credit union tax exemption is one of their top priorities. That means that we will need to redouble our efforts to show lawmakers the benefits of our operating structure. This is a threat we need to take seriously. We need a large contingent of credit union officials to attend our Hill visits during the CUNA GAC in late February. There are new members of the House in Florida and it’s important that we educate them on credit unions and why we are tax exempt. You know the bankers will be lobbying hard against us.

To be honest, I could easily write many more paragraphs on the good. Credit unions in Alabama and Florida have added more than 160,000 new members this year and $3 billion in assets. The Cooperative Image Campaign raised awareness by 27 percent through two waves of media buys. However, I want to get across that we have a lot of work to do on the advocacy side. We are seeing some victories and incremental improvement, but we don’t have enough time to continue down this path. Given the debt situation in the U.S., taxation issues will be prominent for the near future. We need to continue to push our proactive agenda on the state and federal side while always educating our lawmakers on our operating structure. Together we can make 2013 a year to remember.     

Send me any feedback to this column. [ Return to Top ]

LSCU Top Headlines
This week's top League headlines

Bachus remains on committee
Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) will remain on the House Financial Services Committee despite being term limited out of his leadership role. New committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) asked that Rep. Bachus remain on the committee as chairman emeritus. Read more on the LSCU Top Stories.

CUNA Top 10 priorities
CUNA has released its top priorities for 2013. In the list of 10, CUNA says that protecting the tax exemption is number one. Also on the list is reducing regulatory burden, housing finance reform, and a new "strategic vision" for the movement.View the full list on the LSCU Top Stories.

ATM fee disclosure rules by state
Last month, Congress voted to eliminate the need for physical ATM fee disclosure signs since the fees are presented electronically to users. This is only a federal law and not covered under state law. In Alabama, only a placard or electronic disclosure is required. In Florida, simply following Reg. E requirements is all that is needed. To read more, visit the LSCU Top Stories

Tallahassee FCU director passes away
Longtime Tallahassee FCU Director Truman Vause passed away Dec. 27, 2012. Vause was elected Treasurer of the credit union board in 1979 after retiring from the federal government. He proudly served on the board and helped further the credit union movement during his 33 years on the board. He was also a credit union member for 57 years. Read more about Vause's life by clicking here.


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Governmental Affairs News
This week in Alabama politics: Senate District 35 run off heating up

District 35 Special Election
Qualifying for the Senate District 35 special election is complete. Three Republicans are vying for the seat vacated by former Sen. Ben Brooks  (R-Mobile). Rep. Jim Barton (R-Mobile), businessman Bill Hightower, and retired Marine Colonel Nick Matranga are running and have their campaigns operating in high gear.

Rep. Barton finished 2012 raising over $200,000 and is poised to raise even more before the Republican primary later this month. Hightower is a very successful businessman and many in Montgomery are wondering how much of his own wealth he will use to finance his campaign. Matranga appears to be a distant third making District 35 a two-man race right now.

The Republican Primary for the district will be on Jan. 29. If none of the candidates receive a majority of the vote, a run-off will be held on March 12.  No Democrats qualified in the election.

Grassroots and PAC Fundraising
The LSCU is hosting 40 attendees at its first Credit Union Quail Hunt at the Doublehead Resort in Town Creek, AL. Participants have the option of hunting in three separate half-day hunts on Friday and Saturday as well as participating in the Trap Shooting Contest Saturday afternoon. All proceeds will go toward the LSCU FEDPAC.   Please visit the LSCU Events Calendar for more information or contact LSCU Grassroots and Political Action Coordinator Blake Westbrook at 866.231.0545 ext. 2164.

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. [ Return to Top ]

This week in Florida politics: How the fiscal cliff affects Florida

Florida Preparing for Legislative Session
The new Florida Legislative session convenes in two months, but much of the real action, especially with the state budget and other major issues, begins next week. Florida is proud of saying it has a part-time legislature, but the work is far longer than the nine weeks of open session. Weeks of committee meetings on bills and workshops for members to study issues are required before the session begins March 5. Committee weeks are scheduled for Jan. 14, Jan. 21, Feb. 4, Feb. 11, and Feb. 18.

Fiscal Cliff Florida
You may already know your taxes are going up this year, even if you're not in the top two percent of money makers. But more bad news from Washington could hit Floridians in the pocketbook soon, including lost government jobs, fewer defense contracts, and smaller raises for Social Security. The last-minute "fiscal cliff" deal between Republicans and President Obama left many remaining challenges and uncertainties, not the surge of consumer confidence that economists say is needed to pull Florida out of its doldrums. The future of Social Security and Medicare, money for such pet projects as Everglades restoration, and thousands of military contract jobs from South Florida to the Panhandle are still at stake in the ongoing battle over how to cut federal spending. Click here for FAQs about how Florida could be affected.

Rick Scott Continues to Work on Image in 2013
The Tampa Bay Times looks at Gov. Rick Scott as he casts himself as a problem solver, but after two years as governor his biggest challenge remains unsolved: himself. Midway through a four-year term, a time when governors traditionally take stock of their highs and lows, Scott remains a polarizing figure, a leader who's still learning the ropes. Once the toast of the tea party, Scott now must work to expand his political base as he seeks a new term in 2014. Slow to grasp the state's shifting political dynamics, he has made course corrections on issues such as immigration, education, health care, and early voting. To read more, visit the Tampa Bay Times website. 

For questions on any of the legislative issues mentioned above, contact LSCU VP, Governmental Affairs Jared Ross, 866.231.0545 ext.1012, or LSCU Director, Legislative Affairs - FL Jennifer Martin, 866.231.0545 ext. 1150.

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

Lawmakers added to CUNA GAC lineup

Credit unions are strongly urged to attend the CUNA GAC in Washington, D.C. Feb. 24-28. Many issues will be discussed during the week, but the visits to lawmakers are the key to the visit. Credit union taxation will be a hot topic this year for the bankers. A large contingent of credit union folks attending will help send a message to the lawmakers that the credit union operating structure is an important choice for members.

Reps. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) have been added to the lineup that already features Tom Brokaw, Jean Chatzky, and Terry McAuliffe. Rep. Hensarling is the new chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and Rep. McCarthy is the House Majority Whip.

For those that have already reserved a room for the CUNA GAC, Monday Jan. 7 is the last day to cancel and receive a full refund. Starting on Jan. 8, all cancellations will be non-refundable. The demand for rooms is great this year and last minute cancellations make it tough to get those on a waiting list in the hotel with their state contingent. 

The LSCU contingent will once again stay in the Grand Hyatt Washington. The hotel is three blocks from the convention center, site of the CUNA GAC. It's also close to many restaurants within walking distance. 

For more information on registering for the CUNA GAC or to reserve your hotel room, visit the LSCU CUNA GAC Resources page. If you have any questions, contact LSCU VP, Governmental Affairs Jared Ross at 866.231.0545 ext. 1012.  [ Return to Top ]

Compliance Corner
League InfoSight highlight: FinCEN extends FBAR filing deadline for certain financial pros

Recognizing the need for further study of related questions and concerns, FinCEN issued Notice 2012-2 on Dec. 26, 2012. This notice further extends the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) filing deadline for a small subset of individuals with only signature authority over certain foreign financial accounts. The filing deadline for those individuals previously identified in Notice 2011-1, Notice 2011-2, and Notice 2012-1 has been extended from June 30, 2013, to June 30, 2014.

All other U.S. persons required to file an FBAR this year are required to meet the June 30, 2013, filing date. Unlike federal income tax returns, extensions of time to file FBARs are generally not available.

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.
[ Return to Top ]

HMDA Exemption Threshold Increased by CFPB

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a final rule in December that adjusts the institution asset-size exemption threshold for credit unions, savings associations, and banks operating under Regulation C, which implements the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).  

Based on the announced adjustments, the institution asset-size exemption for credit unions will increase to $42 million. As a result, those credit unions and other institutions with assets of $42 million or less as of Dec. 31, 2012, are exempt from collecting HMDA data in 2013. An institution's exemption from collecting data in 2013 does not affect its responsibility to report HMDA data it was required to collect and report during 2012.

HMDA requires that the CFPB adjust this threshold yearly by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. 

Read the full final rule on the CFPB's website. Contact LSCU Director, Compliance Training and Information Scott Morris at 866.231.0545 ext. 2165 if you have questions.  [ Return to Top ]

CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report - Week of Jan. 7, 2013

Each week CUNA provides credit unions a wealth of information through its Advocacy Report. The first report for 2013 looks at delinquent mortgage loans held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac falling below one million for the first time since 2009 and a new report by the FDIC on mobile payment risks. 

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

Compliance calendar and training

January 2013

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
Register for the Regulatory Compliance Update next week in Mobile, AL

There's still time to register for next week's Regulatory Compliance Update, Jan. 16, in Mobile, AL, at Blue Flame Credit Union. Speaker Robert Rutkowski will provide the latest on what you need to know across a wide spectrum of compliance issues for 2013 such as:

  • 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. [ Return to Top ]

Education Calendar

Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, Jan. 9
IRA/HSA Review and Update
3 to 4:30 p.m. EST - Webinar

Thursday, Jan. 10
Title Insurance Policies, Commitments and the New Alta Endorsement
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. [ Return to Top ]

Cooperative Initiatives News
Filene Institute brings experiential learning program to CUs

Traditional financial literacy outreach, especially to large groups like students and SEG employees, often falls short. Filene Research Institute is offering an experiential learning colloquium for credit unions in the form of "learning through doing." The program is Jan. 31, 2013, in Atlanta.

This experiential learning colloquium will explore the foundations of the craft and help you ensure that the money you spend reaching out to members actually helps them to make better decisions.

For more information about the program and speakers, click here. To register for the colloquium, click here. [ Return to Top ]

LEVERAGE News
Duval FCU saves 15 percent through LEVERAGE contract negotiations

Duval FCU, based in Jacksonville, utilized LEVERAGE ePurchasing services to evaluate its current contract and obtain competitive bids for armored car services. As part of the initial consultation, LEVERAGE staff reviewed Duval's current pricing as well as the current contract for services. It appeared Duval was locked into its current agreement for another year, and unable to obtain competitive bids so far in advance.

Duval was satisfied with the current provider and wasn’t interested in switching. Through the LEVERAGE negotiation services, which utilizes industry knowledge and current vendor relationships, the ePurchasing team was able to negotiate a 15-percent annual savings in exchange for a three year contract. The credit union was happy that LEVERAGE was able to lock in savings on an existing contract without having to change providers.

While the ePurchasing process can assist credit unions in gathering competitive bids for goods and services, the ePurchasing team can also assist in negotiating contract and provide insight into different purchasing strategies. Achieving savings is still possible, even if a credit union is currently locked into a long-term agreement or wish to remain with a current provider.

For more information about this service, contact a LEVERAGE Business Development Consultant.
[ Return to Top ]

News from You
CFE brightens holidays for foster children

CFE FCU, based in Lake Mary, FL, helped to brighten the holidays for needy kids and families in Central Florida by donating gifts, toys, and gift cards for foster children, plus grocery products to help families who are without food.  

CFE partnered with Devereux and received the names and top three gift wishes of 50 foster children. Every wish on each child’s list was granted. Departments and branches selected their own child to adopt, with employees contributing to their adopted child’s list rather than buying gifts for one another.

“It’s immensely rewarding to know that all of the foster kids adopted by CFE woke up on Christmas morning to new bikes, clothes, shoes, dolls, play kitchens, Legos®, bedding sets, remote control cars, MP3 players, and much more,” said Joseph A. Melbourne, president/CEO of CFE. 

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Five Star opens branch in Bainbridge

Five Star Credit Union, based in Dothan, AL, recently opened a new branch in Bainbridge, GA. Five Star CU now has five locations in Georgia, four locations in Alabama, and an additional four ATM-only locations.

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Redstone gives away Prius in Go Green promotion

Redstone FCU, based in Huntsville, recently  announced the winner of the Toyota Prius from the “Go Green” promotion. Londa McCarver was presented the keys to the vehicle in a ceremony at the Wynn Drive branch office in Huntsville.
 
From June 4 through Dec. 15, 2012, Redstone gave away an iPad 2 every week, with McCarver receiving the grand prize, a Toyota® Prius. Members earned automatic entries upon opening a checking account or adding eStatements, bill pay, or opening any loan with an account that already had a checking account.
 
“We are pleased with the participation of our members. They realize the benefits of going green – the cost savings associated with receiving electronic statements and paying bills electronically,” said Joseph H. Newberry, president/CEO of Redstone FCU.

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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 CU Jobs Center page to view jobs at the LSCU. [ Return to Top ]

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