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CURRENT Newsletter

July 30, 2015

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Headline News

News About Credit Unions

Compliance/Regulatory Affairs News

Financial Services/Marketplace News

News From Credit Unions

Financial Education News

Technology News

Headline News

Panel Passes CUNA-Backed Relief Bills, House Passes REINS Act

All four CUNA-backed regulatory relief bills were approved by the U.S. House Financial Services Committee Wednesday after a two-day markup. The bills were part of a package of 14 voted on over the two days. They will now be sent along to the full House for consideration.

“We appreciate the committee approving these important regulatory relief measures,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA’s chief advocacy officer. “Each of the four addresses a present concern for credit unions: ensuring that credit unions are not unduly pressured to close certain member accounts, providing accommodation in the qualified mortgage rule by treating mortgages held in portfolio as qualified mortgages, bringing fairness to the examination process by providing an independent appeals process, and giving credit unions the time they need to transition to new mortgage lending disclosure and regulations."


League to Host Quarterly Compliance Hot Topics Webinar Aug. 5

Join your League's compliance staff for our free quarterly Hot Topics webinar, slated for Aug. 5 at 2:30 p.m. Space is limited, so register now to ensure your spot!


Ultimate Laser Tag, Networking Event Set for Sept. 17; Have Some Fun and Support VACUPAC!

Your League’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) will be hosting our very first fundraising event to benefit the Virginia Credit Union Political Action Committee (VACUPAC) – and we need your help!

The Ultimate Laser Tag & Networking Event will be held at Laser Quest in Virginia Beach Sept. 17. The event is a cost-effective and fun way for credit union professionals to network and have a good time while raising money for a worthy cause. Please consider helping us put on this event through one of our sponsorship opportunities (either as a prize sponsor or by donating a door prize), and please save the date to come join us in Virginia Beach. All ages welcome!!!

Find the sponsorship and the event registration forms here!

League Hosting Asset Liability Management Workshop Sept. 16

Sharpen your skills and further your understanding of the impact of changing market conditions on the soundness of your credit union's balance sheet. Your League will host an Asset Liability Management Workshop on Sept. 16 in Richmond.

The workshop is tailored specifically for middle and senior managers at credit unions involved in Asset/Liability reporting and monitoring. Topics will include the role of the Asset Liability Committee (ALCO), a step-by-step guide to ALM modeling, ALM from a board perspective and investments.


CEO Forum Set for Sept. 23-25

Join us Sept. 23-25 in Virginia Beach for your League's CEO Forum. Sessions will include goal setting, including how to translate your organizational goals into individual and departmental expectations; bringing your credit union's culture to life; ensuring your marketing works and delivers a return on your investment; preparing for your NCUA exam; and a panel discussion featuring CEOs/managers from high-performing small- to mid-sized credit unions sharing their best practices.


Fed Continues to Hold Off on Rate Increase

The Federal Reserve remains on track to raise interest rates later this year, and perhaps as soon as its next policy meeting in mid-September, as economic growth continues to meet its expectations.

The Fed issued an upbeat assessment of economic conditions on Wednesday after a two-day meeting of its policy-making committee. While growth remains disappointing by past standards, the Fed said the economy continued to expand at a “moderate” pace, which is driving “solid job gains and declining unemployment.”

The statement suggested officials didn’t need to see much more progress before they started to increase their benchmark rate, which they have held near zero since December 2008. The Fed, which said after the last meeting, in June, of the Federal Open Market Committee that it wanted to see “further improvement” in labor markets, said on Wednesday that “some further improvement” would now suffice.


Bank Bill Seeks Parity With NCUA Authority

Several banking and credit union bills are being marked up and debated in Congress in the final days before congressional members leave for August recess. Among them is a bill, S. 1799, by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) called the Community Bank Sensible Regulation Act of 2015 that will be a “game changer” for community banks, according to American Banker.

The bill was added to a financial service appropriations bill last week and would allow financial regulators to exempt community banks, with fewer than $10 billion of assets, from what would be considered unnecessary or burdensome requirements. Credit unions are not mentioned in the bill, but the NCUA said Monday that it already has that authority and puts it to use.


Upcoming Community Involvement Opportunities

Lots of great opportunities to make a difference in your community!
- Miracle Treat Day (July 30) - Buy a BLIZZARD dessert at a participating Dairy Queen today and $1 will be donated to your local Children's Miracle Network Hospital. It's a great way to beat the summer heat and help kids! Learn more here.

- Miracle Jeans Day (Sept. 9 or a Day of Your Choosing) - The popular fundraiser for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals returns  Sept. 9 (although you're free to schedule your event on a day of your choosing). Learn more here.

- Help Support Our Local Food Banks Through Backpack Campaign (August/September)

Join us in September (or August) for our Feeding The Future Backpack Campaign and help us raise funds or provide items (food drive) for the various school backpack programs at our local food banks.

We strongly encourage you to solicit contributions in your branches and place banner ads on your website soliciting online donations.

Online donation link: (Members can choose the food to which they would like to donate).

We ask that any donations collected in-branch by your credit union be sent to the Credit Unions Care Foundation of Virginia at:

Credit Unions Care Foundation of Virginia
Attn: Food Bank Donation
PO Box 11469
Lynchburg, VA 24506

We’ll ensure your credit union receives credit for the donation, but by funneling your contributions through the Foundation, we will consider matching funds for your donation and we’ll be able to better track contributions to our new charity partner, the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. We appreciate your support!

And don’t forget the volunteer opportunities! Contact your local food bank’s volunteer coordinator.

Virginia Credit Union Donates $1,000 in Support of Local Food Bank

Many thanks to Virginia Credit Union for donating $1,000 to their local food banks in support of our Backpack Campaign. We hope that you're planning to aid our efforts as well with food collections and fundraising. And special thanks to the credit union for routing its donation through the Foundation!

By doing so, you're helping build brand recognition for the Foundation, while still getting full credit and publicity value of the donation. Plus, the Foundation can consider matching a portion of any donations routed through it by credit unions.


News About Credit Unions

What CFPB's Action Against Captives Means to CUs

With three of the largest automakers' captive finance companies squarely in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's sights, should credit unions be worried or gleeful about how that could impact their own auto lending efforts?

Jeremy Pinard, VP of Consumer Lending for Chicago-based Alliant CU, said the answer from the credit union perspective clearly is "yes" to both questions.

According to Pinard, the CFPB's recent action sends a "clear message" to the market: simple, transparent, consumer-friendly pricing models are the way forward with indirect auto lending.

"Alliant, and most other credit unions, already operate this way," Pinard asserted. "So, we believe the CFPB's actions further level the playing field for us and create more opportunity for credit unions in indirect auto lending."

[READ MORE] (subscription to Credit Union Journal may be required)

Compliance/Regulatory Affairs News

Matz Says Supplemental Capital, FOM are on Fall Timeline

Proposed rules on supplemental capital and field of membership will be put forward by the National Credit Union Administration in the fall, NCUA Chair Debbie Matz said Tuesday. Speaking during a town hall webinar, Matz said credit unions can expect regulatory relief this year in at least those two areas, in addition to previous proposals.

Also of note: An NCUA website for capturing member complaints will be live by early September, said Gail Laster, director of the NCUA’s Office of Consumer Protection.

[RELATED: NCUA Town Hall Addresses Rules, Fraud and Cybersecurity]

Financial Services/Marketplace News

Average Age of Cars on U.S. Roads Breaks Record

The average age of vehicles on the road in the U.S. is rising, even as consumers snap up more new vehicles -- a paradox attributable to substantial increases in reliability.

The typical car on the road in the U.S. is a record-high 11.5 years old, according to a new IHS Automotive survey.

Yet Americans are buying cars at an annualized rate of more than 17 million vehicles, marking a high not seen since before the Great Recession.

How are vehicles getting older, while Americans are buying newer cars, too?

Simple. Consumers are buying new vehicles at a faster pace and are less likely to scrap old cars that are still running fine.


More American Savers Skimp on Retirement Plans

Americans are saving more, just not in their employer-sponsored retirement plans, according to a newanalysis by retirement market researcher Hearts & Wallets.

Average annual household savings increased almost a full percentage point to 5.5 percent last year, up from 4.6 percent in 2013, based on Hearts & Wallets' annual survey of 5,500 U.S. households. (The personal savings rate this May was 5.1 percent, according to the latest release from the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis.)

But the percentage of household savings that went into employer-sponsored retirements plans like 401(k)s fell 7 percentage points to 22 percent in 2014, and households participating in employer-sponsored plans declined to 56 percent last year from 60 percent in 2013.


Home Prices Flatten in Potential Good News for Buyers

The rate of home-price appreciation has slowed, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index for May, which economists say is a good sign more potential buyers will soon be able to afford to buy. After home prices increased at low double-digit percentage rates per month in 2013, price gains per month this year have hovered just above 4%.

A recent report from the National Association of Realtors was somewhat misleading. NAR said median home prices in June reached $236,400, breaking a record set in 2006 at the peak of the housing bubble. But median home prices are misleading and there is little reason to think a new housing bubble is forming. (Wall Street Journal, July 28)

Millennials Not So Credit Shy After All

Millennials have a reputation for steering clear of high-interest plastic in favor of cash, prepaid cards and debit. According to a widely cited survey, for example, more than a third of millennials have never even owned a credit card.

Burdened by record levels of student loan debt and a competitive job market that has yet to fully recover from the Great Recession, many millennials are thought to be distrustful of major banks and high-interest credit and are referred to in various press reports as being "cautious," "skittish" and "spooked" by debt.

A spate of recent studies released this summer, however, suggests that millennials' appetite for credit may be stronger than they're given credit for. An internal analysis by the credit scoring giant FICO, for example, found that millennials are more likely than other age groups to have recently shopped for a new loan. They're also more likely than older generations to have just recently applied for and received a new credit card.


[RELATED: Millennials Turn to Car Leasing]

News From Credit Unions

Virginia-Based CUs Win Golden Mirror Marketing Awards

Congrats to the following Virginia-based credit unions for capturing Golden Mirror Awards from the Credit Union Executives Society for their marketing and advertising efforts!

  • Print and Outdoor Advertising
    Member One Federal Credit Union - 2nd Place - “We're From Here”
  • Web and Digital
    URW Community Federal Credit Union - 2nd Place - "Zombie Invasion"
  • Website
    Member One Federal Credit Union - 1st Place - "Save This. Buy That."

Metropolitan Church Federal Credit Union Announces Scholarship Winners

Metropolitan Church Federal Credit Union located in Suffolk, recently announced the awarding of three scholarships totaling $2,250 to recent graduates who are furthering their education. 


Belvoir FCU: $4,000 Awarded in Scholarship Funds for Higher Education

Belvoir Federal Credit Union awarded two members a $2,000 scholarship to help defray educational expenses for higher education.

Belvoir Federal is honored to continue the annual scholarship fund with GEICO. Over the last 10 years of this partnership, the organizations have awarded more than $30,000 to members by providing a great opportunity to further their education and help them make an impact in the community.


Member One FCU Sponsors Internationally Acclaimed Artist

Member One Federal Credit Union is a sponsor of Taubman Museum of Art’s current exhibit, "Vik Muniz: Poetics of Perception"and specifically, the screening of the award-winning documentary "Waste Land."

Modern artist Vik Muniz works with so-called “catadores,” the men and women who pick through waste to create art out of recycled materials located just outside Rio de Janeiro, Jardim Gramacho, Brazil. 


CommonWealth One’s New High-Tech Branch at James Madison University Opens Aug. 3

A new member-focused branch for students and faculty will open Aug. 3 in the Madison Union building on the campus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg.

Located directly next to the post office, the new branch will offer state-of-the-art advances in member service, as well as in operational efficiency.


DCCU Announces Opening of Third Harrisonburg Location

DuPont Community Credit Union (DCCU) is pleased to announce the opening of its third Harrisonburg location. The approximately 5,200-square-foot facility is situated on the corner of South High Street and Erickson Avenue and officially opened July 20.


BayPort CU Provides Services to Local Seniors Residing at The Chesapeake

BayPort Credit Union recently began providing financial services to the residents and staff of The Chesapeake, a retirement community located in Newport News.  A ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the occasion on July 23.

The Chesapeake, a division of Virginia Baptist Homes, opened its doors more than 45 years ago to serve area seniors. Today 400 residents make their home there, and the community employs 275 staff members.


Northwest Federal Campaign Celebrates Members, Wins International Awards

Northwest Federal Credit Union recently received three accolades from the Communicatoir Awards, a leading international awards program honoring outstanding ideas in marketing and communications. The award-winning spots were part of the Credit Union’s larger “Why Do I Northwest?” campaign, a multi-channel brand awareness initiative focused on the reasons members chose Northwest Federal for financial services.


Financial Education News

8 Rules for Raising Money Smart Kids

Should parents let teens spend with a prepaid card? What happens if kids run up charges on the family cell-phone bill? Should children be allowed to download games to Dad's iPad?

The circumstances may change, but you are guaranteed to raise kids with sound financial values if you follow these eight guidelines.


Technology News

USAA Launches New App to Help Millennials Save

USAA is launching a standalone app designed to help millennials and other members begin a new habit: saving.

Several studies have shown that millennials are reluctant to put aside funds. Individuals aged 35 and younger had a negative savings rate of 2% in 2014, according to data from Moody's Analytics.

The app, Savings Coach, was built with voice recognition and text-to-speech technology provider Nuance Communications, with whom USAA partners for some of its other apps.

The app crunches financial transaction data to recommend daily amounts of money to put into savings but also layers in atypical features like text and voice command technology and gaming.

It moves money into savings after a person completes a challenge like eating-in rather than ordering a pizza, for example. (American Banker, July 29)

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