Login to View Full Member Content:

CURRENT Newsletter

February 26, 2015

We appreciate our loyal readers! Please send your comments and feedback to pr@vacul.org.
Submit news for publication to pr@vacul.org

Headline News

News About Credit Unions

Compliance/Regulatory Affairs News

Financial Services/Marketplace News

Education & Networking Opportunities

News From Credit Unions

Chapter News

Community Involvement

Marketing News

News About The Competition

Headline News

SMART Credit Check: It's a Smart Play for Your Members

For those credit unions participating in the SMART Credit Check initiative from the Credit Unions Care Foundation of Virginia, here's some convincing information to share with your members about the importance of building and maintaining good credit. These articles cover the importance of the credit score and highlight the many and varied ways our credit scores impact our lives.

The goal of the SMART Credit Check program is simple: Ask members and potential members to pull their credit reports and talk with your credit union about it! This offers you the opportunity to help members create an action plan to improve their credit scores, while also providing your credit union the chance to get your consumer-friendly products and services in front of them.

All project resources for SMART Credit Check are made available to you for FREE from the Foundation's Financial Education Committee. The resources that are available to your credit union through this project are like an ultra-expanded version of those off-the-shelf workshops typically costing hundreds of dollars. 


Credit Scores: Three Little Numbers That Add Up to a Lot

Credit scores are most important when it comes to mortgages, said Laura Walton, executive director of TCI Foundation, a nonprofit that provides financial education in Tucson, Arizona. But even if homeownership is of no interest to you and you are simply looking to rent, your credit score still matters.

Landlords routinely check them to decide if you will be a risk. You might be turned down for a rental if you have a poor score, or you're going to have to come up with a lot more security deposit.

Want 0 percent balance transfers? Rewards points? Annual fee waivers? You'll only get these credit card perks if you've got a sterling credit score. Credit card companies determine what interest rates and rewards to offer based on credit score.

[RELATED:  Wow! They Need My Credit Score For That?]

League to Host Congressional Reception on March 10

The U.S. House of Representatives' planned recess the week of CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference is forcing your League to revamp our plans. As you know, we have traditionally hosted our Congressional Luncheon during the week of the GAC. With the planned recess, we've decided instead to invite lawmakers to a March 10 reception at the national Credit Union House.

We'll invite Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and our congressional representatives. We hope the NoVA-based House contingent will attend, including Reps. Barbara Comstock and Don Beyer, as well as credit union champion Gerry Connolly, along with legislative aides for those not in Washington that week.

We plan to hold the reception from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. Invitations to the event will go to all GAC registrants from Virginia, but there will be room for those not attending the GAC. If you don't plan to register for the GAC, but would like to attend to the League's March 10 reception, drop an email to your League's Cathy Baldwin at cbaldwin@vacul.org or register online here.

CEO Summit Set for May 13-15

Our CEO Summit for credit unions with more than $75 million in assets returns to Tides Inn (Irvington) on May 13-15.

Industry leaders will share their ideas and perspectives on credit union trends, challenges, and opportunities.

Education sessions will cover network security, CUNA’s restructuring and upcoming priorities, and what is happening locally at your League.

There will be opportunities for discussion during an open forum as well as networking with peers.

[Download the Brochure]

Credit Union Bills Headed to Governor's Desk

H.B. 1487, the Prize-Linked Savings Accounts bill,  and H.B. 1629, our ATM bill, passed the state Senate by a vote of 38-to-0 late last week. That vote completes the legislative process for our credit union legislation during this session of the General Assembly. The bills now go to Gov. Terry McAuliffe for his signature.

"It's been a good General Assembly session for credit unions and we're pleased that our bill to allow credit unions and banks to offer prize-linked savings programs is headed for the governor's desk," says League President Rick Pillow. "Credit unions still embrace our mission to promote thrift and savings and the authority to offer prize-linked savings programs is simply another opportunity to help our members develop and maintain a savings habit."

"We're also pleased that our bill to cut red tape with regard to the placement of ATMs is on its way to the governor, as well," says Pillow.

Current law requires state-chartered financial institutions to notify state regulators any time they want to place or remove an ATM, which is something federally chartered institutions and others are not required to do. Our bill eliminates that notification requirement, creating parity for our state-chartered institutions.

"We appreciate the good work of our credit unions in lobbying for these two bills during our Credit Union Days at the General Assembly," Pillow notes. "When lawmakers hear that their constituents care about specific legislation, they pay attention. It makes our job in Richmond that much easier."

Our thanks Dels. Greg Habeeb and Kathy Byron, and state Sen. John Cosgrove for introducing these bills on our behalf! The Senate versions of our two bills -- SB 875 (ATM) and SB 737 (prize-linked savings) -- both passed as well!

Annual Meeting Registration Early Bird Deadline March 15

Your League’s 2015 Annual Meeting offers the opportunity to expand your knowledge or advance your career through more than 20 educational and networking events.

We're pleased this year to offer three stellar keynoters as well, including our most recent speaker addition, Credit Union National Association President/CEO Jim Nussle.

Among this year's education sessions for volunteer officials:

(1) Your Board & Learning to Think Strategically - A 7-Step Process for Getting Outside the Box and Discovering Breakthrough Ideas

Strategic thinking is about ideas--ideas that can be translated into actions that produce results.

But getting outside of the box is not easy. This session will show you how and give you tools that will help you take action. We’ll start by defining what the box actually is and why it matters.

Then we’ll talk about how to get outside of the box and provide you with a 7-step process you can use to discover ideas that will take your thinking to the next level regarding the possibilities for your credit union.

(2) It’s Not About the Planning Session - Why Strategic Planning Needs to be on the Agenda at Every Board Meeting

It happens every fall (and sometimes in the spring)--the annual strategic credit union planning session. It is important. It is necessary. And it adds value. But it is not enough.

In this session we’ll identify the value of making strategic planning an agenda item on every Board meeting and provide specific ideas you can use to make strategic planning part of the day-to-day work of the Board to improve your effectiveness in pursuing and achieving your vision for the future.

Early bird registration runs through March 15! We're returning to Roanoke this year and the Historic Hotel Roanoke!


Town Halls Rescheduled

The weather has played havoc on our Town Hall Meetings schedule. The NoVA Chapter event, scheduled for today, will be rescheduled.

The Roanoke Valley Chapter event has been rescheduled for March 3 (10:30 a.m. at Freedom First CU, 5240 Valley Park Drive, Roanoke 24019). The Southwestern Virginia Chapter is the same date (General Francis Hotel in Marion; 6 p.m.)

The Piedmont Chapter Town Hall is rescheduled for March 19 (Stafford Inn, Danville; 6 p.m.).


NCUA, SBA Hosting Joint Webinar; New Resource Webpage Launched

The National Credit Union Administration and the Small Business Administration will host a joint webinar,Balancing Member Business Loan Portfolios with SBA Guarantees, on March 4, at 2 p.m.
This webinar is the first initiative of the new NCUA-SBA partnership. The two agencies signed aMemorandum of Understanding on February 6, outlining a series of educational initiatives during the next three years that include webinars, examiner training on SBA programs, data resources, and media outreach.

During the 90-minute webinar, a panel will discuss what programs SBA offers to small business, how these loan programs can enhance a credit union’s member business lending program, and the requirements for setting up and managing an SBA-loan program. NCUA Chairman Matz and SBA Administrator Contreras-Sweet will provide opening remarks.

Online registration is available here. Participants will also use this link to log into the webinar. Registrants should allow pop-ups from this website.

NCUA's Small Business Lending Resource page provides detailed information about member business lending rules and regulations, supervisory guidance, links to the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) loan programs and other related information.

News About Credit Unions

Theme Sought for ICU Day 2015

The Credit Union National Association is seeking theme ideas for International Credit Union Day, which falls on Oct. 15 this year. ICU Day is our opportunity to celebrate the difference credit unions around the world make in their communities. Theme suggestions are due by March 5. Click here to email.

Here is a list of past themes.

Compliance/Regulatory Affairs News

CFPB May Temporarily Suspend Credit Card Agreement Submissions

Credit card issuers could see a reduced burden for one year under a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposal issued this week.

The proposal would temporarily suspend a requirement that each quarter certain credit card issuers send their agreements to the CFPB.

Credit card issuers' submissions that would otherwise be due to the bureau by April 30, July 31 and Oct. 31 of 2015, and Jan. 31, 2016, would be suspended. Issuers would resume submitting credit card agreements on a quarterly basis starting April 30, 2016.


Financial Services/Marketplace News

Credit Unions Beat Banks in Checking Fees

Credit unions have once again come out on top when it comes to the consumer cost of checking accounts, according to a survey released Thursday by Bankrate.com.

According to data collected by the online aggregator of financial rate information, 72% of the nation’s largest credit unions still offer free standalone checking accounts, compared to just 38% of the nation’s largest banks and thrifts.

An additional 26% of credit unions offer checking accounts that becomes free when certain financial requirements are met, which brings the total to 98% of credit unions, according to Bankrate.com.

“Regulators have pushed many banks off the free-checking bandwagon by cutting fee income in other areas,” McBride said. “Credit unions are subject to the same regulations as banks, but credit unions chose to pull other levers and let the checking accounts remain free.”

[RELATED: Credit Unions: Champ of Low Fees]

Education & Networking Opportunities

League Hosting Risk Management Workshop March 18

Gain a better understanding of how to properly manage the internal and external risks facing your credit union. Our March 18 Risk Management Workshop will cover emerging cyber risks, using a business impact analysis in creating a business continuity plan, and best practices in implementing an effective vendor management program.

Location: Embassy Suites Hotel (Richmond). Registration fee: $215 for a full day of training; additional registrations from the same credit union, only $175.


League's Marketing and Biz Development Council to Hold First-Ever Roundtable March 25

What makes an event successful? What makes up a quality invitation and how do you get the word out? How do you measure ROI on your event? 

Event planning expert Jenn Shultz of EventZone (www.eventzone.org) will be joining us at our first-ever Marketing and Business Development Roundtable March 25 in Roanoke to answer questions and help credit union professionals better prepare for and measure the success of events. It’s fun and affordable, only $25, which covers the cost of lunch. 

When: March 25, 2015, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Freedom First Federal Credit Union, 5240 ValleyPark Dr., Roanoke.


News From Credit Unions

Justice FCU Ready to Offer Special Assistance for Members in the Event of Federal Government Shutdown

Justice Federal Credit Union (Justice FCU) announced that it stands ready to offer special assistance in the form of unsecured, low interest rate loans and deferred payments to Members within components, directorates and offices of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the event of a Federal government shutdown or furlough.


Langley Federal Credit Union Opens First Virginia Beach Location

Langley Federal Credit Union will officially open its first Virginia Beach location on March 9. The Hilltop Branch is located on 741 First Colonial Road, Suite 101 in Virginia Beach, at the Hilltop Market Place Shopping Center (corner of Laskin Road and First Colonial Road).

The branch features Langley’s new ‘signature design’ interior layout and includes a full-service ATM. With this new addition, Langley now has 3 branches on the Southside and 18 branch locations throughout Hampton Roads.


Chapter News

Tidewater Chapter to Host Workshop on March 14

The Tidewater Chapter will host its annual workshop on March 14 on the campus of Old Dominion University. On tap are nine education sessions, plus an overview of the Credit Unions Care Foundation's SMART Credit Check program.

All credit unions, no matter your chapter affiliation, are welcome to attend. Sessions include Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, Compliance Issues for Credit Union Boards, Skip Tracing and Bad Debt Collection, Enterprise Risk Management, and much more!

Registration is only $75 per person, or take advantage of registration discounts when you register a minimum of three people ($70 per person) or five people ($65 per person). Location: ODU's Constant Hall. Time: Registration begins at 8 a.m.; event ends at 1:30 p.m.

Registration deadline is March 11.


Richmond Chapter Annual Meeting March 19

The Richmond Chapter will host its Annual Meeting on March 19. Chapter officer elections will be held. Your League's David Miles will also present a program on League updates.

Location: Doubletree by Hilton Richmond-Midlothian (1021 Koger Center Blvd., Richmond 23235). Time: 5:30 p.m. registration; 6 p.m. dinner. RSVP to Lisa Lambrecht, Richmond Chapter of Credit Unions secretary, at llambrecht@entrustfcu.org.


Community Involvement

We Need Your Help to End Hunger Statewide

Help your Credit Unions Care Foundation and its Community Involvement Committee support the Federation of Virginia Food Banks and its partner agencies. 

Please consider a financial contribution to our Raffle-A-Rama event, which will take place at this year’s Annual Meeting (April 15-17) in Roanoke. 

We’ll use your financial contributions to put together spectacular packages that we’ll then raffle.

This will save you the trouble of purchasing and transporting items, which we’ve asked you to do in past years.

What We Need...

  • Chapters: We’re asking for a financial contribution of at least $250.
  • Credit Unions ($100 million in assets or more): Please consider a financial contribution of at least $250.
  • Credit Unions (Less than $100 million in assets): Please consider a financial contribution of at least $50.

Here’s How You Can Help...

Make checks payable to the Credit Unions Care Foundation of Virginia and forward them to the following address by March 13:

Credit Unions Care Foundation of Virginia
Attn: Mary Amyx
PO Box 11469
Lynchburg, VA 24506

Thank you for your support!

Marketing News

Mastering Hispanic Outreach

Now is a great time to reach out to the Hispanic community. And credit unions can look to their peers for help in reaching the largest, fastest-growing, youngest, and most underserved market in the U.S., credit union experts say in a joint webinar by CUNACoopera, and the Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.

“You don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” says Pablo DeFilippi, the Federation’s vice president of membership and business development.

There are model products and services already employed by credit unions across the country, DeFilippi says. You can learn lessons from their implementation and outreach efforts and get more information from groups like the Federation and Coopera.

Their advice:

• Design products and services specific to the Hispanic market, such as wire transfers, small loans, payday lending alternatives, and nontraditional mortgages.

• Use Matricula Consular, an identification card issued by the Mexican government through its consulate offices to nationals residing outside of Mexico, as an acceptable form of identification.

• Adopt flexible underwriting policies to use a quantitative and qualitative approach to credit, and acknowledge that FICO scores do not tell the whole story of a member’s financial situation.

• Realize that branches are king and can be used effectively to welcome the Hispanic community through designed use of color, Spanish word displays, and Hispanic architectural styles.

• Have staff and board members who look like the membership or potential membership to more easily build trust.

• Support and participate at community events.

• Get assistance from outside organizations such as the Federation and Coopera, which work with credit unions to design products and reach out to the Hispanic community.

• Partner with local organizations that have a history of working with your target Hispanic audience, especially on immigration issues.

• Develop a sister 501(c)(3) organization to do additional public good with financial education, tax assistance, and developmental products to transition the underbanked and unbanked into the financial mainstream. The nonprofit status is beneficial for obtaining grants and supplemental capital.


News About The Competition

Small Banks Have Banner 4th Quarter While Big Banks Stumble

While big banks dragged overall industry earnings down in the fourth quarter due to a boost in legal costs, community institutions had one of their most successful periods in recent memory.

Community bank earnings surged 28% to $4.8 billion during the fourth quarter, compared with a 7.3% decline for the industry as a whole, according to a report released Tuesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Community bank performance was better across the board. Loans made by community banks increased 8.6% in the fourth quarter, compared with a 5.3% increase for the entire industry, while net interest margins for small banks were 3.63%, 51 basis points higher than the industry average and the largest spread in eight years.

More than one quarter of the loans made by the industry in 2014 were originated by community banks.


CURRENT Newsletter Archives

Archived Editions of the League's CURRENT Newsletter