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CURRENT Newsletter

February 12, 2016

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

Headline News

News About Credit Unions

Compliance/Regulatory Affairs News

Governmental Affairs News

News From Credit Unions

Financial Education News

Headline News

House Committee Offers Its Own CU Merger Bill; Sidelines Public Deposits Legislation

The House Commerce and Labor Committee Thursday afternoon unveiled its own proposal for voluntary mergers among state-chartered credit unions and tabled our public deposits bill without discussion.

With 50 credit union advocates sitting in the audience, House Commerce and Labor Committee Chairman Terry Kilgore (R-Scottsville) unveiled a chairman’s substitute bill on the merger legislation. His version, which passed unanimously, would allow unlike charters to merge once every 24 months if at least one of the credit unions has fewer than 15,000 members, and with the added requirement that both credit unions party to the merger be state-chartered institutions.

The bill to allow credit unions to accept public deposits was tabled, leaving the House version of the legislation dead for this session.

The League had offered a compromise merger bill to the Commerce and Labor Committee after receiving feedback on our original charter flexibility bill. The chairman’s substitute added restrictions that stray significantly from the original intent of credit unions’ proposal.

The League also offered a compromise public deposits bill that would have capped accounts containing public funds at $250,000, the amount of coverage currently provided per account through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.  

The Virginia Bankers Association remained staunchly opposed to both bills.

“Credit unions fought hard for this legislation and there is no question that we’re disappointed that bankers have been allowed to hold hostage legislation that would have modernized the regulation of credit unions,” said League President Rick Pillow. “The legislative process is a marathon, not a sprint, and we’ll keep fighting until the final gavel falls. We’ll see what comes Monday at the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.”

The Senate versions of the legislation are scheduled to be considered in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on Monday.

[READ MORE]

Help Us Help Our Local Food Banks! Participate in Raffle-A-Rama Campaign

The Credit Unions Care Foundation of Virginia is excited about the opportunity to partner with our local food banks in 2016. We’re collecting donations now for the Raffle-A-Rama event at the League Annual Meeting (April 20-22 in Norfolk). Our Raffle-A-Rama provides Annual Meeting attendees, and anyone interested in purchasing a ticket online, the chance to win one of our fantastic prize packages. Thanks to the generosity of our credit unions, chapters and business partners, who provide us with monetary contributions toward the cause, we’re able to offset the cost of purchasing these prize packages.

What We're Asking...

  • 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 18:

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

Thank you for your support!

Aid Our Advocacy Efforts: Report Your Good Works Through Our Reality Check Survey!

Credit unions: Please help us showcase your good works on behalf of your members and communities by completing our Reality Check Survey. The survey covers calendar year 2015 and all we’re asking for is an overview of your short-term small loans ($3,000 or less) and your community involvement initiatives.

We use aggregate data compiled in this survey to produce our Impact Report. Our Impact Report was among the documents we provided to lawmakers during our recent Storm The Hill event. Your participation is greatly appreciated; we cannot collect this data from any source other than you!

[COMPLETE THE 10-QUESTION SURVEY]
[DOWNLOAD THE LATEST IMPACT REPORT]

Annual Meeting Registration is Now Open!

Register now for the 2016 League Annual Meeting! We’re in Norfolk at the Waterside Marriott, April 20-22.

Congressional Luncheon Feb. 24; Register Today

Make sure you have a seat reserved for this year’s Congressional Luncheon. It’s on Feb. 24 during the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference, but you need not be registered for the GAC to attend. You can register now online.

Reps. Wittman, Forbes, Rigell, Connolly, Brat, Beyer, Hurt, and Comstock have already said they are coming (barring a vote calling them to the floor). We hope to see our senators, as well. (Sen. Warner has not missed a luncheon yet.)

This is a great opportunity to show our federal lawmakers what we showed our state lawmakers in Richmond recently. Credit union members care about their credit unions! Join us and demonstrate your grassroots commitment to the credit union cause!

Nussle Thanks CFPB for Saying PALs Not Included in Payday Proposal

As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) prepares to release a proposed rule for short-term, small-dollar loans, acting bureau Deputy Director David Silberman agreed during questioning Thursday that credit union Payday Alternative Loans (PALs) should be exempt from the proposal.

“I would like to thank the CFPB for agreeing that the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) PAL program should not be preempted in the forthcoming rulemaking for small dollar and payday loans during an exchange at today’s hearing with Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.),” said Jim Nussle, president/CEO of Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

[READ MORE]
[related story below: State AGs, Lawmakers Tell CFPB to Back Off on Payday Rule]

News About Credit Unions

CUs Poised to Maintain Strong Growth in 2016: CUNA Forecast

In 2016, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) expects credit unions to match or even surpass the strong year of loan and membership growth they enjoyed last year.

According to the 2016 CUNA Economic and CU Forecast, credit union loan balances will climb 9% this year, while membership growth will jump 3%.

“Loan growth this year will be marginally lower than the impressive loan growth of last year,” said Perc Pineda, CUNA senior economist. In 2015, loan growth accelerated at its fastest pace in a decade.

“As the economy continues to expand, we expect households to continue to release pent-up demand for autos, furniture and appliances over the next year, but at a slightly lower pace,” Pineda added. “New-auto loans, credit card loans and purchase-mortgage loans will remain strong growth areas.”

Credit union savings balances will jump 6% in 2016 after rising 6.2% in 2015, according to the report.

[READ MORE]

Final MBL Rule on NCUA’s Feb. 18 Meeting Agenda

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) will vote on a final member business lending (MBL) rule at its Feb. 18 board meeting. Also on the agenda is a quarterly report on the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.

The NCUA proposed the MBL rule at its June 2015 board meeting. It would create a category of “commercial” loans for safety and soundness purposes, utilizing the MBL category for compliance with the Federal Credit Union Act’s limitations on member business lending.

[READ MORE]

Compliance/Regulatory Affairs News

Cyber Risk Tool Now 'Voluntary' in Name Only, FIs Fear

A cybersecurity assessment tool designed to help financial institutions bolster their defenses against hackers and other cybercriminals is continuing to sow confusion within the industry, with some arguing it is effectively imposing tougher standards.

Since its release in June by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, regulators have insisted the tool is purely voluntary. But some state regulators have strongly urged FIs to incorporate it into their risk and preparedness self-evaluations, feeding concerns that the guidelines are mandatory in all but name.

"Everybody understands there's sort of quotes around voluntary," said Kevin Petrasic, a banking industry lawyer and former official at the Office of Thrift Supervision. "The last thing you want to have is a warning shot fired by the examiner that the bank doesn't heed." (American Banker, Feb. 8)

Governmental Affairs News

State AGs, Lawmakers Tell CFPB to Back Off on Payday Rule

State regulators and House lawmakers warned the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau not to preempt state laws when the agency issues its proposal to regulate payday-type loans.

Speaking at a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing on Thursday, several Republicans argued that the states were doing a good job in regulating such products.

"I find it offensive that you would say that people aren't smart enough to make decisions for themselves," said Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah. "So you have to go into states, you have to go into cities, you have to go into all these other places to say, 'trust Washington, we know what's best for you. … don't worry, your states aren't doing a great job. They don't understand what your needs are, we understand more than anybody else.'"

The hearing, which was titled "The CFPB's Assault on Access to Credit and Trampling of State and Tribal Sovereignty," was clearly prestaged to criticize the CFPB's plan to regulate short-term, small-dollar loans. The agency's acting No. 2, David Silberman, repeatedly denied that the agency was planning to preempt state laws. He emphasized that the plan would only set a floor that states could go beyond. (American Banker, Feb. 12)

News From Credit Unions

Bronco FCU Donates $25,363 to Children's Hospital

Bronco Federal Credit Union recently had the privilege of presenting the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters a check for over $25,000. This money was raised at BFCU’s 19th annual golf tournament along with a matching grant provided by CO-OP.  Bronco is proud to have donated almost $100,000 to CHKD in the past 5 years. 

[READ MORE

Virginia Credit Union Board Names Chris Shockley as Next President/CEO

The Board of Directors of Virginia Credit Union has selected Christopher M. Shockley as the next President/CEO of the $2.9 billion member-owned financial cooperative effective March 31. Shockley, an executive with Virginia Credit Union since 2003, will succeed Jane G. Watkins. Watkins is retiring following 34 years with Virginia Credit Union and 16 as its President /CEO. Shockley has been Executive Vice President at Virginia Credit Union since 2007. He joined the credit union in 2003 following a 14-year career in retail banking in Virginia and North Carolina.

[READ MORE]

Northwest Federal's Nonprofit Partnership Program Accounts for Over One-Third of New Membership in 2015

Northwest Federal’s innovative Community Partners Program closed out 2015 with nine new partnerships ranging from nonprofits supporting the animal rescue to a trail conservation club. The program, unique to credit unions, invests in communities by allowing new members at Northwest to support local nonprofit initiatives.

Community Partners are able to use program funds to further their charitable activities ranging from scholarships to hands-on work. The organizations may also apply for grants from Northwest Federal and their members may join the credit union.

[READ MORE]

Chartway FCU and its Divisions Now Accepting Directors’ Memorial Scholarship Applications

Chartway Federal Credit Union and its divisions of HeritageWest and SouthWest Community, is excited to announce that it is now accepting applications for its 2016 Directors’ Memorial Scholarship program. The credit union and its divisions will award seven student members with $3,000 scholarships, totaling $21,000 in academic aid.

[READ MORE]

Belvoir Federal Wins One of Three CU Awards for Mortgage Production

Belvoir Federal Credit Union was presented with The Platinum Award for exceeding $20 million in 2015’s mortgage loan production from Credit Union Mortgage Association, Inc. Belvoir Federal was one of three credit union partners of Credit Union Mortgage Association, Inc. to receive a top producer award for 2015 loan closings. 

Belvoir Federal Named One of the Best Places to Work in Virginia Three Years Running

For the third year running, Belvoir Federal Credit Union was named one of the 2016 Best Places to Work in Virginia. The annual list of the Best Places to Work in Virginia was created by Virginia Business and Best Companies Group, who announced the final rankings at the awards luncheon on Jan. 28, in Williamsburg.

[READ MORE]

Belvoir Federal’s Marketing and Public Relations Manager Earns CMP Accreditation

Belvoir Federal Credit Union’s Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Amy McConnell, has earned the esteemed designation of a Certified Marketing Professional (CMP) from the nationally acclaimed Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

[READ MORE]

Financial Education News

CUs Encouraged to Attend Foundation’s America Saves Twitter Chat on Feb. 17

To celebrate America Saves Week 2016, the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) is hosting a Twitter chat for credit unions on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. The Foundation invites credit unions to discuss their activities encouraging members to save money and build wealth.

[READ MORE]


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