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CURRENT Newsletter | 10 October 2013

Oct 10, 2013 by Lewis Wood

News and Information For and About Virginia's Credit Union System

Headline News

News About Credit Unions

Governmental Affairs News

Financial Services/Marketplace News

Education & Networking Opportunities

News From Credit Unions

Chapter News

Marketing News

Financial Education

Community Involvement

Security/Fraud Prevention

Technology News

Headline News

Central Virginia Chapter Hosts Lawmakers for Legislators’ Breakfast

In lively discussion at the Wednesday morning legislators’ breakfast hosted by the Central Virginia chapter, lawmakers urged political involvement by credit unions, and credit unions illustrated why they still earn a tax exemption.

Thirty credit union members heard this morning from state Sen. Emmett Hanger (R-24) and state Delegates Dickie Bell (R-20) and Ben Cline (R-24).

[read more] (via The Advocate Blog)

Lynchburg Chapter Hosts Local Lawmakers During Annual Legislative Night

The Lynchburg Chapter hosted Dels. Lacey Putney (I-19), Scott Garrett (R-23) and Matt Fariss (R-59) at the Chapter's Annual Legislative Night. The Oct. 8 event drew 40 credit union supporters to Beacon Credit Union's headquarters.

[read more] (via The Advocate Blog)

'Quit The Hit' Seeking Volunteers for Roanoke, Martinsville Events

Your League has been attending various festivals and events throughout Virginia this Fall to showcase Quit the Hit and continue to drive consumers to QuitTheHit.com to learn more about credit unions. Thanks to our credit union volunteers, the “Quit the Hit” photo booth has been a huge success so far in reaching our targeted audience (ages 18-35).

There are ONLY two festivals left in 2013 for your chance to volunteer:

  • Anthem GO Outside Festival - Oct. 19, Roanoke
  • Martinsville Race - Oct. 25-27, Martinsville

Come out and enjoy the fun! If you are interested in helping out at any of these events or know someone who is, please contact your League’s Bethany Scott at 800.768.3344, ext. 628 or bscott@vacul.org. Let us know by noon, Oct. 11.

NCUA Unveils Upcoming CU Exam Changes

Changes that will streamline credit union examination reports and improve the overall exam process by setting clearer expectations for credit unions and examiners will be introduced on Jan. 1,  the National Credit Union Administration said in a letter to credit unions (13-CU-09) released Tuesday.

The Credit Union National Association has long sought the kind of changes provided in this NCUA letter, Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn noted. The NCUA noted it considered feedback from credit union industry officials as it developed these changes. The agency also incorporated recommendations from the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the NCUA's own Office of Inspector General.

[read more]

In Congress: A Deal to Be Had?

All eyes remain fixed on Washington this week, as patience wears thin and lawmakers try to come up with an agreement to end the government shutdown and avert the looming debt ceiling. Reports in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and elsewhere note that signs of a deal between the Democrats and Republicans may be starting to emerge. GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin shared a plan with fellow conservatives on Wednesday that would raise the debt ceiling temporarily, buying lawmakers more time to come up with a comprehensive deficit-reduction agreement.

House Republicans are set to meet with President Obama today for the first time since the shutdown began on Oct. 1. The President will hold a separate White House meeting with the Senate Democratic Caucus. Meanwhile, the House is scheduled to consider a piecemeal funding bill that would cover border-security programs. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to move to proceed to a measure (S. 1569) that would raise the debt limit through the end of 2014.

[related: CUNA Watching Budget Talks For Tax Impact]
[related: Reasons To Stay Tough On CU Tax Status]
[related: A Handful Away? The House Republicans Who’ve Had Enough]

CUNA Offering Spanish Language Webinar on Getting Members Involved in 'Don't Tax My CU' Efforts

On Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 3 p.m.,  please join CUNA’s Advocacy staff and CUNA's exclusive alliance partner, Coopera, to learn about engaging Spanish-speaking members to help protect the credit union tax status. CUNA and Coopera have partnered to introduce new Spanish resources available as a part of the national "Don't Tax My Credit Union" campaign or "No Le Cobren Impuestos a Mi Credit Union," in Spanish.

Learn about the key Spanish message points for Spanish-speakers, the new tools that are available, and how to use them. Since this webinar is designed for credit union leadership and bilingual staff working with Spanish-speaking members, please feel free to share this information with the appropriate credit unions who would be interested in participating. This is a complimentary webinar offered to affiliated credit unions, however registration is required to attend. Please click on the link to register.

What Are You Doing to Aid Members Affected by the Shutdown?

Your League is gathering information on how credit unions are assisting members who are furloughed due to the government shutdown. Please send information to pr@vacul.org.

This information may be shared with legislative offices to show how credit unions go the extra mile for their members.
[related: Federal Regulators To Financial Institutions: Work With Furloughed Employees]

News About Credit Unions

Consumer Credit Increases 5.5% In August, CUs See Rise

U.S. consumer credit increased a seasonally adjusted 5.5% or $13.6 billion in August, for a total of $3.036 trillion borrowed during the month, according to the Federal Reserve's Consumer Credit report. Money borrowed from credit unions totaled $259.9 billion. The Fed report was released Monday afternoon. At credit unions, borrowing climbed by $3.4 billion to $259.9 billion from the $256.5 billion in July. [read more]

CUNA Mutual Ending Life Savings Insurance; Draws Press Coverage

The decision by CUNA Mutual to discontinue Life Savings Certificate Insurance, made the news this week. CUNA Mutual started offering Life Savings Certificate Insurance in 1938, during the Great Depression, as an incentive to encourage saving.

The certificate was group term life insurance that paid a benefit based on the amount of savings a depositor maintained.

[read more]
[related: CUNA Mutual Ends Life Savings Insurance]

CUNA: Reducing Mortgage Limits Would Disrupt Housing Recovery

Reducing the size of mortgages that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can finance "would have a very disruptive impact on the availability of affordable housing credit," the ongoing housing recovery and the economy as a whole, the Credit Union National Association said in a joint letter sent to Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Ed DeMarco Wednesday.

The letter follows a recent FHFA announcement that it is considering reducing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limits. Any change would be implemented on Jan. 1, 2014.

[read more]

Governmental Affairs News

'Casual for a Cause' Returns Oct. 17

The Legislative Committee of the Richmond Chapter introduced a promotion last year called “Casual For A Cause," during which credit unions were asked to allow their staff to dress casual in exchange for a donation to the Virginia Credit Union Political Action Committee (VACUPAC). This event raised $2,500 in one day for VACUPAC with participation from 13 credit unions. With such great success and support last year, the Legislative Committee has decided to hold this promotion again this year. The promotion will be held on Oct. 17, International Credit Union Day.  You get to choose the definition of “casual."

The Chapter is also introducing this through social media. So, if you “like” this idea, then “like” Casual For A Cause on Facebook! Go to facebook.com/casualforacause and become a fan to stay up-to-date on donation totals, educational information about VACUPAC, and the photos from International Credit Union Day!

Participate in the chatter – update your credit union percentages, share ideas you have to increase employee participation, encourage your staff to “like” (as well as donate) to show their credit union support!
> Other Chapters are welcome to borrow the idea from the Richmond Chapter!

Financial Services/Marketplace News

Weekly Drop in U.S. Economic Confidence Largest Since '08

Americans' confidence in the economy has deteriorated more in the past week during the partial government shutdown than in any week since Lehman Brothers collapsed on Sept. 15, 2008, which triggered a global economic crisis. Gallup's Economic Confidence Index tumbled 12 points to -34 last week, the second-largest weekly decline since Gallup began tracking economic confidence daily in January 2008.

[read more]

[related: Small-business Owners' Confidence Slips Amid Economic Concern]
[related: Hampel Discusses Furlough, Deficit Impact On Economy With MarketWatch]
[related: 4 ways a debt ceiling crisis could affect you]
[related: How the 14th Amendment Comes into Play]
[related: Don't Want to Raise Debt Ceiling? Get Ready for Austerity]
[related: No Way US Would Allow Debt Default? Don't Bet On It]
[related: Debt-Ceiling Standoff Threatens America’s Global Leadership]
[related: Foroohar: The Debt Ceiling Crisis Is Threatening Your Quality of Life]
[related: 5 things President Obama forgot to say about a U.S. default]

Refinance Applications Improve Again; Purchases Fall

The modest revival in refinancing applications continued again last week as mortgage interest rates retreated again. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of all mortgage application volume, increased 1.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis and 1 percent on an unadjusted basis during the week ended Oct. 4.

The increase was solely due to a pickup in applications for refinancing which increased from a 63 percent share of all applications to 64 percent.  The Refinancing Index was up 3 percent from its level during the week ended Sept. 27, the highest for the index since Aug. 9. Applications for home purchases languished with both the seasonally adjusted and unadjusted purchase indices down by 1 percent from the previous week. 

[read more]

Foreclosure Inventory Plummets 34%

Completed foreclosures dropped 34% year-over-year in August 2013, according to data from CoreLogic. As a whole, August’s completed foreclosures hit 48,000 filings, down from 72,000 filings in August 2012. From a month ago, completed foreclosures grew a slight 1.3% from 47,000 actions in July 2013. [read more]

Yellen as Americans’ Favorite Shows Fed Is Captured by Democracy

For better or worse, the Federal Reserve is no longer detached from public opinion about how the 100-year-old central bank should be run. President Barack Obama nominated Janet Yellen Wednesday to succeed Ben S. Bernanke as Fed chief after unparalleled scrutiny during the selection process. (Bloomberg, Oct. 9)

[related: White House to Nominate Janet Yellen to Head Federal Reserve]

CFPB: Student Loan Debt Hijacks the Housing Recovery

Nothing is hurting the housing recovery in such a nuanced way as student loan debt, according to Rohit Chopra, the student loan ombudsman for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  [read more]

Include All Credit Unions in CFPB Complaint Data: Report

The CFPB’s online complaint database should be extended to include all the nation’s credit unions and banks, regardless of size, a new report says. Federal regulators also should further investigate CFPB complaint data for possible violations of consumer protection and anti-discrimination laws, because there were differences found in reporting levels between predominantly minority and non-minority communities, according to the report released Tuesday by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

[read more]
[related: HMDA Re-submission Schedule, Guidelines Released By CFPB]

Education & Networking Opportunities

Compliance Conference Oct. 16-18; Register Today

Your League has put together a distinguished faculty for its 2013 Fall Compliance Conference, which will be held in Williamsburg, from Oct. 16 through 18. Please register your employees today to ensure they're prepared to address your credit union's most pressing compliance concerns.

  • Day one will focus on lending discrimination and the fair lending regulations—areas that will receive stepped-up scrutiny by examiners and regulators in the very near future. 
  • Day two will focus on internal controls and other tools to help your credit union avoid losses from internal and external fraud—an area where NCUA may soon be changing its examination focus.
  • Day three will focus on three areas of Virginia law that any credit union employee must know and understand: powers of attorney, unclaimed property and safe deposit boxes.

You can register for the conference or learn more about it here.

Front Line Fraud Conference Oct. 30; Early Bird Registration Discount Available

Join us Oct. 30 for the not-to-be-missed Front Line Fraud Conference. This full-day conference covers key issues such as protecting the passwords that provide access to your systems; spotting false IDs, counterfeiting and scams; fraud reporting procedures; and much more. Our facilitator is Barry Thompson, security and compliance guru for bankersonline.com.

Location: DoubleTree Hotel (Richmond Airport). Early bird registration of $164 through Oct. 18; $189 thereafter.

[download the registration packet] (pdf, 979kb)

Free Workshop on Supervisory Committee Responsibilities Set for Oct. 25

1st Advantage Federal Credit Union is sponsoring a free one-hour workshop on supervisory committee responsibilities on Oct. 25, beginning at 4 p.m. Seating is limited. Register  by contacting Criston Kudlacik at 757.886.3315 or CKudlacik@1stAdvantage.org. Meeting will be held at 1st Advantage's Kiln Creek Branch (110 Cybernetics Way, Yorktown 23693).

[learn more]

Fiserv EFT Users Meeting Nov. 7

Join us Nov. 7 in Richmond for the Fiserv EFT Users Meeting. Location: Doubletree – Richmond Airport Hotel. Topics will include Fraud Prevention, UChoose Rewards, and an EMV Update. [learn more and register]

News From Credit Unions

Shutdown Brings $1.8 Million in New Loans to Justice FCU

While the government shutdown continues, many federal employees are turning to their credit unions for assistance. The shutdown resulted in 353 loan applications for furloughed federal employees at the $599 million Justice FCU in Chantilly, Va., totaling $1.8 million. Justice FCU said it was offering its members “special unsecured loans up to $10,000 at an annual rate of 0% for the first 60 days.

The rate converts to 4.90% after that time for a term of 24-months.

[read more]
[related: More CUs Announce Furlough Assistance]

Chapter News

Richmond Chapter Meets Oct. 15

Jay Stegmaier, Chesterfield County administrator, will be the featured speaker at the Richmond Chapter's Oct. 15 meeting. The Chapter will be honoring the sponsor companies and organizations that helped start our credit unions and the volunteer officials who help make our credit unions great! Location: Willow Oaks Country Club (6228 Forest Hill Ave., Richmond).

Time: 5:30 p.m. registration and cocktails; 6 p.m. dinner and 7 p.m. chapter meeting updates. RSVP by Oct. 11 for the early bird rate of $30 to Dianna Clouse at dianna.clouse@vacu.org.

Roanoke Valley Chapter Meets Oct. 15 for Legislative Night

The Roanoke Valley Chapter of Credit Unions cordially invites you to join credit union volunteers and professionals, sponsor representatives and elected officials for our Annual Dinner celebrating International Credit Union Week. Date: Tuesday, Oct. 15. Location: In the Shenandoah Room of the Hotel Roanoke (110 Shenandoah Ave. Roanoke, VA). Agenda: Cocktails at 6 p.m.; dinner at 7 p.m.; and program at 8:15 p.m.

[learn more]

NoVA Chapter to Host Legislator Appreciation Night Oct. 17

The Northern Virginia Chapter of the Virginia Credit Union League cordially invites you to our Legislator Appreciation Night on Oct. 17. Join us as we salute our elected officials for their public service and educate lawmakers about the "Credit Union Difference." Location: Fairview Park Marriott (3111 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church, 22042). Time: 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. Please RSVP by Oct. 14 to Judy Pollard at pollardj@jfcu.org or call 703.480.5300 ext. 3102.

[learn more]

Marketing News

Easy Riders: Boomers Have Highest New Car Loan Potential

When it comes to buying a new car, baby boomers may have an edge over the potential buying power of the much sought-after Generation Y. Consumers in the 55- to 64-year-old age range are most likely to buy a new car simply because this group has the second largest number of licensed drivers, according to a new study, Marketing Implications of the Changing Age Composition of Vehicle Buyers in the U.S., from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute.

Coming in first was the 45- to 54-year old age bracket that also includes boomers, the data showed. [read more]
[related: Buying a Car Online Is About to Get Way Easier]

Financial Education

With Gen Y, Even Fin Lit Must Be Tailored To Tastes

A targeted and proactive approach by credit unions to help young consumers learn to better manage their money can help cultivate these Generation Y Americans into lifelong members. But those financial literacy efforts have to be tailored to the younger generation's terms. [read more]

Community Involvement

CUAid: Need $100K More For Colorado CU Members' Flood Relief

Colorado credit union members, volunteers and staff affected by recent flooding in that state have requested more than $200,000 in disaster relief, which means at least $100,000 still needs to be collected through CUAid.coop, the online disaster relief system. CUAid.coop was activated two weeks ago by the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) and Mountain West Credit Union Foundation (NWCUF). Since then, they have received more than $200,000 in requests.

Currently, NCUF has roughly 40% of the funds needed to meet those requests. The flooding in Colorado last month destroyed nearly 2,000 homes, damaged another 16,000 homes, and hit hard nearly 1,000 businesses.

[read more]

Security/Fraud Prevention

New $100 Bill Debuts With New Security Features

The new $100 bill made its debut Tuesday, several years later than originally planned. The bill was originally due to reach financial institutions in 2011. But three years ago the Federal Reserve announced that a problem with the currency's new security measures was causing the bills to crease during printing, which left blank spaces on the bills.

The new bill has several features designed to make it easier for the public to authenticate but more difficult for counterfeiters to replicate. [read more]

Technology News

Mobile Now More Popular Than Phone, Mail: Survey

Mobile banking is a youthful upstart in the financial services industry: innovative and full of potential, but far less prevalent than tried-and-true banking methods. But a growing number of consumers are willing to give portable banking technology a whirl, according to a new survey by the American Bankers Association.

Most still prefer to conduct their banking business on the Internet or in person, the ABA's August survey of 1,000 adults reports. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they most frequently went online to manage their accounts, while 18% said that they preferred to bank at the branch. For the fifth straight year, the automated teller machine ranked 3rd in popularity, with 11% of customers citing it as the preferred banking method.

But for the first time in the survey's history, mobile banking outranked telephones and snail mail in popularity. Eight percent of customers said they used mobile banking more frequently than any other method—a 30% increase from 2012. U.S. mail and telephones were each favored by 7% of the respondents. (American Banker Online, Oct. 4)

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