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CURRENT Newsletter | 16 May 2013

May 16, 2013 by Lewis Wood

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

CURRENT Newsletter

May 16, 2013
  • Your comments and submissions are always welcomed. E-mail pr@vacul.org
Headline News Compliance/Regulatory Affairs News Governmental Affairs News Financial Services/Marketplace News Education & Networking Opportunities News From Credit Unions Chapter News Financial Education News Security/Fraud Prevention

Headline News

CUNA and Leagues Mobilizing 96 Million Members to Preserve CU Tax Status

The Credit Union National Association and your League have launched a large-scale, nationwide grassroots-mobilization campaign urging America's 96 million credit union members to deliver a united message to the U.S. Congress: "Don't tax my credit union!"

The campaign is being launched at a time when the U.S. House and Senate have made broad-based tax reform a major priority. The initiative will urge lawmakers as part of any final tax reform plan to preserve the federal tax exemption credit unions receive as not-for-profit, member-owned cooperatives.

"Policy is being formulated on Capitol Hill now, so we must act now. We can't wait," said CUNA President and CEO Bill Cheney. "It's rare that credit unions call upon their 96 million members to take action, but our members will be the best spokespeople we have, especially on an issue as vital to our future as this." The campaign will emphasize that any tax on credit unions is really a tax on its members since credit unions are cooperatively-owned by the people they serve.

If credit unions were taxed, their benefits to members and communities will be lost, and a consumer-friendly option in the financial marketplace will vanish. The nationwide action alert urges nearly 7,000 state and federally chartered credit unions to support this campaign by engaging their consumer-members on this issue and directing them to a range of new resources. [read more]

For more on the "Don't Tax My Credit Union" campaign, use these resource links.

  • A new website, DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org, where people can learn about the issue, send an email message directly to their members of Congress;
  • A national webinar for credit union executives, to be held Wednesday, May 22 at 3 p.m. ET, where CUNA will fully outline the issues, strategy, and required actions. To sign up for the webinar, click here;

View Our Action Alert
Share a PDF of Our Action Alert

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Compliance/Regulatory Affairs News

Derivatives Proposal Tops NCUA May Agenda

A long-awaited National Credit Union Administration derivatives proposal will headline the three items on the agenda when the agency holds its May open board meeting at 10 a.m. on May 16. NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz in February hinted that the agency is considering allowing well-run credit unions with the necessary expertise to use simple derivatives to hedge against interest rate risk (IRR). She said managing interest rate risk is a key concern for the agency.

Credit unions that demonstrate a relevant, material IRR exposure, have demonstrated the ability to manage derivatives, and have the net worth and financial health needed to manage derivatives could be allowed to invest in interest rate swaps and interest rate caps, the NCUA indicated last year. [read more]

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Oregon CU Champion Rick Metsger Called Next NCUA Board Nominee

Multiple sources have told Credit Union Times that President Barack Obama intends to nominate former Oregon State Sen. Rick Metsger to serve on the NCUA Board.  If confirmed by the Senate, the Democrat would likely replace former Board Member Gigi Hyland, who left the NCUA last Oct. 5, after serving more than a year past her term’s expiration. The choice of a Democrat by Obama to replace Hyland is an odd one, because the term would presumably be just four years.

According to the NCUA’s website, each member serves a staggered six-year term, a restriction that dictates the shorter term to replace Hyland. If Obama intends for Metsger to replace current board member Michael Fryzel, whose term expires Aug. 2, the president will eventually have to also appoint a Republican to join him and current NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz, also a Democrat. [read more]

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Governmental Affairs News

100% for VACUPAC

BayLands Federal Credit Union has 100% pin participation in the Virginia Credit Union Political Action Committee from volunteer officials and management. Contributions to VACUPAC are "career insurance," enabling credit unions to support political candidates willing to hear us out on our issues. Learn more about VACUPAC by contacting your League's Karin Sherbin at 800.768.3344, ext. 626 orksherbin@vacul.org or visiting our website.

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League-Endorsed John Cosgrove Wins GOP Nomination for State Senate Seat

Del. John Cosgrove, endorsed by the Virginia Credit Union League, comfortably won his party's nomination in a firehouse primary last Thursday, earning a chance to succeed retiring state Sen. Harry Blevins. Cosgrove bested Portsmouth's Chris Stearns and Chesapeake resident Bill Haley. He received 1,362 votes, with Stearns netting 552 and Haley 138, a party official said. [read more]

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CFPB, Dodd-Frank On House Financial Services Hearing Schedule

How Consumer Financial Protection Bureau mortgage regulations could impact consumer credit access and the housing market will be one of many key items discussed in House Financial Services Committee hearings planned for next week.

The CFPB hearing, which will focus on the CFPB's Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage rule, will be held before the financial institutions and consumer credit subcommittee on Tuesday, May 21. New standards to define a "qualified mortgage" under the agency's "ability to repay" regulations were issued by the CFPB in January. [read more]

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Financial Services/Marketplace News

Despite the Recovery, Mortgage Originations Fell 6.2 Percent in Q1

Despite the housing recovery and home sales running 10.3 percent above the level of a year ago, mortgage originations are falling, signaling weakening refinancings. Residential lenders originated 6.2% less during the first three months of 2013 than in the final three months of 2012, according to Mortgage Daily's First-Quarter 2013 Mortgage Lender Ranking. Estimated first-quarter originations by all U.S. lenders worked out to approximately $505 billion. [read more]

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US Mortgage Delinquency Rate Lower Than It First Appears: TransUnion

The U.S. mortgage delinquency rate is lower than it first appears when accounting for the number of mortgages delinquent for 180 days or more, credit bureau TransUnion claims in a new report. These home loans are older vintages left over from the worst part of the credit crunch and are less likely to define what is happening in the mortgage space today.

The most recent mortgage delinquency rate (counting the rate of borrowers 60 days or more past due) improved 21% year-over-year in the first quarter and 12% from the fourth quarter of 2012. TransUnion places the current mortgage delinquency rate at 4.56%, which is double the rate recorded prior to the real estate crisis. [read more]
[related: Washington Region’s Housing Market Recovery Likely to Continue]

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Cars, Home Improvement Give April Retail Sales a Boost

Spring’s arrival late in April gave retail sales a light boost as Americans emerged from hibernation to spend on cars, gardening goods and building supplies. From March to April, sales rose a slight 0.1% after declining a revised 0.5% from February to March, according to the Commerce Department. Wall Street had expected a 0.3% slide. The dissipation of the bitter weather that had kept many consumers cooped up at home, coupled with higher home prices, the better-than-expected job market and the record stock performance, helped the sales figures jump 3.7% compared with April 2012. [read more]

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Education & Networking Opportunities

Financial Literacy Boot Camp May 23

Don't miss your chance to “Deliver the Difference” to your members. Register today to attend theFinancial Education Boot Camp, May 23, in Richmond. Register online at www.vacul.org/events.

Topics include:

  • How Your Credit Union Can Develop Raving Fans Using Financial Education

Leigh Brady, Senior VP of Education Services, State Employees' Credit Union

  • VITA Sites as an Inroad to Financial Empowerment (and New Member Accounts)

Chris Neighbor, Internal Revenue Service; Carolyn Spohrer, Virginia Community Action Partnership; Rebecca Cardwell, UVA Community Credit Union

  • The New NEFE Reveal: How to Use It for Virginia's Personal Finance Requirements

Dianna Clouse, Virginia Credit Union

  • Bringing Your Dreams to Life: CU Strategic Planning Grants Writing Workshop

Kathleen Falotico, CU Strategic Planning

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Leadership Workshop Set for June 5

The challenges of today's hyper-competitive business environment require collaborative leadership skills more now than ever before. This high-energy, fun and informative seminar offers invaluable skill-building in interpersonal relationships, managing difficult conversations, and group problem-solving and decision-making.

It is a key step to excellence in collaborative, interdependent leadership. Set in the context of peer-to-peer leadership, our June 5 Leadership Workshop will define and shape your mandate for leadership and collaboration regardless of your formal or informal position of authority. [learn more]

View our upcoming webinars!

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News From Credit Unions

Credit Unions Among Organizations Recognized for Commitment to Youth

Twenty six honorees, including Beach Municipal Federal Credit Union and Virginia Beach Schools Federal Credit Union, were recognized as Virginia Beach’s Best All Around on May 4, 2013 by the Virginia Beach Youth Opportunities Team and Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation. Award recipients are businesses or organizations that have created an organizational culture of support for young people. [more here]

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URW Community FCU Honored as FCU of the Year

Congratulations to URW Community Federal Credit Union (Danville) on being honored as a Federal Credit Union of the Year by the National Association of Federal Credit Unions. The credit union picked up the award in the less than $150 million-asset category. [read more]

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Argent Credit Union Awards $5,000 in Scholarships

Argent Credit Union awarded two $2,500 Ruby A. Robinson Scholarships to deserving young credit union members for academic, leadership and community involvement achievement. The two recipients are Michael Shearin and Hannah Spencer. [read more]

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Chartway FCU Announces Retirement of Long-Time Board Member

Following 46 years of commendable volunteer service and 36 years of loyal leadership on Chartway Federal Credit Union’s Board of Directors, it is with great appreciation for his contributions that the credit union announces that Al Merritt has retired. As a well-respected ambassador and long-time friend of the credit union, Merritt had an immeasurable impact on the organization.

During his years of volunteer service, he helped grow the credit union from a small “mom and pop” savings shop serving 5,122 member owners in 1967 to a thriving financial institution now delivering the credit union difference to nearly 200,000 members across the country. [read more]

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ABNB FCU, Norfolk FCU Finalize Merger

On April 1, ABNB merged with the Norfol- based Norfolk Federal Credit Union, previously Norfolk Teachers Association Federal Credit Union. Norfolk FCU has a long standing history in the city of Norfolk, founded in 1936 in the home of Mr. and Mrs. P. J. Chesson. It was a huge endeavor that began with a few courageous individuals who launched the credit union with a meager $21 and grew it to over $5 million.

ABNB is proud to welcome Norfolk FCU members to the ABNB family. The existing branch at 1701 Church Street will remain open, and to honor the rich history that Norfolk FCU brought with it, is being named the Chesson branch of ABNB. [read more]

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ABNB FCU Launches Mobile Banking App

In March, ABNB launched its all-new, free mobile banking application, giving its 46,000 members 24/7 access to their account information, make transfers between accounts, pay bills, and find the closest ATM or branch. More than 5,000 members have already signed up and logged in to their mobile app using their iPhones and Android devices. [read more]

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Member One FCU Announces New Vice Presidents

Member One Federal Credit Union is proud to announce three new Vice Presidents: Sonya Cox of the Brookside Branch, Chad King of the Salem Branch and Jennifer White of the Accounting department. [read more]

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Chapter News

Richmond Chapter Meeting Slated for May 21

The Richmond Chapter will host its annual Scholarship Night on May 21. Join us as we support young credit union members pursuing their education dreams. Also on the agenda is a program by Michael Zieg, of MasterCard Worldwide, who will speak on "Inspiring Member Loyalty."

Location: Hilton Garden Inn Airport. Time: 5:30 p.m. registration, 6 p.m. welcome; 6:45 p.m. scholarship awards and program. RSVP by May 10 for the early bird rate of $30; $35 thereafter. Contact Dianna Clouse at dianna.clouse@vacu.org. [learn more] (pdf, 435kb)

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Roanoke Valley Chapter Meets May 21

Scott Vail, of Vail Appraisals LLC, will present a program on current real estate market conditions and recent trends at the Roanoke Valley Chapter's May 21 meeting. Location: Salem Civic Center. Time: Cash bar at 6 p.m.; dinner 6:30 p.m.; and program 7 p.m. Cost: $19. Please respond by noon, May 17, with names of attendees to Jim Scott by email to jscott@memberonefcu.com. [learn more]

Tidewater Chapter to Host July 26 Charity Golf Tournament

Join the Tidewater Chapter July 26 for its Inaugural Golf Challenge at Sewells Point Golf Course in Norfolk! Format will be four-man captain’s choice, with an entry fee of $125 per player. Fee includes a hot dog lunch, cart, range balls, green fees and cookout dinner. Shotgun start at 1 p.m. Proceeds will benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Sponsorships are also available, ranging from $250 to $1,000, and your support is greatly appreciated! [learn more] (Word document, 930kb)

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Financial Education News

Study Shows Widespread Ignorance on Credit Scores

Nearly everybody knows that paying loans on time can help raise their credit score. But beyond that, a large percentage of Americans know little about their scores, a new survey found. The survey shows widespread misunderstanding about how scores are calculated and how they can be improved. Between one-quarter and two-fifths of adults can't answer basic questions about their scores, according to the survey released Monday by the Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore Solutions. Fifty-five percent, meanwhile, rated their knowledge of credit scores as "good" or "excellent."

Two-fifths of respondents did not know that credit card issuers and mortgage lenders use scores to make decisions about credit availability and pricing, the survey found. The same percentage incorrectly believed that age and marital status affect credit scores. (American Banker Online, May 13)
[related: Mothers Worry Their Children are Unprepared for Jobs, Finances]

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Security/Fraud Prevention

Credit Union Embezzlement Up in 2012: Report

The financial services industry was the most frequent victim and experienced the greatest losses from major embezzlement schemes last year, and nearly one in four involved credit unions, according to the 2012 Marquet Report on Embezzlement that was released Tuesday. The report, which analyzed 528 major embezzlement cases in which at least $100,000 was misappropriated, found that 15% (about 80 cases) involved financial services firms but did not include insurance-related entities. Of that 15%, according to the report, 23% (about 18 cases) involved credit unions. [read more]

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New $100 Bill Enters Circulation in October; Training Materials on New Features Available

The new $100 bill enters circulation Oct. 8. In addition to preventing counterfeiting, the bills are also designed to assist the visually impaired. Training materials can be downloaded and/or ordered at the Fed’s newmoney.gov website.

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